By Bob Katzen
The House 154-0, Senate 37-0, approved a $122 million fiscal 2020 supplemental budget. Key provisions provide $15 million for heating energy assistance to help low-income seniors, working families and other households pay winter heating bills.
Another item ensures that the Healthy Incentives Program that provides fruit and vegetables to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is available all year-round.
Other provisions include $2 million for smoking prevention and cessation programs; $300,000 for the Cannabis Control Commission; and $2.8 million for the Early Intervention Program for families of children up to three years of age who have developmental difficulties because of health or environmental conditions.
Supporters said the budget is necessary to cover expenses and to fund various state programs and agencies that are running out of money. They argued the funding reflects immediate deficiencies to crucial programs that their constituents rely on every day.