Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate in unanimously passing a $55.9 billion budget for fiscal 2024. Following a robust, spirited and engaging debate process, the Senate approved 478 amendments, adding $82.2 million in spending to the budget.

As the Commonwealth continues to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Senate’s budget prioritizes upholding fiscal discipline and responsibility, and supports the long-term economic health of the state. The Senate budget delivers historic levels of investment in education, housing, regional transportation, health care, workforce development, climate preparedness, and much more, while centering equity and opportunity as part of a broader, more comprehensive strategy to make Massachusetts more affordable, inclusive, and competitive.

 “I am so proud of the Senate’s FY24 budget, which builds off investments made in prior fiscal years to deliver a comprehensive, impactful range of services and programs for the residents of the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I am particularly proud of the substantial investments in supporting staff recruitment and retention in the behavioral health field through various loan repayment, tuition assistance, and scholarship programs, and that we will continue to protect access to commonsense health care for all our residents by safeguarding preventive health care services like cancer screenings and access to medications for chronic conditions. I also want to recognize the increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid and Chapter 70 education funding, along with local project funding, which will serve as a demonstrable benefit to the communities of the 4th Middlesex district.”

The Senate’s budget recommends a total of $55.9 billion in spending, a $3.5 billion increase over the FY23 budget. This spending recommendation is based on a tax revenue estimate of $40.41 billion for FY24, representing 1.6 percent growth with an additional $1 billion from the new Fair Share surtax, as agreed upon during the Consensus Revenue process in January.

Fiscal discipline maintained

Remaining vigilant about the current fiscal environment, the Senate's FY24 budget adheres to sound fiscal discipline and builds up available reserves for the state’s Stabilization Fund. The fund has grown to a record high of $7.16 billion and is projected to close FY24 at $9.07 billion, ensuring that the Commonwealth continues to have the means to uphold fiscal responsibility during a time of ongoing economic volatility.

The Senate's budget – in addition to funding traditional accounts like Chapter 70 education aid – further demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to state-local partnerships, dedicating meaningful resources that touch all regions and meet the needs of communities across the Commonwealth. This includes $1.27 billion in funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), an increase of $39.4 million over FY23, to support additional resources for cities and towns. In addition to traditional sources of local aid, the Senate’s budget increases payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land to $51.5 million, an increase of $6.5 million over FY23. PILOT funding is a vital source of supplemental local aid for cities and towns working to protect and improve access to essential services and programs during recovery from the pandemic. The Senate’s FY24 budget includes $28,150,601 in UGGA funding, $88,982,376 in Chapter 70 education funding, and $500,000 in local project funding to directly benefit the communities of the 4th Middlesex district.

Arlington's share of the Chapter 70 funding is $18,703,409, and its share of the UGGA funding is $9,069,495. In addition, local project funding includes $125,000 for the renovation of the town center park in Arlington and $50,000 to Food Link, Inc. to address food insecurity in Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington, and Woburn.

Fair Share investments

Consistent with the consensus revenue agreement reached with the Healey-Driscoll Administration and House in January, the Senate’s 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 per cent 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 Senate’s FY24 budget establishes an Education and Transportation Fund to account for these Fair Share funds in an open and transparent manner. This will ensure the public is visibly informed about how much revenue is collected from the new surtax and how much of this revenue is being dedicated to improving public education and transportation systems in accordance with the ballot initiative. Among the many investments this year are $125 million for Higher Education Capital Funding, focused on reducing backlog of deferred maintenance projects, and $190 million for MBTA Capital Investments for critical capital resources for both the subway and commuter rail systems.

Recognizing that investments in our early education and care system support the underlying economic competitiveness of the Commonwealth, the Senate’s budget makes a historic $1.5 billion investment in early education and care. This is the largest-ever proposed annual appropriation for early education and care in Massachusetts history.

Health, mental health and family care

The Senate budget funds MassHealth at a total of $19.93 billion, providing more than 2.3 million people with continued access to affordable, accessible, and comprehensive health care services. Notable health investments include $2.9 billion for a range of services and focused supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and $597.7 million for Department of Mental Health adult support services, including assisted outpatient programming and comprehensive care coordination among health care providers.

Expanding and protecting opportunities

The Senate remains committed to continuing an equitable recovery, expanding opportunity, and supporting the state’s long-term economic health. To that end, the Senate's budget includes a record investment in the annual child’s clothing allowance, providing $450 per child for eligible families to buy clothes for the upcoming school year. The budget also 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 to help families move out of deep poverty.


As the Senate puts in motion plans to make the Commonwealth more inclusive, home affordability remains on the top of residents’ minds. To that end, the Senate’s FY24 budget makes a historic $1.05 billion investment in housing, dedicating resources programs that support housing stability, residential assistance, and homelessness assistance.

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 $195 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), which will provide rental assistance that a household can receive at $7,000.

The Senate’s FY24 Senate Budget will soon be available on the Massachusetts legislature’s website: For specific information on the FY24 budget process from Sen. Friedman, visit

A conference committee will now be appointed to reconcile differences between the versions of the budget passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.

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This news announcement was published Thursday, May 31, based on information provided in a news release from Stephen Acosta, communications director for Friedman. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication.