MetroWest representatives make assignments for their respective districts – Boston University News Service
By Katherine Hapgood
Boston University Statehouse Program
BOSTON — MetroWest officials made their funding requests for infrastructure, seniors, PFAS chemical removal, and education and early care from the $49.6 billion budget for the fiscal year. 2023 presented by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Such local appropriations—provisions directing that funds be spent on specific projects—are generally not “made part of the budget” when presented to members of the House, so any request from lawmakers will be “passed through the amendment process,” explained the state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough.
Gregoire drafted amendments for six local projects in her hometown, all of which are “infrastructure projects in municipal buildings”, she said.
Assignments include sprinklers, physical repairs and a “pretty big paving project”. Although Gregoire did not specify how much money she asked for – she is not sure what she “will be able to get” – it was a “total request for a sum of money important”. Throughout the process, Gregoire “contacted City Hall” several weeks before the April 15 amendment deadline to “ensure we had their priorities,” she said.
While Gregoire leads the Marlborough delegation, she will “likely co-sponsor some amendments” for Northborough and Westborough, as well as “potentially also co-sponsor some amendments for Framingham with the Framingham delegation”.
State Rep. Jack Lewis, D-Framingham, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the initial budget includes “significant investment in early education and care, workforce development work, support for people facing housing insecurity and criminal justice reform. ”
“Notable reforms funded by this budget include free school meals, free phone calls for those currently incarcerated, a new loan forgiveness program, and direct investments to support teachers of color,” Lewis said.
While Lewis didn’t specify what changes he specifically requested, he said he and his colleagues at MetroWest “filed several amendments to potentially fund local projects” and that he “looks forward to hearing about them.” more about local priorities” of his colleagues.
As co-chair of the Massachusetts House Progressive Caucus, Lewis said he was “honoured to see so many things that we’ve been working on” under the budget.
“Budgets aren’t just numbers and spreadsheets. They are moral documents that embody our priorities and values,” he said.
State Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow, said she made “several requests” for communities in her district — Hudson, Stow, Maynard and Bolton.
These include funding for the Hudson Senior Center and the Fresh Start Furniture Bank, a Hudson charity that distributes household items and furniture donated by the public to people in need who have been referred by a service agency. social.
Hogan also made requests for OARS Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to protect the Assabet, Concord and Sudbury rivers for public recreation, water supply and wildlife habitat.
She has also made requests for Maynard & Acton Senior Shuttle, bridge repairs in Stow, ArtSpace Maynard, culverts for the city of Bolton and the continuation of an AFFT Take-Back programme, which removes fire-fighting foam containing PFAS chemicals.
The budget will be debated in the House from Monday. But until a final budget is voted on before it goes to the Senate and then Gov. Charlie Baker, none of the local assignments are guaranteed.
This article originally appeared in the MetroWest Daily News.