Region – Local state representatives Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) and Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) recently joined their colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve a $423.7 million final deficiency budget to close the books on Fiscal Year 2020.
House Bill 5102 was engrossed by the House of Representatives on a vote of 157-0 on November 5. In addition to addressing existing shortfalls at several state agencies, the supplemental spending bill also contains a number of statewide funding and policy initiatives.
Kane noted that the bill allocates $727,170 to reimburse cities and towns for early voting costs associated with the March 3 presidential primary. It also provides $11.9 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker reimbursements through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
An amendment Kane, Dykema and Gregoire supported was one of only three amendments adopted to the closeout budget. The amendment, titled Women’s Rights History Trail Funding Extension, will extend the time during which the MA Office of Travel and Tourism can access funds for the women’s rights history trail.
To help address the opioid epidemic, House Bill 5102 establishes an Opioid Recovery and Remediation Trust Fund that will be administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and will be used to provide expanded access to prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery options. The bill also allows for a period of up to 20 years in which causes of action concerning prescription opioids can be brought against Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc., or any of those companies’ current or former owners, directors, officers or consultants.
House Bill 5102 also makes changes to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act by allowing personal care attendants and family child care providers to be included in the definition of “covered individuals.”