Governor Baker yesterday released a revised FY 2021 budget recommendation, proposing a $45.5 billion plan for the fiscal year. The state has been operating on interim budgets for the beginning of the fiscal year, as the Governor and Legislature work to craft a full year budget in light of the COVID-19 revenue uncertainties. The Governor’s budget, which covers the July 2020 through June 2021 period, includes nearly $1 billion more in spending than what he had proposed in his original plan last January. To close the gap between falling tax revenues due to COVID-19 and rising spending levels, the plan relies heavily on the use of one-time non-recurring revenues, including utilization of higher federal revenue and tapping into the commonwealth’s ‘Rainy Day’ Stabilization Fund. The plan includes funding for the Nursing Facility Accountability and Supports 2.0 Initiative that will invest up to $140 million in rates and COVID-19 supplemental funding. The plan also includes outside sections that would amend and expand the Department of Public Health’s long term care facility licensure and suitability regulations and amend the user fee statute in regard to enforcement.
The Governor’s revised plan now moves to the Legislature for review and action.