Charlie Baker Tables $2.4 Billion Supplementary Budget for COVID Resources, Child Care Subsidies and More

Governor Charlie Baker tabled a $2.4 billion supplementary budget for fiscal year 2022 that targets areas of “immediate need,” including the state’s response to COVID-19, child care, housing and infrastructure, citing deep pockets in the state as justification for the high price.

“Massachusetts remains in a strong fiscal position, allowing us to use excess revenue from fiscal year 2022 to support our efforts to respond to COVID-19 and invest in areas such as early childhood education, social services , housing and more,” Baker said. “Revenues continue to exceed forecasts, which positions Massachusetts well to make these investments.”

Although the bill recommends $2.4 billion in additional appropriations, the net cost to the state will be $1.6 billion, supported by excess first half revenue.

This year, tax revenues exceed the new projections by nearly $1.5 billion, already raised by $1.5 billion in January by the Ministry of Revenue. Even after factoring in a temporary revenue boost, the state is still $794 million ahead of benchmarks.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito highlighted plans in the budget to provide resources for “counseling, advocacy and intervention services to fill a significant gap in federal funding for victims of crime,” it said. she declared.

This includes $60 million to stabilize and sustain counselling, advocacy and intervention services for victims of crime through fiscal year 2025, and $14 million to fund service enhancements for victims of crime. men civilly engaged for the treatment of drug addiction.

The largest part of the budget – $700 million – would go towards public health measures to combat COVID-19, including providing access to rapid tests and surveillance tests in congregate care settings, administering monoclonal antibody treatments, maintaining vaccination sites and ensuring the provision of health personnel. care establishments. Factoring in federal refunds, that leaves a net cost of $439 million. This is in addition to the $101 million supplementary budget enacted last week for COVID efforts.

The bill also includes $450 million to extend stabilization grants for child care providers through fiscal year 2023, $140 million for support for special schools, including staff, and $401 million to support home and community services.

Other investments include $100 million for the construction of new facilities for youth-focused nonprofits, $60 million for rental assistance, $200 million for infrastructure improvements and $150 million dollars in additional grants to fund local climate change resilience initiatives.

The bill also includes several policy proposals, including sections to extend the deportation provision from April 1 to January 3, 2023.

State House News Service contributed to this report.