News Briefs

Legislature Passes Spending Bill

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and State Rep. RoseLee Vincent joined their 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.

“As public officials it is our job to look out for those facing adversity, especially our younger residents and those battling addiction,” said 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.” “As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, I would like to commend Chairman Dempsey and Speaker DeLeo for their leadership in restoring some of the most critical funding to our state’s budget,” said Vincent.  “As a legislature, we have a duty to ensure that there are resources available to ensure our elders, our children and those who are facing homelessness are able to live a healthy life.  This supplemental budget will do just that.”

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 spending bill also doubles the benefit for those killed in the line of duty, bringing the total to $300,000 to provide support for their families. The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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