FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: State Representative Natalie Higgins, 978-602-3772
September 18, 2017
House Reaffirms Commitment to Education, Safety and Health Care Funding
House Addresses Gubernatorial Vetoes
BOSTON – Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) and her colleagues in the House recently took action to restore vital funding that was vetoed by the Baker Administration. These veto overrides will enhance support for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents, including those with dependent children, and bolster education initiatives.
The House voted to restore about $220 million in funding for MassHealth, including $209 million for caseloads, as well as funding for senior care and nursing home supplemental rates. The veto overrides also addressed funding for prostate cancer and pediatric palliative care.
“As elected officials, it is our duty to stand up for the voiceless and vulnerable,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I thank my colleagues in the House for their extraordinary work to help those most in need while maintaining a responsible, balanced budget.”
“We restored funding to important statewide priorities and initiatives including monies for the pediatric palliative care and MassHealth to ensure full funding of the projected caseload while we continue to evaluate MassHealth reform,” said Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “This returns us to Conference Committee funding levels, which are balanced and sustainable. We will continue to monitor state fiscal trends.”
“This was my first state budget process and the Legislature worked hard to pass a well-balanced, responsible, and bipartisan budget in July,” said Representative Higgins. “The Governor vetoed essential funding to programs assisting residents all across the Commonwealth, and I am glad to join my colleagues to restore those vital services.”
The House took numerous steps to support vulnerable populations and children including funds for:
The House has been a longstanding champion of early education and care (EEC) and in this year’s budget made unprecedented investments to support the workforce, provide access to high-quality learning opportunities, and help prevent and detect mental health issues in young children. The House overrode the Governor’s veto of $1.25 million for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services. The House also voted to restore funding for numerous other education programs and institutions including:
The House also voted to restore funding for essential safety initiatives including the Department of Fire Services and the Boston Regional Counter-Terrorism Center.