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UPDATE: Tewksbury Set to Receive Record Funds for Education, Roads, Ambulance, and Livingston Street Improvements In New Budget

Sep 03, 2019 01:44AM

Governor Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2020 Budget

Boston, MA – With increased state assistance for education, roads, and improvements to Livingston Street and the Tewksbury Fire Department Governor Baker approved the FY20 budget voted on and advocated for by Representative Robertson, Nguyen, and Senator Finegold. The House of Representatives voted unanimously, and the Senate concurred with only one voting in opposition, with Governor Baker signing off on final approval with no rejections.

“I always promised a local focus, to bring back state funding to the district where it's needed most. That's why I am so pleased with this budget,” said Representative Robertson. “We increased local aid to local schools like Tewksbury by about $270 million dollars, with Tewksbury Public Schools receiving $13.3 million directly. This is a locally focused budget, yet focuses on some broader issues like continuing to fight the opioid epidemic and improving the MBTA performance. We fought for better services right in our district, supporting our residents, and investing in a better town. I think the delegation did excellent this budget, and will continue to be champions for local issues.”

Local budget amendments for Tewksbury, championed by the delegation, included money to assist Tewksbury in purchasing an ambulance for complete town coverage, and for safety improvements to the Livingston street recreational field sidewalks, parking lots, and pathways. The delegation was also successful in earmarking state funding to reimburse the town for emergency services rendered to the state hospital population. Unrestricted general aid, which allows the town to spend on locally decided priorities also increased, with Tewksbury receiving approximately $3 million dollars in direct assistance from the state, as well as road repair assistance clocking in at $921,389.

I am proud to join my colleagues in the State Legislature in voting for a carefully negotiated budget with a focus on investments toward improving funding for education, the environment, housing, and resources to combat the opioid epidemic in our communities. I am especially grateful for the collaboration with my colleagues in the Tewksbury delegation to obtain local earmarks for the Livingston recreation area and our public safety services.” said Representative Nguyen upon passing of the budget in the chamber.
In addition to individual requests for Tewksbury, the FY20 supported many other local and state priorities, including $150 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to continue providing addiction recovery, and $50 million dollars to help preserve assisted living and nursing facilities for recovering senior citizens. Educational aid increased $270 million dollars statewide, including money to help alleviate waiting lists at vocational schools across the Commonwealth. Public Housing Authorities altogether received a $5 million dollar increase, to $72 million in an effort to fight the shortage of public housing available for seniors, veterans, and those with disabilities. 

My number one priority for this budget was public education funding, and specifically to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker,” said Senator Barry Finegold. “I’m very proud that we increased public education spending by the largest amount in twenty years and that we’ll be fully funding the circuit breaker. For too long, parents of children with special education needs have been pitted against other parents in the district to compete for limited resources for their children. We need to provide every single child in Massachusetts, regardless of zip code, income, or ability, with the best education possible. I’m also thrilled to fund deserving projects locally, including improvements to Livingston Street and the purchase of a new ambulance for the town of Tewksbury.”
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