Massachusetts State Senate Concludes Debate on FY2020 State Budget

On May 23, the Massachusetts State Senate concluded debate on its FY2020 state budget. For a table showing the final funding amounts for CHAPA's budget priorities, click here.

During budget debate, the Senate approved additional funding for several of CHAPA's budget priorities through amendments:

  • Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316) - The Senate approved $1 million in additional funding for RAFT, with $500,000 dedicated for families and individuals who are at risk of injury or harm due to domestic violence in their current housing situation. Thanks to RAFT amendment sponsors Senators DiZoglio, Eldridge, and Jehlen and all the co-sponsors for supporting RAFT. 
     
  • Foreclosure Prevention & Housing Counseling (7006-0011) - The Senate approved $800,000 more to support foreclosure and housing counseling grants. Thanks to Senator Eldridge for sponsoring this amendment and to all the co-sponsors.
     
  • Home & Healthy for Good (7004-0104) - The Senate approved $500,000 more for Home & Healthy for Good to support a statewide supportive housing pilot program for chronically homeless individuals. Thanks to Senator Feeney for sponsoring this amendment and to all the co-sponsors.
     
  • HomeBASE & Emergency Assistance (7004-0101) - The Senate passed Senator Chang-Diaz’s amendment that will help better understand the impact of HomeBASE and its effectiveness for families in helping them avoid homelessness.

The Senate also adopted two amendments to provide additional support for communities that have enacted the Community Preservation Act (CPA). The Senate approved Senator Creem's amendment to increase revenue for the CPA Trust Fund. The amendment calls for a $30 increase to most recording fees at the Registries of Deeds, which would raise an estimated $36 million in additional revenue for CPA. That increase would more than double the base percentage match for all 175 CPA communities beginning in November of 2020.

The Senate also passed Senator Tarr's amendment to authorize up to $20 million from the state’s budget surplus to be transferred to the CPA Trust Fund. If a surplus is available at the end of the fiscal year, this transfer will avoid a record-low CPA Trust Fund distribution in November 2019.

Thanks to Senate President Karen Spilka and Senator Michael Rodrigues for their leadership on the Senate FY2020 budget and for their support for affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development resources. Thanks also to all the sponsors and co-sponsors for amendments on CHAPA’s priorities!

The House and Senate will now work to reconcile the differences between their respective proposals before sending a final budget to the Governor for his signature.