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Governor’s budget focuses on opioids, children and jobs

Gov. Charlie Baker released a $39.55 billion H2 budget Wednesday for Fiscal Year '17 that was mostly favorable to human services, including $50 million to fully fund Chapter 257 rate increases.

The Baker Administration increased funding for behavioral health and addiction treatment programs as well as for the Department of Children and Families. Other funding was also add to help individuals identified as chronically unemployed find and keep jobs.

You can view EOHHS' report on its budget here.

In the budget proposal, which will now be taken up by House Ways & Means, the Administration also transfers funding or consolidates line items in several areas, and the Providers' Council is monitoring how these moves may affect provider contracts. These areas of interest include:

  • domestic violence programs and funding being brought under the Department of Public Health;
  • the phasing in of changes to MassHealth;
  • clarifying the Salary Reserve annualization; and
  • the transfer of funding to newly established line items within Elder Services and Early Education and Care.

The complete spending plan can be found here. Details specific to EOHHS can be found here, and an historical comparison can be found here

It is important to note that the H2 budget is the first step in the budget process. The House Ways & Means budget is due by mid-April and the Senate's version is due by mid-May. A Joint Conference Committee then hammers out the version of the budget that goes back to Gov. Baker to sign before the start of FY'17 on July 1.

If you have questions or concerns about the H2 budget, please email  Bill Yelenak or call 617.428.3637 x122.