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FY ‘17 budget heads to Gov’s desk

Happy (Fiscal) New Year! Gov. Charlie Baker has until July 10 to review and sign the FY ’17 budget plan passed by the House and Senate on June 30.

Both chambers voted less than 24 hours after receiving the $39.1 billion Conference Committee FY ’17 budget proposal, which, despite more than $400 million in cuts to the original House and Senate plans, was generally favorable to human services programs. The House vote was 150-3 and the Senate, 38-1.

You can view the budget proposal online and you can download the Providers' Council's tracking analysis of all the line items we're watching.

The Governor can veto additional line items, but he cannot change allocations or add funding. The House and Senate also have the power to override any potential vetoes from the Governor.  The Providers’ Council is optimistic that appropriations affecting the human services sector will remain in the final budget.

Budget highlights of note for Council members include:

  • The final Conference Committee budget included the House language for Competitive Integrated Employment Services, funding CIES at “no less than the FY '17 amount” (projected to be about $7 million).
  • The Chapter 257 Reserve was maintained throughout the budget process. Gov. Baker proposed a $36.25 million rate reserve for the rate-setting law; the House, Senate and Conference Committee budgets all maintained this amount.
  • Funding for Domestic Violence Prevention Services has been moved from the Department of Children and Families (4800-1400) to the Department of Public Health (4513-1130) in all budget proposals, including the final Conference Committee budget proposal.
  • While the Governor sought to create a $15 million line item for Pathways to Self Sufficiency (4400-1979), the House and Senate cut funding to $1 million and $1.5 million in their respective budget proposals. The final Conference Committee recommendation funds this line at $1 million.
  • Various changes were made throughout the process to the Elder Enhanced Home Care Services line item (9110-1500), but the Conference Committee did fund it at $70.5 million, consistent with Governor Baker's initial proposal.

As Gov. Baker reviews the Conference Committee budget, the state will run on a supplemental budget passed last week to ensure continuous operation for the start of the fiscal year in case budget negotiations extended past July 1.

The Providers' Council will continue to evaluate this budget over the next week and keep you briefed on the Governor's potential vetoes. If you do have any questions or other thoughts on this, please contact Bill Yelenak.