Advocacy

Celebrating Budget Victories and Pushing for Key Gubernatorial Veto Overrides

Celebrating Budget Victories and Pushing for Key Gubernatorial Veto Overrides
July 27, 2018; last updated July 30th

Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law parts of the FY'19 state budget, vetoed other sections, and amended certain outside sections. You can see the full $41.7 billion budget here. Our budget chart will be updated shortly to reflect the full list of budget outcomes. See our email update and call-to-action here.

There are many victories to celebrate, including increased funding to address youth and young adult homelessness; more funds to prevent homelessness among families with children as well as elders, youth, and people with disabilities; the elimination of the homelessness penalty in the Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC), and increased funds for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), to name just a few.

While the Governor issued very few vetoes when he signed the FY'19 budget yesterday
(for a total of $48.9 million in cuts), we are working with legislative and advocacy allies to override vetoes and language changes related to Emergency Assistance family shelter and services (EA, via the Department of Housing and Community Development administrative line item, 7004-0099) and Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC, line item 4403-2000 and outside sections). The Legislature must take swift action, as formal sessions for this two-year legislative cycle end this Tuesday, July 31st.

The Governor struck language regarding in-person applications for Emergency Assistance family shelter. A veto override would:

- Make sure that DHCD has sufficient staff available to accept in-person EA application in the 10 cities and towns where DHCD had staff as of January 1, 2018
- Allow DHCD to accept in-person applications in additional cities and towns that are geographically convenient for families experiencing homelessness
- Require DHCD to report to House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means on their plans, financially and operationally, for maintaining these local offices and on any plans to increase the use of phones in the EA application process

Our EA fact sheet is here. Please share it with your state legislators.

The Governor also vetoed language and issued outside section amendments related to lifting the family cap rule in TAFDC, trying to tie lifting the family cap with a terrible proposal to count the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of adults with disabilities when calculating TAFDC benefits-- adults with disabilities so severe that they qualify for federal benefits. As with previous iterations of this proposal, this change would leave thousands of children and families without TAFDC assistance or with dramatically reduced grants. (See TAFDC veto text and outside section amendments.)

** Action Step: Please contact your State Representative and Senator TODAY to push Legislative Leadership to override the Governor's vetoes and reject the TAFDC income-counting proposal. You can find your legislators' contact information via www.wheredoivotema.com or call the State House switchboard at 617-722-2000. Swift action is necessary, as noted above, the Legislature will end formal sessions for this two-year legislative cycle by the end of the day this Tuesday, July 31st.** 

July 30th action alerts for State Legislators:

House message: https://conta.cc/2M1jhOx 

Senate message: https://conta.cc/2Ov9di7

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Please stay tuned. Thank you for your collaboration!