Fiscal Year 2001
Budget - Chapter 159 of the Acts of 2000
* Prescription Drugs - The budget offers an expansive and
groundbreaking prescription drug insurance program open to all seniors
over 65 who are either disabled individuals or live at or below 188% of
the federal poverty level. The program guarantees an unlimited
prescription drug benefit. Premiums are charged on a sliding scale
based on income.
* Education - The budget provides an additional $187 million in
chapter 70 direct aid to schools, an additional $20 million for MCAS
remediation grants (for a total of $40 million), and $18 million to
grade K through 3 class sizes. The budget also contains a $64 million
increase for higher education, which includes $10 million for university
endowments, which helps the state attract high caliber individuals.
Finally, support for the construction of schools is preserved through a
recommendation of $55 million to launch new projects.
* Special Education - The budget changes special education by
tightening eligibility requirements, moving from the state standard of
"maximum feasible benefit" to the federal standard of
"free and appropriate education" and allowing independent
evaluations for families only up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
A special education cost-sharing program between the state and local
school districts is also implemented.
* School Building Assistance - The budget revamps the SBAB
program by changing the funding formula to reflect factors like property
value, per capital income and poverty level. The fund will now
also pay for school renovation and reconstruction as well as new
* Medicaid Relief – Due to the losses many of the hospitals
have suffered as a result of federal cutbacks, we appropriated $95
million to help protect these vital institutions. A $4 million increase
for Community Health Centers’ Medicaid reimbursement rates is designed
to encourage centers to remain open longer hours was enacted. To address
the alarming scarcity of dentists available to MassHealth clients, we
allocated $19.4 million to increase Medicaid rates for dental services
by approximately 30 percent. $3.1 million will also be spent to
implement dental programs in nine community health centers. In an effort
to assist consumers in locating and accessing pharmaceutical companies
that offer reduced or no-cost drug programs, we provided $250,000 to
establish the Pharmacy Outreach Program.
* Nursing Home Staff - We allocated a $35 million wage increase
to certified nursing aides providing critical care in nursing home, as
well as $2 million to fund CNA scholarships and training programs. We
also appropriated funds for surveying nursing homes and creating an
advisory council to study the quality of care in nursing homes.
* Affordable Housing – We included $100 million for the
Affordable Housing Trust to provide crucial funding for the creation of
new housing. Additionally, we appropriated $900,000 to expand the
Supportive Housing program, providing supportive services around the
clock, on an as needed basis to seniors in public housing complexes.
* The budget contains a tax deduction for
charitable giving that
allows taxpayers to deduct up to 50% of their donations to charitable
organizations. This will save taxpayers an estimated $164 million
* The budget freezes the gas tax at 21 cents per gallon.
* The budget grants surviving spouses of disabled veterans the same
property tax relief that they were entitled to when their spouse was
Year 2000 Budget | Year
2001 Budget | Senate Engrossed Bills
1999 - 2000 Bills Passed | 1999
- 2000 Bills with Amendments
Senator Brian A. Joyce Room 413A
Boston, MA. 02133