Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-New Bedford) secured funding for New Bedford, Gateway Cities, and citizens in-need throughout the Commonwealth in the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

Rep. Cabral fought for the following successful amendments to benefit local programs and organizations in New Bedford, which were ultimately passed by the House of Representatives:

$100,000 for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, education, and counseling programs at the Women’s Center.
$100,000 for production at Zeiterion, Inc.
$50,000 for youth programs at the Dennison Memorial Community Center.
$50,000 for outreach and educational programming at AHA! Arts, History, & Architecture of New Bedford.
$50,000 for the Frederick Douglass House of New Bedford.
$30,000 for the Tom Lopes Community Sculpture Project.
$25,000 for the youth apprenticeship program at the New Bedford Festival Theatre.

“These New Bedford organizations and programs do tremendous work every single day for our community and I’m proud to have advocated for them in this year’s debate,” said Rep. Cabral.

Additionally, Rep. Cabral secured $450,000 for UMass Dartmouth’s SMAST for fisheries research for the fourth consecutive year.

“This type of collaborative fisheries research produces accurate fish count data, which is critical information for the fishing industry here in New Bedford,” explained Rep. Cabral.

Rep. Cabral also fought for $137,925,032 in state funding for the New Bedford Public Schools and $22,980,913 in unrestricted general government aid for the City’s budget.

Representing the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus as House Chairman, Rep. Cabral took to the floor of the House Chamber late Monday night to debate an amendment he filed to increase unrestricted general government aid, or “local aid,” to Gateway Cities. His amendment puts forth a formula that considers each municipality’s fixed costs and its ability to collect local revenue in the distribution of state aid. Based on a bill he filed earlier this session, this formula would adjust the distribution of local aid to all cities and towns so that New Bedford and other Gateway Cities receive equitable annual increases rather than the current practice of arbitrary allocations. The bill (H 3354) will be further considered during the public hearing process.

The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus was also successful in passing a number of amendments which yielded increases in funding for workforce development, education, and transportation initiatives. Among many others, the Community College Workforce Training Incentive program received $750,000, and the Dual Enrollment line item, which funds programming to give high school students the ability to earn college credit, received $1,000,000 in funding. Also of note, the English Language Learners Gateway Cities Program—which was left unfunded in the Governor’s proposed budget—is now set to receive $1,000,000 in funding through the Caucus’ efforts.

“These budget victories are significant in terms of their capacity to transform how our cities continue to build and grow economically,” stated Rep. Cabral. “Our community stands to benefit when we make key investments in our students’ educations and career paths.”

Several state-wide programs saw increases that will benefit the residents of New Bedford as well. Rep. Cabral helped secure $13,541,999 for the Parent-Child Home Program, which operates in New Bedford. This innovative and successful program provides children and their families with individualized educational support. Rep. Cabral also advocated for the Citizenship for New Americans Program (CNAP), which received $400,000, to assist low-income, permanent legal residents of Massachusetts in the process of becoming U.S Citizens.

The budget now goes to the Senate for consideration.

--Rep. Cabral's Office

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