The House and Senate finalized a joint budget, which each passed on Wednesday, July 8. The budget passed by the House and the Senate included notable increases for the 8th Suffolk District. The governor had until July 11 to consider the budget.
The Boston Landmarks Orchestra, an organization that provides many services throughout Boston in addition to the free summer performances put on at the Hatch Shell each summer, was a grant recipient. The Landmarks Orchestra received a $75,000 grant for the purpose of covering the cost of the significantly increased security at the Hatch shell that the State Police require in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy.
“I was pleased to see that the Conference Committee included this crucial line item in their budget recommendations,” said State Rep. Jay Livingstone, who filed and advocated for the amendment on the House side of the budget process with Sen. Anthony Petrucelli pressing the issue on the Senate side. “The Boston Landmark Orchestra not only offers children free education and outreach programs across the city, but also offers a unique and captivating experience for audience members at the Hatch Shell who come from all over the state and the world.”
Cambridgeport also made some strides in the budget including the grant of $150,000 for continued exterior restoration and window replacements for the 1818 Powder House on Magazine Beach, the oldest building in the Charles River Basin. Petrucelli and Livingstone jointly pushed for this allocation, as well.
Funds were also allocated to the Charles River Conservancy for the purpose of completing environmental remediation of a portion of the Lynch Family Skate Park, known as “the Apron”. The Skate Park is underway and is expected to open in early November.
In addition to local issues, the budget also provided funding for many statewide priorities for the District and Rep. Livingstone. These include:
- Earned Income Tax Credit Increase – will assist 415,000 working families who benefit from the credit
- Early Education funding to eliminate the waitlist — $12 million (or funding for approximately 2500 kids)
- Massachusetts Legal Aid — $17 million ($2 million increase from FY15)
- Massachusetts Cultural Council — $14.16 million (over $2 million increase from F15)
- Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (for low income families) — $90 million ($17.9 million increase from FY15)
- HomeBase (household program for low income families — $31.2 million ($5.3 million increase from FY15)
- Department of Conservation and Recreation staff
- Homeless Youth
- New substance abuse treatment pilot programs – over $10 million new funding