State legislature working to keep programs funded

House lawmakers could take up the bill Wednesday

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of Massachusetts residents rely on state-funded programs to get by, but the state’s Department of Children and Families, emergency homeless shelters and other programs are due to run out of money in just a couple of weeks.

House lawmakers are close to voting on a $158 million spending bill to keep these critical services up and running.

The proposal includes $15 million for the state’s child welfare agency. Emergency homeless shelters are in line for $41 million dollars. The spending bill also includes $11 million dollars to fund union contracts at the University of Massachusetts. UMass President Marty Meehan said the university system decided to raise student tuition and fees, because the legislature wasn’t able to secure these funds last year.

House lawmakers could take up the bill Wednesday. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said, “If not this Wednesday, then next Wednesday. I feel fairly confident that we’ll get that done talking to both of the chairs, they’ve informed us that they’re very close to getting it accomplished.”

Governor Charlie Baker said he’s confident the bill will reach his desk by the end of April.

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