May 21, 2014: On the first day of budget debate, the State Senate approved an amendment (Redraft OTH #4) to transfer $10 Million from the FY14 state budget surplus to the CPA Trust Fund. The amendment's lead sponsor, Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, had originally requested $25 million from the budget surplus, but the amendment was redrafted earlier today with a revised amount of $10 Million. As she introduced the amendment, Senator Creem discussed the positive impact CPA has had on the communities and constituents she represents, and without further debate, the amendent passed on a 39-0 roll call vote. All state senators voted in favor of the amendment; Senate President Therese Murray did not vote, as is tradition for the Senate President for most budget amendments. The Senate is expected to approve the entire FY15 budget, including the CPA amendment, by the end of this week.
We are extremely grateful for the support of all the members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, led by Chairman Stephen Brewer, as well as Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, our longtime CPA sponsor, and Minority Leader Bruce Tarr.
What's the next step?
As reported last month, the House of Representatives budget included $25 Million to be tranferred from the state budget surplus to the CPA Trust Fund. In June, the budget will go to a budget conference committee, where differences between the House and Senate budget proposals will be debated and reconciled. The Coalition will continue to advocate for $25 million in funding for the CPA Trust Fund during the conference committee process, and a final decision can be expected by the end of June.
What was included in the Senate budget for CPA?
Shown below is the full text of Senator Creem's CPA amendment, and the impressive list of 28 state senators that co-sponsored the amendment.
Redraft OTH 4
Community Preservation Trust Fund
Ms. Creem, Mr. Barrett, Ms. Candaras, Messrs. DiDomenico, Donnelly, Eldridge and Finegold, Ms. Forry, Messrs. Hedlund and Humason, Ms. Jehlen, Messrs. Keenan and Lewis, Ms. Lovely, Mr. Michael O. Moore, Ms. O'Connor Ives, Messrs. Rodrigues, Ross and Rush, Ms. Spilka, Messrs. Welch, Wolf and Brownsberger, Ms. Donoghue, Messrs. Joyce, Tarr, Downing, Kennedy and McGee moved that the bill be amended by striking out section 115 and inserting in place thereof the following section:
“SECTION 115. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, prior to transferring the consolidated net surplus in the budgetary funds to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund under section 5C of chapter 29 of the General Laws, the comptroller shall dispose of the consolidated net surplus in the budgetary funds for fiscal year 2014 in the following order to the extent that funds are available: (i) transfer $25,000,000 to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund established in section 6 of chapter 23I of the General Laws; (ii); transfer $10,000,000 to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund established in section 9 of chapter 44B of the General Laws; and (iii) transfer $7,000,000 to the Social Innovation Financing Trust Fund established in section 35VV of chapter 10 of the General Laws.
(b) All transfers pursuant to this section shall be made from the undesignated fund balances in the budgetary funds proportionally from the undesignated fund balances; provided, however, that no such transfers shall cause a deficit in any of the funds.”