Last week the state Senate approved a nearly $50 billion budget with Senator Sal DiDomenico able to earmark state funds for several Charlestown-based programs and initiatives as well as other regional entities that will benefit the neighborhood.
DiDomenico was able to secure $25,000 for Charlestown’s Skating for Success program. Skating for Success runs a program to teach Charlestown youth how to ice skate and play ice hockey.
“Most of the children in the program would not have any other opportunity to do so due to the high cost of participating in the sport,” said DiDomenico in a statement.
DiDomenico was also happy to share that the Senate adopted his earmark amendment to allocate $25,000 to the Charlestown Resident Alliance (CRA).
“The CRA serves as a powerful advocate for members of our community, working towards fair and affordable housing opportunities for everyone,” said DiDomenico. “The funding will be allocated towards the CRA’s housing support and wraparound services programs. I am proud to be able to support them in achieving fair and equitable housing for all.”
Another $25,000 in state funding will support Food for Free, an organization rescues and distributes critical food resources throughout the Greater Boston Area. DiDomenico said the agency supports many agencies and community partners in my district.
“These funds will help to support the continuation of their tireless work to alleviate hunger among thousands of residents in our area,” he said.
Some regional earmarks by DiDomenico include a $1 million budget amendment to the state’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program. DiDomenico said the Pediatric Palliative Care program provides critical health services and support to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The funding secured by DiDomenico will help to eliminate the need for the program’s waitlist, easing the pain and symptoms felt by impacted children across the Commonwealth. This amendment will also increase the age of eligibility, allowing children receiving care to remain in the program until they reach 22 years of age.
“I am proud to be able to support this incredible investment in our children and families in need,” he said.
Another $500,000 earmark in the state budget by DiDomenico will go to support the efforts of Hazardous Material response teams in Boston, Cambridge and Everett.
“Our emergency response personnel risk their lives every day in the line of duty,” said DiDomenico. “This allocation will help to ensure that their health and safety are protected as they continue to protect and serve our communities.”
DiDomenico also filed an amendment that was adopted by the Senate to establish a Safe and Supportive School Grant Program into Massachusetts General Law. DiDomenico argues a good education is one of the most important tools the state can give.
“By creating a Safe and Supportive School Grant Program we can ensure that our classrooms are providing all students with an educational environment that is safe, inclusive, and conducive to learning,” he said.
DiDomenico amendment to establish a Common Application Program into Massachusetts General Law was also adopted by the Senate. DiDomenico said a Common Application Portal will create a more seamless application process that allows those in need to apply for a suite of need-based services. Applicants will be able to simultaneously apply for MassHealth, SNAP benefits, income supports, veterans’ services benefits, child care subsidies, housing subsidies, fuel assistance, and other needs-based health care, nutrition, and shelter benefits. The creation of a single Common Application Portal will help to lower the barrier to these essential services for the members of the community who are most in need.