FY13 Budget Conference Report

The FY13 Budget Conference Report was released last night. The House and Senate will both take action on the report today — no amendments will be permitted.

Here are a few initial observations on items that we have heard from many people about.

As expected, the final budget resolves most local aid differences in the upwards direction. It includes:

  • The Senate Chapter 70 education aid numbers, slightly higher than the House for some of my communities
  • $3.5 million for the Chapter 70 “pothole” account, including language designed to benefit communities like Watertown that have low Chapter 70 numbers — this item was present in the Senate budget, but not the House budget.
  • The House general local aid (UGGA) numbers, slightly lower than the Senate for some of my communities.
  • $242 million, an amount just below the Senate number for the special education circuit breaker, essentially full 75% reimbursement for communities. This is a big difference from the House number which was $222 million and important to all of my communities.
  • $24 million for Kindergarten Expansion grants — a compromise closer to the higher House number ($25m) than to the Senate ($21m). This line item does include the House language establishing a grant preference for “school districts which serve free or reduced lunch to at least 35 per cent of its students” — language which Watertown believes might disadvantage its application for funds under this section.
  • $18.1 million for the METCO program — the slightly higher House number.
  • $25 million for the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund from end-of-year surplus — the more generous House approach; the Senate budget included only $5 million (although it was a straight appropriation).

The final version does include $20,000,000 for the reserve to adjust salaries of low income human services workers that was added by the Senate.

The final version includes a modest loosening of the ban on gifts to doctors by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. It will permit “payment for modest meals and refreshments in connection with non-CME educational presentations” — this is a compromise with local restaurants who sought an elimination on the ban of wining and dining of doctors. Companies will be required to provide quarterly reports on non-CME presentations. (CME is continuing medical education.)

Based on a manual scan (the available version of the text is not searchable) the final version does not appear to include the amendment changing eligibility standards for cooperative apartments.

We will supplement this report with additional observations on issues that have been of concern to my constituents.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

5 replies on “FY13 Budget Conference Report”

  1. In a separate action yesterday, the House and Senate approved a measure providing bonding authority for Chapter 90 highway funds at the $200 million level — consistent with last year.

  2. I can confirm the Senator’s belief that the amendment changing eligibility standards for cooperative apartments did not make its way into the conference committee report. I will post more details about other issues of concern to constituents later this afternoon.

    Anne Johnson
    Committee Counsel and Policy Advisor, Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

  3. Below, please find a list of line-items (in no particular order) and the funding they received in the conference committee report:

    5046-0000 DMH-funded Clubhouses $344,027,150

    0640-0300 Massachusetts Cultural Council $6,527,624

    2810-2041 DCR Retained Revenue $14,141,673

    7004-9005 Public Housing Operating Subsidies, $64,500,000

    7004-9024 MRVP $42,000,000

    0321-1510 Private Counsel $98,906,090

    0321-1600 Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation $12,000,000

    4120-4010 Turning 22 $11,214,866

    4512-0103 AIDS/HIV Prevention $32,101,023

    4513-1020 Early Intervention $28,025,623

    4530-9000 Teen Pregnancy Prevention $2,535,873

    7002-0012 Summer Jobs for At-Risk Youth $3,000,000

    7004-0104 Home and Healthy for Good $1,400,000

    9110-1500 ECOP $47,461,487

    9110-1636 Elder Protective Services $17,250,554

    4403-2119 Teen Living Shelter Program $8,031,401

    4590-0300 DPH Anti-Tobacco Program $4,151,958

    7004-9316 RAFT $8,760,000

    7035-0002 Adult Basic Education $30,174,160

    9110-1900 Elder Meals $6,375,328

    7004-9406 Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library Program $2,400,000

    8100-0111 Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Grant program $6,250,000

    4110-1000 Deaf-Blind Community Action Network $3,954,067

    4513-1000 Family Planning $4,666,697

    5095-0015 Community-based Mental Health Services $159,313,321

    Please do not hesitate to contact me or the Senator with any additional questions. You are welcome to respond to this post or call 617-722-1280.

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