- Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Kristen Lepore, A&F Secretary
- Governor's Press Office
Media Contact for Governor Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2017 Budget
Boston — Governor Charlie Baker today signed the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget into law, providing a second consecutive year of increased state support for local aid, education and opioid abuse prevention services and without raising taxes or drawing down on the stabilization fund despite lower than expected tax revenues. The Baker-Polito Administration’s fiscally responsible plan represents spending growth of 1.3% and keeps spending in line with recently adjusted revenue predictions for the upcoming fiscal year. The $38.92 billion Fiscal Year 2017 budget makes critical investments in several core state services, our communities’ infrastructure and schools. The administration also filed a $177 million net supplemental budget today to address underfunded accounts and fully fund opioid abuse prevention services for the coming year.
“I am proud of our administration’s progress over the last two years to increase investments in education, local aid and efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, all without raising taxes,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I appreciate the Legislature’s collaboration to address the lower-than-anticipated revenue growth over the past few months and I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure state government lives within its means for the taxpayers of Massachusetts.”
The FY17 budget continues funding Chapter 70 education aid to local schools at its highest level in history, $4.6 billion, providing an increase of at least $55 per pupil across the Commonwealth. The $116 million (2.6%) increase over Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) spending represents a total increase of $227 million over the first two years of the Baker-Polito Administration.
“This budget continues to deliver on our commitment to our cities and towns with increased support for local aid and Chapter 70 education funding,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration has made important progress to strengthen our relationship with municipalities and I look forward to continuing to build on that bond using the tools provided in this budget.”
Funding in FY17 will continue the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to serve as a reliable partner for cities and towns by providing $1.022 billion in unrestricted local aid. The 4.3% increase over last year builds on the 3.6% increase in FY16, marking an 8% ($76 million) increase to cities and towns between FY16 and FY17. Funding in FY17 will also allow the Community Compact Cabinet, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Polito, to continue working collaboratively with cities and towns and provide much needed grants for local projects.
"The closing months of Fiscal Year 2016 were an important reminder that when we control our spending it allows us to adjust for unexpected changes," said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. "The work we have done with the Legislature to align spending with revenue during the past two years while maintaining critical support for key priorities will continue to serve us well in the coming year."
The Commonwealth supported approximately $158 million in opioid abuse prevention services in FY16 following the recommendations of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group. The Governor also signed landmark legislation into law during FY16 to address the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing Massachusetts. The Commonwealth will continue ramping up efforts to combat opioid addiction by increasing support over 8% ($13 million) to a total of $171 million in FY17. This additional funding will support 2,150 adult residential recovery opioid beds, 150 more than last year.
The Department of Children and Families will be able to hire needed additional staff with $940 million in FY17, a $16.4 million increase over last year. The new hires will be a combination of social workers, social worker techs, regional substance abuse coordinators, regional quality assurance coordinators, program managers and supervisors to maintain a 5:1 social worker to supervisor ratio.