AICU Mass letter to Governor Baker re FY21 budget
December 7, 2020
To: AICUM Government Relations VPs/Directors
From: Brad Freeman, Vice President of Government Relations
Re: FY21 Budget Update
Dear AICUM Government Relations VPs/Directors:
On Friday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a consensus FY21 budget ($46.2 billion) that will be sent to Governor Baker for his review and approval. We are pleased to share that the Conference Committee included the significant increase in financial aid ($14.4 million) that was in the House FY21 budget. The consensus budget also includes language that directs the increased funding to the MassGrant/MassGrant Plus program ($10 million) and Gilbert Matching Grant program ($4 million). The Gilbert Matching Grant program is available exclusively to Massachusetts residents attending an independent college or university in Massachusetts.
The final FY21 budget as passed by the House and Senate relies heavily on one-time revenue options including a significant withdrawal ($1.7 billion) from the Commonwealth’s rainy day fund, sales tax collection reform and federal coronavirus relief funding. The Baker administration is expected to take the next week to review the budget and may choose to veto or amend certain funding appropriations in an effort to lessen the reliance on one-time revenues.
AICUM submitted a letter (see attached) to Governor Baker on Friday urging his administration to support the increased funding for the Massachusetts financial aid scholarship programs (7070-0065). This funding level ($120 million) is a significant increase over the $110 million that Governor Baker’s FY21 budget proposal recommended for financial aid programs. We would strongly encourage your institutions to reach out to the Governor and Secretary Peyser in support of this important funding as well. We anticipate that the bulk of the $14.4 million in additional funding will be available to students during the upcoming spring 2021 semester.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the FY21 budget or AICUM’s letter of support.