Early on May 25th, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a $41.49 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. Included in the spending plan is an amendment to allocate $450,000 in public health funding to the nine YWCA organizations across the state, members the Alliance of YWCAs of Massachusetts.
Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) was the lead sponsor for the YWCA budget amendment along with seven other Senators as co-sponsors. “The YWCAs do remarkable work across many Massachusetts communities to support girls and young women, especially through teen empowerment and youth development programs” said Senator Jason Lewis. “I was pleased that my Senate colleagues decided to adopt this funding for the YWCAs throughout the Commonwealth, and I am proud that the State Senate continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to providing opportunity for all of our young people.”
The funding for the YWCAs will support gender-specific violence prevention and leadership development programs for girls and young women. All YWCA organizations share the mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. As such, the Alliance of YWCAs of Massachusetts sits at the unique intersection of race and gender. Each YWCA plays an important role in promoting youth leadership and wellbeing by reducing youth violence, bullying, teen dating and sexual violence, youth suicide, obesity, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse, especially among young girls of color. Few organizations in Massachusetts have the collective breadth of the Alliance to support girls.
“The Alliance of YWCAs of MA are extremely grateful for the leadership and advocacy of Senator Lewis in support of funding programs that strive to empower women and eliminate racism. In today’s society this funding is even more important to sustaining our mission supporting women across our Commonwealth”, stated Peg Crowe, Executive Director of the YWCA Malden
A conference committee consisting of both House and Senate members is now convening to reconcile differences between the Senate budget and the $41.065 billion House budget in order to send one version to the Governor by July. The Alliance of YWCAs encourages the Conference Committee to include the Senate funding of $450,000 for its members to provide critical gender-specific violence prevention and leadership development programs for girls.
For more information: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2019/SenateDebate#EHS