Updated Dec 4, 2023 - News

Massachusetts Democrats pass $3.1 billion budget after failed attempts

Illustration of the Massachusetts State House with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

After multiple failed attempts, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a $3.1 billion spending bill with emergency family shelter funding.

  • Gov. Maura Healey signed the budget just hours after the House and Senate passed it.

Why it matters: Funding for union contracts, disaster relief and emergency family shelter, including shelter for migrants, hung in the balance.

  • One of those provisions requires the state to set up an overflow shelter by Dec. 31.

Driving the news: The House voted in an informal session to send the budget bill to the Senate, 105-14, per the State House News Service.

  • The Senate swiftly passed the spending bill with no objections to the process, sending the proposal to Healey's desk.

Between the lines: Democrats had blown past their formal law-making deadline last month after the House and Senate failed to reach a consensus around how to disburse the shelter funding for migrants.

  • House Democrats tried to advance the bill last week, but informal sessions allow any single lawmaker to disrupt proceedings by questioning the existence of a quorum.
  • Republicans did just that during Thursday's lightly attended session, calling for a formal session so they could again debate the migrant shelter funding and other provisions they opposed.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the Senate's passage of the budget bill and Gov. Maura Healey's signing of the bill.


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