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Analyzing the House Budget for FY 2019

May 3, 2018
Analyzing-the-Senate-Ways-and-Means-Committee-Budget-for-FY-2018

OVERVIEW

During four days in which it considered amendments on education, health care, local aid, and each of the other major areas in which our state budget provides funding for services in our communities, the House made only very modest changes to the budget proposal from its Ways and Means Committee.  This Budget Monitor describes the major amendments in each area of the budget. The amendments increased funding overall by $79.6 million dollars, which is two tenths of one percent of the total state budget. The chart below provides an overview of the amounts added in each major category of the budget (for a more detailed chart with data by subcategory, see here). The Table of Contents below the chart provides links to pages explaining the amendments in each part of the budget.

table: Budget by category and subcategory

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview Early Education K-12 Education Higher Education
Environment & Recreation MassHealth & Health Reform Mental Health Public Health
State Employee Health Insurance Child Welfare Disability Services Elder Services
Juvenile Justice Transitional Assistance Other Human Services Transportation
Housing Economic Development Law & Public Safety Local Aid
Libraries Additional Line Items Revenue (tax & non-tax) Summary Chart


EDUCATION


Early Education

During budget debate, the House adopted a small number of amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget that increased funding for early education and care programs by $450,000. Overall, including the amendments, the House would provide $43.7 million (7.6 percent) more for early education than current FY 2018 levels. This level of funding will likely help promote some improvements in program quality for young children and families.

The three line items that received additional funds through House budget amendments provide support to the parents of young children, including through referrals to early education services and home visiting. Home visiting efforts often provide direct services where families live, which can include guidance on effective parenting, child development, and connections to other beneficial services.

For a full list of House amendments, see the table below. For more information on Early Education & Care proposals in the House FY 2019 budget that were not affected by amendments, see the Early Education & Care section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.


table: Early education line items amended by the house

For information on funding for early education programs going back to FY 2001, see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


K-12 Education

During floor debate on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget, the House added $10.0 million in additional support for K-12 education grants and programs above what was proposed by the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee. Education grant funding (all K-12 programs other than Chapter 70 Aid and the School Building Authority) would be $42.5 million (7.0 percent) above current FY 2018 levels in the final House FY 2019 budget.

In particular, House amendments added significant additional funding for:

  • After-School and Out-of-School Grants, which received $745,000 in additional support for a total of $3.1 million. This includes a $100,000 pilot program to promote coordination and data sharing between school districts and community-based after-school providers.
  • MCAS Administration (Student and School Assessment), which received $5.0 million in additional support, for a total of $32.1 million. $1.0 million of this increase is designated to support implementation of new assessments and professional development linked to recently-updated civics, history, and social studies standards.
  • Regional School Transportation, which received $1.0 in additional support for a total of $63.5 million.

The House also adopted an FY 2019 budget amendment that would create a new line item Educational Improvement Project Grants, funded at $1.3 million. This line item would support an array of small improvement projects in specific school districts. The largest initiative would provide $500,000 to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to promote civics education throughout Massachusetts.

For a full list of K-12 education amendments to the House FY 2019 budget, see the table below. For information on K-12 education proposals not affected by amendments, see the K-12 education section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.


table: K-12 education line items amended by the house

For information on funding for all education programs going back to FY 2001, see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Higher Education

During budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for higher education programs totaling $5.3 million. The final House budget provides $1.20 billion in total funding for higher education—just 0.1 percent over estimated FY 2018 spending, which would not be enough to keep up with inflation. A full listing of amendments that add to higher education line items is in the table at the end of this section.

The House provided an additional $1.0 million for the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to fund the State University Internship Incentive Program. This funding has been included as an earmark—language in a line item specifying the use of a certain amount of that line item’s spending—in each budget since FY 2013. This addition brings total spending for the DHE account to $2.9 million—$916,000 (46.0 percent) more than the Governor’s proposal, but still more than $1.0 million (26.2 percent) below estimated FY 2018 spending.

The House also added $1.5 million in funding for the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine Program, bringing the FY 2019 total to $5.5 million. This would be 10.0 percent higher than the Governor’s proposal, and 10.8 percent higher than estimated FY 2018 spending.

House budget amendments added funding for a handful of items that were unfunded in both the Governor’s proposal and the HWM budget proposal:

  • The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Center at Springfield, which received $250,000. This is a satellite campus of UMass in partnership with several western Massachusetts higher education institutions that aims to make offerings more accessible in Springfield. This addition would bring funding for this account level with estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • Workforce Development Grants to Community Colleges, which received $750,000. This addition would bring funding for this account level with estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • The Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, which received $100,000. This center offers service learning, volunteer, and internship opportunities to Mount Wachusett Community College students. This addition would bring funding for this account level with estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • The PACE Initiative, which received $200,000. PACE aims to support increased collaboration and efficiency across the Community College and State University systems. This addition would double PACE funding from estimated FY 2018 spending.

In addition, Adult College Transition Services received $250,000 in proposed funding via House budget amendments. Even this addition would leave the account funded 33.1 percent below estimated FY 2018 spending, and 33.8 percent below the Governor’s proposed FY 2019 funding.

House amendments also added $1.2 million in funding across a handful of other line items, including:

  • The New England Board of Higher Education, which received $184,000. This addition would bring funding for this account level with estimated FY 2018 spending, and would double the Governor’s proposed amount for FY 2019.
  • Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment, which received $200,000. This addition would bring total funding for this account to 6.9 percent over estimated FY 2018 spending, and 14.5 percent higher than both the Governor’s and the HWM Committee’s proposed FY 2019 amounts.
  • $175,000 in state scholarships for students attending the Urban College of Boston, a private non-profit two-year college.

The House also adopted language requiring that funding for all centers and institutes at UMass-Boston be maintained at FY 2018 levels. As covered in the Higher Education section of MassBudget’s FY 2019 HWM Budget Monitor, UMass-Boston had announced plans to reduce its funding for 17 research centers and institutes, with the expectation that they would achieve self-sufficiency—that is, operate without public funding—as of FY 2022, by replacing this public funding with philanthropic grants and research contracts. The House also includes language encouraging UMass to avoid cuts to these centers and institutes in the future. There is, however, no additional funding in the House budget associated with this requirement.

Finally, the House adopted an amendment calling for a task force to study loan forgiveness programs to “ensure that college graduates stay, work, and build businesses in Massachusetts.”

MassBudget totals subtract tuition remitted by campuses back to the general fund from their state appropriation. This is undertaken because tuition sent back to the state is not available for campus operations and has the same effect as reduced state funding. For details on the varying tuition remission policies at different campuses, see MassBudget’s Budget Browser section for Higher Education here.

For full detail on House amendments on higher education, see the table below. For information on other proposals in the House FY 2019 budget, see the higher education section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.

table: Higher education line items amended by the house

For information on funding for all higher education programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget's Budget Browser here.


ENVIRONMENT & RECREATION

During its floor debate, the House added $4.2 million for environment and recreation programs. The amendments adopted by the House largely provide funding for specific environment and recreation projects throughout the state. The final House budget for environment and recreation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 is $212.8 million, an increase of $12.8 million above the current FY 2018 budget. For a full discussion of the House budget for these programs, please see our Budget Monitor on the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee budget here. For information on amendments that increased funding for environment and recreation programs during House debate, please see the table at the end of this section.

The House also created a new line item, State Parks Special Projects (2810-0122), with $2.5 million for specific state parks and recreation projects throughout the state. In previous years, the House has traditionally included funding for specific projects within the primary account that funds state parks (2800-0100). With funding from this new account, combined with the primary state parks account and the account that allows the Department of Conservation and Recreation to retain revenue it raises through parking and entry fees, the House budget provides $62.5 million for state parks and recreation. This amount is $5.3 million more than the FY 2018 current budget.


table: Environment and recreation line items amended by the house

For information on funding for environment & recreation programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


HEALTH CARE


MassHealth (Medicaid) & Health Reform

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform, adding a total of $8.0 million. The final House budget provides $17.58 billion in total funding for these services, which is $299.9 million above the amount in the FY 2018 current budget, a 1.7 percent increase. A full listing of amendments for MassHealth and Health Reform is in the table below.

The largest of the amendments added by the House were to increase funding for services for elders. The House added $4.0 million for MassHealth Senior Care, bringing the total to $3.59 billion, 1.9 percent above current FY 2018 budgeted totals. The House “earmarks” (specifies) $2.0 million of this funding to increase adult foster care program rates, and another $2.0 million to increase adult day health rates. A separate amendment increases funding for supplemental rates for nursing homes by adding $2.5 million to nursing home payments. This amendment also increases a rate add-on for wages from $35.5 million to $38.3 million, bringing the total to $365.4 million, which is $12.8 million or 3.6 percent above FY 2018 totals.

The House also added $1.0 million to Fee-for-Service payments, in order to support the development of coordinated hospital services in Western Massachusetts.

For a discussion of other proposals in the House budget on MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform that were not amended during floor debate, see MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.


table: Masshealth (medicaid) and health reform line items amended by the house

For a full list of funding for MassHealth (Medicaid) Health Reform going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Mental Health

During budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for mental health programs, adding $715,000 to the total. The final House budget provides $870.6 million in total funding for mental health, which is $98.1 million above funding in the FY 2018 budget, a 12.7 percent increase. A listing of the amendments for mental health is in the table below.

During floor debate, the House added $315,000 for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, bringing total funding to $90.6 million, 1.2 percent below FY 2018 funding levels. This funding is all designated for specific programs.

The House also added $400,000 for Adult Mental Health services, adding $250,000 to adult mental health services for housing for chronically homeless adults with mental illness, and $150,000 for services for immigrants and refugees who have experienced torture or trauma. This brings the total for line items addressing adult mental health services to $543.4 million. (See table below including an explanation of MassBudget adjustments to line item totals.) Funding for adult mental health is $96.1 million (21.5 percent) more than current FY 2018 funding. This increase is to support a restructuring of adult mental health services, as initially proposed by the Governor. This new model, known as Adult Community Clinical Services is designed to provide more comprehensive and coordinated care. See also MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the Governor’s mental health budget here.


table: Funding for adult mental health services

For discussion of mental health funding in the House budget not affected by amendments, see MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.


table: Mental health line items amended by the house

For a full listing of funding for mental health going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Public Health

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for public health programs adding $7.2 million to the total. The final House budget provides $642.3 million in total funding for public health, which is $16.5 million above the amount proposed by the Governor, and $26.2 million (4.2 percent) more than in the current FY 2018 budget. Most of the amendments added during debate targeted additional funding to specific community-based public health initiatives. Overall, many of the amendments are consistent with the Legislature’s ongoing commitment to expanding programs to address substance misuse and other behavioral health challenges in a wide variety of settings. A full listing of amendments for public health is in the table below.

House amendments essentially doubled the funding proposed by the Governor and the HWM Committee for Community Health Centers, bringing the total up to $1.0 million from the $504,000 in both the Governor’s and HWM Committee’s budget proposals. This is still $464,000 less than FY 2018 funding, however. The House targets much of the newly-proposed funding to local initiatives addressing substance misuse and behavioral health programs.

The House restored $200,000 for the Postpartum Depression Pilot Program, which had not received funding in either the Governor’s budget or in the HWM Committee’s initial budget proposal. This program was funded in FY 2018 at $50,000, but at $200,000 in FY 2016.

House amendments also restored funding for Substance Abuse Grants, which were not funded in the Governor’s budget, but which are funded at $980,000 in FY 2018. Amendments brought this funding up to $2.4 million, dedicated to a wide array of local substance misuse prevention and treatment programs across the Commonwealth.

The House also added $325,000 to School-Based Health Programs, bringing the total to $12.1 million, now essentially level with FY 2018 budget totals. These funds include $100,000 to support the development of school-based Bridge programs to help students who have had prolonged absences from school due to hospitalization for physical or mental health care keep on track to graduate.

During floor debate, the House also added a total of $1.2 million to separate line items funding grants to local communities for youth engagement and youth violence prevention. The House added $125,000 to the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, bringing total funding to $8.1 million, $805,000 more than FY 2018 current funding. The House also added $1.1 million to the Youth-At-Risk Matching Grant program, bringing the total to $355,000 more than FY 2018 funding.

Language in the House budget also amends the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchase Trust to allow non-profits organizations that contract with the Department of Public Health to join the program to benefit from bulk purchasing of Naloxone (a medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose—also known as Narcan.)

For a discussion of other public health proposals in the House budget that were not amended during floor debate, see MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.


table: Public health line items amended by the house

For a full list of funding for all public health programs going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


State Employee Health Insurance

During budget debate, the House did not adopt any amendments affecting funding for State Employee Health Insurance. Please see our Budget Monitor on the Fiscal Year 2019 House Ways and Means Committee budget here.

For a full list of funding for State Employee Health Insurance going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


HUMAN SERVICES


Child Welfare

During its budget debate, the House increased funding to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for child welfare programs by $700,000. The final House budget provides $990.3 million for child welfare programs, which is $13.4 million or 1.4 percent more than FY 2018 current budget levels.

Only one amendment changed funding for child welfare services from what the HWM committee proposed. The House proposes $700,000 in additional funding for Services for Children and Families. All of this additional funding is targeted to specific local programs. Total funding for these foster care and adoption services in the House final budget is $297.7 million — $7.7 million or 2.7 percent more than the current FY 2018 budget.

See the Child Welfare section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor for further discussion of proposed FY 2019 funding.


table: Child welfare line item amended by the house

For a full list of funding for all Child Welfare programs going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Disability Services

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for disability services to the order of $950,000. This brings total proposed funding to $2.00 billion, $51.0 million, or 2.6 percent, more than current FY 2018 levels. See table below for a list of amendments.

One amendment adds $110,000 to the Turning 22 Program under the Department of Developmental Services. This program funds services for young adults with disabilities during the transition year when they turn 22. These services can include community-based residential services, employment services, and family support. This amendment brings total Turning 22 funding to $39.2 million, which is $1.9 million more than FY 2018 funding levels.

The House passed two amendments that would add a total of $290,000 to the Community Services for the Blind. All of this additional funding is targeted at local programs, including news and information services for reading-impaired audiences. This brings total funding for Community Services for the Blind to $4.5 million, $336,000 more than current funding levels.

The House also proposes adding $250,000 for Independent Living Centers, where the HWM Committee and Governor had proposed level funding. The amendment brings funding for Independent Living Centers to $6.3 million. For a discussion of programs not amended by the House, see MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor.


table: Disability services line items amended by the house

For a full list of funding for all Disability Services programs going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Elder Services

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal for Elder Services increasing funding by $2.3 million. This brings total funding to $300.5 million, which is $14.5 million or 5.1 percent more than current FY 2018 funding levels. The table below provides a full list of amendments.

One amendment adds $791,000 to Grants to Council on Aging, which help elders access services such as transportation, food programs, health screenings, and education. The amendment brings total FY 2019 funding for Councils on Aging to $17.3 million, which is $3.1 million or 21.5 percent more than current funding levels.

Another House amendment adds $750,000 to the Elder Nutrition Program, which includes meal deliveries and counseling to seniors at nutritional risk. This added funding specifically supports the Meals on Wheels program. Previously, the HWM Committee had proposed decreasing funding for the program by 10.3 percent compared to FY 2018 levels. The House amendment reverses the HWM proposal, bringing total FY 2019 funding for the Elder Nutrition Program to $7.3 million, which is equal to FY 2018 levels.

The House also proposes an additional $642,000 to the Elder Congregate Housing Program, which includes shared housing services and retirement communities for seniors. This counters the HWM Committee proposal, which decreased funding for the program by $540,000 from FY 2018. The House amendment brings the total funding for the program to $2.1 million, which is a 5.3 percent increase from current levels. 

The House also approved an amendment proposing the development of a curriculum and training program for elder services providers to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. The goal is to improve access to services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders and caregivers. 


table: Elder services line items amended by the house

For a full list of funding for all Elder Services programs going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Juvenile Justice

The House did not amend the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for juvenile justice programs recommended by the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee, keeping proposed funding at $177.0 million or 1.9 percent below FY 2018 levels. Read more details about the HWM Committee’s budget proposal in this Budget Monitor.

The House did not add funding for the recently signed criminal justice reform bill, which gives judges and probation officials a bigger role in diverting young people from court before arraignment.

The House did add $1.1 million in amendments for Trial Courts, which pertain to juvenile justice. Of this, $867,000 of additional funding is proposed for the Juvenile Court. All of this additional funding is targeted at local programs. The remaining $250,000 in added funding is proposed for Permanency Mediation Services in the probate and juvenile courts. (More information on courts and probation-related line items can be found in the “Law and Public Safety” section of this Budget Monitor.)

For information on funding for all juvenile justice programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Transitional Assistance

During budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for transitional assistance programs that increase funding by $575,000. The final House budget provides $658.5 million in total funding for transitional assistance which is $32.6 million, or 5.2 percent, more than the FY 2018 current budget. A full listing of amendments for transitional assistance is in the table below.

One amendment added $500,000 on top of what the HWM Committee recommended for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which brings the total funding for that program to $4.0 million. Of this $4.0 million, $1.5 million is new funding.

The House also adopted an amendment to remove a restriction that bars families from receiving another $100-per-month cash assistance for a child conceived while the family was receiving public assistance. The House proposed an FY 2020 effective date for this amendment and thus there would not be a cost to the state in FY 2019.The Administration estimates removal of the restriction could cost $13 million.

See also MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the HWM Committee’s Transitional Assistance budget here.


table: Transitional assistance line items amended by the house

For information on funding for all transitional assistance programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Other Human Services

During budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for Other Human Services, programs adding $1.9 million to the total. The final House budget provides $205.8 million in total funding, which is just under (by $1.2 million) the total in the current FY 2018 budget. Most of this new funding is to support veterans’ services ($1.6 million). The table below provides a full listing of amendments for Other Human Services accounts.

The full House added $1.1 million to funding for Veterans’ Outreach Centers and Homeless Shelters, and designated most of the new funding to a variety of community-based outreach centers.

The House also added $100,000 to the Low-Income Citizenship Program, which assists Massachusetts residents in obtaining citizenship. This amendment brings total funding to $500,000, which is $100,000 more than funding in FY 2018.

For a discussion of Other Human Services funding not changed during floor debate, see MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.


table: Other human services line items amended by the house

For a full list of funding for Other Human Services going back to FY 2001 please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


Transportation

During budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for transportation programs totaling $2.4 million. A full listing of amendments that add to the totals for transportation line-items is in the table at the end of this section.

The House proposes slightly increasing support for the Commonwealth’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) by $2.0 million to $82.0 million, which would be the same amount as in FY 2016 and FY 2017. This figure is $1.6 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 level, which was also proposed by the Governor for FY 2019. Several RTAs are proposing to cut bus routes and raise fares in response to proposed funding amounts. During debate the House added language requiring each RTA to submit its audited financial statement to a list of state officers and legislative committees. Moreover, the House proposes creating a Task Force on Regional Transit Authority Performance and Funding that would file a report with recommendations by December 1, 2018. The RTAs would subsequently execute a memorandum of understanding with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for each authority to incorporate best practices for service and asset management based on the task force’s guidelines.

House debate produced an additional $430,000 for the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund (MTTF) in FY 2019, bringing the proposed House total to $323.1 million. This fund contributes to highways, transit, intercity rail, small airports, the Massachusetts Turnpike, and Motor Vehicle Registry, while also receiving funds from tolls, federal transportation sources, and the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Trust Fund. The additional $430,000 proposed by the House would be targeted for a handful of specific local improvements, including to a bridge, underpass, rotary, and for pedestrian safety along specific routes. House debate otherwise left in place the HWM Committee’s proposed funding for ice and snow removal, which is $45 million less than the amount proposed by the Administration. In his budget, the Governor recommended creating a new, separate snow and ice control fund with $83.0 million for FY 2019. The House instead continues lawmakers’ practice of funding snow and ice control below anticipated amounts, and then providing supplemental funding to the MTTF later in the year for clean-up from winter storms.

An outside section of the final House budget includes an amendment that would enable municipalities to enter into agreements with the Secretary of Transportation for a “Supplemental Infrastructure Financing for Transportation” (SIFT agreement) to allow municipalities to designate taxes from the rising value of real estate in a designated district to finance a specific infrastructure project that is expected to boost those values. For instance, construction of a new transit station or ferry service could be financed with the increased property tax collections set aside from increased property values anticipated nearby.

For a full discussion of transportation in the House budget, please see our Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.

 
table: Transportation line items amended by the house

table: Funding for transportation

For a chart and description of the structure of funding flows for transportation operations and debt service, see MassBudget’s fact sheet, “What Does Massachusetts Transportation Funding Support and What Are the Revenue Sources?”

For information on all transportation funding in the state budget going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Housing

During debate on its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget, the House added $2.6 million in amendments to affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. Most of these amendments provided funding for specific housing and homeless initiatives located throughout the state. The House’s total for housing programs is $453.8 million. The House budget is $1.9 million less than the amount the state expects to spend in FY 2018 because the House budget appears to underfund the Emergency Assistance (EA) program. EA provides shelter to low-income families who are homeless and qualify for assistance. If the original budget underfunds the program, as has happened in past years, the Legislature must provide supplemental funding to meet expected need. For a full discussion of the House budget for EA and other housing and homelessness assistance programs please see MassBudget’s Budget Monitor on the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee budget here. For a full list of amendments that increased funding for housing programs, please see the table below. 

Some highlights of the House amendments include:

  • $250,000 for the New Lease program, which pairs owners of affordable housing with low-income homeless families who need rental units.
  • $930,000 for a new Local Housing Programs account, which provides funding for specific housing and homelessness assistance programs located throughout the Commonwealth. 
  • $750,000 for the tenancy preservation program, an increase of $250,000 above the FY 2018 budget. This is a homelessness prevention program that provides arbitration between a tenant who has a disability or whose family member has a disability and may be facing eviction, and the tenant’s landlord. 

table: Housing line items amended by the house

For information on funding for housing programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Economic Development

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for economic development programs totaling $14.9 million. The final House budget provides $153.9 million in total funding for economic development—7.8 percent over the current FY 2018 budget, and 7.4 percent over the Governor’s proposal. A full listing of amendments that add to economic development line items is in the table at the end of this section.

The House budget amendments create a new line item providing an additional $8.4 million in local economic development earmarks—language in a line item specifying the uses of certain amounts within that line item’s spending. This new funding covers everything from road improvements to theater programs to historic preservation to community centers.

The House also added $1.7 million in earmarked funding to the Massachusetts Service Alliance line item. This would bring total funding for the account to $3.1 million—1.6 percent over the current FY 2018 budget and 145.5 percent above the Governor’s FY 2019 proposal.

House budget amendments also added $1.3 million in funding for YouthWorks, a summer jobs program for at-risk youth. Most of this funding is earmarked; $500,000 is left over for discretionary spending. This additional funding brings the total for YouthWorks in the House budget to $12.8 million—16.5 percent over the current FY 2018 budget and 24.3 percent over the Governor’s FY 2019 proposal.

The House budget adds $3.5 million in funding across a handful of other line items.

For full detail on House amendments on economic development, see the table below. For information on other proposals in the House FY 2019 budget, see the economic development section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.


table: Economic development line items amended by the house

For information on funding for all economic development programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget's Budget Browser here.


LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

During its budget debate, the House adopted amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for law and public safety programs totaling $14.1 million. The final House budget provides $2.80 billion in total funding for law and public safety—0.8 percent below estimated FY 2018 spending and 3.5 percent below the Governor’s proposed budget. A full listing of amendments that add to law and public safety line items is in the table at the end of this section.

The House provided an additional $2.9 million for the Department of Fire Services (DFS). This funding would cover a number of earmarks— line item language specifying the use of certain amounts of that line item’s spending. This addition brings total spending for the DFS account to $23.2 million—$809,000 (3.6 percent) more than the Governor’s proposal, but still $1.3 million (5.5 percent) below estimated FY 2018 spending.

The House also added $2.3 million for Department of Correction (DOC) Facility Operations, of which $2.2 million is earmarked for grants of up to $800,000 to cities and towns with DOC facilities. (This earmark has appeared in some form in each budget since FY 2012.) This addition would bring total spending for this line item to $632.4 million – 0.3 percent higher than the Governor’s proposal, and 1.2 percent higher than estimated FY 2018 spending.

House budget amendments added $2.2 million in funding across 11 District Attorneys’ offices. House budget amendments also added a new $1.9 million line item containing earmarks for Public Safety Projects and Grants.

Other notable House budget amendments add:

  • $1.0 million for Shannon Grants, which fund anti-gang and youth violence prevention efforts. This addition would bring spending on this account to $7.0 million—16.7 percent above the Governor’s proposal, and 17.8 percent over estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • $1.0 million for State Police patrols on state beaches and other recreational areas.
  • $867,000 for the Juvenile Court to fund court-appointed special advocates across the state. This addition would bring spending on this account to $19.4 million—8.4 percent above the Governor’s proposal, and 9.5 percent over estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • $790,000 to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. This addition would bring spending on this account to $20.8 million—14.4 percent above the Governor’s proposal, and 15.5 percent over estimated FY 2018 spending.
  • For full detail on House amendments on law and public safety, see the table below. For information on other proposals in the House FY 2019 budget, see the law and public safety section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.

For full detail on House amendments on law and public safety, see the table below. For information on other proposals in the House FY 2019 budget, see the law and public safety section of MassBudget’s HWM Budget Monitor here.


table: Law and public safety line items amended by the house

For information on funding for all law and public safety programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget's Budget Browser here.


LOCAL AID

Unrestricted Local Aid

House debate left in place the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal to increase Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $37.2 million (3.5 percent increase) over current FY 2018 levels to $1.10 billion. This is the same level as the Governor’s budget proposal. The Commonwealth’s capacity to fund general local aid has been hindered by a series of significant state-level tax cuts during the 1990's and 2000's combined with the Great Recession. While general local aid funding has increased in step with or slightly above inflation over the past several years, it remains 39.8 percent below FY 2001 levels, when adjusted for inflation.


bar graph: General local aid has declined 40% since 2001

For a full discussion of unrestricted local aid in the House budget, please see our Budget Monitor on the HWM budget here.

Other Local Aid

The Commonwealth provides other sources of local aid to cities and towns for more specific purposes. The largest form of local aid is for K-12 education, which is discussed separately in the K-12 Education section. Aid for libraries is also discussed in its own section in this Budget Monitor.

The only difference between the House and HWM Committee budget proposals appears in the Municipal Regionalization and Efficiencies Incentive Reserve. The House added $1.5 million in additional funding above the $3.4 million proposed by the HWM Committee. Of the total, the House specifies that $2.8 million shall be expended for the District Local Technical Assistance Fund administered by the Division of Local Services. A sum of $1.5 million is targeted to specific local projects, the largest of which is $500,000 for a public safety grant program in Lawrence. The amended amount is $5.3 million less than the Governor’s budget proposal for FY 2019, and $6.6 million less than current FY 2018 spending. To see more on Other Local Aid, go to MassBudget’s analysis of the Governor’s FY 2019 budget proposal here.

For information on funding for local aid programs going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


OTHER


Libraries

During floor debate the House added $900,000 to support library programs bringing the total House budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 for libraries to $26.5 million, an increase of $1.l million above the current FY 2018 budget. For a full discussion of funding for libraries in the House budget, please see our Budget Monitor on the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee budget here. For a full list of amendments that added funding to libraries, see the table at the end of this section.

During its debate, the House passed an amendment that increases state aid for the Boston Public Library from 40.7 cents to 42.4 cents per Massachusetts resident. This increase will provide the BPL, in its role as the Library of the Commonwealth, with an additional $200,000 to provide reference and research services for residents in the Commonwealth. 


table: Library line items amended by the house

For information on funding for libraries going back to FY 2001, please see MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


Additional Line Items

The line items listed below were also amended during the Fiscal Year 2018 House floor debate. These are additional items not included in the budget areas examined above.


table: Additionlal line items amended by the house

REVENUE

Tax Revenue

During its debate on the budget the House increased two tax credits that would affect the amount of available tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2019 and future budgets:

  • Dairy Farmer Tax Credit – The House proposes an increase from $4.0 million to $6.0 million in total tax credits that can be issued to certified dairy farmers based on the amount of milk produced and sold. This is a refundable tax credit, meaning that dairy farmers that would pay less than the amount of the credit in taxes would receive the difference as a direct state payment. The payments are triggered in any year in which the price of milk drops below a certain threshold. In 2016, the last year for which data is available, the credit was awarded to 189 taxpayers.
  • Conservation Land Tax Credit – The House similarly proposes to increase the total amount of credits awarded annually by the Commonwealth’s Conservation Land Tax Credit from its current $2 million cap by an additional $1 million annually up to $5 million in 2021. In 2016, the tax credit total was awarded among 42 taxpayers. The credit is awarded for qualified donations of certified land to a public or private conservation agency.

For more discussion on Tax Revenue in the Governor’s and the House budgets, see the Revenue section of Mass Budget’s Budget Monitor for the House Ways and Means budget (link).

Non-Tax Revenue

Other than anticipated changes to federal reimbursements associated with changes in spending on the MassHealth program, the House amendments did not notably alter anticipated non-tax revenue totals.

Department of Revenue Administration

The House adopted an amendment to increase the Department of Revenue (DOR) budget by $20,000 for a local volunteer income tax assistance program that provides free tax preparation services to individuals with low incomes or disabilities.

The House made no other changes to the House Ways and Means Committee budget proposal, leaving the combined amount of support for DOR Administration essentially the same as proposed by the Governor – a total of $106.7 million before the additional sum. This amount is 0.2 percent more than current FY 2018 funding levels, but remains 41.0 percent below the FY 2001 level, when adjusting for inflation.

For more discussion on funding for DOR in the Governor’s and the House budgets, see the Revenue section of MassBudget’s Budget Monitor for the House Ways and Means budget (link).

You can see historical funding levels for administration of the DOR at MassBudget’s Budget Browser here.


TOTAL BUDGET BY CATEGORY & SUBCATEGORY

Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 House, House Ways and Means (HWM), and FY 2019 Governor columns show funding in the structure of the FY 2018 budget in order to allow for more accurate across-year comparisons. For example, if the FY 2019 budget proposal consolidates several line items, using information provided by the Administration or HWM, MassBudget “un-consolidates” the total and re-distributes the amounts back into their prior year’s line items.

FY 2018 Current column shows the budgeted General Appropriation Act as enacted in July 2017, and as amended by supplemental budget legislation.

For other explanatory information, see details below the chart.


table: Budget by category and subcategory

  • MassBudget’s totals include the “pre-budget transfers” of funds. Statutes require certain automatic appropriations of revenue to support certain functions independent of the annual budget. Although these transfers function no differently from other appropriations, the Governor and Legislature do not reflect these expenditures in their budget totals; instead, they are shown as amounts deducted or transferred from revenue prior to the budgeting process. To better reflect total state funding, MassBudget includes these pre-budget transfers in appropriation totals. In FY 2019, these transfers add $4.70 billion to the total. These transfers are: tax revenues dedicated to the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) and school building assistance, cigarette excises dedicated to the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund, state contributions to the pension system, transfers to the State Retiree Benefits Trust, transfers to the Workforce Training Trust, and statutory allocations of gambling revenues.
  • MassBudget’s totals include annual appropriations into non-budgeted (“off-budget”) trusts. The transfer of funds from the General Fund or another budgeted fund into a non-budgeted trust is a form of appropriation, and should be treated as any other appropriation. Prior to FY 2011, the budget authorized these transfers in Outside Section budget language. Starting in FY 2011, a new section of the budget, Section 2E, systematically accounted for the transfer of funds into off-budgeted trusts. MassBudget’s totals include these operating transfers in all budget years.
  • When spending that is now included in the budget was previously “off-budget,” MassBudget’s totals include the prior years’ “off-budget” spending totals in order to reflect more accurate year-to-year comparisons. For example, funding directed to health care providers as partial reimbursement for uncompensated care was previously funded by a transfer of federal revenue directly into the off-budget Uncompensated Care Trust Fund. This spending was brought on-budget in FY 2009, and incorporated into the state’s budgeted health care appropriations. MassBudget’s health care budget totals include the off-budget spending for these services in order to reflect a more accurate across-year comparison.
  • MassBudget reduces State Employee Health Insurance totals to exclude spending on health insurance for municipal employees and retired teachers for which the state is fully-reimbursed by participating municipal governments.
  • MassBudget reduces funding for the community colleges, state universities, and University of Massachusetts campuses by the amount of tuition that these campuses remit to the state treasury each year. These adjusted totals more accurately reflect the “net” appropriations available to the campuses to support operations, and allow for more consistent comparisons across the years, since the policies about tuition remission have varied from year to year and from campus to campus. For example, until FY 2003, all of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) campuses were required to remit to the state treasury all tuition from all students. From FY 2004 – FY 2011, UMass Amherst (only) remitted only in-state tuition, and retained tuition from out-of-state students. Starting in FY 2012, the remaining UMass campuses were also allowed to retain tuition from out-of-state students. Starting in FY 2017, all of the UMass campuses retained all tuition revenue, remitting none. The MassBudget adjustments make it possible to make meaningful comparisons of appropriations to these campuses even with these policy changes.
  • MassBudget’s totals reflect legislatively-approved “prior appropriation continued” (PAC) amounts. In most instances, MassBudget shifts the PAC amount from the year in which the funding was first appropriated into the year in which the Administration expects to spend the totals.
  • Because MassBudget totals reflect budgeted appropriations and not actual spending, there can be apparent fluctuations in the MassHealth and Health Reform totals that are simply due to the timing of payments to certain off-budget trusts. These budget variations may not reflect real differences in spending.