BOSTON (WWLP) – After rigorous negotiations, the Massachusetts State Legislature has successfully passed the final compromise budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

Senator John Velis (D-Westfield) celebrated the inclusion of his funding and policy priorities in the budget, totaling $3.76 million, aimed at supporting various projects and initiatives in his district and the state.

Velis expressed his satisfaction with the budget’s outcome, stating, “It’s my job as Senator to go down to Beacon Hill and zealously advocate for our district’s priorities however I can. I am grateful that my priorities in the Senate’s original budget have been maintained in the final FY24 budget we are sending to Governor Healey’s desk.”

The final FY24 budget includes significant funding for various local initiatives, veterans affairs programs, and healthcare initiatives, all of which were secured by Senator Velis. Some key allocations in the budget include $250,000 to the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce for building restorations and business upgrades in Holyoke, $70,000 to Barnes Air National Guard Base for base force protection support, and $500,000 to the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program to expand trauma services for veterans across the state.

In addition, Senator Velis championed $500,000 to establish a Behavioral Health School Pilot Program, aimed at allowing school counselors and administrators to access specialist hotlines for discussing behavioral health issues with students. The budget also addresses veterans’ needs by allocating $914,000 to the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts Service Fund, Inc. to provide counseling and benefits assistance to disabled veterans and their families.

Senator Velis’ advocacy extended beyond his district, as he successfully increased funding for the Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Club by $800,000, bringing the total funding to $3 million. This allocation is intended to support Boys & Girls Clubs across the Commonwealth in the next operating year.

As the representative for Westfield, Agawam, parts of Chicopee, Easthampton, Holyoke, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, and West Springfield. Senator Velis’ efforts have reflected his commitment to supporting the diverse needs and priorities of his constituents.

With the final FY24 budget now passed by the Legislature, it will be sent to Governor Healey for consideration and potential approval, ensuring that the proposed initiatives can move forward to address critical issues and drive positive change in the state.

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