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House Ways & Means Releases Budget

The House Ways & Means Committee unveiled its FY '16 budget on April 15, proposing targeted investments in human services but suggesting the elimination of nearly $7 million from an important line item that provides employment training and other supports. 

The House Ways & Means Committee proposed a $37.962 billion budget, a slight decrease from the $38.062 billion proposal Governor Baker made in early March.

One major cut the House Ways & Means Committee proposed was in Employment Services Programs (4401-1000), which has projected spending for FY '15 of $11.8 million. While Governor Baker proposed a slight increase of the line item, the House suggested cutting the line by $6.8 million -- or almost 58 percent -- from FY '15 levels. The Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) program, which provides employment training and job placement for clients, is part of this line item.

Other items of note include:

  • Department of Youth Services: Residential Services for Committed Population (4200-0300): The House proposed an increase of nearly $4 million from the FY '15 projected spending levels and the Governor's proposal -- an increase of about 3.4 percent.
  • Department of Developmental Services: Respite and Family Support (5920-3000) and Adult Autism Services (5920-3005): The House proposed restoring $8 million to Family Support, funding it at nearly $56 million, and it moved $12.4 million in adult autism services to a new line item in its budget proposal.
  • Department of Children and Families: Services for Children and Families (4800-0038): The House funded this line item at $277.5 million, consistent with the Governor's budget. This would be a 2.67 percent increase over FY '15 spending levels.
  • Department of Early Education and Care: Temporary Assistance for Needy Family Related Child Care (3000-4050): The House funded this line item at $121.3 million, consistent with the Governor's budget. This would be a 6.49 percent decrease over FY '15 projected spending.
  • Department of Transitional Assistance: Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (4408-1000): The House proposed a 5.14 percent cut from FY '15 projected spending levels, while the Governor proposed a 7.6 percent cut from FY '15 projected spending levels. The House proposal funds the line item $2.1 million higher than the Governor's proposal.
  • Department of Public Health: HIV/AIDS Prevention Treatment and Services (4512-0103): The House proposed a cut of less than one percent in this line item, totaling about $300,000. The Governor had proposed a cut of 7.2 percent or $2.3 million.
  • Department of Mental Health: Emergency Services and Mental Health Care (5007-0001): The House funded this line item at $24.3 million, consistent with the Governor's budget. This would be a $7 million, or 22.75 percent cut, compared to the FY '15 projected spending levels. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (5042-5000): The House increased this line item $6 million -- or 7.4 percent -- over the FY '15 projected spending level and the Governor's proposal.
  • Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission: Independent Living Assistance for the Multi Disabled (4120-4000): The House increased this line item to $14.5 million, a 76 percent increase from the FY '15 projected spending levels of $8.2 million. The Governor also proposed a smaller increase in his budget of about $600,000 to $8.8 million.
  • Massachusetts Commission for the Blind: Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind (4110-3010): The House funded this line item at $3.34 million, a slight increase from the FY '15 projecting spending of $3.28 million. The Governor had sought to cut this budget item by 8.24 percent -- or $270,000 -- from FY '15 spending levels.

To view a number of the line items the Council is currently tracking, click here. If you would like the Council to follow a specific line item, please email Christine Mikiewicz with any relevant information to your item and increases or decreases.

Amendments for the House Ways & Means budget are due no later than Friday, April 17. Discussion on the budget amendments will begin Monday, April 27.

To view the full House Way & Means Budget proposal, click here. Please contact Bill Yelenak if you have any questions or concerns about individual line items or the budget in general.