Budget also funds school safety initiatives, CPA
Governor Charlie Baker has signed a $541 million Fiscal Year 2018 supplemental budget that includes $40 million for municipal road and bridge projects under the state’s Chapter 90 program, as well as additional funding assistance for school safety initiatives and other municipal priorities, such as the Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund.
House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) noted that the supplemental budget provides $82,330 for Lynnfield to spend on local transportation infrastructure. This is on top of the $411,650 Lynnfield received as part of a $200 million Chapter 90 bond authorization approved by the Legislature in April, bringing the town’s total funding award for this year to $493,980.
In addition to the Chapter 90 funding, the supplemental budget also makes $7.5 million in infrastructure grants available for Massachusetts school districts seeking to implement safety and security upgrades in grades K-12. Another $7.5 million in grant funding has been set aside to allow schools to contract with licensed community-based mental and behavioral health specialists.
The supplemental budget also includes:
- $5 million to assist school districts with high concentrations of low-income students in carrying out targeted intervention and turnaround efforts to address student achievement gaps;
- $10 million to pay for improvements to municipal and regional water infrastructure; and
- $10 million transferred to the CPA Trust Fund to assist communities in their efforts to create affordable housing and preserve open space and historic sites.
“The supplemental budget wisely invests some of the state’s Fiscal Year 2018 surplus into programs that will directly benefit our cities and towns,” said Representative Jones. “I’m particularly happy we were able to provide additional funding to help Lynnfield address its critical infrastructure needs, and will be making other funding available for school districts across the state to implement important security upgrades to keep students safe.”
“Utilizing surplus revenues to fund much-needed infrastructure investment, to improve the safety of our schools, and to provide targeted interventions addressing the achievement gap for students makes sense. Each of these investments will create stronger and safer communities all across the Commonwealth,” stated Senator Crighton.
Established by the Legislature in 1973, the Chapter 90 program distributes funding to cities and towns on an annual basis, using a formula based on the weighted average of a municipality’s population, employment and total road miles. The money is paid out as reimbursements to communities for qualifying infrastructure work, which can include road resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, traffic control and street lighting. The money can also be used to purchase and maintain certain road-building machinery, equipment and tools.