Legislation Progress

The bill was filed with the House on February 12, 2016.

Filing Letter

February 12, 2016

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives,

I am filing for your consideration a bill entitled “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2016 to Provide for Supplementing Certain Existing Appropriations and for Certain Other Activities and Projects.”

This bill consists of routine midyear appropriations for identified deficiencies.  The majority of these deficiencies are in three areas: emergency assistance and shelter-diversion costs ($44 million), representation of indigent defendants ($40 million), and recognized sheriffs’ deficiencies ($28 million).  

In addition, the legislation proposes funding for the following:

  • $16 million for incremental costs of collective bargaining agreements;
  • $15 million for services provided by the Department of Children and Families;
  • $13 million for legal settlements and judgments;
  • $4 million for Department of Transitional Assistance costs related primarily to complying with federal requirements for the SNAP program;
  • $2 million for the Plymouth District Attorney’s moving costs;
  • $2 million for unanticipated costs of administering MCAS and PARCC tests;
  • $1 million for remaining projected Department of Corrections deficiencies after implementation of a mitigation plan;
  • $870,000 for costs of the Department of Fish and Game, paid out of the Inland Fisheries and Game Fund;
  • $200,000 to hire more Sex Offender Registry Board hearing officers and thereby reduce backlogs in hearings; and
  • Other authorizations and technical corrections including authority to spend previously-identified funds for Department of Corrections pharmacy costs, MassHealth transferability, and authorization to direct FEMA funds from last winter’s storms to future snow and ice costs.

This legislation would also authorize the Department of Youth Services to provide services to individuals previously served by the Department up until age 22.  It also ensures that the Commonwealth complies with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by the federally-imposed deadline of June 30, 2016.

In total, the legislation I am filing includes supplemental funding requests of $169.5 million ($165.5 million net).  Sufficient revenues are estimated to be available to finance these appropriations.

In addition, I am recommending that two fiscal year 2016 appropriations be continued into fiscal year 2017, in connection with my fiscal year 2017 proposed budget.

Because many of the fiscal year 2016 items require supplemental funding by the end of March, I urge you to enact this legislation promptly.

Respectfully submitted,

Charles D. Baker
Governor

Bill Text

AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2016 TO PROVIDE FOR SUPPLEMENTING CERTAIN EXISTING APPROPRIATIONS AND FOR CERTAIN OTHER ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS

 

Whereas, the deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purposes, which are forthwith to make supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2016 and to make certain changes in law, each of which is immediately necessary to carry out those appropriations or to accomplish other important public purposes, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. To provide for supplementing certain items in the general appropriation act and other appropriation acts for fiscal year 2016, the sums set forth in sections 2 to 2C, inclusive, are hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this act or in those appropriation acts, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act or in those appropriation acts, and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.  These sums shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of those items. 

 

SECTION 2.

JUDICIARY

Committee for Public Counsel Services

0321-1510  Private Counsel Compensation.................................................................. $39,200,000

0321-1520  Indigent Court Costs.................................................................................... $1,100,000

 

 

PLYMOUTH DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Plymouth District Attorney

0340-0800  Plymouth County DA................................................................................. $2,409,170

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

Department of Fish and Game

2310-0200  Fisheries and Wildlife...................................................................................... $870,000

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Department of Transitional Assistance

4400-1100  Caseworkers Reserve................................................................................... $3,488,689

 

Department of Public Health

4590-0918  SOPS Department of Correction RR........................................................... $4,000,000

 

Department of Children and Families

4800-0015  Clinical Support Services and Operations................................................... $2,686,662

4800-0025  Foster Care Review......................................................................................... $144,197

4800-0038  Services for Children and Families............................................................... $3,226,463

4800-0041  Congregate Care Services............................................................................. $8,830,544

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Department of Housing and Community Development

7004-0101  Emergency Assistance Family Shelter and Services Program.................... $41,000,000

7004-0108  Massachusetts Short Term Housing Transition Program............................ $2,500,000

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF EDUCATION

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

7061-9400  Student and School Assessment.................................................................. $1,800,000

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

Sex Offender Registry Board

8000-0125  Sex Offender Registry Board.......................................................................... $200,000

 

Department of Correction

8900-0001  Department of Correction Facility.............................................................. $1,000,000

 

 

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER

Office of the State Comptroller

1599-3384  Settlements and Judgments........................................................................ $12,506,260

 

 

SECTION 2A.  To provide for certain unanticipated obligations of the commonwealth, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current appropriations, and to meet certain requirements of law, the sums set forth in this section are hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this section, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this section, and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.  These sums shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of these items. These sums shall be made available until June 30, 2016.

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

Office of the Secretary for Administration and Finance

1599-4445  For a reserve to meet the fiscal year 2016 costs of quarter point benefits authorized by collective bargaining agreements with the executive branch and ratified by the general

court................................................................................................................................ $ 4,939,821

 

1599-4447  For a reserve to meet the fiscal year 2016 costs of salary adjustments authorized by collective bargaining agreements with the executive branch that have not yet been ratified by the general court; provided, that no funds shall be expended from this item prior to ratification of the collective bargaining agreements by the general court..................................................................................... $11,373,102

 

1599-8910  For a reserve for identified current year deficiencies documented by the Sheriffs of the Commonwealth         $28,234,237

 

 

SECTION 2C.I.  For the purpose of making available in fiscal year 2017 balances of appropriations which otherwise would revert on June 30, 2016, the unexpended balances of the appropriations listed below, not to exceed the amount specified below for each item, are hereby re-appropriated for the purposes of and subject to the conditions stated for the corresponding item in section 2 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2015.  However, for items which do not appear in section 2 of the general appropriation act, the amounts in this section are re-appropriated for the purposes of and subject to the conditions stated for the corresponding item in section 2 or 2A in prior appropriation acts.  The sums re-appropriated in this section shall be in addition to any amounts available for said purposes.

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services

1599-0321  Women’s Preventive Health Reserve.............................................................. $300,000

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Department of Housing and Community Development

7004-9024  Massachusetts Rental Vouchers............................................................... $ 14,652,294

 

 

SECTION 3. There shall be a FEMA Reimbursements Expendable Trust exclusively for the purpose of accepting, on behalf of the Commonwealth, funds received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in connection with the 2015 winter storms, intended to reimburse the Commonwealth for storm, disaster or other emergency-related expenditures incurred by the Commonwealth that qualify for reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The trust is established and all trust property shall be used and expended solely to defray costs incurred by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for response to and recovery from natural and human caused disasters or emergencies, including, but not limited to the costs of personnel, equipment, supplies, or other assets whether provided by state agencies, purchased, or acquired through agreements with the federal government or other entities; provided further, funds may be expended for the enhancement of the Commonwealth’s preparedness, response or recovery capabilities through the acquisition of equipment, supplies, or systems or the preparation of plans; provided further, funds may be expended for payment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency when required as the result of disaster assistance grant management activities.  The Comptroller shall deposit funds received by the Commonwealth for the 2015 winter storms from the Federal Emergency Management Agency into this trust. 

The secretary of administration and finance or her designee shall administer the trust. The trust shall not be subject to appropriation. The unexpended balance in the trust at the end of a fiscal year and shall not revert and shall be available for expenditure in subsequent years. No expenditure made from the trust shall cause the trust to become deficient at any point.

 

SECTION 4. Subsection (a) of section 2MMMM of chapter 29 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- Amounts credited to the fund shall not be subject to further appropriation and monies remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

 

SECTION 5. Section 11 of chapter 61A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 10 to 11, inclusive, the words, “, prior to January first of each year,.”

 

SECTION 6. Said section 11 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 17, the words “February first” and inserting in place thereof the following words:-April 1.

 

SECTION 7. Sections 66 to 73, inclusive, of chapter 94 of the General Laws are hereby repealed.

 

SECTION 8. Sections 303A to 303E, inclusive, of chapter 94 of the General Laws are hereby repealed. 

 

SECTION 9. Section 87CC of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence.

 

SECTION 10. Chapter 120 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out section 16  and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 16. Every person committed to the department until the age of 18 as a delinquent child, if not already discharged, shall be discharged when he reaches his eighteenth birthday. Every person committed to the department until the age of 19 as a delinquent child, if not already discharged, shall be discharged when he reaches his nineteenth birthday. Every person committed to the department until the age of 20 as a delinquent child, if not already discharged, shall be discharged when he reaches his twentieth birthday.  Every person committed to the department until the age of 21 as a youthful offender, if not already discharged, shall be discharged when such person reaches his twenty-first birthday. The department may continue to have responsibility for any person provided for in this chapter under 22 years of age for the purposes of specific educational or rehabilitative programs, under conditions agreed upon by both the department and such persons terminable by either. Such services must be offered prior to the person’s discharge date as provided herein; however, a person may request and the department shall consider any such request for the services described, for up to 90 days after person’s effective date of discharge, even where the person has previously declined services or services were terminated for non-compliance, and may reach agreement with the person, terminable by either, to provide the services described herein until such person attains the age of 22.

 

SECTION 11. Section 46 of Chapter 151A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (c) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:

(c) The department shall disclose, upon request, such information in the following circumstances:

(1) to any employer, information concerning the employer’s record;

(2) to any claimant or to the claimant’s authorized agent, information concerning the claimant’s own record;

(3) to the heads of the departments of career services, transitional assistance, revenue, veterans’ services, medical security and industrial accidents, information necessary in the performance of their official duties;

(3 ½) to the heads of governmental agencies who are partners in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, information necessary for the purpose(s) of complying with performance reporting requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128);

(4) to probation or parole officers working for a governmental agency, information necessary in the performance of their official duties;

(5) to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of the Treasury, information necessary for purposes of the administration of federal unemployment taxes.

(6) to the state police, including the state police violent fugitive arrest squad, and local police departments, identifying and locating information, upon request for the sole purpose of identifying and locating individuals wanted on default or arrest warrants. Only identifying information including, but not limited to, name, date of birth, all pertinent addresses, telephone number and social security number shall be made available to the state police and local police departments pursuant to this section.

(7) to the commonwealth health insurance connector authority, information under an interagency agreement for the administration and enforcement of chapter 176Q.

(7 ½) to the executive office of health and human services, information under an interagency agreement for the administration and enforcement of paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of section 69 of chapter 118E.

 

SECTION 12. Item 7010-0060 of section 2 of chapter 165 of the acts of 2014 is hereby amended by striking out the words “and provided further, funds from this item shall be available for expenditure through June 30, 2017”, and inserting in place thereof the following words: - ; provided further, that not less than $3.2 million shall be expended by  the department  to provide school districts with grant funding based on the enrollment of students in grades 6-12, for the purchase of evidence-based opioid prevention curricula programs and training materials identified by the Department as being successful in delaying, preventing and reducing opioid use among youth in middle and high schools; provided further, that funds may be expended from this item for the purchase of such curricula programs and training materials and for the Department to conduct training and technical assistance to school districts on developing and implementing opioid prevention programs so identified by the Department; and provided further, funds from this item shall be available for expenditure through June 30, 2018.

 

SECTION 13. Item 4000-0321 of said section 2 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by inserting, after the words “state accounting system,” the following words:-  provided further, that after providing payments due in accordance with the terms of the contingency contracts, the office may use available funds to support special MassHealth projects that will receive enhanced federal revenue opportunities, including MassHealth eligibility operations and systems enhancements that support reforms and improvements to the MassHealth programs; provided further, that any enhanced federal financial participation received for these special projects, including the Implementation Advanced Planning Document or other eligibility operations and systems enhancement that support reforms and improvements to the MassHealth program shall be deposited into this account;.

 

SECTION 14. Item 4590-0918 of said section 2 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by striking out the words “may expend not more than $14,000,000” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- may expend not more than $18,000,000.

 

SECTION 15. Said section 2 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by striking out item 5046-0005 and inserting in place thereof the following item:   

5046-0006   For adult mental health community-based placements; provided, that funds shall be used to expand community-based placements for discharge ready individuals currently in the department’s continuing care facilities; and provided further, that the annualized cost of these placements in fiscal year 2017 shall not exceed the amount appropriated in this item  $4,000,000
 Community First Trust Fund.... 100%

 

SECTION 16. Item 7004-0101 of said section 2 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by inserting after the words, “personnel or administrative costs”  the following words:- other than the direct costs associated with the coordination and placement of homeless families in hotels and motels used as overflow shelter capacity and oversight of hotel/motel compliance with State requirements.

 

SECTION 17. Item 7004-0108 of said section 2 of said chapter 46 of the acts of 2015 is hereby amended by inserting after the words, “amounts appropriated herein,” the following words:- ; provided further, that the secretary of housing and economic development may transfer funds for identified deficiencies between items 7004-0101 and 7004-0108;.

 

SECTION 18. Item 8900-0011 of said section 2 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by inserting after the words, “state accounting system,”  the following words:- ; and provided further, that the commissioner of correction may allocate year-end net profits to the cost of the drug, substance abuse and rehabilitative programming.

 

SECTION 19. Item 8900-0021 of section 2B of said chapter 46 is hereby amended, by inserting after the words, “services provided by inmates,” the following words:- ; provided, that the commissioner of correction may allocate year-end net profits to the cost of the drug, substance abuse and rehabilitative programming.

 

SECTION 20. Item 1595-6368 of section 2E of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by striking out the figure, “$365,025,340” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $337,468,038.

 

SECTION 21. Section 151 of said chapter 46 is hereby amended by striking out the fifth and sixth sentences of subsection (a) and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- The tax amnesty program shall apply to returns due on or before December 31, 2015.  In the case of taxpayers otherwise coming into compliance with tax obligations pursuant to the amnesty, unless the commissioner determines that the taxpayer has acted with fraudulent intent, the commissioner may apply limited look-back periods for unfiled returns, not to exceed 4 years. The scope of the tax amnesty program, including the particular tax types, periods covered, and the applicability of the look-back periods, shall be determined by the commissioner.

 

SECTION 22. Said section 151 of said chapter 46 is hereby further amended by striking out, in clause (1) of subsection (c), the words, “for any tax period beginning before January 1, 2014,” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- on or before December 31, 2015.

 

SECTION 23. Section 54 of chapter 119 of the acts of 2015 is hereby amended by striking out the words, “March 1,” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- November 1.

 

SECTION 24. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the secretary of health and human services, with the written approval of the secretary of administration and finance, may authorize transfers of surplus among items 4000-0320, 4000-0430, 4000-0500, 4000-0600, 4000-0640, 4000-0700, 4000-0875, 4000-0880, 4000-0885, 4000-0940, 4000-0950, 4000-0990, 4000-1400, 4000-1420 and 4000-1425 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2015, as amended, for the purpose of reducing any deficiency in these items, but any such transfer shall be made not later than September 1, 2016.

 

 

SECTION 25. The salary adjustments and other economic benefits authorized by the following collective bargaining agreements shall be effective for the purposes of section 7 of chapter 150E of the General Laws:

 

(1) Between the Sheriff of Essex County and the Essex County Correctional Officers Association;

 

(2) Between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local S-28 & S-29;

 

(3) Between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union;

 

(4) Between the Sheriff of Worcester County and the New England Police Benevolent Association, Local 550;

 

(5) Between the Sheriff of Essex County and the National Correctional Employees Union, Local 123; and

 

(6) Between the Sheriff of Essex County and the Essex County Regional Emergency Communication Dispatchers.