MASSACHUSETTS STATE BUDGET
Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
The fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget was signed into law on July 17, 2017. While the new fiscal year started on July 1st, the passage of the budget was delayed because of the decrease in revenue growth projections, which were released in late spring. The change in expected tax revenue required the Legislature and the Governor to make adjustments to the budget plans they had been working on since late January. Before signing the budget, the Governor made $320 million worth of vetoes that brought the budget total to $39.4 billion. Since then, the House and Senate have passed overridden some of those vetoes and have restore $75.8 million worth of funding to the budget.
Despite the slow revenue growth, the FY18 budget makes meaningful investments in building stronger and safer communities, advancing educational opportunities, promoting economic development and workforce skills training, and supporting mental health and substance misuse services. Recognizing that municipalities have unique and diverse needs, the Legislature continues to fund local aid at historic levels. This budget increases Unrestricted General Government Aid by $40 million and local education aid by almost $119 million. The budget also begins to implement the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations by making adjustments to the local education aid formula to more accurately reflect the cost of employee health benefits.
In 2014, under the House’s leadership, Massachusetts passed a nationally-heralded gun safety law that included the Safe and Supportive Schools Initiative. The FY18 budget bolsters this initiative by directing the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission to establish an infrastructure to help schools leverage and coordinate community based health, youth development, and social services resources that enable students to achieve well-being and academic success.
Since FY12, the Legislature has increased funding for substance addiction services to unprecedented levels and passed two landmark bills to help address the opioid epidemic. This year’s budget makes notable investments related to behavioral health and addiction, including almost $132.5 million for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), $1 million for supportive case management services, and $1 million for expanding access to residential rehabilitation services. The budget also provides funding to the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center for 45 additional treatment beds for Section 35 civilly committed males, and continued funding for the 45 beds for women’s addiction treatment services at Taunton State Hospital that were added in the FY17 budget. And nearly $150 million will be provided to the Department of Public Health for substance misuse services.
For more information and to read the text of this bill, please click here.