Courtesy of the MAR Legal Team
One week after the House passed its version of the latest pandemic response bill (H.4345), the Senate passed its own version. Both bills provide additional funding for face masks, vaccines, and COVID testing. They also extend two pandemic-related policies we’ve been advocating for – remote online notarization and remote town meetings. Though the bills vary slightly, especially in funding for the aforementioned COVID measures, each contains the policy pieces we support. Next up, a conference committee will iron out the details and the bill will be passed along to the Governor for his review and likely enactment.
The FY23 budget deliberations started this week with the filing of the Governor’s budget proposal. Governor Baker’s final budget proposal falls in line with REALTOR’s® advocacy since early 2019 by increasing funding and benefits for housing assistance programs (detailed in the table below). The budget was also accompanied by a tax relief bill proposing to:
- Double the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit for more than 100,000 lower-income homeowners and renters aged 65 and older, and
- Increase the cap on taxpayer rent deductions from $3,000 to $5,000 annually, providing $77 million to renters annually.
Though this is just the first step in a lengthy budget process, we’re pleased to see the continued focus on trying to find solutions for the state’s housing challenges.
FY23 Budget Housing Assistance Funding
|Program||Proposed Funding||Comparison with FY22 Budget|
|Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)||$80 million||+264%|
|Emergency Assistance Family Shelters||$213.2 million||+8%|
|Local Housing Authorities||$85 million||Same|
|Homeless Individual Shelters||$83.3 million||+44%|
If you ever have any questions or comments on our advocacy, email MAR Staff Attorney Jonny Schreiber.