Massachusetts Senate Passes Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
Boston --- Late Thursday night, Senator Donald F. Humason Jr. (R-Second Hampden and Hampshire) voted in support of the $43 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020. It was passed unanimously by the 40 members of the Senate.
The FY20 budget makes critical investments in areas related to education, regional school transportation, rural school aid and access to affordable healthcare.
“This budget is one that clearly puts the people of the Commonwealth first and I was proud to vote in favor of it today. While this budget applies an excise tax to e-cigarettes and opioid manufacturers, there are no broad based taxes,” said Senator Humason.
Senator Humason co-sponsored over 100 amendments including, but not limited to, items regarding regional school transportation, per pupil aid, funding for nursing home facilities, among many others.
This budget also addresses critical needs in communities battling the opioid epidemic. Senator Humason voted in favor of an amendment which funds a grant program for families with opioid addicted newborns. Senator Humason also voted in favor of funding municipal naloxone bulk purchasing programs in order to help reduce the amount of overdose deaths.
“I care deeply about my constituents and communities, and my priorities for this budget encompassed both state-wide issues and issues occurring in my district. I supported a number of my colleagues’ amendments that I could see will be beneficial for Western Massachusetts as well. My priorities and interests in the budget were local aid, education funding, veterans, and elder affairs,” said Senator Humason.
Several amendments sponsored by Senator Humason were supported and adopted into the budget including:
· #135 - $142,000 for a new asphalt recycler and other road maintenance equipment for the town of Southwick
· #288 - $87,500 for improvements to technology in the Easthampton public schools
· #293 - $15,000 for improvements to the playground at Highland Elementary School in Westfield
· #296 -$50,000 for improvements to the biology laboratory in Wilson Hall at Westfield State University
· #308 - grants the Massachusetts School Building Authority to contribute more than 80% of school construction costs to districts in receivership
· #626 - $40,000 shall be expended for the war memorials in the town of Russell, Southampton, Montgomery, and Westfield
· #596.1 - $50,000 for the Harmony House of Western Massachusetts in Chicopee
· #960 - $25,000 to the City of Westfield for improvements to the Billy Bullens baseball field
· #1083 -$90,000 for an emergency generator in the town of Agawam
During the debate, Senator Humason not only rose in support of amendments, but he also rose and spoke against an amendment which would have harmed the aircraft industry throughout the Commonwealth.
As Chair of the Massachusetts Legislative Aviation Caucus, Senator Humason defended the aircraft sales tax and parts tax incentive currently in law. The 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District is home to two airports, Barnes Regional Airport and Westover Airport, as well as companies like Gulfstream and Rectrix. Gulfstream and Rectrix employ hundreds of workers and service airplanes from all over the world, bringing both job security and revenue to the district and the Commonwealth as a whole. The amendment was not adopted.
A Conference Committee will now work out the differences between the Senate budget and the version passed by the House of Representatives in April. Once the Conference Committee issues their report, the bill goes back to both the House and Senate for a vote. If they both vote favorably, the budget then goes to Governor Baker for his review and approbation. Fiscal Year 2020 begins on July 1, 2019.
Please contact the office of Senator Humason with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1415 or Donald.Humason@masenate.gov.