Statement on Passage of Supplemental Budget Dumping More Money into the Migrant Crisis

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance issued the following statement today after the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate passed a supplemental spending bill redirecting nearly half a billion dollars to the continued funding of the migrant crisis in Massachusetts without tackling any of the catalyst policies of the crisis.

“The state is in the midst of fiscally unstable times. Revenues are still down, spending is up, and local aid to cities and towns was cut last year. We simply don’t have the money to continue down the path which Beacon Hill is stubbornly taking us. The Right to Shelter law was designed to ensure the indigent and homeless of the Commonwealth had access to housing, not to act as a clearing house for people flooding across our open southern border. Without any meaningful reforms that address the root policies making our state a top destination for newly arrived migrants who end up on our benefit roles, we are simply spending good money after bad. We’re going to be right back in the same situation in a few months,” stated Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

The spending plan is funded in FY2024 with $251 million pulled from the state’s transitional escrow fund, with an option to pull another $175 million in FY2025. The Transitional Escrow Fund was established in 2021, during better economic times, to store up the state’s then record budget surplus.

“Reliance on these onetime funds shows Beacon Hill is thinking in the ultra-short term. Instead of investing that surplus in the future of our state to benefit taxpayers, we’re burning through it now at a record clip so that Beacon Hill politicians don’t have to make an uncomfortable decision and anger the political special interest groups that support them. State House leaders need to prioritize longtime Massachusetts residents with right-to-shelter benefits and reign-in the generous benefits they are providing these newcomers. Anything less and we’ll simply be having this same conversation in a couple of months,” noted Craney.

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