Town to see $13,812,515 in Chapter 70 funding, $3,327,295 in unrestricted local aid plus $815,000 earmarked for projects
BOSTON – On Monday, the Legislature enacted a $56.2 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), reconciling differences between the versions of the budget passed by the House of Representatives and Senate earlier this year. The FY24 budget provides historic levels of investment in education, housing, regional transportation, healthcare, workforce development, and more, as part of a broad strategy to grow our state’s economy and make Massachusetts more affordable, inclusive, and competitive.
Some highlights of this year’s budget include a significant local aid increase, permanent funding for universal school meals, free community college for students aged 25 or older to get their first college degree, a $1.5 billion investment in early education and care (EEC) — the largest ever annual appropriation for EEC in state history.
The state will also provide full funding for the third year of the six-year implementation plan of the Student Opportunity Act, as well as doubling minimum Chapter 70 aid from $30 to $60 per pupil.
For Tewksbury, the FY24 budget includes $13,812,515 in Chapter 70 funding, an increase of $194,940 from the FY23 budget. Tewksbury will also receive $3,327,295 in unrestricted Local Aid, an increase of $103,172 from FY23.
Additionally, the State delegation — Representative Tram T. Nguyen, Representative Dave Robertson, Representative Vanna Howard, and Senator Barry Finegold — secured $815,000 for Tewksbury projects and initiatives:
● $500,000 to municipalities hosting a Department of Public Health facility that also acts as
a department of mental health continuing care facility;
● $100,000 for survey, redesign, and reconstruction of Route 38;
● $75,000 for sidewalk installation and repairs;
● $50,000 for services provided by the Tewksbury Police Department to the state hospital;
● $50,000 for the Tewksbury Fire Department for services provided to the state hospital;
● $20,000 for heart and cancer screenings for firefighters; and
● $20,000 for wellness and heart exams for police officers.
In addition, the Tewksbury State Hospital will maintain the same number of beds as FY23.
“This budget responds to the needs of our residents and working families, with a focus on bolstering funding for vital programs, continuing assistance to those recovering from the pandemic, and making our economy stronger and more competitive,” said Nguyen. “I’m so pleased we were able to successfully advocate for funding for vital local projects.”
Howard pointed out investments in affordable and accessible quality health care, education, housing, workforce development, and support for working families.
“[This budget] will provide for a safer and more reliable public transportation system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in the town of Tewksbury,” said Howard. “I want to thank House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Michlewitz, House Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, and Senate Committee on Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues for their integral fiscal leadership, as well as the conference committee, for working vigorously to put a budget package together that meets the needs of the people and our communities.”
Finegold called out funding for first responders.
“The annual state budget is truly a team effort,” said Finegold. “The FY24 state budget represents an unprecedented commitment to supporting Tewksbury’s first responders, in addition to containing substantial funding for our roadway and sidewalk infrastructure. These successes wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership of the entire Tewksbury delegation.”
Regional earmarks include $100,000 for the Merrimack River Watershed Council’s efforts to reduce combined sewer overflows, $50,000 to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, $40,000 to Debbie’s Treasure Chest to provide aid and support to families in need, and $25,000 to the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center to provide community services to our veterans.
The FY24 Budget is on Governor Maura Healey’s desk for her review and signature.