State Senate budget debate included 18 amendments for homelessness and low-income services

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Statewide senate budget hearings ended Thursday night, with resolutions passed for the 2017 fiscal year beginning on July 1. Eighteen amendments regarding services and care for the homeless reached the senate floor, eight of which have been passed.

A $2 million increase for prevention of youth homelessness, proposed by Senator Jason M. Lewis of Winchester was rejected, and the current funding still stands at $4 million.

Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford introduced a bill that proposed to create a committee on nutrition for homeless families no later than July 1, 2017, and the bill was rejected following debate.

An amendment designed to increase funding for transportation of homeless students by $21 million was rejected. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Patrick M. O’Connor, of Weymouth.

A projected $5,000 increase in funding for the End Family Homelessness Fund was rejected as well, despite advocacy for the amendment proposed by Acton Senator James Eldridge.

Newburyport Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives proposed an amendment to allocate an extra $250,000 to centers that serve homeless veterans, which passed.

The Senate also passed an amendment, proposed by Senator Eldredge, to increase funding for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition from 12.5 million to 13 million,  and to expand services to include elders, unaccompanied youth, and the disabled.

Outside Boston, services for homeless care in Martha’s Vineyard will receive an extra $45,000 to cover operational costs. An increase of $50,000 will be provided to the Homeless Prevention Council of Lower Cape Cod.

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