BOSTON (WWLP) – Last week the Massachusetts House approved a spending and borrowing bill that would help pay for programs running out of funding.
On Wednesday, the House unanimously passed a bill that would fund many state programs, the same day the governor unveiled her budget. The House approved $280 million for things like emergency shelter and food aid programs. The governor is already hoping to keep many popular food programs around for another year, but it will be largely up to legislative leaders if they plan to restore federal funding with state money.
The bill would send $86 million to the emergency shelter system, $65 million for the universal school lunch program and $130 million to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The bill also features more than half a billion dollars in bond authorizations.
It also takes on permanent pandemic-era policies. For example, it extends outdoor dining, and drinks to-go authorizations until April of next year, and extends authorizations for remote meetings of public bodies until March of 2025.
Now, Healey’s budget calls for $324 million for the emergency shelter program and $110 to keep universal school meals in schools.
The governor’s annual budget does not include an extension of pandemic-era boosted SNAP benefits, but a spokesperson said that Healey plans to file a supplemental budget to help the program.
The Senate is scheduled to take up this bill on Thursday.