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Your Tewksbury Today

Legislature Passes $39.15 Billion Spending Plan As Calendar Turns To New Fiscal Year

Jul 03, 2016 07:25AM ● By Theresa Gilman

State Semator Barbara L'Italien

(Editor's Note: this information was provided by Senator L'Italien's Office.)

BOSTON – On June 30, the Legislature passed a $39.15 billion budget (FY17) that includes local funding for municipal improvements, nonprofits that serve vulnerable and under-served residents, and economic development in Lawrence, Andover, Tewksbury and Dracut.

Facing worsening state revenue projections for the fiscal year that begins Friday, a House-Senate Conference Committee reached a final accord on the new spending plan early this afternoon.  The panel of three senators and three representatives ultimately cut $750 million in projected revenue and $413 million in proposed spending that both branches had agreed to in April and May.

Gov. Charlie Baker now has 10 days to review the budget before signing or announcing vetoes.  He said he will spend the coming weekend reviewing the plan.

Here’s how the Second Essex and Middlesex Senate District fared:

TEWKSBURY

Camp Pohelo: $20,000

Tewksbury Fire Department: $90,000 for municipal improvements to reimburse the town for the cost of the fire department responding to Tewksbury State Hospital.

Tewksbury State Hospital: Maintaining services and the number of beds from last year.

LAWRENCE

Municipal Staffing Grant Funding: Staffing Grants that have traditionally been awarded to the City of Lawrence have been maintained at the same level as FY16.

Food for the World: $25,000

Lawrence/Methuen Community Coalition for Merrimack Valley Family Services: $25,000 for English as a second language classes; college preparation classes; high school equivalency testing; and citizen classes for low-income adults.

New England Veterans Liberty House: $75,000

E for All Spanish Program (E Para Todos): $25,000

Delamano Inc: $10,000 for community outreach on domestic violence

Greater Lawrence YMCA: $20,000 for child abuse prevention programs

Haven for Hope: $10,000 for community outreach in Methuen and Lawrence

Salvation Army: $15,000 for youth and community services programs in Lawrence

The Psychological Center: $50,000

Arlington Community Trabajando: $50,000 for ACT Lawrence Inc. for community development initiatives, affordable housing, foreclosure prevention, first-time home-buyer education, family literacy and business and youth development.

Beyond Soccer: $10,000 for health, athletic and leadership programming for low-income youth.

Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund: $50,000 citizen education, application assistance, English as a Second Language classes and computer training for low-income adults.

Methuen Arlington Neighborhood Association Inc: $50,000

Lawrence Partnership: $50,000 to facilitate public and private economic development collaboration.

Casa Dominicana: $50,000 to assist with citizenship, high school equivalency testing and English as a second language classes for low-income adults.

DRACUT

Dracut Public Safety improvements: $100,000 to be administered by the Town of Dracut.

ANDOVER

Andover Mill District: $100,000 for economic development and planning for the town’s historic mill district.

Berry Pond/Harold Parker State Forest: $84,500 to reopen and staff Berry Pond.

“This was a very tough negotiation and a lot of hard decisions had to made, but I believe we were successful at plugging the statewide deficit while still making critical investments in cities and towns,” said Sen. Barbara L’Italien, who represents the communities of Lawrence, Andover, Tewksbury and Dracut.  “All of us in the Lawrence delegation worked incredibly hard to come through for the many nonprofit organizations that do so much for our most vulnerable and underserved residents.  I am so pleased that we were able to come through for these important programs while also delivering funding for organizations in the city that are working to promote economic development and support small businesses, such as the Lawrence Partnership and Entrepreneurship for All.”

Sen. L’Italien also was able to work closely with State Representative Colleen Garry (D-Dracut) to secure $100,000 for Dracut public safety that is to be shared among the town’s police and fire departments at the discretion of local leaders.  She also was successful for the second consecutive year of pushing through an amendment providing $90,000 to the Tewksbury Fire Department as compensation for responding to service calls from Tewksbury State Hospital, which she worked closely with State Representative Jim Miceli (D-Tewksbury).

 “I credit Rep. Garry and Rep. Miceli for their partnership in Dracut and Tewksbury, respectively. This funding for Dracut and Tewksbury will go a long way to help with critical public safety needs in both communities. This is a team effort, and I’m proud we were able to secure funding for Dracut and Tewksbury, and maintain critical services to Tewksbury State Hospital” said Senator L’Italien.

"I stand with my fellow colleagues of the Lawrence legislative delegation in celebrating the securing of crucial Fiscal Year 2017 Budget funding toward important programs such as, among others, Entrepreneurship for All, the Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund, Inc. and Casa Dominicana,” said state Rep. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen. “I am also greatly pleased to see my sponsored amendments for funding toward The Psychological Center, the Salvation Army Bridging the Gap program and Delamano Inc. included."

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in voting to approve the FY2017 budget,” said state Rep. Marcos Devers, D-Lawrence.  “We are proud to culminate the budget process on time despite the latest financial challenges.  Our legislature has been amazingly efficient in approving a balanced budget that provides vital allocations to keep and improve government services and duties to residents of the Commonwealth.”

“Under such a limited budget this coming year, I’m especially thankful that my colleagues in both the Senate and House recognizethe fundamental importance of supporting key local Lawrence organizations like Casa Dominicana, Arlington Community Trabajando, and the Lawrence Family Development Fund,” said state Rep. Frank Moran, D-Lawrence. “And I additionally thank them for supporting youth in the Merrimack Valley by providing funds to establish a Youth Center in Lawrence. I’m encouraged that Governor Baker will agree with us.”

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