Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Gov. Maura Healey, who earlier this month became an Arlington resident, on Wednesday signed the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) state budget passed by the Legislature on July 31 and supported by all three local state legislators.

Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. David M. Rogers (D-Cambridge) all voted in favor of the $56.2 billion FY24 budget. A joint news release says that it provides for historic levels of investment in education, housing, regional transportation, health care, workforce development, and more, as part of a broad strategy to grow our state’s economy and make Massachusetts more affordable, inclusive and competitive.

Arlington will receive $18,703,409 in Chapter 70 education funding and $9,069,495 in unrestricted general government aid, according to the announcement provided by Friedman's office. Specific allocations are listed further down in this article.

 “I am extremely proud of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which meets our current fiscal needs while also supporting our vision of sustainable, long-term economic health,” said Sen. Friedman, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “From investing in much-needed staff recruitment and retention in the behavioral health field through various loan repayment, tuition assistance and scholarship programs, to enshrining eviction protections and ensuring everyone has a safe place to live, to guaranteeing our students have access to healthy meals — all of these investments and policy adoptions promote the health and well-being of our residents.

"We can also give our residents peace of mind that we will continue to protect access to common-sense health care for all our residents by safeguarding coverage of preventive health care services like cancer screenings and access to medications for chronic conditions. I want to also point out the local projects that are receiving a significant amount of funding from this budget as we once again pass a budget that helps our state as a whole, in addition to the people and organizations doing great work in our communities.”


"I am proud of the legislature for delivering a budget to Governor Healey's desk that provides historic levels of investment in housing, education, public higher education, transportation, and health care," said Rep. Garballey, chair of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. "I am particularly pleased that items I championed in the House budget deliberations have been included in the conference committee report, including universal school meals to all students free of charge, over $200 million in new investment in the MBTA, a historic $1.05 billion for housing, and $2.9 billion for critical services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am also proud of the strong partnership with Rep. Dave Rogers and Sen. Cindy Friedman to secure critical local aid and investments for Arlington."

Dave RogersRogers

"The FY24 budget contains a remarkable number of statewide and local investments and policy initiatives, all of which will directly benefit the residents of Arlington and our commonwealth," said Rep. Rogers, House chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. "Key items such as free community college, in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, universal free school meals and so much more received full funding. In particular, the education and transportation sectors at large were significantly aided by the $1 billion made available through the Fair Share Amendment. For the 24th Middlesex District, much-needed local aid was provided, both through general funds, Chapter 70 education funds and road funding. I am pleased to have worked alongside Sen. Friedman and Rep. Garballey to help deliver these wins to the state and the town of Arlington."

Budget funds Arlington projects

In addition to education and general aid, the budget includes funding for the following local projects:

  • $1,250,000 for the continuation of the Middlesex County Restoration Center pilot program
  • $125,000 for the renovation of the town center park in Arlington
  • $100,000 for the installation of a veterans memorial in Arlington
  • $100,000 for the Mystic River Watershed Association, Inc., to study the effects of dredging and identify solutions
  • $80,000 for the historic Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington
  • $50,000 to Food Link, Inc. to address food insecurity in Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington and Woburn
  • $50,000 to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce
  • $50,000 to the Arlington Historical Society
  • $20,000 for technical development and collaboration between food agencies in Arlington
  • $15,000 for the Arlington Community Orchard
Fair Share investments

Consistent with the consensus revenue agreement reached with the Healey-Driscoll administration in January, the FY24 budget includes $1 billion in revenues generated from the Fair Share ballot initiative voters approved in November 2022, which established a new surtax of 4 percent on annual income above $1 million and invests these new public dollars to improve the state’s education and transportation sectors.

To safeguard this new source of revenue, the FY24 budget establishes an Education and Transportation Fund to account for Fair Share revenues in an open and transparent manner, ensuring the public is informed about how this new revenue is collected and used to improve public education and transportation systems in accordance with the ballot initiative.

About half the Fair Share investments are in education, including:

  • $171.5 million to require public schools to provide universal school meals to all students free of charge
  • $100 million for Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) capital supports for cities, towns and school districts experiencing extraordinary school project costs impacted by post-COVID inflationary pressures
  • $50 million to accelerate and build capacity to support free community college across all campuses by fall of 2024
  • $25 million in financial aid to encourage degree completion in disciplines that will address the workforce development challenges facing the commonwealth
  • $50 million to create Green School Works, a competitive grant program for projects related to installation and maintenance of clean energy infrastructure at public schools

Fair Share investments in transportation include the following:

  • $181 million for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) capital projects
  • $100 million in supplemental aid for roads and bridges
  • $20 million to address ongoing safety concerns at the MBTA
  • $5.7 million for water transportation (a ferry services pilot program)
  • $5 million for a feasibility study of means-tested MBTA fares

The FY24 budget supports students across the full spectrum of the Commonwealth’s education system, from Massachusetts’ youngest learners to adults re-entering higher education. It doubles minimum Chapter 70 aid from $30 to $60 per pupil and makes the largest-ever annual appropriation for early education and care in Massachusetts history: $1.5 billion.

The budget requires schools to provide universal school meals to all students free of charge, making this pandemic-era program permanent. In addition, it provides access to in-state tuition for students without a documented immigration status if they have attended a Massachusetts high school for at least three years and graduated or obtained a GED in the state.


Budget investments allow more than 2 million people to receive affordable, accessible and comprehensive health care services, including mental health and family care. For example, they include $19.81 billion for MassHealth, as well as funding for services and focused supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; for Department of Mental Health (DMH) adult support services; and for nursing facility Medicaid rates, including additional base rate payments to main a complete range of substance use disorder treatment and intervention services.

The FY24 budget codifies into law the federal Affordable Care Act's (ACA) provisions that protect access to preventive services, such as certain cancer screenings and HIV-preventive medications, such as PrEP, that have been jeopardized by a recent federal court ruling in Texas.


The budget makes a historic $1.05 billion investment in housing, dedicating resources to programs that support housing stability, residential assistance, and assistance to those experiencing homelessness.

The budget prioritizes relief for families and individuals who continue to face challenges brought on by the pandemic and financial insecurity, including $324 million for Emergency Assistance family shelters and $190 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), which provides rental assistance up to $7,000 per household. The budget makes permanent a pandemic-era eviction protection for renters with pending applications for emergency rental assistance under these programs, so that a judge cannot execute an eviction before an emergency rental assistance application has been approved or denied.

Other budget areas

The budget includes a 10 per cent increase to Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefit levels compared to June 2023.

The FY24 budget removes barriers to communication services for persons who are incarcerated and their loved ones. Under this provision, the Department of Correction (DOC) and sheriffs must provide telephone calls at no cost to persons receiving and initiating phone calls, without a cap on the number of minutes or calls.

This news announcement was published Friday, August 11, 2023, based on information provided in a joint news release from Stephen Acosta, communications director for Friedman; Derek Keenan, communications director for Garballey; and Carly Pierce, communications director forRogers. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication.