MPHA Preliminary Analysis of House Ways and Means (HWM) FY20 Budget Proposal

House Ways and Means (HWM) released its $42.7 billion FY20 budget proposal on Wednesday, April 10th. The HWM budget proposal level funds the Department of Public Health core infrastructure and community programs at $437 million (with a total department budget of $666.25 million, including the public health hospital accounts).

Amendments to the proposal are due Friday, April 12th. The House will debate the proposal on the week of April 22nd.

Good News

Several of MPHA’s FY20 state budget priorities were included in the HWM budget, including:

  • $100k for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program (within 2511-0100)
  • $2.7m for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (1595-4506)
  • $4.14m for the Bureau of Environmental Health (4510-0600)
  • Level funding for the Mass in Motion Program (within 4513-1111)
  • Language supporting data transparency on MassHealth social determinants of health supports (within 4000-0500)

Needs Action

The HWM FY20 budget proposal did not include the follow priorities:

  • State Action for Public Health Excellence (SAPHE) Program (within 4510-0100), a new program to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s local public health system 
  • Closing the SNAP Gap (within 4000-0300), increasing healthy food access by streamlining the application process for benefits

The following programs were funded below MPHA’s budget request: 

  • $82m in base funding and $4m in discretionary funding for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAS) (1595-6370)–$4.5m below our request for $90.5m in base funding to increase access to transportation 
  • $110m for Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)–We are pleased to see a $10m increase from FY19, however this is number below our request for $130m to support housing stability
  • $4m for the Healthy Incentives Program (4400-1004)– below our request of $8.5m to support healthy food access

Amendments for these key programs will be filed before the Friday, April 12th deadline. 

Other Highlights

  • The HWM FY20 budget proposal does not include the new fee on vaping products and e-cigarettes or the new fee on opioid manufactures that were included in the Governor’s FY20 budget proposal
  • Includes an increase in the state’s match for the Community Preservation Act (CPA), estimated to raise $36M to support affordable housing, historic preservation and open space. 
  • Continued investment in substance use services including an additional $20 million for the Substance Use Disorder Trust Fund. Click here to view the Association for Behavioral Health’s preliminary analysis. 
  • A 2-year pilot program of the Health Policy Commission and Betsy Lehman Center to reduce pregnancy related deaths and to improve pregnancy outcomes (outside section)
  • A public health information campaign by the Department of Public Health to promote awareness of reproductive care facilities including those that provide abortions (outside section)
  • $2m in new funding for the Supporting Healthy Alliances Reinforcing Education (SHARE) grant program to assist schools with addressing non-academic barriers to student success (7061-9650)

MPHA’s HWM budget amendments action alert will be available soon.

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