Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fiscal Year 2015 Budget – Housing/Mental Health and Disability Services

In case you missed it, today marks the third day of debate on the House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.

As you may have heard, the House of Representatives recently unveiled their $36.2 billion state budget proposal. While the Democratic-majority set an unfortunate tone to this year’s budget debate by refusing to consider amendments relative to local aid, education spending, and welfare reform, the House Republican Caucus will not be deterred.

During this year’s budget debate, House Republican’s firmly believe that the Legislature must make considerable strides in delivering a budget that is mindful of the economic times, while producing a spending plan that delivers an accountable and transparent state government which reflects the taxpayers’ priorities, and seeks to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

The House of Representatives will now consider amendments relative to housing/mental health and disability services. Below, you will find the amendments offered by House Republicans, along with a brief description of the amendment.


Amendment 9 - Banning Level 2 and 3 Sex Offenders from Public Housing Hotels and Motels (Beaton, Matthew) ADDS a new outside section banning Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from qualifying for public housing as part of the Emergency Assistance Overflow Hotel & Motel program.

Amendment 94 - Wareham Turning Point Day Resource Center (Gifford, Susan) EARMARKS $15K from the Department of Housing and Community Development account (7004-0099) for the Turning Point Day Resource Center for the Homeless in Wareham. Does not increase the overall appropriation.

Amendment 315 - An Act Relative to the Yankee Doodle Bike Path (Lombardo, Marc) ADDS $1M by creating a new line item (7004-0932) in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for a Billerica bike path.

Amendment 1050 - Handicapped Access Grants at Housing Authorities (Durant, Peter) ADDS $500K be creating a new line item (7004-xxxx) in the Department of Housing and Community Development for grants to local and regional housing authorities to renovate housing units for handicapped accessibility.

Mental Health and Disability Services 

Amendment 365 - For Independent Living Assistance Services (Ferguson, Kimberly) INCREASES the total appropriation for the independent assisted living services account (4120-4000) by $500K. Earmarks $1.4M for assistive technology devices for individuals with severe disabilities.

Amendment 478 - Wrentham Mitigation (Dooley, Shawn) EARMARKS $500K from the Department of Developmental Services Facilities Operations account (5930-1000) for municipalities hosting such facilities. Increases the overall appropriation by $600K.

Amendment 982 - Autism Support Department of Developmental Services (Durant, Peter) INCREASES the total appropriation for the State-Operated Residential Supports and Related Programs (5920-2010) by $3M.

Amendment 1010 - DSS Host Community Mitigation (Dooley, Shawn) CHANGES the language for the State Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled account (5930-1000) by establishing a mitigation fund for the distribution of funds for municipalities hosting facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Earmarks no less than $500K to be distributed to each host community each fiscal year. Increases the overall appropriation by $600K.

Amendment 1067 - Relative to Taunton State Hospital (O'Connell, Shaunna) CHANGES the language for the State Psychiatric Hospitals and Community Mental Health Centers (5095-0015) to maintain 80 beds, rather than the proposed 45, at Taunton State Hospital. It also authorizes the Department of Mental Health to create specialized inpatient units at Taunton State Hospital.