Below is a press release from State Rep. Dave Robertson:
BOSTON, MA — With municipal leaders formulating budgets for the coming FY21 for the state’s cities and towns, the House of Representatives unveiled a budget utilizing the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” to ensure local government services and education cuts weren’t made in the face of uncertain federal support. With budget in previous years by Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Governor Baker and the legislature saving 7.3% of the state’s annual operating cost, the fund is seemingly paying off as other states around the country shutter essentials such as RMV’s and unemployment offices, as well as local aid. In Massachusetts local aid will be level-funded at FY20 levels, plus inflation, so towns will not cut back on education, public safety, and other locally utilized departments.
“Both towns are discussing how to return to school and Tewksbury is set to vote on the plans soon,” said Representative Robertson following the announcement. “This fund grew thanks to our previously strong economy returning revenue beyond projected growth– and the foresight by our state government to reserve this excess revenue for a downturn means that our schools and towns will receive the aid they need to continue operating without detriment to police, fire, or teachers.”
Agreement over the proposal occurred between both House and Senate leaders, as well as the Governor and Treasurer. Inflationary adjustments will result in an additional $1,023,847 for Tewksbury schools and $824,260 for Wilmington. This money is in addition to the previous earmark of $125,000 per town for COVID-decontamination equipment for schools and town buildings secured by Representative Robertson. Congressional debate over education and local government relief, while gaining popularity, has stalled over debate.
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