News House, Senate pass $43.1B budget; send it to Governor

The state House and Senate approved a $43.1 billion spending plan this afternoon, July 22, for Fiscal Year 2020. The budget heads to Gov. Charlie Baker, who has 10 days to review and sign it. He cannot add any funding, but can veto line items and has historically stricken earmarks from the budget.

The budget emerged from Conference Committee Sunday evening, three weeks into the fiscal year. The final Conference Committee budget foregoes taxing opioid manufacturers and e-cigarette/vaping products, but does include pricing control measures on pharmaceuticals. About $23 million of the approximately $300 million added in conference will go to the MBTA, according to State House News Service. You can access the full budget online here.

Language that the Council and members had advocated for around funding for Competitive Integrated Employment Services was included in the Conference Final, guaranteeing that “the department shall spend not less than the amount spent in fiscal year 2019 for the young parents program and the competitive integrated employment services program.” Funding for the overall Employment Services Program line item 4401-1000 is $14.1 million.

Additionally, $2.5 million was included in the budget to help fund the Statewide Complete Count Committees that are leading outreach and advocacy for the 2020 U.S. Census. That is on top of $2.75 million for the Secretary of State’s Census work. Many of the EOHHS line items of importance to members were level funded or saw increases. You can view and download our budget tracker here. It compares a selection of Conference Final line items to their FY ’19 projected spending and the original FY ’20 budget proposals of the Governor, House and Senate.

If you have questions about the budget, please email Bill Yelenak at bill@providers.org or call him at 617.428.3637 x122. You may also contact Bill if there is something you would like the Council to track.

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