Thanks to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless for this budget update:

The Legislature has approved the Joint Conference Committee’s Version of the FY’11 State Budget. Now it is on the Governor’s desk.

Please see below for more details on what happened with housing, homelessness prevention, and income support programs.

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Last week, the Joint Conference Committee finished preparing its recommendations for the FY’11 budget. Those recommendations were approved by the full Legislature very late on Thursday. The budget is now on Governor Patrick’s desk, awaiting approval or vetoes.
Unlike most budget years, the Conference Committee developed parallel budget recommendations, as a significant amount of previously anticipated federal funding has not yet come to the state. These Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage funds, or FMAP funds, are Medicaid funds given to the states. Funding was increased last year as part of the stimulus package, but may be reduced this year. The federal House of Representatives would continue increased FMAP funding, but after repeated attempts, the measure has not passed the Senate yet. At one point, state budget writers were counting on up to $687 million coming into Massachusetts. As these funds may not be available, the conferees provided two appropriation levels for many line items, one level if the FMAP funds come through, and another, lower funding level if enhanced FMAP funds are not received.
Please see the linked chart to see what happened to housing, shelter, homelessness prevention, and income support programs: Budget comparison chart

Full Legislature Approves the Conference Committee’s Budget Recommendations for Housing, Shelter, Homelessness Prevention, and Benefits Programs

Please follow this link to access the Coalition’s Conference Committee budget chart, with details on the House and Senate’s FY’11 budget proposals and the current FY’10 appropriations: Budget Comparison Chart

To access the pre-Conference Committee budget proposals from the House and Senate, please go to House Final FY’11 Budget and Senate Final FY’11 Budget.

To learn more about the Coalition’s FY’11 budget work, please go to the Coalition’s FY’11 Priorities.

Immigrant Provisions in the Conference Committee Budget

The Conference Committee rejected many of the Senate’s immigrant-related measures. The committee did not adopt, among other things, limitations on access to state-funded housing; the creation of a 24-hour hotline for people to report suspected undocumented immigrants; and efforts to codify the prohibition on undocumented students’ ability to receive in-state tuition rates for state colleges and universities. Instead, the committee decided to codify existing state practices related to undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, the Legislature would cut health care funding for lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for federal health benefits, if FMAP funds are not approved.    For more details, please see the Boston Globe article on the budget and immigrant provisions and another Globe article on immigrant health care provisions.

Next Steps
1.) Please thank your State Representative and State Senator for their work in support of housing and homelessness programs.
To find out who your Representative and Senator are, please go to For a list of Representatives and their contact information, please click here. For a list of Senators and their contact information, please click here.

2.) Please contact U.S. Senator Scott Brown to ask him to support the continuation of enhanced FMAP funds for the states. His vote will be critical when/if the issue is reintroduced in the Senate! Senator Brown’s Washington office staff can be reached at 202-224-4543 and Boston office staff at 617-565-3170.
3.) Stay tuned for news on any relevant vetoes from the Governor and next steps.

Once the Governor receives the budget from the Legislature, he has ten days to approve the budget or issue line item vetoes. The Legislature then will have the opportunity to override the Governor’s vetoes.

For a review of the steps in the state budget process, please follow this link: Review of state budget process

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