Muradian Joins Colleagues in Near Unanimous Vote
April 28th 2017 BOSTON – State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr., (R-Grafton), joined with his colleagues in the House of Representatives this week to approve a $40.4 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget was engrossed on a vote of 159-1 on April 25th.
For the third year in a row, the House budget significantly reduces the use of non-recurring revenue sources to achieve balance, relying on just $110 million in one-time revenues. It also calls for the deposit of $100 million into the state’s Stabilization Fund, which will bring the account balance to $1.4 billion.
Cities and towns will see a $164 million increase in local aid under the House spending plan. This represents a 2.7 percent increase over current funding levels.
"As legislators, our first priority is to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth and making sure their tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently,” said Representative Muradian. “Not only does this budget increase local aid, it also takes important steps to addressing early education and care. I am very pleased to have joined my colleagues in this nearly unanimous vote.”
Representative Muradian noted that the House budget includes a Republican-sponsored proposal to create a special task force to review all unfunded state education mandates and reporting requirements imposed on local school districts. The task force will be asked to provide recommendations for easing the cost burden on cities and towns by streamlining, consolidating or eliminating these mandates.
The House budget funds Chapter 70 education aid at $4.734 billion while providing for a guaranteed statewide minimum increase of $30 per pupil. The proposed Chapter 70 appropriation represents a $106 million increase over current spending levels and is $15 million higher than the Governor’s proposal filed in January. Unrestricted general government aid, which is made available to communities for a wide range of municipal spending purposes, is increased by $40 million in the House budget to a total of $1.061 billion.
Under the House budget plan, Representative Muradian secured nearly $31M for the school districts within the 9thWorcester District. Grafton will receive $10,921,955 in Chapter 70 education aid and $1,561,999 in unrestricted state aid. Northbridge will receive $15,473,041 in Chapter 70 education aid and $2,108,739 in unrestricted state aid, and Upton will receive $19,248 in Chapter 70 education aid and $531,879 in unrestricted state aid
Other significant sources of local aid funding contained in the House budget include:
· $62 million for regional school transportation reimbursements, which represents a $1 million increase over current funding levels;
· $281 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker reimbursements, an increase of $4 million over the current year;
· $12.5 million for the “Pothole” account, which is used to provide extraordinary relief to school districts that experience a substantial shortfall between their Chapter 70 aid and target Chapter 70 aid; and
· $56,920 in regional bonus aid to assist newly established or expanded regional school districts with up-front costs associated with their transition to a regional district