FY2023 we will get $8,384,126, or $267,183 more (a 3.2% increase).
This alert below came this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –
Governor Signs FY23 Budget
Supports Key Municipal Aid and School Funding
And Offers Amendment to Important Retiree COLA Language
Please Thank Your Legislators and Ask Them to Accept the Governor’s Amended COLA Language July 28, 2022
Dear Osler L. Peterson,
This morning, Governor Baker signed a $52.7 billion budget, including each of the increases in municipal and school aid accounts for which the MMA has prioritized throughout the process.
The Governor also signed 153 of 194 of the outside sections of the budget and has returned a key section with an amendment for the Legislature’s consideration.
As enacted by the Legislature, Outside Section 134 would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%.
In response to concerns voiced by the MMA, specifically related to the lack of decision-making authority on a potentially large expense for municipal budgets, the Governor returned this section with amended language (for the full language, see Attachment S, Returned with Amendments, Section 134). The amended language provides that if a local or regional retirement board chooses to adopt this provision, municipalities would have the authority to accept or reject its decision. There is further clarifying language regarding situations that involve a county retirement board with more than one participating municipality. For those regional systems, 2/3rds of the participating municipalities would need to approve the higher COLA. In addition, the Governor’s amended language would provide important clarification that the potential 3-5% increase would apply only on the approved base, not the entire pension. This would eliminate some lack of clarity in the current language. The Governor’s amendments would provide critical municipal oversight for this costly provision.
The provision now returns to the Legislature, which can accept the Governor’s proposed amendment, insist on its original language, or propose different language. If the Legislature insists on its own language, or proposes different language, the provision would return to the Governor, who would have 10 days to sign or veto the provision. With formal legislative sessions ending on July 31, a veto after that date would kill the provision, an outcome that is unlikely, since the Governor is likely to support a 5% COLA for state retirees.
Please contact your legislators and ask them to accept the Governor’s amendments to Section 134 (via Attachment S).
Please also be sure to thank your legislators again for the important and significant increases in key accounts for municipal and school funding, all of which were included in the budget signed by the Governor:
$63 million (5.4%) increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, for a total of $1.23B, which is $31.5 million more than originally proposed Nearly $6B for Chapter 70 School Aid, Including doubling the increase for minimum aid districts from $30 per pupil to $60 per pupil
$440M for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an increase of $67M from FY22
$5.5M for Rural School Aid
$45M for PILOT for state-owned land, a 29% increase from FY22
$20M transfer from FY22 surplus for the Community Preservation Trust Fund
Posted onJuly 18, 2022|Comments Off on MMA on state budget – more for Medfield
Email today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –
LEGISLATURE SET TO APPROVE $52.7B FY23 BUDGET, WITH MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL & SCHOOL AID
• LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET INCREASES UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID BY $63M (5.4%) – A WIN FOR CITIES AND TOWNS! • INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $485.2M ABOVE FY22, FUNDING THE STUDENT OPPORTUNITY ACT ON ITS ORIGINAL (PRE-COVID) SCHEDULE • DOUBLES NEW FUNDING TO MINIMUM AID DISTRICTS TO $60 PER STUDENT • INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $89.2M • INCLUDES $441M TO FUND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER • ADDS $10M TO PILOT, BRINGING THE PROGRAM TO $45M • INCLUDES $5.5M FOR RURAL SCHOOL AID • INCLUDES $82.1M FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION • ADDS $20M TO STATE’S COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT MATCH
Last night, Sunday, July 17, the fiscal 2023 state budget conference committee released H. 5050, the House-Senate compromise budget bill. The House and Senate have scheduled formal sessions for Monday, July 18, and both chambers are expected to pass the measure at that time. The Governor will then have 10 days to approve the spending appropriations and proposed law changes, veto, or return any items with amendments. That will give lawmakers several days to consider overriding any vetoes before formal sessions end on July 31.
Following months of state tax collections exceeding expectations, the $52.7 billion fiscal year 2023 state budget plan reflects an agreement between Senate and House leaders to increase tax collection estimates for fiscal year 2023 by $2.66 billion, with $1.9 billion available for the general budget after statutorily required transfers. As a result, all key local aid accounts received the higher funding levels in areas where the Senate and House needed to resolve differences.
In a major win for cities and towns, the Legislature’s budget bill increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $63 million (5.4%), a major priority pushed by MMA throughout the budget deliberations. This will double the municipal aid increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. In addition, the budget would also significantly increase Chapter 70 school aid over fiscal year 2022, bringing the total to nearly $6 billion. The budget includes a $67 million increase for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an additional $89 million for Charter School Mitigation payments, and an increase of $10 million for Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes for state-owned land (PILOT).
You can find the Chapter 70 and UGGA amounts for your community in Section 3 of H. 5050, beginning on page 302 of the downloadable PDF (see the link below this line).
Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) In a major win for local government, the conference committee report includes $1.23 billion for Unrestricted General Government Aid (line item 1233-2350 and section 3), an increase of $63 million, or 5.4%, over the fiscal 2022 level of funding, which is double the $31.5 million increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. Increasing UGGA has been a key MMA priority throughout the process. With property taxes tightly capped by Proposition 2½, cities and towns rely on state revenue sharing to provide municipal and school services, ensure safe streets and neighborhoods, and maintain vital infrastructure. These services are fundamental to our state’s economic recovery, success and competitiveness. Unrestricted General Government Aid is the revenue sharing program that cities and towns receive to fund essential municipal services.
Chapter 70 The Legislature’s budget would fund Chapter 70 aid at nearly $6 billion, representing a commitment to fund the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) according to the original intended schedule, a solid achievement given the initial disruption caused by COVID’s economic disruption. In addition to keeping the commitment to fund the SOA, the Legislature recognized the challenges facing 135 “minimum aid” districts that would have received only a $30 per student increase over the previous year under the budget filed by the Governor in January. MMA applauds the Legislature for doubling the minimum aid increase to $60 per student.
Special Education Circuit Breaker H. 5050 provides $441 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012), which reimburses school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities. This amount reflects an increase of $67 million over the current fiscal year. The Student Opportunity Act expanded the circuit breaker by including out-of-district transportation, to be phased in over three years. The fiscal 2023 budget reflects years two and three of the schedule in the Student Opportunity Act, achieving full funding one year ahead of schedule.
Charter School Mitigation Payments To address charter school mitigation payments, H. 5050 includes $243 million for charter school mitigation payments (7061-9010), which represents an increase of $89.2 million over the current fiscal year. This funds the state’s statutory obligation for charter school mitigation payments as outlined in the Student Opportunity Act, pushing the state to phase in the plan by fiscal 2023, a full year ahead of schedule.
School Transportation The Legislature’s budget level funds regional school transportation at $82.1 million, representing a reimbursement rate of 85% of DESE’s estimated costs for FY23. H. 5050 fully funds the McKinney-Vento account for transportation of homeless students at $22.9 million, and level funds out-of-district vocational transportation at $250,000.
PILOT Funding Recognizing the importance of Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land, H. 5050 increases the line item to $45 million (a $10 million increase over fiscal year 2022). This has been a key priority for many years. Low PILOT funding has created a significant hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property, and this 29% increase is very welcome news, and will provide an important boost.
Rural School Aid Rural School Aid (7061-9813) is funded at $5.5 million in H. 5050, providing rural school assistance to eligible towns and regional school districts. These grants will help schools facing the challenge of declining enrollment to identify ways to form regional school districts or regionalize certain school services to create efficiencies.
Outside Section – Retiree COLA Provision Section 134 of the budget would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%. While MMA appreciates the concern driving this provision, we opposed this section due to the potential negative impact on unfunded pension liabilities. Most communities in the state participate in regional pension systems, and do not have direct decision-making authority regarding adoption of a higher COLA. Adoption of a higher COLA, even if limited to one year, would permanently increase the pension obligations for all participating communities, requiring increased annual appropriations to fund the cost. We encourage local officials to contact their retirement boards to discuss the financial implications of adopting a higher COLA for fiscal 2023.
Outside Section – Community Preservation Act Section 174 of H. 5050 directs the comptroller to transfer $20 million of the fiscal year 2022 budget surplus to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. This provision would increase the state’s match from an estimated 35% to 43%, approximately the same state match percentage as fiscal year 2022. The number of CPA communities has reached 187, and this budget item will benefit cities and towns that have adopted higher local property taxes to address environmental and housing challenges.
THE LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET IS GOOD NEWS FOR CITIES AND TOWNS Please call your Representatives and Senators and thank them for the important and much-appreciated municipal and school investments that are included in the Legislature’s budget bill. This has been a tumultuous time for state and municipal finances, and the Legislature is advancing a spending plan that invests in communities, which is much appreciated.
If you have any questions or need additional information on any municipal aid priority, please contact MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at 617-426-7272 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website
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Comments Off on MMA on state budget – more for Medfield
The Lt. Gov. was giving her last speech to the municipal leaders this morning at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting. She got emotionally choked up at the end as she said goodbye to us for the last time. Tomorrow we hear from Gov. Baker, Sen. Markey, and Sen. Warren. The MMA annual meeting went from being in person to virtual (and free) in about a week. Both Polito and Baker are former Select Board members, so they are especially liked.
Speaking to 500 local leaders from across the state this morning during the virtual MMA Annual Meeting, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced that the fiscal 2023 state budget the administration plans to file next week proposes to increase Unrestricted General Government Aid by $35.1 million, or 2.7%.
The increase would match the consensus state revenue growth forecast announced last week, but the MMA is pointing out that the forecast fails to account for record-breaking tax collections in fiscal 2021 and so far in fiscal 2022. …
Posted onOctober 25, 2021|Comments Off on HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES $3.65B SPENDING PLAN FOR ARPA AND STATE SURPLUS
From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –
HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES $3.65B SPENDING PLAN FOR ARPA AND STATE SURPLUS
October 25, 2021
Dear Osler Peterson,
Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means announced a $3.65 billion spending plan that draws from two revenue sources: the state’s multi-billion dollar fiscal 2021 surplus and its allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The House proposal (H. 4219) targets seven major categories: housing, environment and climate change mitigation, economic development, workforce, health and human services, education, and food insecurity. House members have until 3 p.m. on Tuesday to file amendments, and debate is scheduled to begin on Thursday. After the House approves its proposal, the Senate is expected to offer its own bill in the coming weeks.
The following are the highlights of H. 4219:
Housing The $600 million proposed for housing programs includes targeted investments in supportive housing production, public housing maintenance, homeownership assistance, the CommonWealth Building Program, and affordable housing production.
Environment and climate The bill includes $350 million for environmental infrastructure and development spending, with a focus on environmental justice communities. Targeted investments include Marine Port Development and Offshore Wind, environmental infrastructure projects aimed at bolstering communities’ climate resiliency, water and sewer infrastructure improvements, greening the Gateway Cities, and upgrades to state parks and recreational facilities. Of the $350 million, $100 million would go to low-income, environmental justice and urban communities to improve climate resiliency. A $100 million water and sewer infrastructure component also prioritizes projects that support environmental justice populations and those disproportionately impacted by the public health emergency.
Economic development With $777 million allocated for economic development, the House proposal includes a $500 million investment in the Unemployment Trust Fund, aid for the recovery of the cultural sector of the economy through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, funding for the YouthWorks summer jobs program, tax relief for small businesses, and money to help close the digital divide and assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees.
Workforce The bill would focus $750 million on workforce issues, including $500 million for premium pay bonuses for essential workers who worked in-person during the state of emergency, as well as funds for the Workforce Competitive Trust Fund and career technical institutes and vocational schools.
Health and human services The bill targets relief for financially strained providers, such as hospital and nursing facilities, and investments in workforce initiatives, behavioral health programs, technical infrastructure for community health center improvements, prison reentry grants, and community-based violence prevention.
Education The House proposal seeks to address disparities in public school facilities, including $100 million for HVAC grants to be distributed through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the guidance of the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council. Additional education investments include higher education capital projects, the endowment incentive program, special education needs, and pathways to educator licensure for Black, indigenous, and people of color.
Food insecurity The bill includes $78 million to address food insecurity, focusing on infrastructure grants.
Posted onJuly 12, 2021|Comments Off on State $ support to Medfield up $127K next year
Email received today from the Division of Local Services (DLS), a part of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue:
FY2022 Preliminary Cherry Sheets Estimates
The FY2022 Conference Committee Report was released on Thursday July 8th and approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate Friday July 9th. As a result, DLS has updated the preliminary cherry sheet estimates to reflect these new funding levels. The preliminary cherry sheets can be found on the DLS website.
Click here for Preliminary Municipal Cherry Sheet Estimates or here for Preliminary Regional Cherry Sheet Estimates.
If you have any questions about the preliminary estimates, please contact the Data Analytics and Resources Bureau at email@example.com.
Comments Off on State $ support to Medfield up $127K next year
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.