Senator Timilty Secures Broad Support for Call to Expedite Release of Critical State Funds
(Boston MA) – Senator Walter Timilty (D-Milton) is calling for the immediate release of funds from the $2.81 billion Fiscal Year 2023 close-out supplemental budget, which has garnered significant bipartisan and bicameral support from his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
In his letter that he sent to the conference committee on Monday evening, Timilty identified numerous urgent needs that require swift action. Timilty, specifically, called on the release of money designated for disaster relief, state employee labor contracts, and funding for vital public services such as education, healthcare, and environmental protection.
“I am grateful for the bipartisan support for this letter, as these are pressing issues impacting residents across the Commonwealth. These residents do not have the luxury of waiting,” said Senator Timilty. “The supplemental budget includes funding for a number of critical programs. In short, it is obvious that the delay in releasing these funds is causing undue hardships on the citizenry of the Commonwealth.”
The Timilty letter calls on the conference committee to both prioritize and expedite the release of funds in areas where agreement has already been reached between the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts State Senate, paving the way for immediate expenditure on crucial needs.
“Where there is mutual agreement between the two legislative bodies, conferees can release those items from the supplemental budget to fund essential services and vital accounts. It is our fervent hope that this can be done as soon as possible,” stated Timilty.
Some of the important items included in the supplemental budget that Timilty believes need immediate funding include:
- Disaster relief: $15 million in additional disaster relief for affected municipalities. This funding is critical to help communities rebuild and recover from recent natural disasters, such as floods, fires, and other emergencies.
- State employee labor contracts: Funding to cover the costs of recently negotiated state employee labor contracts. This funding is essential to ensure that state employees are fairly compensated for their work.
- Opioid settlement fund updates: Increased clarity on how opioid settlement funds can be spent and accounted for. This will help ensure that these funds are used effectively to address the opioid crisis.
- Spending for education, healthcare, environmental protection, and public safety: Funding for a variety of other important programs and services, including:
- Education: Funding for schools and colleges to help provide quality education to our students
- Healthcare: Funding for hospitals and clinics to provide essential healthcare services to our residents
- Environmental protection: Funding for programs to protect our environment and address climate change.
- Municipal finance law changes: Several important changes to municipal finance law, including:
- Increased flexibility for municipalities to use their own revenue to fund local projects
- Streamlined processes for obtaining state funding
- Enhanced oversight of municipal finances
Under joint legislative rules, the members of this conference committee have been charged with resolving differences of the $2.81 billion budget to close out the state’s FY2023 needs. The conference committee may release from the committee any or all of those items where the House and Senate each had similar language.