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State Senate budget funds opioid task force, education

  • Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.



For The Recorder
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Funding for the Opioid Task Force, programs to assist the homeless and the University of Massachusetts is included in the Senate budget approved by a unanimous 38-0 vote Thursday night.

The Senate’s fiscal 2018 budget, which focuses on public education from early childhood through college and includes a series of initiatives aimed at promoting affordable housing and environmental protection, will next have to be reconciled with the budget adopted by the House of Representatives in April.

That reconciled budget will then be sent to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg sponsored an amendment that ensures the Franklin County Opioid Task Force, based in the newly opened Franklin County Justice Center, will receive $300,000 and continue its work to help those struggling with addition.

“This important funding allows the task force to continue its critical work in fighting the opioid epidemic in Franklin County,” Rosenberg said.

Another $149,700 is set aside for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Anticrime Task Force, and $75,000 for its juvenile firesetter intervention and prevention program.

For UMass, the budget includes $534.5 million, a $26.2 million increase over the current year.

The budget also includes $10.6 million for Greenfield Community College and $1.3 million for the Healthy Incentives Program allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program families to buy products at farmers markets and farm stands

Other regional programs supported in the budget are $125,000 for the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, $85,000 for the Middle Skills Manufacturing Initiative in Franklin and Hampshire County, $100,000 for the Franklin/Hampshire County CASA, which provides advocates for children who have been neglected and abused, $50,000 for the Planned Learning Achievement for Youth program in Amherst, $50,000 for the regional leadership development program in the Pioneer Valley that addresses the regional leadership void identified by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and $100,000 for Veteran Mediation Services provided by Quabbin Mediation.