BOSTON (WWLP) – The Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) supplemental budget has been filed by Governor Charlie Baker Wednesday.
The budget proposes investments in transportation, health and human services, school safety, and other fiscal year closeout needs. According to the Baker-Polito Administration, there will be about $1.622 billion in gross and $840 million in net spending. This amount has been supported by an FY22 state revenue surplus of $2.3 billion, an increase from a preliminary surplus figure shared in early August of $1.9 billion.
A total of $2.941 billion in refunds is to be returned to taxpayers under Chapter 62F, the state law that required net state tax revenues that exceed allowable revenues to be returned to taxpayers. In an annual report to the State Auditor, the $2.941 billion was submitted for certification. If the threshold is under 62F and met by September 20, it will be certified.
Last year, the revenue collections were about 20.5%. The Stabilization Fund also received $2.3 billion, which raised the FY22 balance to $6.9 billion.
“With tax revenues coming in far above budgeted amounts this year, the Commonwealth is well-positioned to deliver relief to taxpayers, while still making investments in key areas, like transportation, as we close the fiscal year,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is confident that with these high surplus revenues, there remains more than enough funding to support the tax relief, economic development and climate infrastructure proposals that are under consideration in the Legislature.”
“The supplemental budget proposal will fund many important priorities including strengthening school infrastructure, making significant investments in transportation and providing more resources for individuals dealing with substance misuse issues,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to enact this proposal to address these needs throughout the Commonwealth.”
However, the $1.622 billion gross and $840 million net spending proposed amount is not allocated in the FY22 state surplus. There is $1.5 billion of the surplus to be made available and leaves $2.2 billion left in American Rescue Plan Act Funds. This amount will benefit tax relief measures and other critical investments for economic development.
For the MBTA’s works to address the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety directives and $10 million to establish a training academy, $200 million was proposed and $10 million is to go towards MBTA staffing challenges.
According to a Baker-Polito Administration news release, $37.3 million is to go even go towards the following school safety initiatives:
- Matching grants for security and communications upgrades in K-12 schools and public higher education institutes ($20 million)
- Grant funding for child care providers to support safety measures and multi-hazard emergency planning ( $10 million)
- Grant funding to support districts pilot an anonymous “tip line” to report potential threats
- Funding for a statewide “Say Something” public awareness campaign and corresponding training
- Support for ongoing emergency response training for school officials
- Creation of a comprehensive school safety website
Other investments made by the Baker-Polito Administration include:
- $108 million net for a reserve to support ongoing and future potential costs related to COVID-19, including for personal protective equipment, testing, treatment and vaccines
- $50 million to support the construction, development and capacity of new provider-operated community housing options for individuals being discharged from skilled nursing facilities and psychiatric, chronic and rehabilitation hospitals
- $39 million to modernize the Commonwealth’s information technology infrastructure, improve cybersecurity and resiliency efforts and optimize space efficiency across Executive department offices
- $30 million to support the implementation of federal funding received through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in Fiscal Year 2023, including for project design, permitting, real estate transactions, and engineering
- $30 million to support the appointment of a guardian ad litem in Department of Children and Families custody cases
- $20 million to address the needs of immigrants and refugees, including temporary housing costs
- $20 million to establish regional low threshold housing for homeless or housing unstable individuals with substance use disorder