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Senate budget won’t include CIES language, loan repay pilot

The Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday rejected both Providers' Council amendments as it worked its way through the FY '17 budget plan.

On day two of the budget debate, Senate leadership started bundling the more than 800 amendments still awaiting action.  Amendment #454, to include language to ensure funding for Competititive Integrated Employment Services in the Employment Services Program line item; and #556, to establish a pilot education loan repayment program for low-paid human service workers, were both assigned to the "Bundle Rejected" section.

The Providers' Council continues to monitor the Senate budget debate and will advocate for the CIES language, which was included in the House budget plan, to be included in the Conference Committee budget.

The Council will also continue to pursue a loan repayment program for qualifying members of our workforce through House Bill 124, filed by Rep. Jeffrey Roy. It is currently before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.

The Senate is expected to finalize its budget proposal by the end of the week, setting the stage for a House-Senate Conference to hash out a compromise bill in June for Gov. Charlie Baker to finalize. Fiscal Year 2017 begins on July 1.