Thank you MA Legislators!!
Legislators restore $100 million to state budget
By Laura Crimaldi GLOBE STAFF JULY 24, 2016
House lawmakers Saturday restored about $100 million in spending that had been cut from the state budget by Governor Charlie Baker, who has said he slashed $412 million to keep Massachusetts finances in order amid a flat stock market and falling capital gains tax revenue.
During the rare weekend session, legislators voted to reinstate money to boost salaries for early education and preschool teachers, pay for voting programs, and reverse cuts to a range of state offices. The Senate also convened to consider some of Baker’s spending vetoes.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the spending plan endorsed by lawmakers remains conservative even with the overrides, noting that money was restored for programs like drug courts, special education, and poor families with children.
“We as a government, obviously, we have an obligation to support these types of services,” DeLeo said in a telephone interview. “It is all worthwhile spending matters that help us as a society and as a state.”
One vote restored $7.5 million to hike pay for educators of children in government-sponsored preschool programs.
The move was praised by Massachusetts Fair Share, which had pushed to get the money back into the budget.
“This is evidence that lawmakers see the need to invest in education,” said Nathan Proctor, state director for Massachusetts Fair Share.
He said the average yearly salary for teachers in the early-education field is $25,500.
“The first opportunity that early education teachers have, they obviously leave,” DeLeo said. “Many will go into any other field because we’re talking about salaries in the [$20,000 range].”
A Message from PMKF to Legislators
Thank you for working to override Governor Baker’s veto and preserve funding for early education and care in the FY’17 budget.
The Put MA Kids First coalition applauds the appropriation of $12.5 million for the early education and school age rate reserve (line item 1599-0042) and $2 million for direct quality grants to early education and care programs (in line item 3000-1020), the coalition’s top two priorities.
The Put MA Kids First coalition (putmakidsfirst.org), is a broad-based coalition of over 75 organizations across the Commonwealth focused on supporting quality early education and care and out-of-school time programs. Our goal is to secure the best outcomes for children in those settings. Because of your support many early educators are now on a pathway to receiving a living wage. Please continue to advocate for these wonderful educators.
Thank you for your support.