BOSTON (WWLP) – The 2024 budget was passed by the legislature and it is the first one to include fair share money.

The so-called millionaires tax was approved by voters in November, and soon enough the state will be seeing the benefits of that new tax. The millionaire’s tax creates a 4% percent surtax on incomes over one million dollars, effectively charging a 9% percent tax on said incomes.

This ballot question amended the state’s constitution for the first time in 22 years.

The money from the surtax is to be spent on education and transportation and it is estimated that the tax will bring in approximately one billion dollars to the state.

This is the first budget cycle where that funding is included. Nearly $524 million will go to education and nearly $477 million will go to transportation.

In education, $171.5 million will go to universal school meals, $100 million to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and $50 million to create and support free community college for all by 2024.

Universal school meals for students in public schools was a policy found in the House’s budget, not the Senate but it ultimately ended up in the compromised language. Superintendents said last summer that the free school meals program resulted in 80,000 more students eating lunch in schools.

Representative Carlos Gonzales said in a statement that read in part: “The inclusion of permanent free, universal school meals will go a long way to address food insecurity and bridge educational achievement gaps.”

As for transportation, there will be $181 million for MBTA capital projects, $100 million in supplemental aid for roads and bridges, and $90 million for regional transit funding and grants.

Not included in transportation funding was East-West Rail.

Governor Maura Healey has until Thursday to sign off on the budget.

Local News

Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.