Timilty Files Amendments to FY 2021 Senate Budget
$30,000 for Sharon Substance Prevention and Resource Commission
(BOSTON 11.16.2020)- Senator Walter F. Timilty filed several amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 Ways and Means Budget Recommendations. The amendments will support education programs and substance abuse prevention efforts, fund important community-based support programs and provide enhancements to public safety in town.
Specifically, Timilty has filed an amendment to provide $1 million for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum. The Trailside museum serves as the visitor center for the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation. Located just a few miles outside of Downtown Boston, the facility features a natural history museum, outdoor wildlife exhibits, school programs, and summer camps.
“The Blue Hills Trailside Museum serves as the public’s window into the Blue Hills Reservation,” said Timilty. “Each year, the museum welcomes over 100,000 visitors, including numerous school groups from across the Commonwealth who seek to avail themselves of the museum’s environmental education programs. The funds included in this amendment will ensure that the museum will be able to continue educating the public on the phenomenal resource that is the Blue Hills Reservation.”
Additionally, Timilty, who serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, filed an amendment for the surviving spouses of those veterans who died as a result of contracting COVID-19 while residing at either the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke or the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea. The amendment will allocate $2,000, annually, to the survivors.
“Our veterans deserve the very best. Tragically, COVID-19 took the lives of these brave heroes. This amendment will help the surviving spouse. While this annuity does not bring back their loved ones, the funds may, at least, help in some way,” added Timilty.
Moreover, an amendment seeking a $30,000 allocation for the Papas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children has been filed by Timilty. The amendment was filed so that this hospital may maintain its level of services for children of the Commonwealth and fund a summer camp program. The Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital is a pediatric chronic care hospital for children ages 8-22. It was created in 1904 by an act of the Massachusetts State Legislature to improve the lives of children with disabilities. The facility opened in 1907. Timilty has also filed an amendment to allocate $100,000 for the Norfolk County Regional Dispatch Center.
Also, Timilty filed an amendment that would require the public reporting of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies on hand at healthcare facilities. It further requires every healthcare facility to designate an inventory manager responsible for transmitting this data to the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management. This will help to identify gaps and shortages when it comes to PPE and the specific items each facility needs. Addressing the PPE issue requires transparency and data.
Furthermore, Timilty has filed an amendment seeking $30,000 for Sharon Substance Prevention and Resource Commission to address increased demand for substance use prevention services caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
A focus on services and resources for the most vulnerable is critical to Timilty. “The opioid crisis continues to affect our communities in a significant way; it does not discriminate based on race, gender or economic status,” said Timilty. “We must continuously strive to end this deadly epidemic. Our substance abuse prevention coalitions continue to flourish. Now, more than ever, we must continue to fund these outreach services so that those at-risk individuals do not feel isolated during this pandemic.”
Additionally, Timilty has filed an amendment seeking $50,000 for COVID-19 mitigation and prevention for the town of Sharon to use in FY21. Moreover, in another amendment, $50,000 would be allocated to Sharon to enhance remote learning for its schools. And finally, Timilty filed an amendment which seeks to allocate $50,000 for Sharon to purchase much-needed PPE supplies.
“My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that critical services are met during this unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Timilty.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee’s budget recommends a total of $45.985 billion in spending, a 5.5% increase over the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) General Appropriations Act. This spending recommendation is based on a revised tax revenue estimate of $27.592 billion, which provides for $3.558 billion less in available revenue than the original consensus revenue estimate of $31.151 billion, as originally agreed upon in January. To close this anticipated revenue shortfall, the FY21 budget includes $1.5 billion from the Stabilization Fund, ensuring most of the Stabilization Fund balance remains for future years, $1.38 billion in available federal supports, and more than $400 million in new revenue initiatives. It also avoids drastic budget cuts while leaving the Commonwealth in a sound fiscal position moving forward.
To view the full list of Timilty’s budget amendments, please visit the Massachusetts Legislature’s website at malegislature.gov.