The House and Senate approves a compromise spending bill for the fiscal year 2024 which includes $885,000 dedicated to funding local initiatives and services in the City of Malden.
BOSTON – Tuesday, August 1, 2023 – Yesterday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed, H. 4040, the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) state budget. Funded at $56.2 billion, the compromise FY24 budget makes critical investments in areas of food insecurity, early education and care, higher education, housing instability, healthcare, and workforce development. Taking into consideration the ending of COVID-era federal funding and rising inflation nationwide, this spending bill represents a continued commitment to the people of Massachusetts and aims to put the state in a more competitive position in a post-pandemic world.
The FY24 budget prioritized measures addressing rising food insecurity across the state by codifying free universal school meals, increasing funding for food security infrastructure grants, and providing capital investments to local food organizations. With this bill, Massachusetts is slated to become the seventh state nationwide to provide free school meals to all public school students. Additionally, the bill promises free community college programs for students over 25 years old, increases funding for Early College Programs, and expanding Pre-K opportunities across the state – reflecting historic investments across all levels of our public education system.
Representatives Steve Ultrino, Paul Donato and Kate Lipper-Garabedian, and Senator Jason Lewis have successfully advocated for and secured $885,000 in Malden earmarks in this budget including the following:
$200,000 for the School-to-Career program operated by Triangle, Inc.
$150,000 for Portal of Hope to develop programs combatting domestic violence and providing supportive services to survivors and victims of domestic violence;
$100,000 for Housing Families to assist in their general operations;
$85,000 for capital improvements and equipment for Bread of Life’s new building;
$75,000 for a new multi-utility vehicle for Malden’s Department of Public Works;
$75,000 for Malden’s Pedestrian Safety Pilot Projects;
$75,000 for Action for Boston Community Development’s Mobile Homeless Outreach Team;
$75,000 for the establishment of an arboretum at the Forest Dale Cemetery;
$50,000 for Urban Media Arts to construct a new roof at their facility.
“I am excited to see Malden community organizations receiving funding to continue their critical programs and services for our residents in need,” said State Representative Steve Ultrino (D – Malden). “This budget prioritizes creating a more livable and competitive Commonwealth and addressing urgent issues faced by our residents every day. Once again, I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the Malden delegation to successfully advocate for investments in the Malden community.”
“This budget will deliver substantial resources to our communities, and make our state more affordable for working families by helping to address the high costs of housing, healthcare, child care, and college,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “I’m especially pleased that Representative Ultrino, Representative Lipper-Garabedian, Representative Donato and I were able to also secure funding for some important local Malden priorities.”
“By placing a focus on affordability and equity, this budget will have immediate and long-lasting positive effects for residents throughout the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Paul Donato (D – Medford). “Additionally, I am grateful that Senator Lewis, Representative Ultrino, Representative Lipper-Garabedian, and I were able to deliver funding towards Malden.”
"With the Malden delegation, I am proud to have secured funding of $885,000 for the City and critical community partners including in the areas of housing security, public safety, and infrastructure,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D – Melrose). “Additionally, among the many critical and responsive statewide investments in the budget, I am thrilled to see ongoing historic funding in early education and childcare, a top priority for which I advocated, as well as universal free school meals to make Massachusetts the seventh state to make the program permanent.”
The FY24 budget will be the first annual budget to integrate new revenues from the Fair Share Amendment. With $1 billion in anticipated Fair Share revenue directed into a new Education and Transportation Fund, several critical education and transportation initiatives will be funded through this additional revenue stream, including:
$69 million for permanent Universal School Meals;
$25 million for reducing the waitlist for income-eligible early education and care programs and ensuring fair and adequate access to early education and care services;
$5.5 million for expanding pre-K and preschool opportunities across the state;
$50 million for the Green School Works program;
$20 million for MassReconnect, which will provide free community college certificates and degrees to Massachusetts residents aged 25 or above who have yet to earn a college-level credential;
$20 million for MBTA Commuter Rail infrastructure improvements;
$20 million for MBTA Workforce and Safety Reserve to address ongoing safety concerns identified by the Federal Transit Administration’s inspections.
Other notable highlights in the FY24 budget include:
Elimination of asset limits for Medicare Savings Program eligibility;
In-state tuition and financial aid at community colleges and universities for undocumented high school graduates and GED holders;
No Cost Calls provided to incarcerated individuals in Massachusetts correctional facilities;
Reviving the pandemic-era Chapter 257 eviction protections for tenants who have applied for rental assistance;
A 2-year pilot program extending eligibility for ConnectorCare to applicants at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Limit;
$190 million allocated to the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, representing a $40 million increase from FY23;
$15 million for the Early College program to help expand access to higher education pathways for high school students, representing a $5 million increase from FY23;
$17.5 million for Head Start grants, which provides comprehensive social, educational, physical, and emotional services for over 100 Malden families in the past year.
The FY24 budget proposal (H. 4040) was passed to be engrossed by the House and Senate on July 31, 2023 and now goes to the Governor’s desk. Governor Healey will have 10 days to review the annual budget for any amendments and vetoes before the proposal is finalized.
Office of State Representative Steve Ultrino
Office of State Representative Paul Donato
Office of State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian
Office of State Senator Jason Lewis