COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 22, 2015
Sen. Lovely Adds Funding for McKinney-Vento Transportation Costs
(Boston) – Yesterday the Senate approved an amendment authored by Senator Joan Lovely that added $1 million in funding for McKinney-Vento transportation reimbursements to cities and towns.
The McKinney-Vento program allows homeless students placed in temporary housing in a new municipality to continue attending school in their community of origin. McKinney-Vento requires the host community and community of origin share the cost of the students’ school transportation.
“Increasing funding for McKinney-Vento reimbursements was one of my top priorities heading into budget debate and I want to thank Chairwoman Karen Spilka and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for recognizing the importance of this item to Danvers, Salem, and communities across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Lovely. “For municipalities working on tight budgets, every additional dollar helps and this amendment is a step towards fulfilling a long overdue commitment to our communities.”
With the amendment, the Senate funded the transportation reimbursement program at $8.35 million for fiscal year 2016. The $8.35 million figure matches the amount proposed by the Governor and House in their respective budget proposals. In fiscal year 2015, the Legislature authorized $7.35 million in total funding for the program.
Senator Lovely also re-filed an amendment from last year that would’ve allowed communities hosting families under the Emergency Assistance hotel/motel shelter program to recoup forgone revenue through the local room occupancy tax, but the amendment was not adopted.
“Many host communities go above and beyond to help sheltered families transition through difficult times, so the Commonwealth should ensure that these host communities have access to all obtainable resources in order to provide necessary public services to all its residents,” said Senator Lovely. “Going forward, I’ll continue to advocate for this provision.”
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.