Please click here for a revised spreadsheet summarizing the outcomes of the Senate budget that was approved late last week. Overall, the Network priorities fared very well with one glaring exception of $0 funding for the Local Consortiums (prevention funds). Unfortunately, this program did not get funded in the House budget either, which means its last hope is outside of the FY18 budget process and rests with the passage of the Governor’s supplemental budget that could include Local Consortiums (this happened last fiscal year).
On the plus side, Senator Hinds’ amendment to fund the Berkshires’ emergency shelter beds passed the Senate. While the Local Consortium amendment did not pass, we have Senator Lesser to thank for his lead sponsorship (and our other Senators for their support). And while the increased funding to the Tenancy Preservation Program did not pass, we have Senator Welch to thank for his lead sponsorship (and our other Senators for their support).
The other big plus is that the Network itself was funded at $125,000 in the Senate Budget, which puts the Network in both the Senate and House budgets. We have never had this luxury before!
Now the FY18 budget process moves to the Conference Committee (members to be appointed shortly) where differences between the House and Senate budgets will be hammered out over the next few weeks. In summary, the Senate budget is far more favorable to our homelessness priorities! I will provide an action alert when the Conference Committee members get decided.
For now, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Western MA Senators and thank them for their support of our priorities (and a special shout-out to our own Leadership Council members Senate President Rosenberg and Senator Hinds!). You can find your legislator’s contact information here. We have a wonderfully supportive delegation; let’s be sure to let them know how much we appreciate their support!