Massachusetts Lawmakers Approve Budget; Several Cape-Related Items Included

massachusetts state houseHYANNIS – Massachusetts lawmakers have given final approval to a compromise $38.1 billion budget and sent it along to Gov. Charlie Baker for his signature.

The spending plan includes measures aimed at strengthening management of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and requiring lawmakers to sign off before public money could be spent on a potential 2024 Olympics in Boston.

Funding specific to Cape Cod includes $250,000 for the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies and the Buzzards Bay Coalition for water quality monitoring, $30,000 for seasonal Outer Cape traffic enforcement and $103,000 for vibrio management to ensure the safe handling of shellfish.

“I am pleased to have worked on these initiatives. All of these priorities will boost our local economy, provide jobs, allow entrepreneurs to startup businesses and provide transportation for people to be able to get to work, medical appointments, or to school,” said State Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown).

State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth), who represents the Plymouth & Barnstable District, was a member of the Conference Committee that hammered out the final version of the plan.

The budget also contains $59 million for regional school transportation and a $35 million increase for local aid.

Approval of the spending plan comes a week after the start of the 2016 fiscal year. The state had been operating on a stopgap budget. The 2016 fiscal year budget would increase overall spending by 3.5 percent over the just completed fiscal year.

Baker said he looked forward to reviewing the entire package. He said it offers a promising start to the effort to fix the MBTA. The governor has 10 days to review the budget.
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