Santiago Secures Over $2 Million in State Funding for Communities of Color, Early Education, and the Opioid Epidemic

State Representative Jon Santiago (D-Boston) joined his colleagues in voting to pass the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, H4000. This budget responsibly responds to the needs of residents and makes investments that set the state on a path toward economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded at $47.716 billion, the House’s FY22 budget includes significant investments in education, supportive services for vulnerable populations, and workforce and economic development, among other priorities.

“As we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, this state funding is more critical than ever,” said Santiago. “I am proud to have once again secured valuable state resources to fund programs that serve our most vulnerable and hardest hit residents. I want to thank Speaker Mariano for his vision and leadership, as well as the House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz for his steady hand and hard work. This budget will go a long way to starting our recovery rooted in equity and opportunity.”

Within the budget, Representative Santiago successfully secured over $2 million for seven district priorities.

•To support early education programs, $100,000 was allocated to United South End Settlements and Nurtury Inc., both programs that serve predominantly black and brown communities.

•A $2 million earmark was allocated to RIZE Massachusetts to support work on the opioid epidemic and addiction services.

•Representative Santiago also prioritized communities of color across Boston, securing additional funding for the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Fundación Dominicana del Arte y La Cultura, Inc., and Conexión.

•Lastly, the budget included $75,000 for the South End Community Health Center to bolster vaccination efforts.

The budget also included two critical provisions filed by Representative Santiago. The first provision, filed jointly with Representatives Jay Livingstone and Chynah Tyler, prohibits the Department of Conservation and Recreation from installing parking meters along public ways without prior approval from a local municipality. This language is meant to advance the goals of our neighbors in the Fenway who have been working with the state delegation to preserve parking along several public ways in the Fenway. The second provision, titled A Better City, requires the acceleration of ‘shovel ready’ MBTA capital projects. This language will speed up the MBTA’s modernization and improvement efforts to increase transit efficiency, reliability, and frequency.

Speaker Mariano and the House Ways & Means Committee introduced their FY22 budget on April 14, 2021, following a review of the Governor’s proposal and a series of budget hearings. After three days of debate and over a thousand proposed amendments, the budget passed by the House of Representatives 160-0 and now goes to the Senate.

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