FY17 Budget Priorities Letter to Senate Ways and Means

Today, Senator Brownsberger submitted the following letter to the Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means outlining his budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2017 (beginning on July 1, 2016).

February 9, 2016

The Honorable Karen E. Spilka
Chair, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
State House
Room 212
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Chairwoman Spilka,

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my thoughts on the FY17 budget.

My top priority this year is to look at the fees we impose on people on probation and parole. Depending on the type of case, these fees can total well over $50 per month. Charging these fees to people struggling to reenter society is a great way to push them back to into crime. The fees generate over $20 million for the state budget, so eliminating them outright many not be plausible in a single year; however, I believe there are different approaches we could take to scale back their use.

The following are my top personal priorities but they are all less important to me than making progress in reducing the number of economic burdens on people in the criminal justice system.

I would like to highlight the following, as my top priorities:

1) Complete the overdue effort reduction and downpayment aid schedules in the Chapter 70 funding formula;
2) Fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker account fully, with an allowance for inflation;
3) Fund the Department of Conservation and Recreation fully;
4) Fund Charter School Reimbursements fully; and
5) Fund Kindergarten Development Grants fully.

The line-items below are additional items which are of importance to me and my constituents:

0321-1500 Committee for Public Counsel Services
0321-1504 CPCS Attorney Salaries and Related Programs
0321-1510 Private Counsel Compensation and Related Programs
0321-1600 Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
0321-2000 Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
1599-6903 Chapter 257 Reserve
2000-0101 Climate Change Adaptation and Preparedness
2200-0100 Department of Environmental Protection Administration
2300-0100 Department of Fish and Game Administration
2511-0100 Department of Agricultural Resources Administration
2810-0100 State Parks and Recreation
2810-2042 Department of Conservation and Recreation Retained Revenue
3000-4040 Birth through Pre-School and Related Programs
3000-4060 Supportive and TANF Childcare
3000-5000 Grants to Head Start Programs and Related Programs
3000-7000 Healthy Families Home Visiting Program and Related Programs
3000-7050 Services for Infants and Parents
3000-7070 Reach Out and Read Program
4000-0005 Safe and Successful Youth Initiative and Related Programs
4000-0051 Family Access Centers
4000-0300 Exec. Office Health and Human Services
4000-0600 MassHealth Senior Care
4003-0122 Low-Income Citizenship Program
4110-1000 Community Services for the Blind
4110-3010 Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind
4120-0200 Independent Living Centers
4120-2000 Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disabled
4120-3000 Employment Assistance
4120-4000 Independent Living Assistance for the Multi Disabled and Related Programs
4120-4001 Accessible Housing Registry for Disabled Persons
4120-6000 Head Injury Treatment Services and Related Programs
4125-0100 Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
4401-1000 Employment Services Program and Related Program
4403-2119 Teen Structured Settings Program
4510-0600 Environmental Health Assessment and Compliance
4510-0710 Health Care Quality and Improvement
4510-0810 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner & Pediatric SANE and Related Programs
4510-0100 Public Health Critical Operations and Essential Services
4512-0103 HIV/AIDS Prevention Treatment and Services and Related Programs
4512-0201 Substance Abuse Step-Down Recovery Services
4513-1020 Early Intervention and Related Programs
4513-1130 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention
4516-1000 State Laboratory and Communicable Disease Control Services
4530-9000 Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program
4590-0250 Smoking Prevention and Cessation Program Expansion and Related Programs
4590-1506 Youth Violence Prevention Grants and Related Programs
4800-0016 Transitional Employment Program (Roca)
4800-0038 Services for Children and Families (Foster Care/Adoption) and Related Programs
4800-0040 Family Support and Stabilization and Related Programs
4800-1400 Support Services for People at Risk of Domestic Violence and Related Programs
5011-0100 Department of Mental Health Administration and Operations
5042-5000 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Related Programs
5046-0000 Adult Mental Health and Support Services
5047-0001 Emergency Services and Mental Health Care and Related Programs
5095-0015 Inpatient Facilities and Community-Based Mental Health
5911-1003 Dept. of Developmental Disabilities Administration and Related Programs
5911-2000 Transportation Services
5920-2000 Community Residential Supports and Related Programs
5920-2010 State-Operated Residential Supports and Related Programs
5920-2025 Community Day and Work Programs
5920-3000 Respite Family Supports for the Developmentally Disabled
5920-3010 Autism Division
5920-5000 Turning 22 – Dept. of Developmental Services
5930-1000 State Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled
7000-9406 Talking Book Program Watertown
7002-0012 YouthWorks and Related Programs
7003-1206 Massachusetts Service Alliance and Related Programs
7004-0100 Caseworkers for Homeless Families and Individuals
7004-0101 Emergency Assistance – Family Shelters & Services and Related Programs
7004-0102 Homeless Individuals Assistance and Related Programs
7004-0104 Home and Healthy for Good Program and Related Programs
7004-0108 HomeBASE
7004-3036 Housing Services and Counseling
7004-3045 Tenancy Preservation Program
7004-4314 Service Coordinators Program
7004-9005 Subsidies to Public Housing Authorities
7004-9024 Mass. Rental Voucher Program – MRVP
7004-9030 Alternative Housing Voucher Program
7004-9322 Secure Jobs Pilot
7004-9316 Residential Assistance for Families in Transition
7006-0011 Loan Originator Administration and Consumer Counseling Program
7009-9600 Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment and Related Programs
7030-1005 Reading Recovery and Related Programs
7030-1002 Kindergarten Development Grants
7010-0012 METCO
7027-0019 School-to-Career Connecting Activities and Related Programs
7035-0002 Adult Basic Education
7061-9412 Extended Learning Time Grants
7061-9611 After-School and Out-of-School Grants
7061-9626 Youth-Build Grants
7061-9634 Mentoring Matching Grants
7066-0015 Workforce Development Grants to Community Colleges and Related Programs
7066-0021 Foster Care and Adopted Fee Waiver
7070-0065 Massachusetts State Scholarship Program
7100-0700 Office of Dispute Resolution
8100-0111 Shannon Grants
9110-1604 Supportive Senior Housing Program
9110-1630 Elder Home Care Purchased Services
9110-1633 Elder Home Care Case Management and Administration
9110-1636 Elder Protective Services
9110-1700 Elder Homeless Placement
9110-1900 Elder Nutrition Program
9110-9002 Grants to Councils on Aging
xxxx-xxxx Funding new line item for fuel assistance

Thank you very much for your consideration of these items.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I can be reached by phone at 617-771-8274 or by email: william.brownsberger@masenate.gov


William N. Brownsberger

You can view a signed copy of the letter here.

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger


2 replies on “FY17 Budget Priorities Letter to Senate Ways and Means”

  1. What’s this line refer to:

    4000-0600 MassHealth Senior Care

    I’m guessing Senior Care Options???

    Basically I like all these priorities.


    1. Hi Fred,

      Yes, that line item funds senior care options. Here is the language for that line item from last year’s Senate Budget:

      For health care services provided to MassHealth members who are seniors and for the operation of the MassHealth senior care options initiative under section 9D of chapter 118E of the General Laws; provided, that funds may be expended from this item for health care services provided to these recipients in prior fiscal years; provided further, that funds shall be expended for the community choices initiative; provided further, that no payment for special provider costs shall be made from this item without the prior written approval of the secretary of administration and finance; provided further, that benefits of the community choices initiative shall not be reduced below the services provided in fiscal year 2015; provided further, that the eligibility requirements for this demonstration project shall not be more restrictive than those established in fiscal year 2015; provided further, that funds shall be expended from this item to implement the pre-admission counseling and assessment program under the fourth paragraph of section 9 of said chapter 118E, which shall be implemented on a statewide basis through the aging and disability resource consortia; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, funds shall be expended from this item to maintain a personal needs allowance of $72.80 per month for individuals residing in nursing homes and rest homes who are eligible for MassHealth, emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children program or supplemental security income; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, for any nursing home or non-acute chronic disease hospital that provides kosher food to its residents, the executive office of elder affairs, in consultation with the center for health information and analysis, in recognition of the special innovative program status granted by the executive office of health and human services, shall continue to make the standard payment rates established in fiscal year 2006 to reflect the high dietary costs incurred in providing kosher food; provided further, that MassHealth shall maintain the same respite benefits for adult foster caregivers that were in effect January 1, 2015; provided further, that no nursing home may reassign a patient’s bed during a leave of absence eligible for reimbursement under this item; and provided further, that MassHealth shall reimburse nursing home leave of absence days at a rate of not less than $30 per day

      Andrew Bettinelli
      Legislative Aide
      Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

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