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As money runs out, Massachusetts Democrats Will Need Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Shelter System



By Alison KuznitzSam Drysdale

The House’s top Democrat said Monday he’s only now begun evaluating Gov. Maura Healey’s supplemental budget request filed last month to fund the state’s over-capacity emergency shelter system that is set to run out of money this spring.

“Well, we’re just taking a look at it now. We’re taking a look at how people are going to address it,” House Speaker Ron Mariano told reporters when asked about the status of Healey’s request to drain a state fund to accommodate the surge of new arrivals and homeless families seeking shelter in Massachusetts.

Accompanying Healey’s fiscal 2025 budget proposal, which maintained level-funding of $325 million for the state’s emergency shelter system, the administration also filed a supplemental budget to drain the remainder of the state Transitional Escrow Fund balance of $863 million. The additional money is needed to cover shelter caseloads, school districts costs, case management, and health and community services for fiscal years 2024 and 2025, administration officials have said.

House budget chief Rep. Aaron Michlewitz said in November that he expects a $250 million funding injection that lawmakers approved this fall to get the state’s shelter system through the winter months and into the spring. The initial $325 million that state officials allocated for shelter costs in the state budget ran out this month.

“To be clear,” Michlewitz said in November, “we face some hard decisions and choices ahead for 2024 and beyond.”

Following a private meeting with Healey and Senate President Karen Spilka Monday, when asked whether there was urgency to tackle Healey’s request with the existing money slated to run out this spring, Mariano said, “Sure, we know when it expires.”

Pressed for more specifics on when the existing shelter funds will expire, the speaker replied, “Not right at this moment.”

Mariano said he was waiting to see the administration’s latest shelter report, which tracks spending and caseloads, due Monday to the Legislature.

“We’ll continue to work with the administration as they make changes in how they’re dealing with the overflows in the folks coming in,” he said.

The administration’s latest report, shared with the News Service on Monday, showed the state has spent $395 million on emergency assistance costs in fiscal 2024 — an increase of $35 million compared to the last report on Feb. 8 and $70 million above what was originally allocated for the fiscal year.

This leaves about $180 million left until the state has spent the now $575 million they have to fund shelters this fiscal year — with each report showing that they spend around $40 million every two weeks. 

The administration has spent $16.6 million to pay shelter providers, the report from Secretary of Administration and Finance Matt Gorzkowicz and Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus says.

Spilka, asked about her branch’s timeline to consider Healey’s request, said, “We have to wait for the House, and they are looking at it now. We will take it in short order after the House does it.”

Mariano in January cited slowing tax collections as a factor in making decisions about shelter funding.  “As revenues continue to bottom out and flatten, it becomes harder and harder to support some of these things,” he said last month.



  1. Fed Up

    February 27, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Healy is utterly USELESS guess where the extra money is going to come from? raising mine and your taxes. This states policies are untenable. This idiot gets in office and her and whole team vote for pay raises for themselves. She gets her ex a sweetheart gig absolutely no conflict of interest whatsoever. $287K a year she makes she’s not sweating inflation

    • Dr David

      February 28, 2024 at 9:17 pm

      Unfortunately, Healy is not useless … but has made ‘herself’ very USEFUL to the Biden Junta … she is a dedicated Leftist Marxist solider carrying out the plans of the Obama Global Leftist Marxist Agenda which in turn is carrying out its White-Christian-America-Last-Agenda via the rapidly decaying corpse of it’s Puppet…. Joe Biden.

      Comrade Maura’s reward for her loyalty to the Obama Marxist Global Agenda will be the position of the next US Attorney General for the second Biden Puppet Administration. That’s why Depraved Maura will not back down her continuing mis-application of the Commonwealth’s ‘Right to Shelter Law’. Also, it is critical for the LEFT to seed an ‘Ivy League’ state (like Mass) with large pods of illegal aliens to show the rest of the nation “we can put them anywhere … there is nowhere for you white devils to hide” . You say .. NO WAY !! Trump is going to beat Biden !! maybe He does … but just like in 2020 if the demon-cats need fresh duffel bags of fake ballots; they will be ready to go. Pay attention around midnight next November election night when you are getting all excited about Trump way ahead and realized the vote tally switched by 20 points while you went to the Fidge. The USA is a dead man walking. But we earned it

  2. April Gouveia

    February 27, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    Healey sucks she is a self serving disgusting human. While hard working citizens are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the tables this poor excuse of wasted air throws billions of tax money at illegals. Cut them off and let them struggle like the rest of us. I haven’t eaten in two days because feeding my child and a home is more important.

  3. I've had it

    February 27, 2024 at 5:01 pm

    The law was written to help MASSACHUSETTS CITIZENS, not ILLEGAL MIGRANTS. Simple, obey the law and this problem goes away. I would be ashamed of myself if I drained state funds to accommodate this. We need business people running things not politicians who do not have a clue on how to run anything.

  4. MortisMaximus

    February 27, 2024 at 5:36 pm

    More blood sweat and tears from the taxpayer to criminal invaders into America.

  5. Dlafleur

    February 28, 2024 at 5:37 am

    Its simply cheaper to put the illegals back on a plane home then to support them. The average Joe citizen didn’t want them because we could see the future financial burden. But we were out voted by the elite and college students

  6. Kfurtado

    February 28, 2024 at 5:38 am

    Its simply cheaper to put the illegals back on a plane home then to support them. The average Joe citizen didn’t want them because we could see the future financial burden. But we were out voted by the elite and college students

  7. RedPilled

    February 28, 2024 at 6:09 am

    Well it took a little longer than I thought for Healy to show her incompetence. It’s almost a guarantee our taxes will be going up along with all the fees. I work in the medical field and I can tell you first hand the crisis is just getting started.

  8. Legit to quit

    February 29, 2024 at 7:11 am

    The first lesbian woman Governor sucks. How’s that for fact.

    • Trump loves the poorly educated.....

      February 29, 2024 at 7:30 pm

      How did she suck when she doesn’t do men? Maybe you just hate lesbians???

  9. Trump loves the poorly educated.....

    February 29, 2024 at 8:35 am

    There is a cure to this problem but Donald Trump told the clown car Republican Congress majority not to vote on it. The bill had money for more judges so we could send back the ones that don’t deserve asylum faster and more border patrol agents, walls and technology. This bill was endorsed by the border patrolman’s union. But hey we can’t give Biden any credit so now he’s going to try executive action but that will get shot down in the courts because Congress refuses to do its job.

    Yes there is a burden to this state but once these people start working they’ll be contributing to this state and country but unfortunately it takes too long for them to get work permits causing more of a burden. There’s are actually cities that want these people because they have a shortage of workers.

    Trump and Republicans held all three houses and did absolutely nothing for anything including immigration reform so don’t blame Democrats because they’re willing to work with the Republicans to fix the problem but Republicans don’t want to work with them because they don’t want to make the the Democrats look good.

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