John Johnson Remembered

Rep. Dykema Votes to Authorize Local Funding for Special Education and Road Repair

by Press Release
April 13, 2018

 

Last week, Rep. Carolyn Dykema of Holliston joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives to unanimously vote on two funding bills that would expand local aid for infrastructure projects and education programs, as well as closing funding gaps for FY18 for other critical state programs.

H.4366, An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2018 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects, authorized $131 million in additional FY18 spending made available in part due to FY18 revenue collections exceeding expectations. In addition, H.4367, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million in bonding for municipalities to repair and maintain locally-owned roads and bridges.

Critical among these appropriations is a $12.5 million supplement for reimbursements to school districts for special education costs that exceed a certain threshold. Schools are statutorily entitled to 75 percent reimbursement for these costs, and the additional supplementary funding on top of the $281 million authorization for FY18 will help close the current gap in reimbursements.

“Securing robust funding for our schools is critical to providing a high-quality education for every student in the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Dykema. “Additional funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker will help to mitigate some of the increasingly challenging financial constraints school districts face.”

The spending bill also authorizes a one-time emergency relief fund for aid to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and creates a reserve to ensure continuity in reproductive health care funding in the event of federal funding changes. Other items receiving increased funding due to additional need include Chapter 115 veterans’ benefits, emergency housing assistance, and temporary aid to families in need.

H.4367, also known as the Chapter 90 bill after the authorizing law, appropriated funds to be distributed to cities and towns using a formula that takes into account miles of roadway, population, and employment. Using the latest projections for FY19, Holliston will receive $510,158, Hopkinton will receive $649,575, Southborough will receive $433,921, and Westborough will receive $789,634.

“Chapter 90 funding ensures that our towns have the financial support they need to keep our roads in a state of good repair,” said Rep. Dykema. “These bonds help ensure timely completion of the repairs and maintenance that winter weather and aging infrastructure make necessary.”

Both bills now travel to the Senate for consideration.

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Representative Carolyn Dykema represents the communities of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough and Precinct 2 of Westborough in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

 

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