TOPSFIELD — State Representative Jamie Zahlaway Belsito joined colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives the last week of April, after three days of debate to pass the final Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) House budget.
Funded at $49.73 billion, the House’s FY23 budget continues its strong commitment to cities and towns and includes significant investments in health care, education, housing, and workforce development, among other priorities. Through Representative Belsito’s advocacy, the budget also includes appropriations for local projects in the towns of Hamilton, Ipswich, and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Rep. Belsito was able to secure funding for three crucial projects in the 4th Essex District: Hamilton will be receiving $25,000 towards the replacement of their municipal fuel tank and pump station; Ipswich will be receiving $25,000 towards a new public safety emergency communications tower; and Manchester-Essex Regional High School will be receiving $25,000 towards the replacement of their turf field.
“I made sure that the needs of the 4th Essex district were well represented in the house budget discussion”, said Rep. Belsito. “From money to ensure a playground is handicap accessible, to youth mental health supports, I made sure our voice was heard. For the projects that were not funded, I am working with our district’s 2 Senators to pursue funding. If not in FY23, I am hopeful to go after any supplemental funding that will be available in the near future.”
The House FY23 budget expands services without raising taxes and is made possible due to strong revenue collections and increased federal reimbursement. Due to responsible financial leadership, the state’s Stabilization Fund is estimated to stand at $6.55 billion. 4th Essex District communities stand to receive $26,824,342 in Chapter 70 education funding, an increase of more than $1,000,000 over last year’s funding number, and $4,606,510 in unrestricted local aid, an increase of more than $120,000 over last year’s figure.
“The Commonwealth is making investments in areas where we need it most- early education, economic recovery and mental health. I thank House leadership and my colleagues for their work and dedication to this robust FY23 budget”, said State Rep. Belsito.
Additional investments found in the FY23 House budget include over $17 million towards prescription drugs, $5 million to support climate change, over $112 million for youth mental health services, $514 million for adult mental health services, $441 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, $77 million in regional school transportation. $81 million in Early Education investments, $15 million for the crucial MassHire Career Centers, $17 million for workforce competitiveness, and $30 million in small business technical assistance grants.