BOSTON — State Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian have secured $175,000 in funding earmarks for the City of Melrose as part of the state budget process.
The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget that was enacted by the House and Senate on July 9 and is now before Governor Charlie Baker for his review. The budget represents a compromise spending plan that reconciles the differences between earlier versions of the budget approved by the House in April and the Senate in May.
This budget maintains fiscal responsibility, does not cut services, and makes targeted investments to address emerging needs, safeguard the health and wellness of the most vulnerable populations and ensure residents will benefit equitably as the state recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget fully funds the Legislature’s commitment to implementing Student Opportunity Act public school funding increases; includes substantial investments in labor, workforce and economic development; and supports working families by addressing the increasing costs of caregiving for low-income families, converting the existing tax deductions for young children, elderly or disabled dependents and business-related dependent care expenses into refundable tax credits. The FY22 state budget also funds a variety of statewide priorities and initiatives including local aid, housing and food security, mental health and substance use disorder intervention and treatment, and public health.
Several local initiatives are funded in the budget for Melrose, including:
$50,000 to refurbish the Milano Senior Center and ensure safe access to communal space for Melrose seniors.$50,000 for streetscape infrastructure upgrades.$50,000 for efforts to mitigate invasive species in public ponds.$25,000 for the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV) healthy relationship program.“As a statement of what we value as a Commonwealth, the FY22 budget reflects comprehensive attention to supporting residents through the pandemic recovery, with significant support for housing and food security and public health resources; ongoing prioritization in areas like public education, local aid, and workforce development; and prudent savings directed to our rainy day fund,” said Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian. “I’m also thrilled that the budget includes funding for Melrose that I championed in the House to enhance our streetscapes with additional sidewalks, trees, and trash receptacles; enable safe access to the Milano Senior Center; and address invasive species in our treasured ponds as well as for MAAV’s healthy relationship program.”
“With significant investments in our public schools, local aid, affordable housing, public health, workforce development and more, this budget will go a long way to helping our communities recover from the pandemic,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “I’m particularly pleased that Representative Lipper-Garabedian and I were also able to secure state funding for a number of important local priorities in Melrose.”
“I’m very thankful for our delegation’s leadership through this budget process and their championing of a sustainable and age-friendly Melrose,” said Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur. “These are all important investments, particularly for the Milano Senior Center, which is so much more than a resource for older adults—it also serves as a social service hub for all residents in need, which has become hugely evident through the pandemic.”
“We are so honored and grateful to be included in the state budget, said Rebecca Mooney, Executive Director of the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV). “These funds will enable MAAV to strengthen and expand the online version of our Healthy Relationships program for teens and share it with surrounding schools and communities.”
The budget is now on Governor Baker’s desk awaiting his signature.