$49K more state $ for last winter


Governor Baker has proposed $25m. of supplemental FY15 monies for snow relief, that would mean $49,474 for Medfield.  This is the full alert this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association:


Friday, July 17, 2015

GOV. BAKER SIGNS $38.1B FY 2016 STATE BUDGET TO FUND KEY MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID PROGRAMS

***BREAKING NEWS: GOV. BAKER ALSO PROPOSES $25M IN SNOW AND ICE RELIEF FUNDS IN YEAR-END FY 2015 BUDGET FILING***

NEW STATE BUDGET INCREASES UGGA BY $34M, ADDS $18.1M TO FULLY FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER, RESTORES $7.5M TO REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION, FUNDS CH. 70 MINIMUM AID AT $25 PER STUDENT, ADDS $3.6M TO CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS – HOWEVER, GOVERNOR REDUCES KINDERGARTEN DEVELOPMENT GRANTS DOWN TO $1 MILLION – A $17.6M REDUCTION

GOVERNOR BAKER ALSO FILED A YEAR-END FISCAL 2015 BUDGET WITH $25M TO ASSIST CITIES AND TOWNS WITH SNOW AND ICE DEFICITS, TO BE DISTRIBUTED THROUGH THE CHAPTER 90 FORMULA – LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL IS NEEDED

Seventeen days into the new fiscal year, Governor Charlie Baker signed the first full-year state budget into law, a $38.1 billion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that will increase overall expenditures by approximately 3.5 percent, as the state closes a projected $1.8 billion structural budget deficit by restraining spending and eliminating up to 5,000 state jobs through a hiring freeze, attrition and an early retirement program.

In terms of local aid, the Governor’s signature pen inked into law strong progress on many important municipal priorities, including the significant victory in embracing the $34 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid as proposed by Gov. Baker and requested by the MMA. Beyond that, the Governor has approved more than $30 million to key municipal and education aid accounts and reimbursement programs above the amount he initially in his March budget proposal. This is a major victory for cities and towns that was made possible by your strong advocacy.

In a win for Gov. Baker, the Legislature’s budget includes a three-year suspension of the Pacheco anti-outsourcing law for the MBTA, and provides for a Fiscal and Management Control Board to oversee the MBTA.

GOV. PROPOSES $25M IN SNOW AND ICE RELIEF FUNDS FOR CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS THE STATE:

AT THE SAME TIME THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE FISCAL 2016 STATE BUDGET INTO LAW, HE ALSO FILED A YEAR-END FISCAL 2015 SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET TO CLOSE THE BOOKS ON THE YEAR THAT JUST ENDED. BECAUSE OF THE RECORD-BREAKING WINTER AND RECORD-BREAKING SNOW AND ICE DEFICITS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, GOV. BAKER’S FISCAL 2015 SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET INCLUDES $25 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL RELIEF FOR CITIES AND TOWNS, WHICH WOULD BE DISTRIBUTED STATEWIDE THROUGH THE CHAPTER 90 FORMULA.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE YOUR COMMUNITY’S SHARE OF GOV. BAKER’S PROPOSED $25 MILLION IN SNOW AND ICE RELIEF FUNDING, INCLUDED IN HIS BUDGET SUBMISSION LETTER: http://www.mass.gov/anf/docs/anf/fy15/fy2015-supplemental-filing-letter.pdf

PLEASE CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL FOR SNOW AND ICE RELIEF FUNDS

FINAL FY 2016 STATE BUDGET FUNDS KEY MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID PROGRAMS:

IN TERMS OF THE FISCAL 2016 STATE BUDGET THAT GOV. BAKER SIGNED INTO LAW TODAY, HERE IS A SUMMARY OF THE KEY MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL FUNDING INCLUDED IN THE FINAL BUDGET:

$34 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID
In a major win for cities and towns, the final budget provides $979.8 million for UGGA, a $34 million increase over current funding.  This will be the largest increase in discretionary municipal aid in nearly a decade.  Every city and town will see their UGGA funding increase by 3.6 percent.

GOVERNOR EMBRACES $18.3 MILLION INCREASE TO FULLY FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER
In another victory for cities and towns, the final budget would fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program with $271.7 million, an $18.3 million increase above fiscal 2015.  This is a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services.

BUDGET ADDS $7.5 MILLION FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS
The final budget would restore $7.5 million to regional school transportation funding, providing a total of $59 million for the upcoming year.  Last November, former Gov. Patrick used his 9C budget powers to reduce this important program down to $51.5 million.  The final budget is a major step forward for communities with regional school districts.

GOVERNOR BACKS CHAPTER 70 MINIMUM AID OF $25 PER STUDENT
The final fiscal 2016 budget provides a $111.2 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid, with a provision providing every city, town and school district an increase of at least $25 per student, an improvement over the $20 per student amount originally proposed in March.  The appropriation is $5.9 million more than the recommendation in March, and the increase would be used to ensure the $25 per student minimum aid level and to slightly accelerate the implementation of the target share provisions enacted in 2007.

GOVERNOR REDUCES KINDERGARTEN DEVELOPMENT GRANTS DOWN TO $1 MILLION, A CUT OF $17.6 MILLION
This account has faced serious challenges during the fiscal 2016 budget process, with Gov. Baker’s original budget proposal including no funding for the Kindergarten Development Grant program, and the Senate budget funding the program at $1 million.  Only the House budget maintained funding at the fiscal 2015 level of $18.6 million.  177 communities and school districts depend on these funds, and the MMA and cities and towns will be calling on their legislators to override this $17.6 million reduction, and restore the funds.

BUDGET INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $3.64 MILLION, ACCOUNT REMAINS UNDERFUNDED
Under state law, cities and towns that host or send students to charter schools are entitled to be reimbursed for a portion of their lost Chapter 70 aid.  The state fully funded the reimbursement program in fiscal 2013 and 2014, but is underfunding reimbursements by approximately $34 million this year (fiscal 2015).  The final fiscal 2016 budget will provide a $3.64 million increase up to $80.5 million, however this is still $50 million below full funding.  The action to increase funding is appreciated, yet it is important to remember that the account is still significantly underfunded.

STATE ADDS $1 MILLION TO McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS
The final budget would add $1 million to increase fiscal 2016 reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students to $8.35 million.  The account remains below the full reimbursement called for under the state’s unfunded mandate law, yet this would be the first increase since fiscal 2013.

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID ACCOUNTS, METCO, AND SHANNON ANTI-GANG GRANTS, VOKE ED TRANSPORTATION
PILOT PAYMENTS: The final budget would level-fund PILOT payments at $26.77 million.
LIBRARY AID: The budget funds library grant programs at $18.9 million, a $400 thousand increase above fiscal 2015 post-9C levels.
METCO: The final budget funds METCO at $20.14 million, a $2.23 million increase above fiscal 2015 post-9C levels.
SHANNON GRANTS: The final appropriation is $7 million, the same amount proposed by Gov. Baker in March.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRANSPORTATION: Last year, Gov. Patrick wiped out all fiscal 2015 funding using his 9C powers, and the good news is that the fiscal 2016 budget would restore $1.75 million for fiscal 2016.

STATE MAY PROVIDE UP TO $10M FOR COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT FUNDING
During fiscal 2015, 156 cities and towns collected the local Community Preservation Act (CPA) surcharge and are eligible for state matching grants in fiscal 2016.  The Division of Local Services (DLS) estimates that the balance in the state trust fund will be sufficient to provide a first round match of only 18 percent of the surcharge levied by each city and town.  This would be the lowest state match in the program’s history.  Knowing this, the fiscal 2016 state budget would devote up to $10 million of any fiscal 2015 year-end state budget surplus to supplement the fiscal 2016 state match, a significant boost for all CPA communities.  The final amount available will depend on the final fiscal 2015 surplus, which will not be determined until later this autumn.

Please Call Your Legislators and Thank Them for a Strong Fiscal 2016 State Budget that Makes Progress on Key Municipal and Education Aid Priorities, and Ask Them to Support Gov. Baker’s Proposed $25 Million for Snow and Ice Funding in the Fiscal 2015 Year-End Budget

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