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Legislature agrees to fund Salary Reserve annualization; awaiting signature from Gov. Baker

The House and Senate reached agreement on a Supplemental Budget bill Wednesday that will annualize the FY '15 Salary Reserve into the current fiscal year at $5.3 million. The bill now heads to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk.

The Salary Reserve funding should have been included in the FY '16 budget, but it was unfortunately omitted during the transition of administrations. The Supplemental Budget bill, House 3829, calls for $5.3 million to fund the annualization of the FY '15 Salary Reserve (line item 1599-6901).

The Providers' Council appreciates all the support from the Governor and legislative leadership to fix this issue. The administration included funding in a supplemental budget filed in July, and both Gov. Charlie Baker and EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders were incredibly supportive of this line item. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, and Ways & Means Chairs Rep. Brian Dempsey and Sen. Karen Spilka included the funding in their chambers' supplemental budget proposals as well.

The FY '15 Human Services Salary Reserve ensured that more than 8,500 human services workers in the sector received a modest adjustment. Thanks to the actions of the Governor, Secretary, Speaker, Senate President and Ways & Means Chairs, these employees will continue to receive that modest increase.
Governor Baker has until the end of October to sign the budget, according to the State House News Service. If the budget agreement isn't signed on or before Oct. 31, the money to support planned appropriations would instead be placed into the rainy day fund, state Comptroller Thomas Shack told the News Service.

The Providers' Council will continue to monitor the situation and keep members up to date on any developments that may occur. If you have questions, please contact Bill Yelenak.