Today Governor Charlie Baker signed the final FY2023 budget totaling $52.7 billion to fund state programs and activities for the fiscal year that started July 1.
Line items tracked by CLM were mostly funded as expected from the version coming out of the Legislature. These include:
- DCF Services for Children and Families funded at $318.8M
- Family Support and Stabilization funded at $72.757M
- Family Resource Centers funded at $28.3M
- Local and Regional Admin & Area Leads funded at $9.525M
- The Center on Child Wellbeing and Trauma funded at $3.5M
- Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services funded at $113M
- Early Intervention funded at $48.75M
- Special Education Circuit Breaker funded at $441M
- Chapter 257 funded at $230M (represents setting rates at 50% of the BLS benchmark). The Conference budget also includes language in this line item that would:
- Mandate a minimum of 75% of Ch. 257 funding go toward front-line direct care, medical and clinical staff via options including “hourly rate increases, wraparound benefits, shift differentials, overtime, hiring and retention bonuses or recruitment.”
- Require EOHHS to report to the Administration and the Legislature “on the implementation of ongoing and proposed initiatives that increase the hourly wages and compensation of the direct care human service workforce;”
- Require EOHHS to report to the Administration and the Legislature “a comparison of the median salary for each classification of staff position with the seventy-fifth percentile wage estimate for that position as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Massachusetts in the most recent available data.”
Some additional items we are pleased to report were included in the final budget from our legislative priorities:
From Unchained at Last:
The FY2023 budget includes the language to ban child marriage, by prohibiting marriage for any party under the age of 18.
Importantly for minor children already married under existing law, the budget language also includes a provision that "any minor who is married may avail themself of all legal remedies and relief that would otherwise be available if they were not a minor, in order to initiate proceedings for divorce under chapter 208, annulment under chapter 207 and protective orders under chapters 209A and 258E." This language ensures married children have more protection and avenues that are typically closed to minors to escape a coerced marriage, such access to protection from domestic violence.
From the Lift Our Kids Coalition:
The FY2023 budget includes a 10% grant increase for TAFDC and EAEDC cash assistance starting October 2022. This means that the maximum TAFDC grant for a family of 3 will go from $712/month to $783/month. In addition, the Conference Budget raises the annual clothing allowance to $400 for each child receiving TAFDC this September.