By Bob Katzen
The House 158-1, approved a $5.3 million consolidated amendment that funds public safety and judiciary programs. This is the only consolidated amendment which did not receive a unanimous vote.
“I am proud of the work we did in the House of Representative to provide for our cities and town’s local public safety needs,” said Rep. Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield), the House chair of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. “Chief among our accomplishments is our commitment to process all untested sexual assault evidence kits within 180 days of the budget’s passage. This is an essential step towards providing the justice that all of these survivors of sexual assault are owed.”
“This amendment represents the values of our commonwealth,” said Rep. Michael Day (D-Stoneham) the House chair of the Committee on the Judiciary. “These … investments seek to help the marginalized, keep our communities safe and continue our march towards equal justice under the law, for all our residents.”
“I voted no because this amendment increased both funding for the State Police and the Department of Corrections by $1 million and $500,000 respectively,” said Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven (D-Somerville). “While there is good language on sexual assault evidence kit testing and spending accountability on ICE, I cannot vote for an amendment that increases funding to institutions that commit overtime fraud or force horrific living conditions on incarcerated people. At the very least, we must increase accountability before increasing spending. It is worth noting that this ‘no’ vote is the only non-unanimous vote taken for the entire House budget, showing how little transparency, public debate, and public accountability there is in the House budget process.”