Massachusetts Senate Passes $41.5 Billion Budget

After days of debate, the Massachusetts Senate has passed their budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

After senators added $75.5 million dollars in spending, the Ways and Means Committee tallied the budget at $41.49 billion.

The budget debate wrapped up at 12:38 a.m. Friday after three days.

According to State House News, Senate President Harriette Chandler called the process "one of the smoothest budget processes to date."

The budget allows for $88 million for regional transit authorities and the establishment of a task force on RTA performance funding.

Health and Human Services and local aid are also a focal point with the budget, allocating more than $140 million for a wide range of substance abuse treatment and recovery services. The budget also provides $156 million for emergency assistance and family shelters.

There is also significant funding in the areas of elementary and secondary education which includes more than $500 million in funding for the University of Massachusetts, $282 million for community colleges, and $259 million for state colleges and universities.

A committee will now work out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the budget.

The new budget will take effect on July 1.

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