Category Archives: Legislature

DLS on state aid this year

From DLS about the state aid for our current fiscal year that started 7/1/2020 –

Baseline FY21 UGGA and Chapter 70 Information Now Available

Dear Local Official,

I am writing to share that information about Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) and Chapter 70 education aid is now available on the Division of Local Services website.

While critical information from the federal government is still needed in order to finalize a full fiscal year budget for the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature are committing to no less than the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) level of funding for UGGA and Chapter 70 education aid as a baseline amount for FY21 funding.

The FY21 funding commitment also includes Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107 million in aid over FY20. This increase comes in addition to approximately $450 million in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic.

Please click here to view the UGGA and Chapter 70 amounts for each municipality. Local officials with related questions can email


Michael J. Heffernan
Secretary of Administration and Finance

State aid level funded

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –





July 30, 2020

After months of uncertainty regarding the size of the state’s fiscal crisis, state leaders today announced a framework for protecting the two main sources of local aid in the state’s fiscal 2021 state budget. According to a statement issued by A&F Secretary Michael Heffernan, the Governor and Legislature are committing to no less than level funding of Unrestricted General Government Aid and Chapter 70 education aid as the baseline amount for fiscal 2021 funding for each community.

Because of the difficulty in projecting tax collections, unanswered questions about whether the federal government will provide fiscal relief, and the unknown impact that the coronavirus will have this fall, the Legislature has enacted a bill to continue with a temporary budget through October 31. The state had previously adopted a one-twelfth budget through July, and has added a 3-month extension. This will give lawmakers and the Administration more time to gather information and shape their budget plans.

Knowing that local officials need firm information on local aid and school funding in order to finalize their municipal budgets, the state’s top leaders have joined together to provide guidance to cities and towns, and the news is good for communities.

In an alert issued via the Division of Local Services, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that House and Senate leaders and the Governor would be protecting the two major local aid accounts, UGGA and Chapter 70, from cuts as they set the state’s fiscal 2021 budget later this fall.

They announced that the $1.13 billion Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) program will be level funded at fiscal 2020 amounts for all communities, and that all cities and towns will receive at least level funding of their Chapter 70 education aid. Some school districts will receive school aid increases due to inflation and enrollment under the current formula. In total, Chapter 70 school aid will increase by $107 million, bringing that account up to $5.28 billion.

Click here to download the topline local aid UGGA and Chapter 70 numbers for each community and school district, as released by DLS this afternoon.

Local officials with questions about the numbers can email DLS at

The Governor-House-Senate framework closely matches the MMA’s request to state leaders, which the association delivered earlier this week. MMA has asked state leaders to protect local aid from cuts by preserving aid at fiscal 2020 levels at a minimum.

Please click here to read MMA’s July 27 letter to state leaders.

MMA immediately applauded the local aid framework, issuing the following statement:

“This is very welcome news for cities and towns in every corner of Massachusetts. With the state facing a budget shortfall of between $6 billion to $8 billion due to the COVID-19 recession, local leaders have been very concerned about the potential impact on local aid. Today, the Governor, House and Senate have demonstrated that the state-local relationship is a true partnership. “By protecting local aid during this crisis, the state will maintain vital financial support for cities and towns. With this key financial guidance, communities can finalize their fiscal 2021 budgets, allowing them to continue their work fighting the coronavirus pandemic and delivering the essential quality-of-life services that drive our economy. This framework will benefit every resident and business in the Commonwealth, and we are deeply grateful to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, Speaker DeLeo, President Spilka, House and Senate Budget Chairs Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and their colleagues in the Legislature.”

MMA Zoom meeting


I attended at noon today a meeting of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Massachusetts Select Board Association (NB – MSA changed its name this year from “Selectmen”).  Bleak news about the state budget and the financial aid we will get from the state next fiscal year starting July 1 – may be down 20% this coming year.  The legislative delegation is coming to the Select Board meeting next Tuesday to personally share the bad news.

The only good news was at the end of this slide –

State Revenue and Budget Outlook
• Legislature has Announced that the Fiscal 2021 Budget Process is Delayed
• Administration & Legislative Budget Writers Held New Revenue
Hearing to Revisit Revenue Forecast, with $4B to $6B Shortfall Estimated
• State Budget Process Unclear (Joint Budget? Temporary Budgets?)
• GOOD NEWS … $3.5 Billion in the State Rainy Day Fund should Help to
Mitigate Fiscal 2020 Revenue Shortfalls (and Increased Expenditures)
• GOOD NEWS … Massachusetts Received $2.67 Billion from the Federal
CARES Act to Pay for Unexpected/Unbudgeted COVID-19 Expenses

MMA on virus legislation


Legislature Enacts Bill to Facilitate Municipal Governance and Budgeting During COVID-19 Emergency

Governor to Sign the Bill Today


April 3, 2020


Last night, the House and Senate enacted a key bill to assist cities and towns with a broad range of governance and budgeting issues during the COVID-19 emergency. This act has an emergency preamble, and will take effect immediately when signed by the Governor, which is expected today. The MMA worked closely with lawmakers and the Baker-Polito Administration on these measures, and deeply appreciates the passage of these important provisions.


The Division of Local Services will have a major role in implementing the finance provisions in the bill, and will be issuing a Bulletin to cities and towns with further details within the coming days. DLS has been a key source of information and guidance during the emergency, and MMA appreciates all of their efforts.


Please click here to download the text of the bill:



The following is MMA’s summary of the key sections of An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19:

  • Town Meeting Delay Beyond June 30. Allows Town Meetings to be delayed beyond June 30 if Governor has declared a state of emergency related to public health or safety. (Section 1).
  • Recess and Continuance of Town Meeting. Allows the Moderator to recess and continue an already-called Town Meeting during (and until 5 days after) a public health, safety or weather emergency for up to 30 days, renewable for up to 30 days at time during the emergency, but not to a date more than 30 days following the rescission of the state of emergency. If a town does not have a moderator, the Select Board may recess and continue Town Meeting accordingly. A public safety or public health official designated by the Select Board shall submit a report to the Attorney General providing justification for the recess and continuance. These changes are effective as of March 10, 2020. (Sections 2, 3 and 4).
  • Adoption of Temporary Fiscal 2021 Budgets. If Town Meeting is unable to adopt an annual budget by June 30 due to a declared emergency, the Select Board shall notify the Director of Accounts at DLS, and the Director may approve expenditures from any appropriate fund or account of an amount sufficient for the operations of the Town during the month of July of not less than 1/12 of the total budget approved in the most recent fiscal year, pursuant to a plan approved by the Select Board, with such authority continuing for each successive month that the emergency prevents the adoption of a budget by Town Meeting. (Section 5).
  • Use of Free Cash and Undesignated Fund Balances. If a Town is delayed from adopting an annual budget due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Director of Accounts may authorize the Town to appropriate (for use in fiscal 2021) from the available undesignated fund balance or free cash certified by DLS as of July 1, 2019, including undesignated fund balances in enterprise funds or special revenue accounts. (Section 6).
  • Amortization of Fiscal 2020 Deficits. Allows cities and towns to amortize its fiscal 2020 deficit resulting from the COVID-19 emergency over fiscal years 2021 to 2023, to be funded in equal or more rapid installments, such amortization to be adopted prior to setting the fiscal 2021 tax rate. (Section 7).
  • Use of Revolving Funds. Allows cities and towns that are unable to adopt their fiscal 2021 annual budget due to the COVID-19 emergency to expend amounts from revolving funds not to exceed the authorized expenditure in fiscal 2020. The legislative body shall vote on the total amount to be expended from each revolving fund when the annual budget is adopted. (Section 8).
  • Tolling Required Action on “Chapter” Lands. Suspends the time period that municipalities are required to act, respond, effectuate or exercise an option to purchase Chapter 61 forest land, Chapter 61A agricultural land, or Chapter 61B recreational land until 90 days after the governor’s March 10, 2020 emergency declaration is terminated. (Section 9).
  • Option to Delay Property Tax Due Date to June 1. Allows the municipal chief executive to delay the due date for municipal property tax bills to June 1. (Section 10).
  • Option to Waive Interest and Penalties for Late Payments. Allows the municipal chief executive to waive the payment of interest and other penalties on late payments that were due after March 10, 2020 and paid before June 30, 2020, for any excise, tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill, or other charge added to a tax. (Section 11).
  • Non-Termination of Services to Residents Due to Late Payment. Cities and towns shall not terminate an essential service of a resident, including water, trash collection or electricity, for nonpayment of taxes or fees due on or after March 10, 2020 and paid after the due date but before June 30, 2020, if the nonpayment resulted from a demonstrated inability to pay due to the COVID-19 outbreak or the March 10, 2020 emergency declaration by the governor, provided that the inability to pay shall include a demonstrated financial hardship of a resident, including but not limited to loss of employment, serious illness or death of someone within the home. (Section 11).
  • State Income Tax Deadline Delayed. Postpones the deadline for filing Massachusetts state income tax returns and payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. (Section 12).
  • Sale of Alcohol by Take-Out Restaurants. Allows restaurants licensed to sell alcoholic beverages on-premises may sell sealed containers of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption as part of take-out food transactions. (Section 13).
  • Facilitating Return to Service by Retirees. Allows state and municipal employees to return to work for the state or a municipality regardless of mandatory retirement ages or a statutory limit on hours worked and earnings received, to help with workforce needs. Those on disability retirement are not eligible. (Section 14).
  • Remote Meetings for Shareholder Corporations. Allows public corporations (private shareholder entities) to hold annual or special meetings of shareholders remotely for up to 60 days after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency. (Section 15).
  • Provisions for Nonprofit Corporations. Allows nonprofit entities (incorporated under Chapter 180) to conduct or postpone necessary business and meet remotely for up to 60 days after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency. (Section 16).
  • Tolling Municipal Requirements on Permits and Quasi-Judicial Public Meetings and Hearings (the “constructive approval” issue). Tolls required municipal actions on permits until 45 days after the termination of the COVID-19 emergency, and no permit shall be considered granted, approved or denied, constructively or otherwise due to the failure of a permit granting authority to act within timelines that would otherwise be in effect. This section also clarifies that permit granting authorities may conduct meetings and public hearings remotely during the COVID-19 emergency, consistent with the Governor’s March 12 Executive Order regarding the Open Meeting Law. This section also applies to the conduct of public meetings, public hearings or other actions taken in a quasi-judicial capacity by all local boards and commissions during the emergency declaration by the governor. (Section 17).

Rep. Garlick’s Report to the Community is 1/30

Email today from Representative Denise C. Garlick –

Representative Denise C. Garlick announces her annual report to the Town of Medfield:


Dear Friends-


I hope that you and all you love are having a wonderful start to 2020. As the State Representative for the 13th Norfolk District, it is an honor to represent the people of Needham, Dover and Medfield and I am proud of our Towns and our Commonwealth.


I am writing to invite you to an annual Report to the Community

which I will present at the


Medfield Public Safety Building


on Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 7:15 – 8:30 PM.


The main topics will be a review of the work and events of 2019, and a preview of 2020.


The evening’s schedule will include a Reception (7:15-7:30), Report (7:30-8:00), and Questions and Discussion (8:00-8:30).


I hope you will be able join us. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any question or concern. With your support, I look forward to continuing this work.




Denise C. Garlick

State Representative

Rep. Garlick invites all to her report on 1/31

20190131-rep.garlick.medfield flyer


Hi Pete.

I hope this finds you well! As you may know, Rep. Garlick’s Report to the Community is coming up on Thursday, January 31st.

Please feel free to share this on your blog if you would like!  A flyer is attached for your convenience and here is the information:

All are welcome to Representative Garlick’s annual Report to the Medfield Community Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 7:15 – 8:30 PM at the Medfield Public Safety Building.

The main topics will be a review of the work and events of 2018, and a preview of 2019.

The evening’s schedule will include:

  • Reception (7:15-7:30)
  • Report (7:30-8:00)
  • Questions and Discussion (8:00-8:30)

Additional Information available at and by contacting Rep. Denise Garlick, State House, 617-722-2200, Boston, MA.

Anne Weinstein

District Director 

Office of Representative Denise C. Garlick

State House, Room 33

Boston, MA 02133


REPRES EN TATIVE DENISE C . GARLICK 13TH NORFOLK DISTRICT NEEDHAM. DOVER. MEDFIELD Olsler Peterson 10 Copperwood Rd Medfield, MA 02052 tn4~ filnmmnnfu~alf4 nf Jllitmn1ar4uz~ffz ~nus:e nf ~:epr:es:enfafhrns ~fof:e ~nuz:e, ~nsfan n2133, 1D54 CHA IR J OINT C OMMITTEE ON M ENTAL H EALTH. S u esTANCE U se AND R ecovrnv STATE HOUSE. ROOM 33 TEL. (617) 722-2060 Email: De nise .Garlic Deary. C?.JL_ ,, Happy healthy New Year to you and yours! As your State Representative for Medfield (Precincts 1 & 2), I am pleased to once again invite you to the "Representative's Report to the Community: 2018 the Year in Review and 2019 the Year in Preview." As you.~ Repres".!ntative, I am actively engaged in the establishment of public policy, the deveI6pment of the budget for our communities and the Commonwealth, as well as a myriad ~f issues and concerns: .~oth municipal and personal to the residents of Medfield. )tis with a great"sense ofrespo~sibility and accountability that I am "reporting back" to· the community of Medfield • ~ • • .. I ; • Our.format for the· evening is as follows: Medfield Public Safety Building 112 North Street Thursday, January 31, 2019 7 :15pm-8:30pm 7:15 pm-7:30 pm Reception 7:30 pm- 8:00 pm Report 8:00 pm -8:30 pm Qmstions and Dismssion Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I honor your service· to the wonderful community of Medfield, and I am grateful for our wo~J

MMA legislative breakfast

The Massachusetts Municipal Association holds legislative breakfasts to allow municipal officials to interact with their legislators.  I attended one this morning at the Christa McAuliffe Library in Framingham and the room was chock full of metrowest legislators.


I now see that my water bottle had prime placement.  The photo shows about a third of the attendees.

To my left was Representative Bruce Linsky (Natick and Sherborn) who said that Natick and Wellesley are being deluged by Open Meeting Law requests by some gadfly who is taking up way too much time of the town hall workers, and that some corrective legislative action will be needed.  I asked him to include allowing we selectmen to communicate by email on platforms where all our emails would appear in an on-line page in the town’s website, similar to a posted meeting, but the use of the emails would allow more efficient handling of the town’s business and the public could read the entire exchange (similar to listening to an in person meeting).

Senator Eldridge, to Linsky’s left, reported that:

  • education reform almost got out of the conference committee;
  • land use litigation will happen soon; and
  • 82 communities have now passed plastic bag bans and we are close to a tipping point that will allow passage of a state ban.

Senator Hannah Kim talked about need for more parking at transportation (MBTA) sites and proposing an income tax deduction for farmers who donate produce that alleviates food insecurity.

Rep. Carmen Gentile (Sudbury) is seeking to make the home rule action that allowed Sudbury to give real estate property tax relief to its seniors for the past three years to any town that wants to opt in.  BTW, I called and got that Sudbury material and I will organize and share it soon.

Lexington Selectman Michelle Ciccola, who is soon to be a state rep., wants to see the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) to get better funded.

Rep. Kate Hogan was concerned about a litany of issues, and I mainly noted about transportation.

Our own Rep. Denise Garlick was not there, but was represented by Anne Weinstein, her Director of Constituent Services (out of the frame to the right).

Selectman Dan Matthews of Needham and I both told the legislators that towns need more revenue.  I shared my idea to have the auto excise tax be based on the car’s fair market value, which would likely triple our ca. $2 m. revenues (the statute mandates a steep decline in the car values by year).

MMA on state budget

This today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, with a good summary of the state budget issues –





June 7, 2018


Dear Osler Peterson,


Now that the House and Senate have each passed their own versions of next year’s fiscal 2019 state budget, the next step is for a conference committee to iron out the differences and present a balanced budget for adoption by July 1.


While both budgets would increase municipal and school aid, there are significant differences between the branches, especially in funding for essential K-12 education accounts. It is imperative that you contact your legislators today and ask them to support the full appropriations, and make municipal and education aid a top priority.


Earlier this morning, the MMA delivered a detailed letter to the conference committee emphasizing the key local aid accounts that need to be funded at the highest possible level. Please call your legislators today and ask them to support the highest possible funding amounts for these municipal and school aid programs.


Please click here to download a copy of the MMA’s letter, so you can read and reference it when you speak with your legislators


The House and Senate budgets would both add to the municipal and school aid recommendations made by the governor in January, which is good news. When you talk with your local legislators, please thank them for making local aid a priority during the budget process this year, and ask that they contact conference committee members in support of the highest possible funding for municipal and school aid.


Millions of dollars are at stake: if the conference committee agrees on full funding by adopting the higher number for municipal and school aid accounts, this would return over $75 million more to cities and towns, compared to the funding that would result from adopting the lower number.


Here is a summary of the key priorities for cities and towns:


Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA)

The House and Senate both appropriated $1.099 billion for the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) account, an increase of $37.2 million over the fiscal 2018 level of funding. The 3.5 percent increase reflects the policy of increasing general municipal aid at the rate of growth in state tax collections reflected in the consensus tax forecast. This policy has been adopted by the Governor and the House and Senate since fiscal 2016, and is supported by the MMA. The good news is that the $37.2 million UGGA increase has already been agreed to by the House and Senate!


Chapter 70 School Aid and Local Contributions

The House funds the basic requirements of Chapter 70 education aid (7061-0008 and section 3), adopts provisions to continue to implement the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission, phases in target share funding for those communities where the local contribution exceeds the target share amount, and funds minimum aid at $30 per student. This would provide a Chapter 70 increase of $124.6M – which is significantly higher than the $103.6M increase in the governor’s budget proposal.


The Senate budget builds on the House approach by closing 100% of the target share gap and establishing an enhanced English language learner (ELL) foundation budget factor. These two changes would provide a Chapter 70 increase of $160.6M, or $36M more than the House. The MMA is supporting the Senate funding level.


Both the House and Senate would supplement Chapter 70 by providing $12.5 million to provide assistance to communities impacted by changes in how low-income students are counted. They do this in different accounts. What matters is that the final budget maintain the $12.5 million.


Special Education Circuit Breaker

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate’s full funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker Program at $319.3 million, through which the state provides a measure of support for services provided to high-cost special education students. This is critically important.


Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate appropriation of $100 million for Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments (7061-9010). This reflects an increase of $19.5 million above the current fiscal 2018 level of funding. This is a vital account for those communities impacted by charter schools.


Charter School Impact Analysis and Accountability

Please ask your legislators to support sections 61 and 62 in the Senate bill, which would bring a much-needed level of accountability related to state decisions to approve new and expanded charter schools that would include an assessment of the impact on local public schools.


Regional School District Student Transportation

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate appropriation of $68.9 million to reimburse regional school districts for a portion of the cost of transporting students.


McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Transportation

Please ask your legislators to support the House appropriation of $9.1 million for this account to reimburse municipalities and school districts for a portion of the cost of transporting homeless students as required under state and federal rules.


Payment in Lieu of Taxes on State-owned Land

Please support the Senate appropriation of $28.5 million to pay a portion of the payment-in-lieu-of taxes amount due to cities and towns to offset the property tax exemption for state-owned land. We support the additional $1.7 million set aside in the Senate appropriation language to ensure that Cherry Sheet PILOT payments next year are not reduced below the fiscal 2018 level due to the revaluation of state-owned land that takes effect next year.


Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program

Please support the Senate level of funding of $8 million for the highly effective and valuable Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program that has helped cities and towns respond to and suppress gang-related activities.


Reserve Fund for Municipal Improvements

Please support the House appropriation that would provide $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance Fund (DLTA) that helps support local efforts to regionalize local government services. Please support the Senate appropriation that includes $2 million to support the Community Compact Cabinet program to facilitate the adoption of municipal best practices in cities and towns.


Community Preservation Act

Please support sections 45, 46, 47, 142, 143 and 196 of the Senate bill which would strengthen the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by updating the Registry of Deeds fee schedule to provide adequate revenue to restore the state match to an estimated 30 percent.


Municipal Police Training Fund

Please support sections 13, 14, and 70 in the Senate bill that would create a $2 surcharge on each rental car transaction in the Commonwealth to help fund an expanded police training program.


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at 617-426-7272 ext. 122 or


Thank you very much!

Cherry Sheet for FY19

Historically, for the 18 years that I have been a selectman and therefore watching with interest the state budgets unfold, so I can learn what Medfield will get in state aide, I have noticed that we have always received more monies from the state Senate than in either proposals from the Governor or the House, but not this year.

It looks like our increase in state aide over last year will be about $62K.  Hardly enough to help with all our cost increases – the state continues to transfer to our property taxes the cost of running our town, by virtue of the state’s declining financial support of towns over time.

Below is the Cherry Sheet projection of where we will end up on state aid for the next fiscal year.


Senate budget recommendations out

The Massachusetts Senate has issued its budget recommendations, which this year are lower that the House numbers (usually they are higher from my memory).  Unfortunately for Medfield, state revenue sharing with cities and towns continues on a downward trajectory, so that more of municipal costs msut be paid for off our property taxes.  This alert this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association with its summary –








May 10, 2018

Dear Osler Peterson,

Earlier today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee reported out a $41.4 billion FY19 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3 percent. The SW&M plan is $61 million more than the budget filed by the Governor in January and $97 million less than the budget voted by the House last month. The full Senate will debate the FY19 spending plan starting May 22.

S. 4, the S W&M budget bill, provides significant progress on many important local priorities, including the full $37 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and cities and towns are counting on. The SW&M budget would increase funding for other major aid programs by adding $38 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $20 million for charter school impact mitigation payments, adding $1 million to Regional School Transportation, and increasing Chapter 70 aid by $148 million more than the FY18 level.

Please Click this Link Now to See the Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community

Later Today or Early Tomorrow – Click on this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the House Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services


In a continuing good news story for cities and towns, the SW&M budget plan would provide $1.1 billion for UGGA, a $37.2 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker and voted by the House. The $37.2 million would increase UGGA funding by 3.5 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 3.5 percent.


The Senate budget committee is proposing to increase Chapter 70 education aid by $147.7 million above current fiscal 2018 levels. This is $44.1 million higher than the increase in the Governor’s recommendation, and $23.5 million more than the budget passed by the House in April), with a provision that every city, town and school district receive an increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). The SW&M budget would continue to implement the target share provisions enacted in 2006 and would do so on a more accelerated schedule than proposed by the Governor and voted by the House. Further, the SW&M proposal would build on formula changes proposed by Governor and voted by the House to start addressing shortfalls in the foundation budget framework, by increasing the cost factors for school employee health benefits and for English Language Learners (ELL).

Please ask your Legislators to support a funding increase for Chapter 70 school aid that ensures that all schools receive a suitable and appropriate increase in fiscal 2019, which the MMA targets at $100 per student. The MMA also strongly supports implementation of all of the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission to update the Chapter 70 “foundation budget” minimum spending standards for special education and employee health insurance, and to add to the spending standard a measure of recognition for the cost of services for low-income, English Language Learner (ELL) and other students who would benefit from more intensive services. The Commission recommended phasing in the changes over a four-year period, a position the MMA supports as well. Increasing minimum aid and fixing the inadequacies in the foundation formula are essential.


In S. 4, Senate leaders have made clear that they support increased funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program with the intent to reach full funding next year. The SW&M plan would provide $318.9 million, a $27.7 million increase above the Governor’s proposed FY19 level of $291.1 million, and $37.7 million more than the $281.2 million FY18 level. This is a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services.


The Senate Ways and Means Committee budget would add $1 million to bring regional transportation reimbursements up to $62.5 million. The MMA will work to continue building on this increase to get to full funding.


The SW&M budget would provide $100 million to cover charter school impact mitigation payments, compared to the Governor’s recommendation to level fund the program at $80.5 million and the House plan to increase funding to $90 million. While the SW&M increase is certainly welcome and appreciated, both legislative proposals remain below the amount necessary to fully fund the statutory formula that was originally established to offset a portion of the funding that communities are required to transfer to charter schools. The FY18 funding level is currently $73.4 million below what is necessary to fund the reimbursement formula that is written into state law. An expanding shortfall would lead to the continued and growing diversion of Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96 percent of public school children. Solving the charter school funding problem must be a major priority during the budget debate.


The Senate budget committee’s proposal would increase PILOT payments by $1.7 million to ensure that no city or town loses PILOT aid next year, add $540,000 to library grant programs, add $500,000 to METCO, and level fund McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $8.1 million.The SW&M budget would level fund Shannon Anti-Gang Grants at $6 million.

Please Call Your Senator Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget – Which Increases Direct Municipal and School Aid Accounts by More Than the Governor’s Budget

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

Thank You!