Category Archives: Advocacy

MA Coalition for the Homeless on the Governor’s Budget

Please see below for the MA Coalition for the Homeless’ message on Governor Baker’s proposed FY19 budget:

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Charlie Baker released his fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations for the Commonwealth. Please click here for a quick overview of Governor Charlie Baker’s homelessness, housing, and benefits budget proposals for FY’19. The Governor’s complete $40.9 billion House 2 budget can be found here.This is one of the first steps in the FY’19 budget process, ahead of the July 1st start of the new fiscal year. In the months ahead, the House and Senate will release their own recommendations, and develop a compromise budget that then will be sent back to Governor Baker for approval or vetoes. We will be in touch throughout the process with updates and advocacy opportunities.
  • Emergency Assistance family shelter and services program (line item 7004-0101)
  • Housing and services for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness (line item 4000-0007)
  • Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC, line item 4408-1000)
  • Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program (RAFT, line item 7004-9316)
See our present policy campaigns page for fact sheets and additional information.
If you have a few extra minutes, please also let the Governor know your feelings about his FY’19 budget by phone/email or Twitter: @MassGovernor.

Action Alert: Urge Governor Baker to Release Shelter Funds

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported yesterday on the Governor’s failure to release the legislatively authorized funding for Craig’s Doors emergency shelter in Amherst (including a legislative override of the Governor’s veto).  Craig’s Doors is the only behavior based shelter in the Pioneer Valley and provides emergency shelter to 26 individuals on a nightly basis.
Please contact the Governor’s office to urge him to release this funding. His contact information is here: http://www.mass.gov/governor/constituent-services/contact-governor-office/.
State Senator Stan Rosenberg and Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose have been strongly advocating for the Governor to release these funds.  Please contact them to thank them and let them know how important it is to keep up the pressure.
Representative Goldstein-Rose: Solmon.Goldstein-Rose@mahouse.gov – 617-722-2582
 
Thanks for adding your voice!

CHAPA: Call to Action! Call Congress Today!

Please see CHAPA’s Action Alert below and call your Congressional Representative and Senator Today!

Last week, the Senate passed its tax reform plan. The Senate version of the bill retains the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC); tax exemption for private activity bonds, which would preserve the 4% LIHTC; and retains the New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit. The next step is for the House and Senate to appoint a conference committee to reconcile the differences between their bills.

Although both the Senate and House tax reform plans will be devastating for so many and threaten the future funding of many programs that serve vulnerable individuals and families, a final tax reform plan is expected to be signed into law by the end of the year. We must act to ensure housing programs are preserved. There are key differences between the House and Senate plans. The Senate version preserves critical programs that produce and preserve affordable housing, including 4% credits, the New Markets Tax Credit, and the Historic Tax Credit.

Call your Representative and Senators now and urge them to protect affordable housing and community development in tax reform. Please ask them to contact House and Senate Leadership and members of the Conference Committee to:

  • Protect the Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Preserve the tax exemption of Private Activity Bonds to avoid the elimination of the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Retain the Historic Tax Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit

You can find contact information for your Members of Congress by clicking here.

Explaining the FY18 State Budget Including Veto Overrides

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has released the following summary and report:

Explaining the State Budget for FY 2018 Including Veto Overrides
 
In the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center’s latest Budget Monitor, “The State Budget for FY 2018 Including Veto Overrides,” we see the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) budget season ending much the way it started: with our state facing difficult fiscal conditions and unable to make the kinds of long-term investments that could significantly improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and expand opportunity in all communities. At this point in the process — after the Legislature enacted the budget, the Governor made a number of line item vetoes, and the Legislature overrode virtually all those vetoes and approved some supplemental funding — we have a state budget that makes some modest investments, particularly in education, child welfare, and in addressing substance use disorders.
The budget, however, continues to rely significantly on temporary fixes: counting 13 months of sales tax revenue in the 12 months of FY 2018; underfunding a number of accounts that will eventually need to be funded — such as paying for snow and ice removal; and a number of similar strategies. Altogether the budget includes about $750 million in temporary revenue and underfunded accounts. This makes it highly likely that the state will continue to face serious fiscal challenges next year. A bright spot, however, is tax revenue growth so far this year has been stronger than projected. If that trend continues, it would reduce the need to rely on temporary fixes this year and would put the state in better fiscal condition next year. In the long term, however, there is a significant danger that the federal government will — to pay for the costs of federal tax cuts — impose deep cuts in Medicaid, education, and other services currently funded together by the state and federal governments.
This Budget Monitor includes the final funding levels of FY 2017, the current FY 2018 budget, and significant policy changes in each area of the budget. Current 2018 budget levels are also compared to 2001 budget where relevant. For more comprehensive data on historic spending levels for each line item and category of the budget, see MassBudget’s Budget Browser. For additional detail on programs in the state budget that affect children see our Children’s Budget. Click here to read the full Budget Monitor, “The State Budget for FY 2018 Including Veto Overrides,” or click below on individual sections: