Monthly Archives: May 2021

Senate W&M budget released

SENATE W&M COMMITTEE OFFERS $47.6B FY22 BUDGET WITH KEY INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL & SCHOOL AID 

• INCLUDES THE FULL $39.5M INCREASE IN UGGA
• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $220M ABOVE FY21,FUNDING THE STUDENT OPPORTUNITY ACT ON SCHEDULE
• INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $31.7M• ADDS $46M FOR STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND SUMMER SCHOOL GRANTS
• INCLUDES $389M TO FUND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER• ADDS $1M TO McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS OVER FY21
•ADDS $4M TO PILOT 

May 11, 2021 

Dear Osler Peterson, 

Earlier today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee advanced a $47.6 billion fiscal 2022 state budget plan to the full Senate for consideration later this month. The plan would increase overall state expenditures by 2.6% over the current year’s budget, and reflects a 4.3% increase over the Governor’s January budget proposal. The SW&M budget matches the 3.5% increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) in the Governor’s and House budgets, would significantly increase Chapter 70 school aid, and includes $40 million in a one-time grant program targeting student enrollment decline. 

The full Senate will start debate on the FY22 budget on Tuesday, May 25, and Senate members must file all budget amendments by 2 p.m. on Friday, May 14. The Senate usually considers over 1,000 amendments during budget debate week. 

The SW&M budget would increase funding for other major aid programs by adding $220 million to Chapter 70 aid over FY21; $37 million in additional funds for Charter School Mitigation payments, and an additional $1 million for McKinney-Vento transportation for homeless students. To acknowledge student enrollment declines due to the public health emergency, S. 3 would set aside $40 million in a one-time reserve account to assist districts impacted by the decline, as well as $6 million in one-time grant funding for summer school and student mental health support. The proposal would also provide an increase of $1 million for public libraries and $1 million for regional public libraries. S.3 also proposes a $4 million increase for the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land account. 

Later Today or by the End of the Week, You Can Use This Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the Senate Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services 

You Can Link to the SW&M Committee’s Budget Here 

Chapter 70

The Senate Ways & Means budget would increase Chapter 70 aid by $220 million over FY21, bringing the total to $5.503 billion. S. 3 would fund the “goal rates” originally set forth in the Student Opportunity Act, which set a seven-year schedule that was to begin in FY21 but was sidelined last year due to the public health emergency. To get back on track, the MMA joined with other education advocates to ask the Legislature to fund Chapter 70 at an SOA implementation rate of one-sixth rather than one-seventh in order to return to the intended schedule. The House-Senate local aid agreement included a commitment to fund the Student Opportunity Act increases at one-sixth. S. 3 includes a one-time provision, introduced in the Governor’s budget and supported by the MMA, that would allow municipalities to use a portion of their school district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) federal grant award toward the increase from last year in their required local contribution. The House did not include this language. 

Rural School Aid
Rural School Aid is funded at $3 million, reinserting an important account for rural school districts, especially those struggling with declining enrollment. The Governor funded this account at $1.5 million, half of the FY21 appropriation, and the House did not include the line item. 

Special Education Circuit Breaker
S. 3 provides $387.9 million, including approximately $15 million funds carried over from the previous year, for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, reimbursing school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities at the statutorily required 75% reimbursement rate. This reimbursement rate, as well as the inclusion of costs associated with out-of-district transportation, reflect obligations outlined in the Student Opportunity Act. The total appropriation is higher than the budgets offered by the Governor and the House. 

Charter Schools
To address charter school mitigation payments, S. 3 includes $149.1 million to reimburse school districts at 75%, the rate set forth in year one of the Student Opportunity Act implementation schedule, for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools, which is $5 million below the House budget. The MMA points out that charter school finance presents a major challenge to many districts, in a number of cases negating the increases districts realize in Chapter 70 aid. 

School Transportation
The Senate Ways and Means budget decreases regional school transportation to $78.6 million. The House budget was higher at $82 million. The Senate Ways and Means budget would increase transportation for homeless students under McKinney-Vento by $1 million over FY21, to $14.4 million. Out-of-district vocational transportation is level-funded at $250,000. 

PILOT Funding Increased
Recognizing the importance of Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOTS) for state-owned land, the Senate Ways & Means Committee increased the line item to $35 million (a $4 million increase over FY21). The Governor’s budget had recommended level-funding at $31 million; the House increased the account to $33 million. Underfunding PILOT over the years has created a significant hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property. 

Shannon Grants, Cybersecurity, and Library Aid
S. 3 includes level-funding for the Shannon grants for gang violence prevention and intervention, and includes critical funding for the Mass Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, which provides important outreach and training programs for municipalities. The accounts for public libraries and regional public libraries would each see an increase of $1 million, matching the House proposal. 

SUMMARY
It is clear that Senate leaders are prioritizing K-12 funding, unrestricted municipal aid and other increases for cities and towns, as they advance an agenda to ensure stability during a time of uncertainty. The local funding aid agreement reached by the Joint Ways and Means Committee last month, including commitments to UGGA, Chapter 70, and the acknowledgement of school enrollment challenges, creates a more stable budget-setting process for cities and towns in the weeks and months ahead. This progress is deeply appreciated. During the budget debate and legislative session, the MMA will work to build on this progress, and will continue to advocate for full funding of the education funding priorities outlined in the Student Opportunity Act, fixing the serious problems caused by the current charter school system, securing higher Chapter 70 minimum aid increases, achieving full funding for all municipal and school reimbursement programs including transportation accounts, and providing higher PILOT funding. 

Please Call Your Senators Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget. 

Please Explain How the Senate Ways and Means Budget Would Impact Your Community, and Ask Your Senators to Build on this Progress During the Budget Debate. 

Annual Town Meeting – Monday at 5PM

2021 Annual Town Meeting

The 2021 Annual Town Meeting will be held on the turf field at Medfield High School on Monday, May 17, 2021, at 5:00 PM.

The yellow covered booklet with all the warrant articles was mailed to all households, or you can download that booklet’s material from the town’s website here

NB – rain date is on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 5:00 PM.  

PROTECT TEEN DRIVERS

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PETERSON | Law
Osler “Pete” Peterson
617-969-1500
May 2021
Attorney Photo

Parents Key to Safe Teen Drivers

Every parent knows that feeling of dread when handing over car keys to a teenager. Rightfully so, as the number one threat to a teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with a teen driver. The good news: Research shows teens actually listen to their parents more than peers when it comes to driving. Thus, parents can play a significant role in protecting teen drivers from serious injury or death. Leading by example, driving with your teen, understanding the eight danger zones, and creating a parent-teen driving agreement – all covered in this month’s newsletter – are a great place to start. Continue reading.

teens in car
Protect Teen Drivers This Summer with Our Safety Tips

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever

School’s out with fever
School’s out completely


Summer mania – as immortalized in this iconic 70s teen anthem by rocker Alice Cooper – is almost here. Along with it will come a flood of teen drivers anxious to hang out with friends, start summer jobs and make up for all those good times lost to COVID-19 restrictions. Many challenges here for parents, but especially motor vehicle crashes – the leading cause of accidental death for teens. READ MORE


BY THE NUMBERS
6-a-Day

Six teens 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle crash injuries and are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than older drivers. READ MORE


VIDEO BOOKMARK

Best Vehicles for Teens

Best choices, good choices ranging from $5,000 to nearly $20,000 from IIHS and Consumer Reports. VIEW VIDEO


TEENS DRIVING DISTRACTED
Young adult and teen drivers are most at risk for distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE
 

THE DOCKET
GET TOWN OF MEDFIELD INFORMATION AT MY BLOG

Missing Person – Elm Street area

Missing Person

Town of Medfield , Emergency Alerts

  • Sent 05/06/2021 13:44 EDT

The Medfield Police Department is currently looking for Evan Lautz, a 23 year old resident. He is described as a white male, brown hair, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build. He was last seen wearing jeans, gray boots and a gray Northface jacket, in the area of Elm Street in Medfield. If located, please contact the Medfield Police Department at 508-359-2315.

Thank you.

Where in Medfield?

Residents leaving certain town employees a message.

Fringe tree at MSH should bloom soon

The highly unusual fringe tree at the Medfield State Hospital should bloom soon. The fringe tree is in front of the first row of buildings, just across the internal road from the grand front green that sweeps up from Hospital Road. Years ago there were two smaller fringe trees at the MSH near the front gate, but they unfortunately were cut down when DCAMM installed security trailers at that gate.

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img 20140531 125607 358

Transfer Station stickers available

May 01, 2021

2021-2023 TFS STICKERS ARE AVAILABLE NOW


 MEDFIELD TRANSFER STATION

You can now use our On-line Service for Transfer Station Permits 2021-2023… Read on