Senate Adopts Sen. Lovely’s Amendments during Budget Debate

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
MASSACHUSETTS SENATE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 22, 2015

Senate Adopts Sen. Lovely’s Amendments during Budget Debate

(Boston) – This week the Senate approved several of Senator Joan Lovely’s budget amendments during debate of its version of the fiscal year 2016 budget. The four amendments focused on both local and statewide initiatives, including flood mitigation in Peabody, traffic in North Beverly, a postpartum depression pilot program, and Early Intervention.

Amendment #292, offered by Senator Lovely, allocated $100,000 for a flood mitigation study in Peabody. Representative Leah Cole and Representative Theodore Speliotis sponsored a similar amendment for $50,000 in the House version of the fiscal year 2016 budget, which was debated and passed at the end of April.

“As many North Shore residents know, flooding in Peabody has been a significant issue in the city for quite some time, so the need for this amendment is abundantly clear,” said Senator Lovely. “The additional funding may not completely resolve the issue, but it will certainly help the city analyze and target the best approach to mitigate flooding.”

Amendment #420, offered by Senator Lovely, allocated $100,000 for a public safety grant to review traffic concerns in North Beverly. More specifically, the funding would review possible improvements to address traffic and public safety concerns in near the North Beverly train station and Route 1A, including Laurel, Dodge and Enon Streets. Representative Jerald Parisella successfully sponsored this amendment during the House’s budget debate.

“These two local amendments were priorities for my House colleagues and our shared constituents, so I was happy to join them in supporting these local projects for our communities” said Senator Lovely.

Amendment #831 for the Early Intervention (EI) program added $800,000 in funding for the 35,000 children and families served by the sixty EI programs statewide. EI offers family-centered services to children with identified disabilities or whose development is at risk due to certain birth or environmental circumstances.

Amendment #851 allocated funding to continue a postpartum depression pilot program at community health centers in Holyoke, Jamaica Plain, Lynn, and Worcester. Since the fall of 2013, the pilot program has screened more than 1,400 women for perinatal emotional complications. Senator Lovely filed the amendment in collaboration with the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression, a commission she has served on since December 2013.

Following the passage of the Senate budget, a joint conference committee will be tasked with reconciling the differences between the final House and Senate budgets. Fiscal Year 2016 begins on July 1, 2015.

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