By Bob Katzen

(H 4930) – The House and Senate approved on a voice vote without a roll call and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a $540 million fiscal 2018 state budget to close out the books on the fiscal year that ended on July 30. The funds are from the state’s surplus leftover as a result of higher than expected tax revenue. The budget puts $240 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, boosting its total to more than $2 billion.

Other provisions include $40 million for road and bridge repairs; $1.5 million to administer the state’s new paid family and medical leave law; $7.5 million for increased access to mental and behavioral health in public schools; $10 million for a neighborhood and community-based gun and violent crime prevention program targeting youths aged 17 to 24; and $5 million to assist people displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“Combined with the fiscally-responsible deposit into the {Rainy Day] Fund, this supplemental budget improves both the fiscal health of our state finances and the physical health of our residents,” said House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jeff Sanchez (D-Boston). “As Massachusetts’ economy continues to grow, we are committed to planning for the future and ensuring that workers and families receive the support they need to thrive.”

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