FY 20 Senate Budget
The FY20 Senate Budget is scheduled to be debated from May 21-23. The Senate budget process begins after the Governor and House of Representatives release their budget proposals. The Senate's process starts with the Senate Ways and Means Committee, followed by amendments and debate, and finally ratification of the Senate Budget.
The final Senate Budget is sent to a Conference Committee, to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate proposals. The Conference Committee reports a final compromise bill to the House and Senate for a final vote of acceptance in each branch. The Governor then has 10 days to review the budget and take action to either approve or veto.
This page features updates on the Senate Budget process. For details on other parts of the budget process or to explore the budget itself, head to the MA Legislature website.
Senate Ways & Means Budget Proposal
The Senate Ways and Means (SWM) budget provides the base Senate budget onto which we add amendments. The SWM Budget included several of my top funding priorities. These included:
K-12 Education (“Chapter 70”) Aid: $138 million in new funding to begin implementation of all 4 financial recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission--including the full “100% weighting” for low-income students in the Commonwealth’s most impoverished districts.
Substance Abuse Treatment: Provides $150.2M for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for treatment and intervention services, including $3.5M to open five new recovery centers around the state.
Family Resource Centers: Provides $17 million, almost $2 million more than last year. The program provides one of the few means by which families in crisis can voluntarily receive services to prevent neglect of their children before it happens.
Adult Basic Education: $38 million to improve teacher compensation and reduce waitlists.
Income-Eligible Childcare: $276.5 million to maintain the number of vouchers available for eligible recipients.
Medication-Assisted Treatment: Provides $16.5M for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for incarcerated people at Department of Corrections facilities and houses of correction with opioid use disorder.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC): Asset limits for TAFDC updated so that a family's first vehicle isn't counted against their eligibility.
Alternative Housing Voucher Program: Provides $8 million ($2 million more than last year) for a rental assistance program.
Prescription Drug Cost: SWM budget proposal gives MassHealth additional tools to tackle the rapidly growing cost of pharmaceutical drugs by allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate for fair and additional rebates or cost effective payment arrangements with pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Amendments & Debate
My strategy is always to fight for the priorities that I hear about again and again in the 2nd Suffolk District. At neighborhood meetings, through email, social media, and phone calls: you express these issue areas as critical to our neighborhoods and imperative to our future. The amendments I've filed and co-sponsored so far fall into a few different areas.
For a full list of amendments sponsored and co-sponsored by Sonia, please reference the MA Legislature's website.
Final Senate Budget & Victories
Last week, the Senate passed its FY20 Budget for the state. There were many spirited debates over the week about how best to support families and our communities across the commonwealth.
This year's budget debate saw innovative ideas and dogged follow-through on core priorities. Here are some of our big victories.