BOSTON (WWLP) – The Senate budget is being deliberated this week for this upcoming fiscal year. It will cost $55.8 billion and it makes significant investments in an array of sectors like transportation and education.
This is the first budget to include the Fair Share Amendment, which was approved by voters last November. It is estimated that this new tax will generate $1 billion in revenue, which the Senate plans to split equally between education and transportation.
For education, there is $15 million allocated to rural school aid and also a policy change which would allow students who attended a Massachusetts High School for at least three years to receive in-state tuition regardless of immigration status.
As for transportation, the Senate budget includes significant investments in Regional Transit Authorities with $100 million going to Regional Transit Funding and Grants.
“In Western Massachusetts PVTA is the access point for many many families but also for many students. The five colleges are the University of Massachusetts rely heavily on our RTA’s, so boosting funding not just for the MBTA, but for regional equity through regional transportation is a real proud inclusion in this budget,” said Ludlow Senator Jake Oliveira.
Unlike the House, the Senate voted against an amendment to put the Massachusetts lottery online.
This budget does not include tax relief plans, however Senate leaders did put aside $575 million in the budget for tax relief which they say will be debated after the budget is settled. There are over 1,000 amendments that were filed to this year’s Senate budget. The majority of which will be bundled into larger amendments and then voted on.