(Boston) - On Wednesday, May 15th, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced its funding recommendations for fiscal year 2014 (FY14). The budget provides $33.92 billion in spending, closing a $1.2 billion budget gap and investing in some of the most essential elements of government, including local aid. The spending plan utilizes new revenues generated as a result of the joint transportation finance framework agreed on by the House and Senate last month. The budget continues the Senate’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while meeting the needs of citizens through restoring vital funding to core services. The spending is a $1.4 billion increase over FY13 and includes $403 million in new investments including housing, education, veterans’ services and mental health programs.
“Massachusetts continues to face a number of fiscal challenges as we continue to recover from the economic collapse five years ago,” said Stephen M. Brewer, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “This budget makes a number of targeted investments that will sustain the Commonwealth for years to come, building on innovation and efficiency while maintaining a partnership with our municipal partners and providing services to residents most in need.”
“I am very proud of the thoughtful deliberation process represented in this budget. Chairman Brewer and I have met with many, many stakeholders across all areas of government and crafted a fiscally responsible budget that reflects the diverse needs of the Commonwealth,” said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
“This budget is a comprehensive plan that will help provide essential services to residents throughout the Commonwealth. I am pleased to have worked closely with Chairman Brewer and Vice Chairwoman Flanagan to come up with a proposal that is both sustainable and responsible,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico, Assistant Vice Chair of Senate Ways and Means.
From the Boston Globe:
Upgrade child-care facilities
By Sal DiDomenico and Jeffrey Sánchez | MAY 16, 2013
It is time for Massachusetts to invest more in the infrastructure of child care.
As parents of young children, we spend hours agonizing over finding the best teachers and programs for our children but we seldom consider the influence of inadequate classroom facilities on their capacity to learn. Throughout children are going to child-care centers that are too cramped, have poor air quality, and lack space for pre-schoolers to run around either indoors or out. These inadequacies will not only have an impact on our children’s education and opportunities for success, but will also influence the Commonwealth’s ability to maintain a competitive economic edge.