UPDATE: House budget details state aid to area communities

Photo/used under Creative Commons license
The Massachusetts State House overlooks Boston. State Representatives recently convened in the state capital to hash out their budget proposal.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article  stated incorrect state funding levels for Community Advocate coverage area communities. All communities would see some level of increased funding under the proposed House budget.

By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

REGION – Local municipalities would receive a boost in state aid in the next fiscal year under a proposed budget unanimously passed in the state House of Representatives last month.

Though the Senate and the Governor still need to weigh in with their own budget recommendations, these funding metrics come as local officials openly wonder how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will impact their aid.

“While the pandemic delayed the passage and signing of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget until December of 2020, the budget process is back to a more traditional timetable this year,” A press release from Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) said on the topic of the current path forward.

Should the House’s numbers hold through upcoming negotiations, Shrewsbury will get $23.31 million, Westborough will receive $12.46 million, Marlborough will see $37.17 million and Northborough will get $5.27 million. Southborough will take in $3.5 million, Hudson will receive $14.29 million and Grafton will see $13.07 million. 

These numbers mark increases in funding for each community.

Photo by/Dakota Antelman
Shrewsbury police cruisers sit parked behind the Shrewsbury Police Department. Shrewsbury Police would get state budget help to buy body cameras under a budget passed in the House of Representatives, last month.

In Westborough, these numbers mark a more than 30 percent spike in funding compared to the FY2021 budget.

Outside of Chapter 70 funding and unrestricted aid, legislators also lobbied for a number of specific amendments to the House budget.

If those amendments make it into the final budget, Soutborough will get an extra $25,000 for mental health and substance use prevention.

Northborough will get $150,000 in reimbursements for litigation and environmental protection fees, and Grafton will get $25,000 for public safety improvements. 

Hudson’s Fresh Start Furniture Bank will receive $15,000, while $200,000 will help fund a new bus route between Marlborough and Worcester.

Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services will get $50,000 to pay for youth mental health first aid training, service and treatment efforts across Massachusetts. 

Shrewsbury Police will get $25,000 to pay for police-worn body cameras.

Read the complete House budget at https://malegislature.gov/Budget/HouseBudget.