MMA applauds local aid investments in Legislature’s FY16 state budget plan

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For more information, please contact MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith at (617) 426-7272

“On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association applauds the impressive investments in local aid included in the fiscal 2016 state budget that members of the House and Senate will be voting on today,” said MMA Executive Director Geoffrey C. Beckwith. “We are deeply grateful to Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Chair Brian Dempsey, Chair Karen Spilka, and the members of the budget conference committee for making local aid a top priority throughout the entire process.
“In terms of local aid, the Legislature’s budget provides strong progress on many important municipal priorities, especially the $34 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that is also supported by Gov. Baker, the largest increase in unrestricted municipal aid in over a decade,” said Beckwith. “Beyond unrestricted local aid, the Legislature’s budget will be adding more than $50 million to key municipal and education aid accounts above the amount recommended in House 1, making this an excellent budget for cities and towns.”
According to an analysis by the MMA, the local aid highlights in the budget conference committee’s fiscal 2016 state budget include the following:
• A $34 million increase in unrestricted local aid, the largest increase in over a decade
• An $18.1 million increase to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program
• $18.6 million to preserve Kindergarten Development Grants for 177 communities
• A $7.5 million increase to fund Regional School Transportation reimbursements
• A $111.2 million increase for Chapter 70 school aid, with $25 per student minimum aid
• A $3.6 million increase in charter school reimbursements (although the program   remains underfunded)
• A $1 million increase in McKinney-Vento reimbursements for transporting homeless students to school
• $1.75 million to restore funding for transporting out-of-district vocational students
• A $2.23 million increase for the METCO program
• Up to $10 million to be transferred from the year-end fiscal 2015 surplus to fund the state match under the Community Preservation Act