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Administration announces $98M in mid-year budget cuts

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders walked stakeholders through the Baker Administration’s 9C cuts to the budget, addressing each department and taking questions.

The Baker Administration announced $98 million in 9C budget cuts on Dec. 6, less than a week after reports that state tax revenues were below benchmarks for November. Overall, state revenue this fiscal year has increased just 2.2 percent over last year, still below the twice-revised estimate of 3.1 percent growth.

Overall, $52.2 million of the 9C cuts affect EOHHS including MassHealth, Sudders said, and focus primarily on administrative savings and eliminating earmarks. She said the decision to cut an earmark was made on a case-by-case basis after receiving recommendations from the agency head.

Some of the cuts revert funding back to Gov. Charlie Baker’s original proposal in his House 2 budget and other cuts reinstate vetoes the Governor made that were overridden by the Legislature during the final budget debate. Sudders said that no cuts were made to the Department of Mental Health, Department of Children and Families or to Veterans Services, including the Soldiers’ Homes.

Notable cuts among line items tracked by the Providers’ Council include:

  • $668,000 from Department of Youth Services – Sudders said this is the closure of one program and Commissioner Peter Forbes has spoken directly with the provider;
  • an overall $10 million reduction to the Department of Public Health, which includes $917,485 for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Services;
  • $2.4 million cut to the Mass. Rental Voucher Program, which is the difference between the H2 budget and the final conference budget;
  • $2.8 million (net) of $240 million allocated for adult foster care and $3.6 million (net) of $758 million allocated for home health services. Sudders said these cuts within MassHealth to long-term support services involve adjusting payments for adult foster care and home health services.

Click on the following links to read the letter from Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore, the letter from Gov. Baker, the list of 9C cuts by line item, Providers’ Council budget tracker and the list of earmarks that were cut.

If you have questions or want to bring a specific cut to the attention of the Council, please contact Bill Yelenak at byelenak@providers.org.