Somerville Receives $40.6 Million in Local Aid from State, Says Beacon Hill Delegation
See what Somerville's state senators and representatives have to say about the state's fiscal-year 2013 budget.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was expected to sign the state budget on Sunday, July 8, according to an announcement from his office.
In the state budget, Somerville will receive $40.6 million in local aid, according to a joint announcement from Somerville's state senators and representatives.
Here's the announcement sent by the city's Beacon Hill delegation:
Legislature Passes Balanced FY13 Budget
Somerville to receive $40.6 million in Local Aid
BOSTON – Somerville’s state legislators Senators Patricia D. Jehlen and Sal N. DiDomenico and Representatives Carl M. Sciortino, Denise Provost and Timothy J. Toomey joined their colleagues in the Legislature on Thursday June 28th to enact a $32.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2013 (FY13). The spending plan prioritizes funding for cities and towns and commitments to reform job creation. The budget does not contain any new taxes and uses a combination of ongoing revenue initiatives, one-time resources and spending reductions to close a $1.4 billion budget gap, the smallest budget gap the state has had since FY08.
The budget restores some painful cuts from previous years and makes new targeted investments, leaving the state’s rainy day fund at $1.2 billion which, along with the Legislature’s prudent reforms and fiscal decisions in previous years, is responsible for the Commonwealth’s highest bond rating in history.
“This budget makes smart investments to maintain our fiscal health and continue our economic recovery and job growth,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said.
“Although we still face tough fiscal times, this budget maximizes the value of every last state dollar and strives to implement sensible reforms that will position Massachusetts for a bright economic future,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
“This budget increases local aid and protects most of the Commonwealth’s essential services,” said Senator Jehlen. “Many valuable programs are still hurting due to the effects of the deep recession and I would have liked to see these fully funded, but this budget lives within our means and will help encourage our continued economic recovery.”“While this budget was crafted in a still-challenging economic climate, I believe that it reflects the legislature’s commitment to our cities and towns by prioritizing funding for education, workforce development and essential services for our state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Senator DiDomenico.
“Many of my specific requests were honored in this budget, and I’m delighted that it contains amendments to the Community Preservation Act that would benefit cities like Somerville,” said Representative Provost.
“I’m happy that we were able to restore much-needed funding to many important human service programs, which have suffered from huge cuts during the past few years of economic downturn,” said Representative Toomey. “There is still more work to be done, but we are moving in the right direction.”
“I am pleased with the investments we were able to make especially in education and homelessness programs, but we still have significant shortfalls in many areas,” said Representative Sciortino. “It is time to have a frank discussion about whether our revenue system is fair to working families or adequate to meeting the needs of our communities.”
The plan represents the Legislature’s continuing commitment to cities and towns, boosting investments in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), Chapter 70, and the Special Education Circuit Breaker – the three largest sources of direct state aid to municipalities and school districts. The budget increases funding for local aid by $288.9 million over FY12 projected spending, including $899 million for unrestricted local aid. Somerville is expected to receive $21,311, 532 in UGGA and $19,316,888 in Chapter 70 funding.
The budget calls for increased oversight of community colleges, continues to improve public higher education resources and connects those resources to workforce needs across the state. In another effort to aid cities and towns, the budget directs $25 million from the state’s FY13 budget surplus to the state’s community preservation trust fund, by expanding the use of funds to rehabilitate and support existing outdoor parks, recreational centers and affordable housing.
The FY13 budget also continues to prioritize essential services for our most vulnerable citizens. It maintains mental health services, increases funding for elder protective services, substance abuse services, independent living centers, and the department of veterans services.
The budget now goes to Governor Deval Patrick for his approval.