Baker-Polito Administration Proposes Supplemental Budget, With $1.6 Million To Fund Women’s Health Care Services To Cover Lapse In Federal Funds
Feb 14, 2018 04:18AM
● By Theresa Gilman
Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Note: the following information was provided by the office of the Baker-Polito
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration has announced a $160 million supplemental spending bill that contains $1.6 million for clinical family planning services that serve low income and uninsured individuals and families. This state funding will backfill federal Title X funds that are set to run out on March 31st should the federal government fail to announce future funding for these essential health care grants. The supplemental budget also contains funding for important priorities such as shelter beds, Gold Star family annuities and reserve money for hurricane evacuees who have relocated to the Commonwealth from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of devastating hurricanes.
“Our administration fully supports access to women’s health care and family planning services, and is requesting supplemental state funding to support these critical services in the event of an interruption in federal funding,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With federal funding set to expire at the end of March and its renewal unclear, our administration is allocating this funding to ensure essential reproductive and preventative health care services remain available to women across the Commonwealth.’’
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts annually receives $6.4 million in Title X funds, with $1.35 million allocated to the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the remaining funds allocated to four community-based organizations including Planned Parenthood, ABCD, Health Quarters and Health Imperatives. Title X funding is used to cover a broad range of services for family planning and preventative health care, including clinical education, counseling, physical exams, contraception, HIV/STD testing and reproductive cancer screenings for clients under 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
Currently, the federal government has not authorized Title X funding through the end of this fiscal year, and has not identified an alternative funding source. The Baker-Polito Administration has included funding in this supplemental budget to ensure the continuity of clinical family planning and preventative health care services.
Other Supplemental Budget Highlights:
$42.2 M for the operation and maintenance of the 14 sheriffs’ departments and their facilities
$25.6 M for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) benefits, which includes funding to support hurricane evacuee families
$19.3 M for Emergency Assistance shelter beds
$7 M for Gold Star family retroactive annuities authorized last year
$2.5 M for a reserve to address various needs of hurricane evacuees, including assistance for individuals who wish to return home but lack the means to do so