BOSTON – Representative Christine P. Barber of Somerville and Medford, along with her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature, passed the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget. The budget includes investments in education, housing, transportation, health care, and other programs throughout the Commonwealth, at a total funding level of $43.1 billion.
Rep. Barber worked with colleagues to secure funding for several local programs and projects, including—Groundwork Somerville, Housing Families youth program, the ABCD Mobile Homeless Outreach Program, and Teen Empowerment. She also helped to secure funding for improvements to Blessing of the Bay Park in Somerville, and an increase to the Autism Medicaid Waiver, to support families with a child with autism. Rep. Barber worked with Sen. Jehlen to secure $100,000 for a transportation study of Route 16, from Cambridge to Medford through Somerville, to improve multimodal transportation options along the well-trafficked route.
In addition, the budget includes a major step forward on addressing rising prescription drug costs in MassHealth, a part of a bill Rep. Barber filed this session. The budget allows, for the first time, for state officials to work directly with drug manufacturers to negotiate fair prices for consumers.
“I am pleased with the final FY20 Budget, and am proud of the local funding we secured, to support education, housing, homelessness prevention, youth programs, parks and transportation projects in my district,” Rep. Barber said. “I am proud that the Legislature stood so strongly to support funding to combat the opioid crisis, and make important investments in education, mental health services, and increases to the Chapter 70 education formula. We have more work to do on all of these fronts, but increased funding is a strong step that sends a strong signal of the Legislature’s commitment to tackling these issues.”
Passed by both the House and the Senate on Monday, the FY20 Budget now awaits Governor Baker’s signature.