BOSTON (Mass.gov) – The Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget recommendation, a $45.6 billion proposal that continues the Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses critical priorities including promoting economic growth, fully funding the first year of the landmark Student Opportunity Act, and supporting cities and towns across Massachusetts. This balanced proposal does not raise taxes on the Commonwealth’s residents and preserves substantial financial reserves for the future.
Submitted as House 1, this budget recommendation provides $246.3 million in new funding for the Student Opportunity Act including an increase of $197.7 million in Chapter 70 funding, with a particular focus on school districts serving low-income students. The Administration is also proposing to allow municipalities to count $114 million in federal dollars towards their Chapter 70 required local contribution increases to further deliver on the commitments in the Student Opportunity Act. Additionally, House 1 maintains the Administration’s promise to cities and towns with a $39.5 million increase in unrestricted local aid, which is equivalent to the 3.5% consensus tax revenue growth rate.
“We are proud to submit a Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal that despite the challenges of the pandemic, invests in economic growth and fully funds the first year of the landmark Student Opportunity Act – all without raising taxes on the Commonwealth’s residents,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This balanced budget proposal allows the Commonwealth to respond to the pandemic and promote our recovery, while investing in key priorities such as education, health care, substance misuse, and racial equality and diversity. We look forward to working closely with the Legislature to adopt a full spending plan for FY22.”
“The budget recommendation filed today provides meaningful resources and support for every city and town across Massachusetts and protects the essential government services that are important to residents and families,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This budget maintains our commitment to increasing local aid consistent with projected tax revenue growth, and helps address critical issues throughout the Commonwealth including public safety, care for older adults, assistance for veterans, support for children and families, and sexual assault and domestic violence prevention.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to promote fiscal discipline and stability by maintaining core government services and supporting economic growth and development without raising taxes on the Commonwealth’s residents,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “We appreciate our strong working relationship with the Legislature and look forward to adopting a final spending plan which funds critical programs and initiatives while protecting our financial reserves and limiting future budgetary risk as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This FY22 budget proposal, known as House 1, includes substantial investments and maintains financial discipline as the Commonwealth begins to transition away from one-time revenue and spending needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These one-time initiatives have utilized various state and federal resources, both on and off-budget, to help ensure public health and address a variety of needs.
This budget recommendation is based on the $30.12 billion consensus tax revenue estimate, which anticipates a 3.5% growth in total tax collections over revised FY21 tax estimates. House 1 includes $45.6 billion in gross spending, a decrease of 0.7% from Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) projected spending, excluding transfer to the Medical Assistance Trust Fund. This year-over-year decrease accounts for current tax projections and is primarily driven by caseload and cost decreases at MassHealth, which previously experienced significant cost increases in FY21 due to the pandemic.
This proposal authorizes a withdrawal of up to $1.6 billion from the Stabilization Fund to help ensure the continuation of essential government services and responsibly preserve financial reserves for Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond. Working together, the Legislature and this Administration have been able to grow the Stabilization Fund since 2015, which now enables the Commonwealth to face the budget challenges associated with COVID-19 while continuing to fund key priorities. Improvements in tax collections or new federal revenue will allow the amount of this withdrawal to be reduced. This current Stabilization Fund withdrawal is projected to leave the fund with a balance of approximately $1.11 billion.
This balanced and fiscally responsible spending plan makes investments across key areas including:
Providing Record Investments in Massachusetts Students
Through this proposal, the Administration is recommending fully funding the first year of the landmark Student Opportunity Act with $246.3 million in new funding added for initiatives laid out in this legislation. This includes an increase of $197.7 million in Chapter 70 funding, with a focus on school districts serving low-income students. The Administration’s proposal also provides an increase of $22.5 million for special education circuit breaker reimbursement for local cities and towns, as well as $26.1 million in additional funding for charter school reimbursement.
Additionally, the Administration is proposing to allow municipalities to count federal dollars towards their Chapter 70 required local contribution increases, a commonsense measure to provide important flexibility and needed fiscal relief to cities and towns. Massachusetts is expected to receive over $800 million in ESSER funding through the latest federal COVID-19 legislation in addition to over $200 million received through previous federal legislation.
This funding builds on the collaborative work of the Administration and the Legislature in the FY21 budget, which included a $108 million increase in the annual Chapter 70 investment and complemented significant federal supports. Together, these state and federal FY21 investments provided more resources for local schools than the Administration’s initial FY21 budget proposal, which fully funded the first year of the Student Opportunity Act.
Encouraging Economic Growth and Development
House 1 continues the Baker-Polito Administration’s focus on promoting economic growth, opportunity, and equity for communities across the Commonwealth. The proposal includes $4 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program for entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially those owned by women, immigrants, veterans, and people of color. It also provides $1 million for regional economic development grants.
This budget includes a total investment of $16.9 million in additional funding for transforming vocational high schools into Career Technical Institutes and training 20,000 new workers in skilled trades and technical fields over four years. This initiative will increase student demand, involve businesses in program development and credentials, reduce barriers to licensure, and create incentives for completion and post-graduate employment.
This proposal builds on the Administration’s ongoing initiatives that are making use of federal and state resources to support small and diverse businesses as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis. This includes the $668 million Small Business Relief Grant Program, which is providing financial assistance to Massachusetts businesses with a focus toward minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as those sectors most impacted by the pandemic. House 1 also complements the economic development bond bill recently signed by Governor Baker, which provides capital authorization to drive economic growth and development.
Protecting Public Health
The Administration has maintained a focus on the health and safety of Massachusetts residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, carrying out a historic response using emergency measures and funding to address a wide range of public health priorities. This response has comprised spending initiatives, both on and off-budget and using a variety of sources, targeted at minimizing transmission of the virus, and addressing needs exacerbated by the pandemic.
Critical initiatives associated with the ongoing response include infusing $1 billion through MassHealth to help stabilize health care providers, investing over $60 million in field hospitals and isolation and quarantine hotels, providing over $56 million to address food security, and distributing over 41 million pieces of PPE. The COVID-19 response is also being supported by the most recent federal COVID-19 legislation, which contains over $450 million for testing and tracing, and nearly $90 million for vaccine distribution efforts.
House 1 supports these efforts with $707.1 million in funding for the Department of Public Health to ensure access to high-quality public health and health care services. This investment funds key new positions with a focus on the State Lab and public health hospitals and maintains $10 million in grants to health departments to support municipalities’ capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promoting Equity and Diversity
This budget recommendation provides over $30 million to continue implementing the recommendations of the Black Advisory Commission (BAC) and the Latino Advisory Commission (LAC). This continues to be a key priority for the Baker-Polito Administration as the impacts of the pandemic have fallen disproportionately on people of color.
This funding includes support for initiatives such as Adult Basic Education, YouthWorks Summer Jobs, early college, teacher diversity, small business development, financial literacy, and workforce training. House 1 also includes resources for the newly established Supplier Diversity Office, which is responsible for ensuring accountability and compliance with diversity goals, overseeing agency diversity spending, and auditing and reviewing spending data.
Supporting Local Cities and Towns
House 1 increases the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) investment by $39.5 million compared to the FY21 budget, which is consistent with the expected 3.5% growth in tax revenue. This translates to a total UGGA investment of $1.168 billion to local cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Under the Baker-Polito Administration, total annual UGGA has increased by $222 million (23.5%) including this proposal.
This budget provides $4 million in funding for Community Compact-related programs including best practices and regionalization and efficiency grants. Additionally, the budget includes $4.8 million for the Public Safety Staffing Grant Program managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, as well as $3 million for local technical assistance.
Addressing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
The COVID-19 pandemic and the public health response measures such as quarantining and social distancing have created new challenges for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Polito, continues to work closely with community partners and local stakeholders to ensure that survivors and their families have access to services and supports necessary in times of crisis.
House 1 furthers these efforts by recommending $96 million in total funding to continue addressing this key priority, a 48% increase from FY15. This includes $50.3 million for the Department of Public Health to carry out domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and survivor services, as well as emergency and transitional residential services for victims and their children. $6 million would support statewide sexual assault nurse examiner programs for adults and adolescents in hospital settings, and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner programs in child advocacy centers. The proposal also includes $1 million for the grant program focusing on promoting healthy relationships and preventing dating violence among youth.
Substance Misuse Treatment and Prevention
Since taking office, the Administration, working closely with the Legislature, has doubled spending to address the opioid crisis and increased capacity by more than 1,200 treatment beds, including more than 800 adult substance use treatment beds at different treatment levels.
House 1 continues addressing substance misuses with a total investment of $357.3 million across a variety of state agencies, a $22.1 million (7%) increase above the FY21 budget. This funding includes a total of $157 million to the Department of Public Health, $30 million for the Department of Mental Health, $105.2 million through a Section 115 Substance Use Disorder (SUD) waiver from the federal government, $2.6 million for education-related initiatives, and $62.5 million in criminal justice investments.
Housing and Homelessness
The COVID-19 global pandemic has intensified existing housing concerns and disproportionally impacted vulnerable populations. House 1 continues the Administration’s ongoing work to promote access to sustainable and affordable housing for individuals and families of all socio-economic backgrounds.
This proposal includes $195.9 million to fund the Emergency Assistance family shelter system, a $15 million (8%) increase above the FY21 budget. This investment maintains a total of 98 ADA-accessible units annually at an estimated cost of $5.2 million. The proposal also includes $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, $75 million for local housing authorities, $54.9 million for homeless shelters for individuals, and $26 million for HomeBASE Household Assistance.
Separately, the Administration has put in place the Eviction Diversion Initiative, which includes $171 million in state and federal funding to promote housing stability. The recently-signed economic development bond bill also includes significant resources to help increase housing options, as well as key policy changes – including Housing Choice – which make it easier to build housing in communities that want it.
THE BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION’S FY22 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS BY NUMBERS
- Fully funds the first year of the landmark Student Opportunity Act, adding a total of $246.3 million in new spending
o $197.7 million in Chapter 70 funding, for a total Chapter 70 investment of $5.481 billion
- $22.5 million increase for special education circuit breaker reimbursement for local cities and towns
- $26.1 million in additional funding for charter school reimbursement
- Allows cities and towns to count a maximum of $114.1 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) dollars towards their Chapter 70 required local contribution
- Massachusetts is expected to receive over $800 million in ESSER funding through the latest federal COVID-19 legislation in addition to over $200 million received through previous federal legislation
- Total investment of $778.5 million in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, excluding Chapter 70
- Builds on the collaborative work of the Administration and the Legislature in the FY21 budget, which included a $108 million increase in the annual Chapter 70 investment and complemented significant federal supports
- Together, these state and federal FY21 investments provided more resources for local schools than the Administration’s initial FY21 budget proposal, which fully funded the first year of the Student Opportunity Act
- $758.5 million for Early Education and Care (EEC)
- EEC funding has increased by $230.5 million (43.6%) since 2015
- $20 million to maintain the center-based rate increase enacted in FY21
- $14 million for family and community engagement services
- $5 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative
- $2.5 million for early childhood mental health consultation services
- $1 million for Reach Out and Read
- Complements caseload funding that may be carried forward from FY21 to FY22 due to the potential for under-enrollment relative to pre-pandemic levels, as well as $130 million in Child Care and Community Development Block Grant funding included in the most recent federal COVID-19 legislation
- $1.310 billion investment for the Department of Higher Education, University of Massachusetts, and state universities and community colleges, representing a $146.1 million (12.6%) increase since 2015
- Includes over $131 million for financial aid and fee waiver programs at college campuses, including last-dollar scholarships for low-income students at both state universities and community colleges, support for the continued expansion of early college and dual enrollment programs, and full funding for Commonwealth Commitment, while maintaining support for 1,400 eligible students currently or previously in the custody and care of DCF, or who have been adopted through DCF
Health and Human Services
- $24.762 million for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)
- $79 million for Chapter 257 human service provider funding under the new rate methodology that better reflects the cost of benchmarking direct care and clinical staff wages
- $707.1 million in funding for the Department of Public Health
- Supports key new positions with a focus on the State Lab and public health hospitals
- $10 million in grants to health departments to support municipalities’ capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Caring for Seniors
- $594.3 million for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs
- $17.1 million in support of grants to Local Councils on Aging
- Increase of $16.3 million above the FY21 budget for the Community Choices Program
- $94.9 million for the Department of Veterans Services
- $27.1 million in funding for the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke to fund adequate staffing levels and support quality care and infection control protocols
- $36.1 million for the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea to support required staffing and services in preparation for the opening of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Community Living Center in FY23
- $17.569 billion gross, $6.910 billion net funding for MassHealth, a change of -3.4% gross, 7.2% net versus FY21 estimated spending
- Maintains existing benefits while addressing the expected changes resulting from the abatement of the COVID-19 public health emergency
- $84 million to improve the access and availability of the front door and ambulatory behavioral health services to address current access challenges to treatment which have been further exacerbated by the pandemic
- $357.3 million in FY22 across a variety of state agencies
- $22.1 million (7%) increase above the FY21 budget
- $157 million to the Department of Public Health
- $105.2 million through a Section 115 Substance Use Disorder (SUD) waiver from the federal government
- $62.5 million in criminal justice investments
- $30 million for the Department of Mental Health
- $2.6 million for education-related initiatives
Children and Families
- $1.088 billion for the Department of Children and Families, marking a $260.7 million increase since 2015
- $20 million in new funding to support the new congregate care network designed to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for 2,000 DCF-involved children, adolescents, and young adults
- $8 million to continue progress towards a caseload level of no more than 15 clients per caseworker
- Foster care rate increases for foster parents
- Funding of Chapter 766 rate increases for children in privately-run special education schools
- $10 million for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative
- $169.1 million in funding for the Department of Youth Services
Individuals with Disabilities
- Fully funds the Turning 22 Program at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and other agencies
- $2.260 billion for DDS, an increase of $127.4 million over the FY21 budget
- $7.2 million in total funding for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
- $1 million across EOHHS and its agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), to expand the production of vlogs in American Sign Language (ASL) and increase communication access to public services for individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- $67.6 million in funding for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
- $25.6 million in funding for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
- $943.9 million for the Department of Mental Health
- Funding to re-procure Children, Youth, and Family Intensive Community Services (ICS) and better meet the needs of children and adolescents
- $4 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program for entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially those owned by women, immigrants, veterans, and people of color
- $1 million for regional economic development grants
- Complements the Administration’s ongoing initiatives including $668 million small business relief grant program which is providing financial assistance to Massachusetts businesses with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as those sectors most impacted by the pandemic
Supporting Local Government
- Increases the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) investment by $39.5 million compared to the FY21 budget, consistent with the expected 3.5% growth in tax revenue
- Total UGGA investment of $1.168 billion to local cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
- Under the Baker-Polito Administration, total annual UGGA has increased by $222 million (23.5%)
- $4 million in funding for Community Compact related programs including best practices and regionalization and efficiency grants
- $4.8 million for the Public Safety Staffing Grant Program managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
- $3 million for district local technical assistance
Promoting Equality and Opportunity
- Over $30 million to support the recommendations of the Black Advisory Commission (BAC) and the Latino Advisory Commission (LAC)
- $5.9 million for Adult Basic Education (ABE)
- $4.8 million to fund the STEM Starter program at 15 community colleges, impacting 8,000 to 9,000 students
- $4.5 million for YouthWorks Summer Jobs
- $2.5 million for early college
- $2.5 million for the Urban Agenda Program
- $2.5 million for the new Supplier Diversity Office
- $1.9 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund
- $1.5 million for high demand scholarships for Black and Latino students
Housing and Homelessness
- $195.9 million for the Emergency Assistance family shelter system
- $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), to support an estimated 9,771 vouchers in FY22, an increase of 42% compared to FY15
- $75 million in funding for Local Housing Authorities
- $54.9 million to maintain an estimated 2,000 beds, services, and day programs at homeless shelters for individuals
- $26 million for HomeBASE Household Assistance
- $1.36 billion in total budget transfers for the MBTA
- $401.6 million for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
- $90.5 million for Regional Transit Authorities
- $11.3 million for the Merit Rating Board
Labor and Workforce Development
- $16.9 million in total funding to continue transforming vocational high schools into Career Technical Institutes running three shifts per day
- This Career Tech initiative is designed to train 20,000 new workers over four years in skilled trades and technical fields including plumbing, HVAC, manufacturing, and robotics
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
- $96 million to address this key priority, a 48% increase from FY15
- $50.3 million in funding for the Department of Public Health to carry out domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and survivor services, as well as emergency and transitional residential services for victims and their children
- $33.8 million for providing shelter, services, and housing assistance for individuals and families who are victims or at risk of domestic abuse in their current living situations
- $6 million to support statewide sexual assault nurse examiner programs for adults and adolescents in hospital settings, and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner programs in child advocacy centers
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- $747.5 million for the Department of Correction, including $213.9 million for medical and mental health contract costs
- $415.3 million for State Police public safety and crime lab operations and includes support for the 87 RTT class
- $61.8 million for reentry and diversion planning across the Commonwealth
- $11.3 million in funding for the Shannon Grant program to fund anti-gang and youth violence prevention efforts
- $10.4 million to fully fund tuition and fee waivers for National Guard members
- $4.1 million for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), a $2.2 million increase from the FY21 budget
- Increased investment would improve the state of readiness across the Commonwealth and enable MEMA to do more frequent and in-depth reviews on emergency management plans, increase trainings and exercises, add staffing, and warehouse critical commodities
Energy and the Environment
- $293.4 million for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA)
- $102.5 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation
- $62.4 million for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- $32.2 million in funding for the Department of Fish and Game
- $29.2 million for the Department of Agricultural Resources
- $20.8 million for the Department of Public Utilities
- $4.5 million for the Department of Energy Resources
- $2.2 million for climate change and adaptation preparedness
Modernizing and Security Government IT
- $138.8 million for the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security to support
- Managing a new cybersecurity operations center which provides 24/7 monitoring capabilities of systems to identify and help mitigate potential cyber threats
- Implementing a security incident event management software platform for threat monitoring and analytics
- Centralized software and IT contract compliance program
To access the Governor’s filing letter, budget message, and specific account information click here.