BOSTON — Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) has secured a multi-million dollar increase in state operating funds for New Bedford, in addition to significant state bonding authorizations to complete projects benefitting veterans, cultural organizations and public recreation.

Specifically, the FY2019 Senate budget appropriates $145,309,461 in Chapter 70 funds for New Bedford schools, a $7,384,429 increase over last fiscal year. In addition, the Senate plan will fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker and provide $22,980,913 in unrestricted general government aid to the city of New Bedford. Montigny also supported a $2 million increase over FY18 for the Shannon Grants program, which provides funding to reduce youth and gang violence. He also backed a $2.7 million increase to the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, a youth violence prevention and intervention initiative to help redirect troubled youth toward healthy, successful lives.

Senator Montigny also earmarked $680,000 for initiatives providing essential programs and resources for local children. Dennison Memorial Community Center in the South End of the city will receive funding to ensure children continue to have access to essential after-school and summer programs, engaging kids and increasing literacy efforts. The Women’s Center will be allocated funding to ensure schools can host domestic violence prevention and response services. Finally, the bulk of the funding will be allocated toward his children’s access fund, to provide access to arts and culture, engage youth with first responders, and expand after school and summer programs for underserved New Bedford children.

Over the course of his Senate career, Montigny has been a champion for children’s access to arts and culture. This latest initiative will foster literacy, promote arts and culture, and bolster economic and personal development in New Bedford.

“I am committed to supporting young people in my district in and out of school. This funding provides significant state support to local organizations that provide children with opportunities by reducing barriers to arts and culture, building relationships with mentors, and promoting a safe and supportive community,” said Senator Montigny, who has been a leader in reducing barriers and creating opportunity for young people and their families. “This funding will also further catalyze the resurging arts and culture community and our local economy, while ensuring no one is left behind.”

In addition to funds secured through the annual fiscal year budget, Montigny also recently secured millions in state capital bond authorizations to support multiple crucial projects:

· Downtown New Bedford Court Facilities ($123,562,890)

· Veterans Transition House for veterans transitional housing in New Bedford ($1 million)

· Buttonwood park pond public access projects ($600,000)

· First Baptist Church restoration and repairs ($1 million)

· Strand Theatre restoration for Cape Verdean Cultural Center ($1.2 million)

· UMass Dartmouth Star Store HVAC system repairs ($8 million)

· Fairhaven Senior and Recreation Center repairs ($180,000)

The bonding bill also extended previous authorizations for the Zeiterion Theatre ($2 million), Dennison Memorial Community Center ($300,000), and the Orpheum Theatre ($3 million). The legislation will receive a final vote to send to the Governor’s desk by next week.

--Senator Montigny's Office