Yesterday, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its $47.6 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2022.
WBUR reports that, “Senate President Karen Spilka said the budget bill ‘seeks to put us on a stable fiscal footing and build a more inclusive and resilient commonwealth for all of us.’
“ ‘If the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic aftershocks have frayed the fabric of our commonwealth, this budget takes on the important but sometimes invisible work of stitching that fabric back together,’ ” Spilka told reporters.
The Senate’s proposal for early education and care includes more funding than Governor Charlie Baker’s FY22 proposal, but less than the House budget.
All three FY22 budgets are well below FY21 state budget appropriations for early education and care.
As the Senate committee’s executive summary explains, budget highlights include $9 million to cover parent fees through the end of calendar year 2021 (line item 3000-1044) and $10 million for preschool expansion in underserved areas (Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative line item 3000-6025).
The Senate proposal does not fund a rate reserve for early educators (line item 3000-1042), nor does it fund the workforce development initiative (3000-7066).
“The budget plan also draws $1.55 billion from the state’s Stabilization Fund — also known as the ‘rainy day’ fund. The sum ensures the state maintains healthy reserves for years beyond the pandemic…”
“Legislative leaders are planning to decide how to spend the $4.5 billion in federal pandemic aid separately, rather than lump that money into the state’s 2022 fiscal year budget plan.”
Senators have until Friday, May 14, 2021, at 2 p.m. to file amendments to the budget. The Senate will debate these amendments starting on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. For more information check out our budget webpage or contact Titus DosRemedios at firstname.lastname@example.org.