Massachusetts House Passes Legislation to Reform Step Therapy Protocols

BOSTON – Last Wednesday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation limiting the use of step therapy protocols, in which insurance companies refuse to pay for the prescription drugs prescribed by a patient’s health care provider until the patient first tries cheaper, and oftentimes ineffective, alternatives. The legislation establishes exceptions a patient can use to avoid their insurer’s step therapy protocol and requires both MassHealth and commercial insurers to provide a clear and transparent process for patients and their care team to request an exception.

“This is a healthcare bill designed to allow patients to get the life-changing care they need without needlessly going through all kinds of hoops before getting it,” said State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn). “This legislation will allow patients to utilize exceptions within an insurance carrier’s step therapy protocols and get the treatment or medication they need sooner.”

The legislation outlines four different circumstances that trigger the patient exception process, including:

1. The required treatment will harm the patient,
2. The required treatment is expected to be ineffective,
3. The patient previously tried the required treatment, or similar treatment, and it was ineffective
or harmed the patient,
4. The patient is stable on a current treatment and switching treatments will harm the patient.

Additional highlights of the legislation include:

• A requirement that MassHealth and commercial insurers adopt a “continuity of coverage” policy to
ensure patients do not experience any delay in accessing a treatment when requesting a step
therapy exemption.
• A requirement that MassHealth and commercial insurers approve or deny a step therapy exemption
request within three business days, or within one business day if a delay would cause harm to the patient.
• A requirement that commercial carriers annually report data related to step therapy exemption requests
and related coverage determinations to the Division of Insurance.
• The creation of a commission on step therapy protocols tasked with studying, assessing, and bi-annually
reporting on the implementation of step therapy process reforms made in this legislation.

“An Act Relative to Step Therapy and Patient Safety” (H.4929) passed the House of Representatives 153-0.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for their consideration.

Massachusetts House Passes Comprehensive Behavioral Health Legislation

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed on Thursday, June 16, 2022, comprehensive legislation addressing longstanding issues with our behavioral health care delivery system. The bill focuses on acute psychiatric care and crisis response, youth behavioral health initiatives, community-based behavioral health services, investments in the workforce, and enforcement of existing behavioral health parity laws.

“This bill represents yet another step towards meeting the mental health needs of residents, and particularly children, in the Commonwealth. In part due to the challenges of the last few years, we all recognize the increasing demand for these services,” said State Representative Richard M. Haggerty Haggerty (D-Woburn). “We must continue to advance measures that require us to deal with crisis response in the mental health sector and that includes helping to address the labor shortage, valuing behavioral health as we do physical health, and better support for young people living with behavioral health challenges.”

Highlights of the bill include:

Initiatives to address emergency department boarding:
• Creating online portals that provide access to real-time data on youth and adults seeking mental health and substance use services, including a function that allows health care providers to easily search and find open beds
• Requiring the Health Policy Commission (HPC) to prepare and publish a report every three years on the status of pediatric behavioral health
• Codifying an expedited psychiatric inpatient admissions (EPIA) advisory council to reduce hospital emergency department boarding, including a protocol to expedite placement into appropriate care settings for patients under the age of 18
988 implementation and 911 expansion:
This legislation seeks to increase behavioral health care access across the Commonwealth through the implementation of the nationwide 988 hotline to access 24/7 suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis services. This legislation also expands 911 to bridge the gap until 988 is implemented by increasing training, funding, and capacity for regional emergency responses to behavioral health crises.
Red flag laws and Extreme Risk Protection Order:
This bill initiates a public awareness campaign on the Commonwealth’s red flag laws and Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), passed by the Legislature in 2018, that limit access to guns for people at risk of hurting themselves or others.
Full-system accountability for parity:
This bill tackles disparities in mental health and other forms of health care by giving the state additional tools to enforce existing parity laws, such as:
• Requiring licensed mental health professionals to be available during all operating hours of an emergency department (including via telehealth)
• Codifying hospital clinical competencies and operational standards and directing the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to establish a complaint process for alleged violations
• Directing DMH to create a comprehensive plan to address access to continuing care beds, intensive residential treatment programs, and community-based programs for patients awaiting discharge from acute psychiatric hospital units
• Implementing mental health watch reforms in correctional settings, including changes to the referral to mental health process for those who are incarcerated or detained, and establishing a process for a person on mental health watch for longer than 72 hours to petition to be transferred
School-based behavioral health services and programming:
• Limiting the use of suspension and expulsion in all licensed early education and care programs
• Requiring school districts to adopt a behavioral health crisis response plan which may be based on a cost-neutral model plan to be developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
• Creating a statewide program to help schools implement school-based behavioral health services
Access points for youth for effective behavioral health treatment:
• Creating a complex care resolution panel to ensure children with complex behavioral health needs are assisted quickly and with cross-agency support and coordination
• Requiring behavioral health assessments and referrals for children entering the foster care system
• Empowering the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) to receive complaints from children and families and to assist them in resolving issues with access to behavioral health services
Expanded insurance coverage:
This legislation requires insurance coverage of critical behavioral health services, including:
• Emergency service programs
• Services provided under psychiatric collaborative care models
• Mental health acute treatment, community-based acute treatment, and intensive community-based acute treatment without prior authorization
• Annual mental health wellness exams
Workforce investments:
This proposal builds upon the Behavioral Health Trust Fund by carving out specific grant programs for health care providers, which would finance: 
• Workforce Pipeline Investments: a scholarship program to support a culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse behavioral health workforce, with a focus on clinicians who commit to serving high-need populations.
• Integrated Care: a grant program to expand integrated care models that enable providers to expand their practices to provide behavioral health care in primary care settings
• Support for Providers: a grant program to promote the mental health and wellbeing of providers
Behavioral health parity implementation and enforcement:
This legislation tackles the disparity by health plans to reimburse mental health services at lower rates than other forms of health care by providing the Commonwealth additional tools to enforce existing parity laws and promote compliance.
This legislation enhances oversight of parity compliance by:
• Requiring carriers to comply with annual reporting requirements
• Directing the Division of Insurance (DOI) to review and ensure insurer compliance with parity laws
• Authorizing the Office of Patient Protection (OPP) to identify and refer potential parity violations that arise during OPP grievance reviews to the DOI and the AG’s office

“An Act addressing barriers to care for mental health” (H.4879) passed the House of Representatives 155-0 after a similar version of this legislation passed in the Massachusetts State Senate. The legislation moves back to the Senate for further consideration.

Reading’s Erin Gaffen Named Commonwealth Heroine of Class 2022

BOSTON – Reading’s Erin Gaffen was honored this week, at an in-person ceremony, as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) 2022 Class of Commonwealth Heroines. State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) is proud to have nominated Erin for her continued contributions and dedication to the Reading community.

“I was so pleased to nominate Erin for this honor and for being able to recognize her efforts to keep Reading moving forward,” said Representative Haggerty, “Her commitment to her community, the School Committee as an institution, and her family make her worthy of this award. I offer her my sincerest congratulations.”

In 2018, Erin co-chaired the Yes For Reading campaign in town, which successfully advocated for additional financial resources for town services. The vote marked the first time since 2003 that Reading voters supported override funding. The added funds helped the town retain elementary, middle, and high school teachers; support athletic programs; add police officers and firefighters; increase library funding; and provide more support for elder services and the Department of Public Works. Then, in 2020, Erin jumped into the public’s eye again by running for School Committee. In her successful run for this position, she had strong support from across the political spectrum and would enter her new role just as COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on everyone’s lives – especially on students and teachers. As a member of the school committee the past two years, Erin has successfully navigated some of the most difficult decisions facing any local elected official in modern times. She has served her community with honor and distinction.

“Erin’s work on the Yes For Reading campaign helped to deliver critical financial resources to the town to preserve many essential municipal services, and she has continued to give back to the community as an elected member of the Reading School Committee,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “Erin’s volunteer and civic work is the epitome of what the Commonwealth Heroines Award is all about, and I join with my colleagues in the Reading legislative delegation in congratulating her on receiving this well-deserved honor.”

“I so admire Erin’s passion for lifting up our youth, whether it is through her work, her advocacy, or her engagement with our community,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “She is more than deserving of recognition as a Commonwealth Heroine, and I look forward to seeing what she does next for Reading students and families.”

The Commonwealth Heroines are women who do not make the new but make the difference. Thousands of women in every community of the state perform unheralded acts on a daily basis that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities, and towns better places to live. Commonwealth Heroines use their time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others in their community. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators who strive to protect and represent the interests of seniors, victims of violence, children, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. They are the glue that keeps a community together. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.

Representative Haggerty Announces June 2022 Virtual Office Hours

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) has announced upcoming virtual office hours to be held this Friday.

The forum will be held via the Zoom video conference app, with the abilities to dial-in via the app and through phone. The virtual format of the community office hours will allow members of the community to speak with the Representative directly, where they can voice any questions or concerns they may have.

The upcoming Office Hours will be held this Friday, June 24, 2022 from 11AM – 12PM via Zoom. If you are interested in participating, call-in details will be provided by reaching out to Legislative Aide, Nicole Redigan, directly at Nicole.Redigan@MAhouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2460.

Haggerty, MA House pass FY23 budget, makes targeted investments to support families

BOSTON – State Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and State Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget. This budget responsibly responds to the needs of residents and makes targeted investments to support families in the Commonwealth.
“This budget reflects our values by including the largest ever increase in funding for the city’s public schools at over $3 million. It also includes significant investments in health care, housing, and workforce development to help continue to grow our Commonwealth’s economy. Importantly this budget also bolsters the state’s rainy-day fund with a deposit of at least $785.7 million in fiscal year 2023 and includes no tax increases,” said Representative Haggerty, “I was so pleased to work with Representative Ciccolo to direct resources to local projects in our community including a substantial boost in funding for local schools, an expansion of children’s programming at the Woburn Public Library, and a capital investment in the Count Rumford Birthplace in North Woburn.”
Local projects funded
• $100,000 for the Woburn Public Library Foundation for enhanced children’s programing at WPL
• $25,000 for the Rumford Historical Association for maintenance and refurbishment at the Count Rumford Birthplace in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War
Direct Local Aid
Chapter 70 Education Funds: $12,963,000 (31% increase over FY22)
Unrestricted Aid: $6,757,000
“This House budget truly supports the needs of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Woburn is particularly well served by the substantial increases in School Aid funding, early childhood education, workforce training, mental health services, and local aid,” said Representative Ciccolo, “I was thankful for Rep. Haggerty’s leadership and pleased to support his amendment requests that resulted in funding for the Woburn Public Library, and the Rumford Historical Association. This budget was passed unanimously by the House, and Woburn residents will be well served because of it.”
“The House budget responds to the economic challenges currently facing Massachusetts residents by balancing a focus on immediate needs such as workforce development, with a focus on long-term investments that are designed to grow our economy in a sustainable way,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “I want to thank Chairman Michlewitz for his indispensable guidance, as well as the Committee on Ways and Means and my colleagues in the House for their tireless hard work.”
“This budget builds off the successes of the last few years and prioritizes our residents,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “By reinvesting in the people of the Commonwealth we will continue to assist those recovering from this pandemic while making our economy stronger and more equitable for years to come. I want to thank Speaker Mariano for his leadership during this budget process, as well as my Vice-Chair Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and the entire membership for their thoughts and guidance over the last few months to make this a more successful and well-rounded budget.”
The FY23 House budget, funded at $49.73 billion, includes an unprecedented $912 million to fund early education and care (EEC). Continuing its longstanding commitment to invest in the workforce, the budget includes a $70 million in rate increases for subsidized child care providers across the Commonwealth, representing a $50 million increase over FY22. It also includes a new initiative funded at $10 million to pay for child care for early educators. Following the recommendations issued by the Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission, the budget includes language requiring the Department of Early Education and Care to base reimbursement on enrollment rather than attendance. Early education and care funding initiatives include:
• $16.5 million for Head Start grants;
• $15 million for child care resource and referral agencies;
• $10 million for EEC higher education provider opportunities;
• $5 million to provide additional navigation support and outreach to families;
• $3 million for early childhood mental health grants; and
• $1 million for Neighborhood Villages to provide bilingual workforce training, instructional coaching, and COVID-19 testing.
The FY23 House budget funds Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) at $1.199 billion and Chapter 70 education funding at $5.988 billion, representing a $494 million increase over the FY22 budget and fully funding the second year of a six-year implementation plan of the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) which was enacted in 2019 to support equitable funding for our most vulnerable students.
The budget also provides $110 million for a year-long extension of universal school meals, providing immediate relief to families by saving them up to $1,200 every year from reduced grocery expenditures, according to The Feed Kids Coalition. Additional education funding allocations include:
• $440 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker;
• $243 million for charter school aid, fully funding charter school reimbursement;
• $77 million for regional transportation; and
• $22 million for homeless student transportation.
The House budget invests in higher education by allocating $653 million for the University of Massachusetts system, $337 million for community colleges, and $326 million for state universities. Building on Speaker Mariano’s priority to ensure Massachusetts residents from diverse backgrounds have access to meaningful educational opportunities the budget also includes a $25.5 million increase in scholarship funding over the last fiscal year for a new total of $156 million, and funds the community colleges SUCCESS Fund at $14 million and the STEM Starter Academies at $4.75 million.
The budget also includes large investments in youth engagement programs, job training and workforce development, including:
• $60 million for adult education to support English Language Learners and adults working towards their GED;
• $28.3 million for the YouthWorks jobs program to fund over 6,000 summer and year-round jobs for youth in low-wage-earning and fixed-income families;
• $25.7 million for workforce support for K-12 schools;
• $20.4 million for Career Technical Institutes to train workers and allow them to close skills gaps and meet the needs of businesses across the Commonwealth;
• $17 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund;
• $15 million for One Stop Career Centers to connect individuals with training and employers;
• $1 million investment in Learn to Earn; and
• $1 million for the 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund.
Additionally, the House budget invests in programs across departments to support workforce equity in Massachusetts that help diverse communities and employers succeed. New initiatives include:
• $20 million for a loan forgiveness program within the Department of Mental Health to support their workforce;
• $15 million to support teachers of color, including $7.5 million for Tomorrow’s Teachers program to provide scholarships to people committed to teaching in public schools and $7.5 million for loan repayment for teachers of color;
• $10 million for loan repayment and bonuses for the homeless shelter workforce that continue to provide critical services to the most vulnerable populations; and
• $1 million for a public awareness campaign to ensure all communities can utilize these programs.
The Commonwealth’s commitment to MassHealth remains one of the largest drivers of the budget. In FY23, the House is providing $18.40 billion to fully fund its caseload, which has increased as more residents became eligible during the pandemic. The House’s FY23 budget accurately reflects this enrollment growth due to the federal extension of the public health emergency, showing the necessary increase in spending beyond what was included in the Governor’s budget proposal, while also factoring in the increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) reimbursement levels.
The budget prepares for the transition of individuals from MassHealth to the Health Connector when the federal public health emergency ends by providing $50 million for a Connector Care Pilot Program, which utilizes savings from the American Rescue Plan Act to fund subsidized health insurance plans for members that are between 300%-500% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for two years. It also invests $37 million to expand eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program to 250% FPL.
The House FY23 budget invests in the human services workforce who provide services to our most vulnerable, including $230 million for Chapter 257 rates for health and human service workers, $40 million to continue higher rate add-ons and ensure a smaller wage cliff between FY22 and FY23 for home health aides and homemakers, and $1 million for the Nursing and Allied Health Workforce Development program. Additional investments include funding for programming such as the Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams, the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Expansion, nine Elder Supportive Housing Sites, and the SHINE Program. The budget fully funds Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children at $343 million, as well as Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children at $137 million.
The House budget reflects the commitment to supporting health and behavioral health needs across the Commonwealth. Investments include:
• $10 million to expand emergency diversion boarding programs within the Department of Mental Health;
• $188.6 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services;
• $12.5 million for behavioral health supports; and
• $48.3 million for early intervention services, with dedicated funding to help its workforce recover from the pandemic.
The House FY23 budget includes funding for housing and homelessness prevention, investing $150 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $140 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), $100 million for homeless individuals, $92 million for housing authority subsidies, and $59.4 million for HomeBASE.
The budget funds the Department of Developmental Services at $2.44 billion, aimed to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. It includes $278.4 million for Community Day and Work Programs, $90.6 million for respite services, $42.3 million in autism supports and services, $33.9 million in transportation services, $13.9 million for the autism division, and $1.8 million for supportive technology for individuals.
To ensure every resident has equal access to the criminal justice system, the House’s FY23 budget includes a $824.6 million investment in the Trial Court, $39.5 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, and increases for Prisoners’ Legal Services and Mental Health Legal Advisors. The budget also upholds commitments made by the Legislature’s criminal justice reform, such as $11.3 million for community-based residential re-entry programs and establishes an Employment Services Division within Probation funded at $2.2 million.
The budget also continues the House’s focus on environmental and climate protection by investing $349.7 million for environmental services, which include funding increases for state parks, environmental protection, and fisheries and wildlife. Additional measures include promoting electric vehicles and funding for environmental justice and climate adaptation and preparedness.
After three days of debate and over a thousand proposed amendments, the budget passed the House of Representatives 155-0 and now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

Haggerty secures $100,000 for Reading in House budget

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) have secured a total of $100,000 in state funding earmarks for the Town of Reading as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 House budget.

Jones and Haggerty jointly co-sponsored three amendments on the town’s behalf, all of which were adopted during the House budget debate that took place from April 25-27. The House action represents preliminary approval of the funding, which also requires Senate support and Governor Charlie Baker’s signature before the money can be released to the town.

The three funding earmarks for Reading that were added to the House budget proposal include:

• $50,000 to assist the Reading Fire Department with the purchase of a new ladder truck and related equipment;
• $25,000 to repair the rock walls at Memorial Park; and
• $25,000 for the Reading Memorial High School Robotics Team, also known as the Robockets

“The House budget provides Reading with critical financial resources to support these important public safety and educational initiatives,” said Jones. “As the process moves forward, Representative Haggerty and I will continue to work together on behalf of the town to see to it that all three earmarks are retained in the final budget when it reaches Governor Baker’s desk.”

“The resources included in the House budget to bolster resources for our fire department, our schools, and other local projects is yet another way we can support local initiatives at the state level,” said Representative Haggerty. “I am so pleased to be able to join Representative Jones in advocating for these resources and to be able to drive more dollars back to our community.”

The FY23 budget now moves to the Senate, which will release and debate its own spending proposal in May.

House and Senate approve $308,566 in Winter Recovery Assistance Program funding for Reading’s roadways

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), and Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) recently supported a supplemental spending bill that will provide the Town of Reading with $308,566 in additional state-funded road assistance.

Reading is slated to receive the money as part of a $100 million Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) initiative included in House Bill 4578, an FY22 supplemental budget that was initially approved by the House on March 9 and by the Senate on March 24. A final version of the bill was enacted in both branches on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on April 1.

Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the WRAP money can be used for projects such as reconstructing, resurfacing, and striping roads, as well as for repairing or replacing traffic lights, signage, guardrails and storm grates.

“The winter weather has taken a heavy toll on our local roadways, creating potholes and other hazardous driving conditions,” said Representative Jones. “By making state funding available through the WRAP program, Reading will have greater financial flexibility to address these problems without having to tie up limited municipal resources that can now be directed to other local priorities.”

“I was pleased to support these resources that will help our community repair local roadways from the ravages of winter,” said Representative Haggerty. “I strongly support continuing to direct aid to our cities and towns so they can restore neighborhood streets and make them safe for vehicles and pedestrians alike.”

“Our roads and sidewalks are in need of repair after the difficult winter months. Potholes and other damage make commuting to school, work, and other everyday responsibilities more challenging,” said Senator Lewis. “I am glad that Reading is receiving these funds to help improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.”

The House of Representatives just last week approved a $350 million bond bill to help maintain municipal roads and bridges under the state’s Chapter 90 program and to provide additional funding for several

transportation-related grant programs, including the Municipal Small Bridge Program and the Complete Streets Program. That bill, House Bill 4638, is now before the Senate, which is expected to act on it soon.

Although Chapter 90 funding is allocated using a formula that calculates the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage, population and employment, the WRAP funding is being distributed to communities using a formula based strictly on local road miles.

Haggerty supports $437,463 in Winter Recovery Assistance Program funding for Woburn’s roadways

BOSTON –State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) recently supported a supplemental spending bill that will provide the City of Woburn with $437,463 in additional state-funded road assistance.

“I was pleased to support these resources that will help our community repair local roadways from the ravages of winter,” said Representative Haggerty, “I strongly support continuing to direct aid to our cities and towns so they can restore neighborhood streets and make them safe for vehicles and pedestrians alike.”

Woburn is slated to receive the money as part of a $100 million Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) initiative included in House Bill 4578, an FY22 supplemental budget that was initially approved by the House on March 9 and by the Senate on March 24. A final version of the bill was enacted in both branches on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on April 1.

Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the WRAP money can be used for projects such as reconstructing, resurfacing, and striping roads, as well as for repairing or replacing traffic lights, signage, guardrails and storm grates.

The House of Representatives just recently approved a $350 million bond bill to help maintain municipal roads and bridges under the state’s Chapter 90 program and to provide additional funding for several transportation-related grant programs, including the Municipal Small Bridge Program and the Complete Streets Program. That bill, House Bill 4638, is now before the Senate, which is expected to act on it soon.

Although Chapter 90 funding is allocated using a formula that calculates the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage, population and employment, the WRAP funding is being distributed to communities using a formula based strictly on local road miles.

House directs $599,388 to Reading for local road and bridge funding

BOSTON – Reading will receive $599,388 in state funding to help maintain local roads and bridges under a proposed $350 million transportation infrastructure bond bill recently approved by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and their colleagues in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4638, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, was engrossed by the House on a unanimous roll call vote of 156-0 on March 30. The bill provides for $200 million in state borrowing for the Chapter 90 program for Fiscal Year 2023, while also authorizing an additional $150 million in funding for five municipal grant programs to assist cities and towns with their local transportation needs.

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, using a formula that takes into account the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). The program provides funding on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns paying up-front for eligible expenses before receiving state compensation

“This new Chapter 90 allocation will allow Reading to carry out critical road and bridge repairs, now that the spring construction season is getting underway,” said Representative Jones. “House Bill 4638 also makes a sizeable investment in several state-run grant programs that town officials can access to help address other local transportation priorities.”

“This appropriation will provide Reading with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”

In addition to the $200 million allocated for the Chapter 90 program, House Bill 4638 also provides for the following:

  • a $40 million increase for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, repair and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally aided roadways;
  • a $30 million increase in the municipal small bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges;
  • a $25 million increase for the Complete Streets Program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to eligible municipalities seeking to provide safe and accessible travel mode options for people of all ages and abilities;
  • a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities for the prioritization and enhancement of mass transit by bus; and
  • and a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities to expand access to mass transit and commuter rail stations.

House Bill 4638 now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

Woburn to receive $1.25M for local bridge and road projects

BOSTON – Woburn will receive $1,251,922 in direct state funding to help maintain local roads and bridges under a proposed $350 million transportation infrastructure bond bill recently approved by Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and his colleagues in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4638, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, was engrossed by the House on a unanimous roll call vote on March 30.

The bill provides for $200 million in state borrowing for the Chapter 90 program for Fiscal Year 2023, while also authorizing an additional $150 million in funding for five municipal grant programs to assist cities and towns with their local transportation needs.

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allo- cates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, using a formula that takes into account the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%).

The program provides funding on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns paying up-front for eligible expenses before receiving state compensation

“This appropriation will provide Woburn with the re- sources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our commu- nities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”

In addition to the $200 million allocated for the Chap- ter 90 program, House Bill 4638 also provides for:

  • a $40 million increase for the construction, recon- struction, resurfacing, repair and improvement of pave- ment and surface conditions on non-federally aided roadways;
  • a $30 million increase in the municipal small bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, con- struction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges;
  • a $25 million increase for the Complete Streets Pro- gram, which provides technical assistance and construc- tion funding to eligible municipalities seeking to provide safe and accessible travel mode options for people of all ages and abilities;
  • a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities for the prioritization and enhancement of mass transit by bus; and
  • a $25 million increase for grants to municipal- ities to expand access to mass transit and commuter rail stations.

House Bill 4638 now heads to the Senate for its con- sideration.