Legislature Passes Spending Bill with a Focus on Supporting Those Most in Need

Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to pass a supplemental budget that makes crucial investments to support the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents including the families of those killed in the line of duty.

The spending bill contains $300,000 to begin the process of regulating the recreational marijuana industry following the passage of an initiative petition this past fall. It also doubles the benefit for first responders killed in the line of duty, bringing the total to $300,000 to provide support for their families.

“As public officials it is our job to look out for those facing adversity, especially our younger residents and those battling addiction,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “As we encounter uncertainty on a national level, this bill will provide vital resources for these individuals and families. I’m particularly proud that we’ve bolstered financial support for the families of Massachusetts heroes who are killed in the line of duty.”

“This supplemental budget will continue to invest in and fund vital programs for the residents of Cape Ann and for those all around the Commonwealth as we keep a watchful eye on the state’s revenues and the Federal budget process,” said Ferrante. “Massachusetts continues to show its commitment both to those in vulnerable situations and those who have made extraordinary sacrifices for the residents of the Commonwealth, as we double the benefit for families of our first responders who are lost in the line of duty.”

The House continues to provide record-level funding to confront the behavioral health and substance addiction challenges plaguing Massachusetts. This legislation invests more than $2.8 million for the Department of Mental Health. It also provides support in numerous ways to help vulnerable populations including:

  • More than $5.2 million for the Department of Children and Families;
  • Nearly $11 million for the Department of Developmental Services which will help than 464 individuals;
  • About $4.5 million for the Department of Elder Affairs;
  • About $21 million for emergency homelessness assistance;
  • More than $31 million to provide legal representation for those who cannot afford it including youths and those with mental health problems.

The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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