For Immediate Release - June 07, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION FILES $52 MILLION SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET FOR SAFETY NET SERVICES AND STORM RECOVERY EFFORTS

BOSTON - Monday, June 6, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today filed a supplemental budget bill that will allow cities and towns to maintain critical safety net services through the remainder of the year and help mitigate costs associated with damage incurred during the June 1 st storms in Central and Western Massachusetts.

The $52.2 million budget bill includes $10 million to fund costs incurred during state emergency response efforts, and provides new tools for municipalities to expedite emergency borrowings.

"We will do whatever we can to help those impacted by last week's devastating storm rebuild their lives," said Governor Patrick. "As these communities continue to recover, this emergency funding and the municipal tools provided in the bill will help provide the critical resources they need right now."

This bill proposes eliminating the requirement for approval from the Legislature and the Municipal Finance Oversight Board (MFOB) for short-term borrowing in the event of an emergency. It also allows communities to expedite emergency borrowings by allowing emergency borrowing for capital purposes for a longer term with the approval of the MFOB and would allow communities that have not adopted the local option alternate property tax assessment date to provide fiscal year 2012 property tax relief to property owners affected by the tornado. Fiscal year 2012 property taxes would be based on the damaged condition of the properties.

The bill also includes language proposed in the Governor's FY12 budget that would allow the Governor to draw up to $25 million in funding from the Rainy Day fund in the case of a disaster where other funding cannot be identified to support the costs of emergency preparedness and responses.

Other funding items in the bill include:

  • $10 million in grants and investments to reduce youth violence across the Commonwealth;
  • $12 million for a reserve to mitigate deficiencies at various sheriffs' offices;
  • $10 million for estimated child care caseload deficiencies;
  • $1.2 million to support one-time staging costs in line with reforms in the state's family homelessness programs; and
  • $500,000 for the Commonwealth Corps, including language for administration of this program by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

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