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House Ways & Means releases FY ‘17 budget plan

The House Ways & Means Committee released its $39.48 billion FY ’17 budget proposal Wednesday afternoon that includes significant increases for education and local aid, but would level-fund many EOHHS programs and services aimed at supporting the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Additionally, the House W&M (HWM) budget proposes just $5 million in funding for Employment Services Programs (DTA line item 4401-1000), well below both FY '16 funding of $12.9 million and the $12.4 million proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker in his House 2 (H2) budget put forth in January. The line item includes Competitive Integrated Employment Services, which itself is projected to receive $7 million in funding in FY ’16.

Pathways to Self-Sufficiency, a program the Department of Transitional Assistance intended to use as additional support for CIES clients and funded at $15 million in H2, was cut by more than 93 percent in the HWM proposal, funded only at $1 million.

The Council is working with legislators to introduce two amendments:

  • Rep. Jeffrey Roy is filing an amendment to establish a $750,000 student loan repayment program for low-paid human service workers. To send a letter urging your legislator to sign on as a co-sponsor to Rep. Roy’s amendment, click here.
  • Rep. Daniel Hunt is filing an amendment to ensure both CIES and the Young Parents Program (YPP) receive at least as much funding in FY ’17 as they did in FY ’16. Please call your state representative and urge them to co-sponsor Rep. Hunt’s amendment for CIES and YPP.

Budget amendments are due by Friday, April 15; the House is expected to begin its budget debate on Monday, April 25. 

Additionally, the HWM budget proposal increases spending for the Department of Children and Families, allotting $23 million more than in FY '16 to continue the reforms that are being implemented, including 281 addition hires to reduce caseloads.

Funding for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (4512-0200) also saw a significant boost in the House Ways & Means budget proposal.

The Providers’ Council’s line item tracking chart is available here. Members who have questions about the budget or would like the Council to track additional items may e-mail Bill Yelenak.