From the office of State Senator Julian Cyr:
(Boston, Mass.) – State Senator Julian Cyr announced today that the Massachusetts State Senate passed two amendments filed by Cyr in its supplemental budget that will fund municipal police training and special education funding. Both amendments passed unanimously and will fund critical needs that have been underfunded in the past few years.
Municipal Police Training Amendment
The Amendment creates a dedicated funding stream for Municipal Police Training. Annual revenue for training will be provided by adding a $2 fee per rental car transaction in the Commonwealth. This dedicated funding stream will allow the Municipal Police Training Committee to maintain critical services and expand training, including:
This funding, when fully implemented, will allow the Municipal Police Training Fund to administer ample resources to effectively reduce or altogether eliminate the costs municipalities currently incur for recruit training. It will also help restore the FY2018 funding cut for municipal training which was reduced from $6.5 million to $4.7 million in the Governor’s Budget, but ended up at $4.8 million.
“On behalf of Chiefs of Police from across the Commonwealth, we want to thank State Senator Julian Cyr for his efforts to successfully pass the Municipal Police Training Amendment,” said Ret. Chief Mark Leahy, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “Senator Cyr accomplished an arduous task with a long history of close calls and outright failures. A $2.00 surcharge on rental vehicle contracts should finally allow us to appropriately and professionally train our police officers in the way they deserve, and we are very hopeful of a positive result in the days ahead.
“I heard from the 20 chiefs in the Cape & Islands District that they need a more predictable and stable funding source for training,” said Senator Cyr. “We ask so much of our Police Departments and the men and women who serve in blue. The Senate did our part today to recognize their sacrifice and service by making sure they have the best available tools to keep our communities safe and prosperous. Once again the Senate led the way.”
Earlier in the legislative session, the Senate led the charge to use expected revenues from recreational marijuana sales to support municipal police training in the Criminal Justice Reform Bill.
Special Education Circuit Breaker Amendment
The Senate amendment will increase the Special Education Circuit Breaker Reimbursement by $4.5 million for a total of $12.5 million for this fiscal year. The circuit breaker is an essential component of public education funding as it ensures that municipalities and school districts are able to pay special education costs without cutting funding from other educational funds. Full funding of the circuit breaker bill is a long standing priority of the Legislature.
“I have heard from nearly every Superintendent and many school committee members in my district, imploring the Senate to take action to add funding this fiscal year for this critical need,” said Cyr. “The education of children with severe disabilities and complex medical needs is the responsibility of our Commonwealth as a whole, not just the municipality or the school district in which those children reside. The action taken today will be a significant boost for our school districts and a worthy investment of state resources.”