This past week, the House Ways & Means Committee released their budget proposal. My colleagues and I have submitted over 1,000 amendments. As we look to the Fiscal year 2017 budget, some of the highlights that I support and that more directly impact Holyoke are: $36.2 million increase in the pay rates of human service workers (Chapter 257 rates); an increase of $55 per student aid in our public schools; increased unrestricted local aid; a 1% increase overall to community colleges; and additional funds for community policing grants and drug diversion programs. Also, it’s important to note that even though we are budgeting year to year, there is a long-term vision for investments, cost containment, savings, and maintaining our strong bond rating.

I am proud to have taken the lead on the 11 amendments listed below. I have also lent my support as a co-sponsor to 99 amendments, ranging from small business support to aid for the homeless to medical research.

I look forward to advocating for the people of Holyoke in the 2017 House budget debates, happening the week of April 25. Be sure to follow me on Facebook (The Fifth Hampden) and Twitter (@aaronmvega) for updates.


 Amendment No.  Title  Sponsor Type
12 Workforce Education in Holyoke Primary Sponsor
16 Holyoke Police Community Outreach Primary Sponsor
20 Holyoke Fire Department Narcan Primary Sponsor
299 Funding for STEM programs for Girls Inc Primary Sponsor
472 Reimbursement Rates for DSH Hospitals Primary Sponsor
501 Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Primary Sponsor
986 Workforce Development programs Primary Sponsor
1049 Family Resource Centers Primary Sponsor
1158 Safe & Successful Youth Initiative Primary Sponsor
51 Meals on Wheels Co-Sponsor
55 Family Resource Centers Co-Sponsor
64 Shannon Grant Co-Sponsor
198 Treehouse Foundation Co-Sponsor
202 Municipal dispute resolution grant program Co-Sponsor
283 Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Co-Sponsor
292 Regional Tourism Councils Co-Sponsor
340 Prostate Cancer Research Co-Sponsor
344 Massachusetts Cultural Council Co-Sponsor
531 Regional emergency medical services Co-Sponsor
553 Precision Manufacturing Workforce Development Fund Co-Sponsor
575 Community Mediation Grants Co-Sponsor
579 Lipodystrophy Co-Sponsor
580 Regional Transit Authorities Co-Sponsor
582 Small Business Technical Assistance Co-Sponsor
628 Early Intervention Co-Sponsor
635 MEFAP Co-Sponsor
637 Regional Economic Development Grants Co-Sponsor
642 Horizons for Homeless Children’s Playspace Program in DHCD Facilities Co-Sponsor
649 Western Massachusetts Coalition to End Homelessness Co-Sponsor
651 HomeBASE Program Co-Sponsor
671 Adult Basic Education Co-Sponsor
697 Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Co-Sponsor
722 Higher Education Student Financial Aid Co-Sponsor
731 Dual Enrollment Program Co-Sponsor
735 Community Colleges Workforce Training Incentive Program Co-Sponsor
741 Relative to Municipal Legislative Impact Statements Co-Sponsor
745 Relative to Municipal Impact Statements Co-Sponsor
748 Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities Co-Sponsor
754 to protect children experiencing homelessness Co-Sponsor
756 updating state disability standard Co-Sponsor
785 Spouses as Caregivers Co-Sponsor
796 Funding for OSHA Protections to Public Employees Co-Sponsor
800 Massachusetts Food Trust Co-Sponsor
811 Turning 22 Co-Sponsor
813 Community Preservation Trust Fund net surplus transfer Co-Sponsor
817 to expand access to homelessness prevention resources Co-Sponsor
833 relative to UI eligibility for enrolees in apprentice traning Co-Sponsor
834 Preserving eligibility for the PACE program & certain waivered services Co-Sponsor
840 Assistance Dogs for Veterans Co-Sponsor
845 Charter School Reimbursement for Cities, Towns and Regional School Districts Co-Sponsor
847 Civil Legal Services- MLAC Co-Sponsor
851 An Amendment Encouraging Cultural Council Funding Co-Sponsor
858 Mass in Motion: Promotion of Wellness and Prevention Co-Sponsor
863 For the executive office of energy and environmental affairs to coordinate and implement strategies for climate change adaptation and preparedness Co-Sponsor
871 Employment Services Program (YPP HiSET) Co-Sponsor
877 Public Higher Education FY17 Collective Bargaining Funding Co-Sponsor
883 Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) Co-Sponsor
914 Pilot loan repayment program for direct care human service workers Co-Sponsor
928 Turnpike Toll Use Clarification Co-Sponsor
938 Mentoring Matching Grants Co-Sponsor
957 Alzheimer’s Public Awareness and Education Co-Sponsor
958 Office of the Child Advocate Co-Sponsor
960 Student Transportation Reimbursements to Cities, Towns and Regional School Districts related to the McKinney-Vento Mandate Co-Sponsor
973 Department of Environmental Protection Administration and Compliance Co-Sponsor
979 Kindergarten Expansion Grants Co-Sponsor
989 Day and Employment Disability Program Co-Sponsor
990 Safe and Supportive Schools Co-Sponsor
1011 Library Sales Tax Exemption Co-Sponsor
1013 Family Support & Respite Services for the Developmentally Disabled Co-Sponsor
1015 Massachusetts Center for the Book Co-Sponsor
1024 State Aid to Public Libraries Co-Sponsor
1027 Massachusetts Life Sciences Co-Sponsor
1030 Nursing and Allied Health Workforce Development Initiative Co-Sponsor
1041 Common Application Portal/SNAP Gap Amendment Co-Sponsor
1067 Substance Abuse Screenings for Adolescents/SBIRT Co-Sponsor
1071 Enhances Home Care Rate Equalization Co-Sponsor
1076 YouthBuild Co-Sponsor
1082 Special Education Circuit Breaker Funding Co-Sponsor
1086 To Fund the DEP Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Co-Sponsor
1101 Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Co-Sponsor
1103 Early Education and School Age Rate Reserve Co-Sponsor
1110 DAR Farm to School Co-Sponsor
1112 Homeless Individuals Co-Sponsor
1113 Extraordinary Medical Release Co-Sponsor
1115 Comprehensive Family Planning Services Co-Sponsor
1119 Health Safety Net Eligibility & Funding Co-Sponsor
1127 School-to-Career Connecting Activities Co-Sponsor
1135 “Buy Local” Amendment Co-Sponsor
1137 YMCA Youth-At-Risk Co-Sponsor
1143 Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Co-Sponsor
1186 Commission on Upstream Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion Co-Sponsor
1187 English Language Learners’ Gateway Cities Program Co-Sponsor
1190 Massachusetts State Council Vietnam Veterans of America Co-Sponsor
1204 DTA SNAP Benefits at Farmers Markets Co-Sponsor
1205 Head Start Program Co-Sponsor
1207 DCF Family Stabilization and Support Co-Sponsor
1216 DCF Regulation Change and Family Resource Center Reporting Co-Sponsor
1226 Commission on Child Welfare and Safety Co-Sponsor
1232 Charter School Tuition Reimbursement Co-Sponsor
1234 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services/RISE Co-Sponsor
1242 DCR State Parks and Recreation Co-Sponsor
1245 Plumbers’ Apprentice Unemployment Co-Sponsor
1251 Prostate Cancer Research Co-Sponsor
1256 Summer Jobs for At-Risk Youth, the YouthWorks Program Co-Sponsor
1257 DAR Administration Co-Sponsor
1270 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Housing and Wraparound Support Services Co-Sponsor
1271 One Stop Career Centers Co-Sponsor
1306 Collective Bargaining Agreement Co-Sponsor