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FY21 House Ways and Means budget

November 5, 2020

Legislative Alert

To: AICUM Government Relations VPs/Directors

From: Brad Freeman, Vice President of Government Relations

Re: FY21 House Ways and Means Budget

Dear AICUM Government Relations VPs/Directors:

This afternoon the House Ways and Means Committee released a $46 billion FY21 budget proposal that includes significant new funding for the Massachusetts need-based financial aid programs. The budget proposal, which has been delayed due to the uncertainty of tax revenues during the pandemic, relies on a $1.55 billion withdrawal from the Commonwealth’s rainy day fund, $550 million in federal CARES funding, and $834 million in enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for MassHealth.

The House FY21 budget includes a recommended $120 million for the Massachusetts financial aid line-item (7070-0065), a significant increase over recent budgets. This line-item was funded at $105.6 million in FY20 and Governor Baker recently recommended $110 million in his FY21 budget proposal. Further, the House budget proposal directs that $14.4 million of the funding increase be allocated as follows:

• $10 million increase over FY20 spending on the MassGrant/MassGrant Plus program; and
• $4.4 million over FY20 spending on the Gilbert Grant, which is a financial aid grant program exclusively available to students attending a private, nonprofit institution in Massachusetts.

We are continuing to review the budget and will let you know of any other items of note for higher education. The House is expected to begin debate on the budget proposal next Tuesday.

Thank you and please let us know if you have any questions.

Legislative updates

December 09, 2020