Category Archives: State

Final budget #s from state

Division of Local Services (DLS) of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has released the final state aid amounts based on the recently passed and signed state budget.

Our total state aid monies are up about $130,000 over the $7,822,174 received last year.

 

MA Department of Revenue Division of Local Services Final Municipal Cherry Sheet Estimates Data current as of 07/26/2018 C.S. 1-ER Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue FY2020 NOTICE TO ASSESSORS OF ESTIMATED RECEIPTS General Laws, Chapter 58, Section 25A Medfield A. EDUCATION Distributions and Reimbursements Chapter 70 6,288,744 School Transportation 0 Charter Tuition Reimbursement 0 Smart Growth School Reimbursement 0 Offset Items - Reserve for Direct Expenditure: School Choice Receiving Tuition 0 Sub-Total, All Education Items: 6,288,744 B. GENERAL GOVERNMENT: Distributions and Reimbursements Unrestricted General Government Aid 1,539,280 Local Share of Racing Taxes 0 Regional Public Libraries 0 Urban Revitalization 0 Veterans Benefits 17,234 Exemp: VBS and Elderly 42,087 State Owned Land 47,799 Offset Items - Reserve for Direct Expenditure: Public Libraries 17,504 Sub-Total, All General Government: 1,663,904 C. TOTAL ESTIMATED RECEIPTS: 7,952,648 C.S. 1-ER Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue FY2020 NOTICE TO ASSESSORS OF ESTIMATED CHARGES General Laws, Chapter 59, Section 21 Medfield A. COUNTY ASSESSMENTS: County Tax 118,917 Suffolk County Retirement 0 Essex County Reg Comm Center 0 Sub-Total, County Assessments: 118,917 B. STATE ASSESSMENTS AND CHARGES: Retired Teachers Health Insurance 0 Mosquito Control Projects 67,021 Air Pollution Districts 4,845 Metropolitan Area Planning Council 6,810 Old Colony Planning Council 0 RMV Non-Renewal Surcharge 5,060 Sub-Total, State Assessments: 83,736 C. TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITIES: MBTA 288,069 Boston Metro. Transit District 0 Regional Transit 0 Sub-Total, Transportation Assessments: 288,069 D. ANNUAL CHARGES AGAINST RECEIPTS: Multi-Year Repayment Program 309,996 Special Education 3,760 STRAP Repayments 0 Sub-Total, Annual Charges Against Receipts: 313,756 E. TUITION ASSESSMENTS: School Choice Sending Tuition 45,620 Charter School Sending Tuition 0 Sub-Total, Tuition Assessments: 45,620 F. TOTAL ESTIMATED CHARGES: 850,09820190731-cherry sheet-MuniFinalBudget175_2020_Page_2

MMA analysis of state budget

ALERT TODAY FROM THE MASSACHUSETTS MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION ABOUT THE BUDGET –

We will get more that was originally proposed by either the Governor, the House or the Senate.

MMA-3

 

LEGISLATURE’S CONFERENCE COMMITTEE RELEASES FISCAL 2020 STATE BUDGET WITH MORE FUNDING FOR MANY LOCAL AID ACCOUNTS

 

HOUSE AND SENATE INCREASE KEY EDUCATION AND MUNICIPAL AID ACCOUNTS BY $128M ABOVE THE ORIGINAL BUDGET FILED IN JANUARY

 

PLEASE CONTACT THE GOVERNOR TODAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL AID FUNDING AND KEY MUNICIPAL ISSUES

 

July 22, 2019

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

On Sunday evening, July 21, the fiscal 2020 state budget conference committee that has been meeting since early June released H. 4000, the House-Senate compromise budget bill that is expected to be approved later today (Monday, July 22) by the Legislature.

 

Funding levels for many municipal and school aid accounts are higher in the Legislature’s final budget than in the recommendation (H. 1) filed by the Governor in January, providing $128 million more for key municipal and education programs. The Governor has 10 days to review the budget bill and make decisions on what to approve and what to veto or send back with proposed changes. Legislators will then have until the end of formal sessions in this calendar year (in November) to consider whether to accept or override those changes.

 

Please call the Governor’s office and ask that he approve the municipal and school aid accounts in the Legislature’s budget bill, including those funding levels that are higher than what he recommended in January, when the outlook for state finances was less positive than it is today.

 

You can find the Chapter 70 and UGGA amounts for your community in Section 3 of H. 4000, beginning on page 271 of the printed version of the budget, or on page 279 of the downloadable PDF.

 

Click Here for a Link to the Legislature’s Budget

 

Later this week, the Division of Local Services will notify communities of their final Cherry Sheet receipts and assessments. When available, Cherry Sheets will be posted on DLS’s website.

 

Click Here for a Link to the Division of Local Services Final Cherry Sheet

 

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

 

Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA)

In a continuing victory for cities and towns, H. 4000 appropriates $1.129 billion for the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) account, an increase of $29.7 million over the fiscal 2019 level of funding. The 2.7 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 revenue sharing policy has been adopted by the Governor and the House and Senate since fiscal 2016, and is a key priority of the MMA’s.

 

Chapter 70 School Aid and Local Contributions

In a major step forward for many communities, H. 4000 appropriates $5.176 billion for Chapter 70 school aid (7061-0008 and section 3). This is a $281 million increase over the current fiscal 2019 funding level. This will fund the basic requirements of Chapter 70 education aid, and makes progress by more aggressively implementing the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission, including higher funding for health insurance and special education costs, and significant increases in funding for communities with a high number of economically disadvantaged students. The budget continues to fund the target share provisions for those communities where the local contribution exceeds the target share level, and funds minimum aid at $30 per student. This Legislature’s budget provides a Chapter 70 increase of $68M above the amount originally proposed by the Governor in January. The community and district Chapter 70 funding levels match the distribution numbers passed in the Senate budget in May. We recognize that most communities will continue to remain minimum-aid-only districts, in spite of this impressive and appreciated statewide Chapter 70 increase, and the MMA will continue to prioritize higher minimum aid funding going forward.

 

  1. 4000 also supplements Chapter 70 by providing $10.5 million for a reserve fund to provide assistance to communities impacted by changes in how low-income students are counted. This amount is not included in the section 3 Chapter 70 distribution, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will distribute these funds to communities early in the school year, with the Legislature stating their intent that those districts that received over $500K under this program in fiscal 2019 should receive similar levels in fiscal 2020.

 

Special Education Circuit Breaker

In a significant win for cities and towns, H. 4000 fully funds the Special Education Circuit Breaker Program at $345 million. This is the program through which the state provides support for services provided to high-cost special education students. This is critically important, and represents a $25.7 million increase above last year’s general appropriations act. The Governor had proposed level-funding, and legislators in both branches proposed increases intended to move toward full funding. The final version of the budget matches the Senate’s funding level.

 

Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments

  1. 4000 appropriates $115 million for Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments, a $25 million increase over the current year. This is a big step forward in terms of overall funding, and is certainly appreciated, although the program remains significantly underfunded and charter school finance remains a major problem for many cities and towns. Winning full funding for this program and overhauling the existing charter finance scheme remains a top priority for MMA. Each year, dozens of cities and towns lose more funds to charter schools than they receive in new Chapter 70 funding, making them “net negative aid” communities.

 

Cities and towns will need to review their final Cherry Sheets to determine how much of the mitigation payment funding they will receive. The Legislature’s budget makes several changes to the overall program. First, they change the current 6-year reimbursement program (100-25-25-25-25-25) to a 3-year framework (100-60-40), apparently keeping the current cost-based approach, instead of moving to a number-of-students approach as proposed by the governor (MMA strongly supports the cost-based method). Second, they include a $7.5 million allocation to those communities whose net charter school tuition costs exceed 9% of net school spending AND whose Chapter 70 aid is a lower percentage of their foundation budget than the statewide average. Third, they include a $7.5 million allocation to be distributed by DESE to communities who have experienced high and sustained growth in charter school enrollments.

 

Again, it will be necessary to review final Cherry Sheet numbers to see how H. 4000 funds each district’s charter school mitigation needs.

 

Regional School District Student Transportation

  1. 4000 appropriates of $75.9 million to reimburse regional school districts for a portion of the cost of transporting students. This is a $7 million increase over fiscal 2019, and gets closer to the full funding target of $90 million.

 

Rural School Aid

The Legislature’s budget includes a $2.5 million account to provide one-time funding for rural schools, many of which are struggling with fixed costs and declining enrollment. H. 4000 includes language that would require DESE to make recommendations for future funding in fiscal 2021.

 

McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Transportation

  1. 4000 appropriates $11.1 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. This is an increase of $2 million over the fiscal 2019 appropriation.

 

Payment in Lieu of Taxes on State-owned Land

  1. 4000 appropriates $30 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. This is a $1.5 million increase over fiscal 2019, although some communities will still experience challenges due to changing valuations by the state.

 

Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program

  1. 4000 appropriates $11 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, a $3 million increase over the current year.

 

Community Preservation Act

The Legislature’s final budget increases recording fees at the Registry of Deeds to raise revenues for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund. This would provide an estimated $36 million in new funds to more than double the base percentage match for all 175 CPA cities and towns beginning in November 2020. In addition, H. 4000 would set aside up to $20 million from the fiscal 2019 budget surplus (if any) to supplement the matching funds that will be distributed in the fall of 2019.

 

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

 

Please Contact Gov. Baker and Ask Him to Approve the Legislature’s Local Aid Increases as Described Above.

 

Thank you very much!

This is what “safe harbor” looks like!

John Kelly’s Medfield Meadows went from being the Mega-B to being the most recent, welcomed Local Initiative Program (LIP), that gives the Town of Medfield another year of safe harbor from unfriendly 40B’s per the notice received this week from the Department of Housing and Community Development (copy attached below).  Our affordable housing – Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) – #s have increased from about 4.5% when we finally woke up, to 8.29% today including Medfield Meadows.  If the planned Rosebay on Pound Street and the Mayrock development at the Legion site are permitted, we will be very close to the 10% permanent protection threshold.  However, those threshold numbers will adjust upwards based on the 2020 census’ number of housing units in town, so we will need even more SHI to stay fully protected.

Kudos to the Affordable Housing Trust for shepherding the town to a place of safety.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Janelle L. Chan, Undersecretary June 10,2019 Mr. Gustave Murby, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 Housing Production Plan - Certification Approved Dear Mr. Murby: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) certifies that the Town of Medfield is in compliance with its Housing Production Plan. This certification is effective for a one year period beginning on May 10,2019 to May 9, 2020. This Certification of Municipal Compliance is based on the following findings: 1. Medfield has provided evidence that the required number of units described in its request is eligible to be counted towards certification. 2. The 27 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SID) eligible units in this project (Medfield Meadows SID ID # 10290 meet the number (21) necessary to satisfY a one year certification threshold. 3. The housing development is consistent with the production goals outlined in Medfield Housing Production Plan. Please note that all units must retain eligibility for the SID for the entire certification period. If units are no longer eligible for inclusion on the SID, they will be removed and will no longer be eligible for certification. This action may affect the term of your certification. I have included an updated list of SID eligible units. Medfield's current SID stands at 8.29%. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or Phillip.DeMartino@state.ma.us. Associate Director, DHCD cc Senator Paul Feeney Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield John J. McNicholas, Acting Chair, Zoning Board of Appeal 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 www.mass.gov/dhcd 617.573.1100 Medfield DHCD ID# 1890 1891 1892 1893 4360 9953 10062 10063 10221 10222 10290 6/10/2019 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CH40B SUBSIDIZED HOUSING INVENTORY Builtw/ Total SHI Affordability Comp. Subsidizing Project Name Address Type Units Expires Permit? Agency Tilden Village 30 Pound Street Rental 60 Perp Yes DHCD Allendale Dale Street Ownership 17 Perp YES DHCD DHCD The Village at Medfield Turtle Brook Way Ownership 6 Perp YES DHCD DHCD Wilkins Glen Wilkins Glen Road Rental 103 2042 YES MassHousing DHCD DDS Group Homes Confidential Rental 5 N/A No DDS The Pare at Medfield One Gateway Drive Rental 92 Perp YES DHCD Country Estates 21, 25, & 29 Hospital Rd Ownership 8 Perp YES MassHousing Cushman House aka Cushing 67 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD House 71 North Street 71 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD Hillside Village 80 North Meaows Road Rental 16 Perp YES DHCD Medfield Meadows 41 Dale St Mix 27 Perp DHCD Medfield Totals 350 Census 2010 Year Round Housing Units Percent Subsidized 4,220 8.29% Medfield Page 1 of 1 This data is derived from information provided to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by individual communities and is subject to change as new information is obtained and use restrictions expire20190610-DHCD-ltr from-Medfield HPP 2019 Cert OK_Page_2

DCAMM giving sweeter deals

From Newton Mayor Fuller’s weekly email – DCAMM gives Newton a better deal than Medfield was offered for the former Medfield State Hospital site –

 

West Newton armory

New Use for West Newton Armory
This morning I sent a request to the City Council to authorize the purchase of the West Newton Armory Building and land at 1135 Washington Street just outside West Newton Square.
The City of Newton is being presented with an opportunity both to obtain a special historic building and to increase the supply of vital affordable housing for the price of $1.00.
The Commonwealth is willing to sell the building to the City for $1.00 only if it is used for affordable housing in perpetuity, a use in which I believe deeply, and which also allows the City to control what happens to this important building.
The need for more affordable housing throughout Newton continues to persist. Some have thoughtfully asked how it came to be that the City of Newton could obtain the Armory for $1.00, but only for one hundred percent permanently affordable housing. Through our discussion with the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) representatives, we learned that there were two scenarios under which the City could take control of the Armory; however, only the scenario of one hundred percent affordable housing presented the option for the City to purchase the property for $1.00.
The other scenario would allow the City to acquire the Armory for a municipal/direct public use at a price that reflected the type of use. DCAMM has sold properties in other municipalities under this scenario at 25 percent of full and fair market value. Based on the current $4.3 million assessed value of the Armory (likely less than appraised value), Newton would pay approximately $1 million to purchase the property.
Another scenario results if the City declines the opportunity to purchase the Armory; DCAMM would then sell the property on the open market to the highest bidder.
My vision for the West Newton Armory is that the City purchase it and retain ownership (as required by the state). Then we would lease it to an affordable housing development partner who will redevelop and manage the property as 100 percent affordable housing.
I am very excited about this opportunity to add much-needed affordable housing, especially in such a unique and well-located building. I look forward to the next few years of collaboration with the honorable City Council and our residents as we work together to bring the West Newton Armory back to life.
Read my letter to the City Council with more information about the Armory HEREunder Other Communications.

 

How do we compare?

This is from the Division of Local Services (DLS) e-newsletter.  USE THE LINK BELOW TO COMPARE TOWNS – I just learned that the per capita income in Weston is $351K, which makes me want to move there and have a big family –

DLS

Databank Highlight of the Month: Updated Community Comparison Report
Donnette Benvenuto – Municipal Databank

The new and improved Community Comparison Report is now up and running. It can be found on the front page of the Municipal Databank. If you have used this report in the past, you will be in for a treat. The updated report is sleek, streamlined and very user friendly. Still drawing on 65 data elements, each of the seven easily accessible tabs on the top of the page pulls the information from multiple data sources onto one page. This provides a snapshot of your data removing the often tedious task of scrolling and scrolling found on the old report.

Using any of the 12 different search criteria on each heading refines your search across all the tabs. If you are looking to see what communities with a population between 30,000 and 50,000 with an annual budget between $50 million and $90 million, you just enter that criteria and it will carry over to each tab. Since the search criteria carries over, the Community Comparison report essentially does the work for you.

In the report you can quickly extract the most current available comparative municipal finance and demographic data for multiple communities, it eliminates the frustrating task of opening numerous spreadsheets to sort, cut and paste data to compare. A simple click and you can download your information into Excel. Please contact us if you need any help using the application atdatabank@dor.state.ma.us.

MMA on budget in Senate

The Senate actually seems more willing than the House to look at the revenue side of the equation, and seek out new revenue.

MMA-3

SENATE PREPARING FOR FY20 BUDGET DEBATE

Please Call Your Senators Today and Ask them to Support Key Municipal and School Aid Priorities!

 

May 1, 2019

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

Now that the House of Representatives has adopted their proposed fiscal 2020 state budget, all attention has turned to the Senate. The Senate Ways & Means Committee is developing a separate spending plan, and we expect to see a Senate budget committee recommendation within the next two weeks. This is the time to call your Senators to emphasize the importance of full funding for municipal and school aid priorities!

 

This is a great time to check in with your Senators – so that you can ask your Senators to contact the budget committee before the Senate Ways & Means budget is released. After the budget is released, Senators will be scrambling to file amendments, and then the debate will occur during a whirlwind of activity over 3 or 4 days.

 

The MMA testified at the joint House and Senate Ways & Means Committee’s budget hearing in Fall River on March 18, and our budget testimony provides excellent talking points on the major municipal and school aid priorities.

 

Please click here to read a copy of MMA’s budget testimony

 

Please click here to read MMA’s article summarizing the changes made by Representatives during last week’s House budget debate

 

Please talk to your Senators about these budget accounts and any others that might be a local priority.

 

Last year, there were almost 1,200 proposed amendments filed when the Senate debated the budget. The Senate Ways & Means recommendation may not be the last word on the Senate spending plan, but individual Senators will have their greatest influence from now through the end of the floor debate. That’s why it is so important for you to contact them now to discuss the budget items that matter most to you.

 

Here are some of the priority highlights to discuss:

 

UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID (UGGA) – Ask your Senators to fund the UGGA account at $1.13 billion, which would provide an increase of $29.7 million, or 2.7 percent, consistent with the “consensus” state tax revenue growth forecast. The House and Governor’s budgets do this.

 

REFORMING AND INCREASING PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING – There are a number of Chapter 70 funding issues:

 

  • Ask your Senators to implement the consensus Foundation Budget Review Commission reforms, including funding for employee benefits, special education costs, low-income students, and English Language Learners (the House provides a $218 million increase to Chapter 70, while the Governor is proposing a $200 million increase.)

 

  • Ask your Senators to end the damage caused by the flawed charter school finance system (the House is proposing $23 million more for charter school reimbursements, which is $7 million more than the Governor’s budget, but still far below full funding), and ask for a permanent solution, such as a cap on Chapter 70 diversions to charter schools, in the separate education finance bill that will be debated later in the session.

 

  • Ask your Senators for adequate minimum aid of $100 per student (the House is proposing $30 per student, and the Governor is offering $20 per student), so that no community is left behind, and all districts receive an adequate increase.

 

  • Ask your Senators to add funding to address the unique challenges facing rural schools, especially those with declining enrollment.

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER – Ask your Senators to support full funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker Program. (The House underfunds this account by approximately $15 million, while the Governor’s budget is $20 million short.)

 

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS – Ask your Senators to support full funding for: 1) reimbursements to regional school districts; 2) the transportation of homeless students under the McKinney-Vento program; and 3) transporting out-of-district vocational students.

 

PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES (PILOT) – Ask your Senators to support increased funding for the Commonwealth’s obligations and commitments to the program for Payments in Lieu of Taxes for state-owned land (PILOT), at a minimum including funds to hold communities harmless from changes in property valuation.

 

Please Call Your Senators Today to Support Municipal and School Accounts!

 

Thank You Very Much!!

$40K more for town in House budget

$40K more for town in House budget

Email today from Representative Denise Garlick to Kristine Trierweiler announces the Medfield state aid amount in the House’s Ways and Means Committee’s proposed budget that has just been released (Rep. Garlick is now the Vice-Chair of Ways & Means).

******************************************************************

I just wanted to share with you the preliminary local aid numbers for the town of Medfield:

Unrestricted Local Aid-$1,539,280

Increase of $40,468 from FY19

******************************************************************

Massachusetts Municipal Association email with respect to the proposed House budget:

MMA-3

 

HOUSE W&M COMMITTEE OFFERS $42.7B FY 2020 BUDGET WITH KEY INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL & SCHOOL AID

• INCLUDES THE FULL $29.7M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (UGGA)

• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $218M TO FUND MINIMUM AID AT $30 PER STUDENT

• INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $23M

• ADDS $16.5M RESERVE FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS

• ADDS $5M TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

• ADDS $5M MORE FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

• ADDS $1M TO McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS

• LEVEL-FUNDS MOST OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

 

April 10, 2019

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

Earlier today, the House Ways & Means Committee reported out a $42.7 billion fiscal 2020 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3 percent. The House Ways & Means budget’s bottom line closely matches the budget filed by the Governor in January, yet allocates significantly more for school aid programs. The Chapter 70 aid increase is $17.7 million higher than the amount recommended by the Governor, by increasing minimum aid from $20 per student to $30 per student, and adopting a slightly different method of implementing the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The full House will debate the fiscal 2020 state budget during the week of April 22. House members must file all budget amendments by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12. (Usually, the House considers over 1000 amendments during budget debate week.)

 

H. 3800, the House Ways & Means budget, provides progress on many important local aid priorities, including the full $29.7 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and communities are counting on. The House W&M Committee would increase funding for other major aid programs, by adding $5 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $5 million to Regional School Transportation, $1 million to McKinney-Vento reimbursements, and increasing Chapter 70 aid by $218 million more than fiscal 2019 levels.

 

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

 

By Friday or Early Next Week – 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:

https://www.mass.gov/lists/cherry-sheet-estimates

 

$29.7 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID

In a major victory for cities and towns, the HW&M fiscal 2020 budget plan would provide $1.128 billion for UGGA, a $29.7 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker. The $29.7 million would increase UGGA funding by 2.7 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 2.7 percent.

 

CHAPTER 70 MINIMUM AID WOULD INCREASE TO $30 PER STUDENT

The House budget committee is proposing a $218 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid (this is $17.7 million higher than the $200.3 million increase in House One), 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). This represents meaningful progress, yet most communities would only receive minimum aid, which is why MMA members adopted a resolution in January calling for $100 in per-student aid as a minimum increase.

 

HW&M IS PROPOSING HIGHER CH. 70 SPENDING IN FISCAL 2020, YET MAJOR SCHOOL FINANCE LEGISLATION WILL BE CONSIDERED LATER THIS YEAR, NOT AS PART OF THE BUDGET DEBATE

House leaders are committed to action on major permanent updates to the Chapter 70 school finance formula this year. However, that legislation is still before the Joint Committee on Education, and will not be ready for deliberation and debate until after the House budget moves forward. Because of this, the House Ways & Means budget is taking a one-year approach to more aggressively implement many of the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission, but is not advancing permanent law changes, which will come as part of the school finance bill. The budget committee’s proposal builds on the Governor’s fiscal 2020 submission, increasing the state’s factors for health insurance, special education, English Language Learners, and low-income students. Because the House has a slightly different methodology than the Governor, Chapter 70 calculations may be slightly different for some communities and districts (not the minimum-aid communities). Combined with higher minimum aid, these foundation calculations are the reason why the HW&M budget would provide $17.7 million more Chapter 70 aid than the Governor.

 

In addition, the House budget committee is proposing a $16.5 million reserve fund for low-income student adjustments to ensure accurate counting of low-income students and ensure that additional funds are available to fund low-income student formula changes that may come later.

 

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD INCREASE BY $23M, UP TO A NEW HIGH OF $113M

HW&M is proposing a $23 million increase in Charter School Reimbursements, bringing the program up to $113 million from the current $90 million level. This is $7 million more than the Governor’s budget, and is very much appreciated. The total is still far below full funding of the statutory formula. The budget committee is also adopting the Governor’s recommendation to change the 6-year funding schedule of 100-25-25-25-25-25 to a new 3-year 100-60-40 schedule, and make other adjustments in the program. Because there are so many factors in play, municipal leaders will need to analyze their own specific charter school tuition assessments and reimbursement amounts to see if this provides relief.

 

The MMA continues to believe that the charter school finance system is deeply flawed, and a permanent fix should include a cap on Chapter 70 diversions to charter schools. No matter what changes are made to the Chapter 70 formula, problems will continue unless a true resolution of the charter school funding problem is integrated into any reform or update of the school finance system.

 

HW&M PROVIDES $5 MILLION MORE TO SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER, GETTING CLOSER TO FULL FUNDING

The House budget would add $5 million more than the Governor, to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $328.9 million. This is progress in the right direction, because the Governor’s budget underfunded SPED reimbursements by $20 million, which means the account is still $15 million below full funding. The MMA will again be asking lawmakers to ensure full funding in fiscal 2020.

 

HW&M PROVIDES $5 MILLION MORE FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS

Gov. Baker’s budget submission would level-funded regional transportation reimbursements at $68.9 million, and the HW&M budget would provide a much-needed $5 million increase. Reimbursements for transportation of out-of-district vocational students remains significantly underfunded at $250K. Increasing these accounts is a priority for cities and towns.

 

HW&M PROVIDES $1 MILLION MORE FOR McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS

The Governor’s budget would level-fund reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students at $9.1 million, and the House budget committee would raise this to $10.1 million. The impact of this funding level will vary from community-to-community depending on the number of homeless families that remain sheltered in local hotels and motels. The state has been successful in reducing the number of homeless students who are dislocated from their original district, but those communities that continue to provide transportation to many students may continue to see shortfalls.

 

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID, and SHANNON GRANTS

The Governor’s and HW&M budgets would level fund PILOT payments at $28.48 million, which would create a hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property, and library grant programs would stay flat at $19.8 million; and Shannon anti-gang grants would increase by $1 million up to $9 million.

 

SUMMARY

In the context of a tight budget year, with revenue growth of only 2.7%, it is clear that House leaders are prioritizing K-12 education funding and other increases for cities and towns, and this is deeply appreciated.

 

During the budget debate and legislative session, the MMA will work to build on this progress, and will continue to prioritize full funding for the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations and permanent improvements to Chapter 70, fixing the serious problems caused by the current charter school funding system, securing higher minimum aid increases, achieving full funding for all state municipal and school reimbursement programs, and providing higher PILOT funding and aid for rural regional school districts.

 

Please Call Your Representatives Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the House Ways and Means Committee Budget – Which Increases Key Municipal and School Aid Accounts by $298.2 Million Above Fiscal 2019, and $45.2 Million More than the Governor’s Budget

 

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

 

Thank You!

 

 

Massachusetts Municipal Association

1 Winthrop Square

Boston, MA 02110

(617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website

 

 

 

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