BOSTON (3/29/2023)—State Senator Jason Lewis joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature last week in passing a $388 million supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). This legislation funds vital programs and services that address food insecurity, housing instability, continued pandemic recovery and economic development, and more.
The bill provides $130 million for SNAP food assistance benefits to help families who were receiving enhanced SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that were recently ended by the federal government; $68 million for the early education and childcare C3 stabilization grant program; $65 million for the continuation of universal free school meals for all students; $45 million for additional emergency shelter assistance for homeless individuals and families; and $40 million for supports for refugees and migrants.
The bill also authorizes $740 million in capital investments to support economic development across the Commonwealth. Notably, this includes $400 million for the popular MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which provides grants to cities, towns, and other public entities for infrastructure projects; and $125 million for state matching funds to compete for new federal grant opportunities, including those funded through the CHIPS and Science Act, which encourage innovation in Massachusetts.
Finally, this legislation also extends initiatives first implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, including authorization for outdoor dining for restaurants and remote public meeting access.
“I’m pleased that the state legislature was able to work closely with our new Governor to quickly pass this critical supplemental budget bill,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “These investments in food security, housing supports, economic development, and infrastructure are urgently needed by residents and communities in our region and across the Commonwealth.”
Having been passed by the Senate and the House, the supplemental budget now goes to Governor Healey for her signature.