The House Ways and Means budget, released last week, would provide a modest boost to funding for community-based programs at the Department of Public Health. However, overall funding is well below historic levels and several programs are slated for significant cuts that would pose a threat to public health. The House will begin debate on the budget on April 28th.
Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to sign on as co-sponsor to the important amendments listed below which will address shortfalls in the DPH budget. You can find your representative’s contact information here. If you don’t know who your representative is, please click here.
For more detail on the budget proposal, click here to read our complete analysis.
Thank you for your advocacy!
MPHA Priority Budget Amendments
(Download this list here)
Amendment #342: Mass in Motion (4513-1112), sponsored by Rep. Gailanne Cariddi at $1,950,000. Mass in Motion communities are making healthier choices easier by increasing access to healthy foods; increasing opportunities for play and physical activity; creating smoke-free multi-unit housing; and leading quality improvement activities at community health centers. Mass in Motion works in 52 Massachusetts cities and towns, covering 33% of the state’s population. Federal funding that supports the program has been eliminated in the federal budget. This amendment will create a new line item and funding for the program so that the work in these communities can continue.
Amendment #1049: State Public Health Laboratory and Communicable Disease Control (4516-1000), sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez at $16,630,000. The Public Health Laboratory supports local health departments in every city and town. The State Lab is responsible for testing of samples for influenza, tuberculosis, salmonella, lead poisoning, bioterror agents, food and insect-borne diseases; training for local health departments; and response to disease outbreaks. This amendment would increase funding by $1,250,000 to strengthen quality assurance and biosafety and to improve essential IT capabilities, including real-time communication with municipalities.
Amendment #992: Public Health Critical Operations and Essential Services (4510-0100), sponsored by Rep. Benson at $20,346,607. This line item – cut 18% since FY09 – supports critical DPH services and staff across the Department, including emergency preparedness, environmental health assessments, implementation and enforcement of regulations, reducing disparities in health care, and monitoring and inspections of nursing homes, food safety, and water quality. Without the restoration of this funding, DPH will be forced to eliminate 8-10 program FTEs from the various bureaus.
Amendment #783: Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (4590-0300), sponsored by Rep. Hecht at $9,000,000. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program receives less than .05 percent of the $1 billion in tobacco revenue dollars. With an increase of $5 million, MTCP will fund additional enforcement activities; continue smoke-free housing work; add additional hours of Quitline support; and increase the number of The 84 Youth Chapters.
Amendment #1053: Youth Violence Prevention (4590-1506), sponsored by Rep. Sánchez at $2,000,000. This line item funds grants to youth programs for prevention programs on substance abuse, bullying, suicide, and teen pregnancy prevention.
Amendment #683: Youth At-Risk Program (4590-1507), sponsored by Rep. Keenan at $4,150,000. This program provides grants to Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, and some other non-profits for youth programs for prevention programs on substance abuse, bullying, suicide, gang involvement.
Amendment #529: Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Technical Corrections, sponsored by by Rep. Hecht. This amendment would fix two technical errors in the language of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, including aligning the final reporting date with the program’s timeline and consolidating two duplicative advisory bodies.
For additional information on these amendments or for other questions about state public health funding, please contact Maddie Ribble at firstname.lastname@example.org.