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  • Writer's pictureOffice of Rep. Vargas

Legislature Passes FY20 Budget with $3.7 Million Increase in Haverhill Education Funding

Updated: Jul 23, 2019


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July 22, 2019 – BOSTON – The Massachusetts House and Senate met earlier today to pass a $43.1 billion budget bill for the 2020 Fiscal Year. The budget included $58,353,924 in Chapter 70 local education aid for Haverhill, an increase of $3.7 million from last year — bringing the total Haverhill education funding for FY20 to $58,353,924. The state’s total Chapter 70 allocation is the largest increase in the past two decades.

“Chair Michlewitz, Chair Rodrigues, and their staff worked tirelessly to assemble a fiscally responsible budget that also funds our Commonwealth's priorities and needs. I was thrilled that our efforts to boost education funding resulted in a remarkable increase in local education aid for Haverhill. I was also very pleased that this budget funds the Civic Trust Fund to provide funding to districts that need support in complying with the civics education bill we passed last year” said Representative Vargas.

The budget includes Vargas amendments providing Haverhill with:

- $250,000 towards payment of the Hale Hospital Debt. Haverhill was home to the last municipally owned hospital in the Commonwealth, which was sold in 2001. The City is still paying off debt incurred during the ownership of Hale Hospital. The state funding will take some of this financial burden away from the City.

-$65,000 towards emergency shelter services at Emmaus House. Recognizing the severity of the housing crisis, “ Emmaus plays a pivotal role in our housing crisis and I’m proud to support them, especially as they continue to be viewed as the gold standard for homeless services in the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Vargas.

-$80,000 for the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, an amendment filed between Rep. Vargas in the House and Senator DiZoglio in the Senate.

-$25,000 for the Mt. Washington based group the Power of Self Education (POSE).

The budget also included amendments that Vargas successfully co-sponsored to allocate:

-$300,000 for the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center. in Haverhill filed by Representative Campbell of Methuen

- $1.5 million for the Civics Education Trust Fund to help districts implement civics courses and assignments as required by the civics bill Rep. Vargas helped pass last year.

- $10 million for the Successful and Safe Youth Initiative to increase program capacity to serve more proven-risk youth in Haverhill and other cities.

- $2.2 million for the Massachusetts Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs

The sophomore representative also successfully co-sponsored amendments that prioritize public safety. The Emerging Adults Justice Grant Program, filed by Representative Tucker of Salem, will allow nonprofits to provide education, workforce readiness, and life skills to adults 18-25 leaving correctional facilities.

“This grant program came under recommendation of the Emerging Adult Task Force and was endorsed by the Mass. Sherriff’s Association, Chiefs of Police, and a variety of violence-prevention organizations so I was happy to support it and see it included in the budget,” added Vargas.

The Haverhill Representative also successfully supported the Transitional Youth Early Intervention Probation Program.. The program will allow organizations such as Haverhill’s UTEC to provide early intervention support services to young adults on probation who are at a high risk of reoffending.

Haverhill will see additional benefits for its nursing homes and an increase in unrestricted local aid as part of the budget Vargas supported.The budget invests an additional $50 million increase for nursing home supplemental rates which will benefit nursing homes in Haverhill. The city also received $10,436,481 in unrestricted local - a $300,000 increase from the last fiscal year.


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