Gov. Patrick signs a $36.5 billion budget for FY15

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Patrick administration continues to focus on education in their fiscal 2015 budget, freezing tuition rates and fees for University of Massachusetts students for a second year. Public schools will see $4.4 billion in funding, making it the highest level in state history, but that’s not all.

“This budget moves an additional 17-hundred children off the wait list and into high-quality, early education opportunities which we know to be critical for future academic and economic success,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

That still leaves 38,300 kids waiting on their chance at early education. Governor Patrick also vetoed $16 million that state lawmakers requested in areas like the Department of Corrections, Administration and Finance, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Something the Governor did not veto – significant pay raises for district attorneys, judges and sheriffs.

According to the Boston Globe, eleven district attorneys will get a $23,000 dollar salary increase this fiscal year. State sheriffs will make around $150,000 and trial court judges will come out with $160,000 per year.

“These are important public safety officers in the Commonwealth. We think that they need to be compensation fairly in light of the important job that they do,” said Secretary Glen Shor of the Office of Administration and Finance.

The budget also calls for $48 million for the Department of Children and Families and $20 million to combat the state’s opioid crisis.

The $36.5 billion budget goes into effect immediately and will last until July 1, 2015.

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