The House and Senate yesterday enacted a closeout fiscal 2023 supplemental budget that was quickly signed into law by Gov. Maura Healey.

The compromise bill had been released on Nov. 30 by a legislative conference committee that was tasked with ironing out differences between versions passed by the House and Senate last month.

The legislation includes $250 million to address the emergency shelter crisis, with $50 million set aside for an overflow shelter site and $75 million targeted for school funding relief related to the shelter crisis. The law requires the administration to report on its spending of the shelter funds every two weeks.

In addition to the shelter crisis funding, the law includes $75 million to address extraordinary cost increases for special education in eligible school districts, in response to a decision made last October by the Operational Services Division allowing out-of-district special education private schools to increase tuition by 14% in fiscal 2024.

The law also includes a section to address costs associated with administering early voting and mail-in voting, providing $5 million for grants from a reserve account to be issued by the secretary of state. The law also schedules the state’s 2024 primary election on Sept. 3.

The law includes $15 million for disaster relief for municipalities affected by storms and natural disasters in 2023. It also authorizes municipalities to amortize, over fiscal 2025 through 2027, costs incurred as a result of recent natural disasters, an important mechanism for impacted communities.

The law includes several of the municipal finance law changes that were included in a supplemental budget bill filed by the governor in March, a top priority of the MMA. Of note, the bill would provide important clarity on the process for spending and accounting for opioid settlement funds.

The bulk of the spending in the bill, $2.12 billion, is for MassHealth fee-for-service payments.

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