BOSTON — With the state budget finally signed by Governor Charlie Baker Wednesday it’s becoming clearer how the $43.3 Billion spending plan will be divided amongst the Commonwealth.

The City of New Bedford will receive a slice of the pie in multiple areas for this fiscal year with a majority of it is reserved for education.

Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) has announced that Governor Baker approved close to $1.2 million he secured in the FY20 budget for New Bedford.  Montigny’s budget amendments will provide funding to increase local children’s access to arts, culture, and recreation; youth violence prevention; peer support and mental health services for police; workforce training; and opioid treatment programs.

Under this budget plan, New Bedford will also receive $159,830,964 in Chapter 70 education funding.  This is an increase of $14.5 million over last fiscal year and is $2.8 million more than what the House proposed in April.  Montigny worked with Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues to ensure New Bedford would receive the highest funding possible.

Senator renewed his Children’s Equality and Empowerment Fund to provide $500,000 in grants to local organizations seeking to provide innovative access to arts, culture, and recreation for area youth.  He also allocated $80,000 to Dennison Memorial Community Center to provide programs for financially disadvantaged youth in New Bedford.  Montigny also wrote a provision to ensure the South Coast Youth Court continues to operate through a $100,000 earmark.  Montigny also delivered funding to the New Bedford Girl’s STEAM Design Academy, working alongside Representative Chris Hendricks (D-New Bedford).

Montigny, as a former budget chair, has consistently used his experience to deliver significant funding and legislation for his district.  “New Bedford’s economic resurgence and cultural renaissance has opened up tremendous resources and opportunities to experience the city’s unique plethora of arts, culture, and history,” said Senator Montigny.

“Our mission in this year’s budget is very simple:  provide New Bedford kids with access to local arts, culture, and recreation regardless of socio-economic status.  I cannot thank our local partners enough and look forward to another successful year.”

Public health and safety priorities also ranked high in this year’s agenda.  Montigny delivered $175,000 to the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center so primary care services can provide medication treatment for opioid use disorders.  Montigny also ensured the Women’s Center can continue to expand access to its safe dates and domestic violence workshops at local schools.  Finally, the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) will receive $100,000 to continue to provide area law enforcement officers with much-needed peer support, mental health counseling, and residential treatment services following traumatic incidents.

Senator Montigny also helped provide $500,000 to support the operations and maintenance of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, which is scheduled to sail back home to New Bedford in 2020.  An amendment also created a new law that officially designates February 14th as Frederick Douglass Day in Massachusetts in order to celebrate the famed abolitionist’s lifelong fight for equality, especially in New Bedford.

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