Montigny Secures Millions for New Bedford in Senate Budget
BOSTON — Thursday, Senator Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford) secured major state funding in the Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Budget that will directly benefit New Bedford.
The largest allocation, $166,383,464, will provide New Bedford an education funding increase of $16.7 million over fiscal year 2019. This includes increases in chapter 70, transportation, charter reimbursement, and the special education circuit breaker. Montigny worked with Senate Ways and Means Chairman, Michael Rodrigues, to ensure New Bedford receives a $14.5 million increase in chapter 70 funding. The $16.7 million increase will offset fiscal constraints imposed by the proposed Alma del Mar expansion.
The Senate budget allocates $159,830,964 to New Bedford, which is approximately $4 million above the Governor’s recommendation and $2.8 million over the House budget proposal. This figure significantly surpasses the chapter 70 funding level in fiscal year 2017 when it was set at $132,385,625.
Montigny also earmarked close to $1.2 million to benefit local children, celebrate local history, provide opioid treatment, and deliver mental health and peer support counseling for law enforcement. Under Montigny’s proposal, February 14th will be designated as Frederick Douglass Day in Massachusetts in order to celebrate the famed abolitionist’s lifelong fight for equality, especially in New Bedford.
Youth development and access to arts, culture, and recreation is also a major priority in Montigny’s allocations, continuing his years of legislative work to lead the local arts and cultural renaissance. The Senator allocated funding to Dennison Memorial Community to provide programs for financially disadvantaged youth in New Bedford. He also 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. The South Coast Youth Court will also receive funding to continue operating and Montigny worked with Representative Chris Hendricks to deliver funding to the New Bedford Girl’s STEAM Design Academy.
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. Funding is also provided to the Women’s Center to expand access to its safe dates and domestic violence workshops at local schools. Finally, the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) will continue to provide area law enforcement officers with much-needed peer support, mental health counseling, and residential treatment services following traumatic incidents.
“Increasing education funding has been a significant priority in the Senate, and this budget delivers significant new increases to New Bedford,” said Senator Montigny. “We also stay focused on ensuring our kids have access to innovative programs and area arts, culture, and recreation while providing for the overall well-being and safety of our community through access to addiction treatment, violence prevention program, and mental health services for our first responders.”
— Senator Mark Montigny's Office