$500,000 mitigation fund to be split two ways
Today, Senator Barry Finegold and Representatives Tram Nguyen, Dave Robertson and Vanna Howard, who represent Tewksbury, informed town leadership that the Massachusetts Senate voted to reinstate funding for the town of Tewksbury in the FY24 state budget.
“The town of Tewksbury and Tewksbury State Hospital have worked together effectively for many years,” said Finegold. “The town has demonstrated a need for additional state funding to strengthen this partnership and support the community. I am grateful to my colleagues in the legislature for advocating so effectively for these funds and to Tewksbury Police and Fire for working so diligently on behalf of the community.”
Tewksbury will now receive part of a $500,000 mitigation fund designed to compensate municipalities for the costs of hosting high-need facilities that are jointly operated by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health. The fund will be split between Tewksbury State Hospital and Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamacia Plain, with the exact division to be determined by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
“I was glad to work with my colleagues in the state delegation to secure significant funding to support the town of Tewksbury and the Police and Fire Departments,” said Nguyen. “They have responded to hundreds of emergencies at the State Hospital. We are grateful for their service to patients, hospital workers and the general public. This funding will be of great benefit to the community.”
The State Hospital houses the Massachusetts Public Health Museum and draws visitors to Tewksbury while providing open space and walking trails. But patient programs at the facility can be a drain on first responders.
“The Tewksbury State Hospital provides sober living, detox and rehab facilities and relies daily on Tewksbury Police and Fire Departments for assistance — in 2022, 658 emergency responses!” said Howard. “Tewksbury public safety funding is critical and necessary for the protection of our patients, hospital workers and the public. I’m grateful to my colleagues in both the House and Senate for their fierce advocate for our community.”
The Massachusetts House overrode the veto on Sept. 27, with the House and Senate concurring today.