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Legislature Passes $200 Million Supplemental Budget

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Bill provides relief to financially strained hospitals, extends simulcasting to 2025, provides aid for farmers impacted by natural disasters


BOSTON — The Massachusetts Legislature yesterday passed a $200 million supplemental budget, which included $180 million in critical relief for financially strained hospitals in the state, an extension of simulcasting and live horse racing until December 15, 2025, and $20 million in funding for farms that have been devastated by natural disasters, including flooding and unseasonal deep freezes.


“Quick action on this supplemental budget means we will deliver much-needed support to our hospitals and farms—two sectors that not only account for a lot of jobs in our Commonwealth, but which supply critical services and goods to our residents to keep our state healthy,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “The flexible funding for farm communities will allow our farmers to continue to recover from the lasting effects of severe weather on their crops, land and livelihoods, and patients will continue to receive care at their community hospitals. I am deeply grateful to Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, Vice Chair Cindy Friedman, Assistant Vice Chair Jo Comerford, Senate Ways and Means staff, Speaker Mariano, and our colleagues in the House for prioritizing this funding—and to Governor Healey for signing this into law as soon as it crossed her desk.”


“From urgently needed funding for struggling hospitals, to support for Massachusetts farms that have been impacted by natural disasters, to an extension of simulcasting through 2025, this supplemental budget includes a number of critical, timely provisions that support vital industries in order to preserve jobs and strengthen our economy” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “I want to thank Chairman Michlewitz and my colleagues in the House, as well as Senate President Spilka and our partners in the Senate, for working to pass this vital legislation.”


“In partnership with the House, the Senate has acted decisively to continue to take the necessary steps to keep the economy of the Commonwealth on a firm footing by approving this FY ’23 supplemental budget. The passage of this $200 million supplemental budget makes key investments in health care, legalized gaming, and flood disaster relief. We steered $180 million to bolster fiscally strained hospitals, granted an extension for racing and simulcasting to December 15, 2025, and allocated $20 million to aid farmers devasted by the recent floods in western Massachusetts. Those investments, along with the passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, will keep Massachusetts as a leader in the key emerging economic sectors for decades to come,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Thanks to the strong leadership of Senate President Spilka, and the commitment of my colleagues in the Senate, we are in solid economic strength as we can now address a tax relief package in the near future.”

“This supplemental budget will offer critical relief towards several areas across the state that need immediate help. The $200 million contained in this legislation will help offer much needed assistance to some of the most distressed hospitals across the Commonwealth as well as to our farmers who have been devastated in the past few weeks by flooding and other natural disasters,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “I want to thank Speaker Mariano, my colleagues in the House, as well as my counterparts in the Senate for their attention and timelines in seeing this vital funding move quickly through the Legislative process.”


“I am grateful for the collaborative work between the House and Senate that has brought this supplemental budget to fruition. Massachusetts is a leader in healthcare and to remain one, the legislature’s support of hospitals through this supplemental budget is vital,” said Representative Jessica Giannino (D-Revere). “The harsh and unseasonal weather this year had taken a hard blow to our farming industry and as a result, it has suffered tremendously. Massachusetts agriculture is a direct local food source to residents and boosts our economy through exports. These much-needed investments will ensure local goods continue to make it into our homes.”


“The supplemental budget extends simulcasting racing through 2025 and thus provides stability for good paying union jobs at Suffolk Downs.  I am pleased that the working men and women of Suffolk Downs will be able to continue providing for their families. In addition, this supplemental budget provides important and stabilizing funding to the community hospitals of the Commonwealth.  These hospitals are the lifeblood of communities across Massachusetts,” said Representative Jeffrey Rosario Turco (D. Winthrop).


“This Fiscal Year 2023 supplemental budget passed by the Legislature invests funds to address some of the key pain points that we are seeing throughout the Commonwealth, especially hospital fiscal solvency,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “We also cover important needs that have arisen in recent months as we work to close out the FY23 books with a supplemental budget that is extremely targeted to provide relief quickly.”


“I commend the quick action by the Legislature in passing the supplemental budget, as it addresses the urgent needs of the Commonwealth’s hospitals, farmers, and gaming interests,” said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), Vice Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “In tandem with the recently passed FY2024 budget, the House has shown a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and economic stability.”


The bill was sent to the Governor after passage, and signed into law on the morning of August 1.

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