Today at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Meeting, Governor Charlie Baker announced the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal will include an increase of over $91 million in Chapter 70 education funding, totaling over $4.7 billion in total aid to public schools, including an increase of at least $20 per pupil to all 322 operating districts. The budget will also include a $40 million increase (to a total of $1.062 billion) in unrestricted local aid to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, representing 100% of the rate of increase of projected tax revenue growth.
We are committed to investing in our cities and towns to support their efforts to drive our Commonwealth’s economic growth and prepare our children for a successful future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud of the strong municipal partnerships our administration has fostered and look forward to more collaboration ahead as we strive for stronger schools and communities.”
Yesterday at the MMA’s Opening Session, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the administration’s plans for an $8.8 million local funding and grant package for municipalities, including $4 million for Community Compact grants and $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance Program in the FY18 operating budget and $2 million in the FY18 Capital Budget, released in the spring, for the Community Compact IT Grant Program. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito has served as a champion for the administration’s municipal partnerships, entering into 252 Community Compacts that represent over 600 community-crafted, mutual best practices aimed at improving local fiscal policies, sustainable energy practices and advancing economic development and affordable housing.
“As former local officials, Governor Baker and I appreciate the importance of our municipal relationships and the certainty state government can deliver in local aid increases and historic education funding levels,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the Community Compact Program, we have been fortunate to work closely with leaders from our cities, towns, and regional planning agencies to build strong local partnerships.”
“The administration has kept to its commitment of supporting our communities,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore. “From local aid to the Community Compact to updating laws and regulations, we have made certain that local governments have the tools they need to succeed.”
In his budget proposals to date, Governor Baker has honored a commitment to increase unrestricted local aid by 75% of projected revenue growth in his first budget, and 100% of growth in subsequent years. A 3.9% consensus projected revenue growth for FY’18 was announced by Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore and the chairs of the Senate and House Ways and Means Committees earlier this year.
Last summer, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito joined local officials to celebrate the passage and signing of municipal modernization reform legislation, enhancing partnerships between state and municipal governments by eliminating or updating obsolete laws, promoting local independence, streamlining state oversight and providing municipalities with greater flexibility.