Earlier, this week the House completed work on its version of the FY16 state budget. With the state facing a $1.8 billion budget deficit for the year ahead, the House budget is very tight. The original budget proposal, released two weeks ago, included a significant increase for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), an important program that helps people access stable affordable housing. The House also adopted several important budget amendments earlier this week, including an increase in the Youth-At Risk line item and the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault line item, both of which fund important violence prevention programs.
While we did not succeed in passing all of our priority amendments, we built tremendous support and momentum behind several important programs, including funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and the Mass in Motion Program. This was accomplished though incredible work of our partner organizations working in the State House and in communities across the state. We now turn our attention to the Senate budget, which will get underway in just two weeks – and we need you to be involved! If we can build upon the momentum developed over the past few weeks, we are confident we can win more victories in the Senate. Please stay tuned to learn more about how you can support funding for important public health programs during the Senate budget debate.