House Approves Funding for Puerto Rico Students, Commission Against Discrimination

House Approves Funding for Puerto Rico Students, Commission Against Discrimination

House Approves Funding for Puerto Rico Students, Commission Against Discrimination

Today, the House passed a $17.6 million FY18 supplemental budget funding 4 agencies:

  1. Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  2. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  3. Committee for Public Counsel Services
  4. Secretary of the Commonwealth – Early Voting

The supplemental budget provides $820,000 for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). MCAD recently told us that they have seen an increase in complaints and requests for sexual harassment trainings with the rise of the #MeToo movement. These funds will enable MCAD to hire two new staffers and one additional investigator in order to address these complaints and providing training across the Commonwealth.

In September, the apocalypse hit Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Families fled north to the mainland, many landing here in Massachusetts. They’ve resettled with family in Boston, Springfield, Holyoke, Lawrence, Chicopee, and dozens of other communities across the Commonwealth.

As of January 5th, Massachusetts public schools had enrolled 2,440 students from Puerto Rico. This supplemental budget provides $15 million to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for districts that enrolled these students. This key funding will help ensure that Puerto Rican students can continue their studies in their new school districts.

This supplemental budget provides $700,000 to the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). There is a shortage of public defenders in certain parts of our state who represent children in care and custody cases. In the event CPCS determines that this shortage is an emergency, they can authorize a temporary rate increase to $75/hour for private bar attorneys.

Lastly, the supplemental budget provides $1,063,978 to reimburse cities and towns for early voting in the 2016 election.

The FY18 supplemental budget now goes to the Senate.

See table below for line-item appropriations:

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