Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) co-chaired a hearing of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means yesterday at Medford City Hall. Hearings have been scheduled across the Commonwealth to gather information for building the FY16 state budget. The last of these hearings, in which members of the public are invited to testify before the committee, will take place on Monday, April 13th at the State House.
The hearing focused on agencies within the Executive Office of Health & Human Services, with opening testimony provided by Secretary Marylou Sudders. Further testimony was given by the heads of the following agencies: Department of Children and Families, Department of Youth Services, Department of Transitional Assistance, Department of Developmental Disabilities, Disabled Persons Protection Commission, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and the Office of Refugees and Immigrants.
“These agencies provide crucial services to the residents of the Commonwealth,” said Senator Jehlen. “The state-wide Joint Ways and Means hearings allow members of the committee an opportunity to gather information and insight from the administration, which is instrumental in crafting the state’s budget.”
“It was an honor to welcome over twenty members of the Committee on Ways and Means to the hearing held in the City of Medford,” said Representative Garballey. “The testimony provided by agencies under the purview of Health and Human Services was informative, compelling, and critical in ensuring that the FY16 House budget proposal reflects these programs as essential to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
After the hearings have ended, the House will debate its version of the state budget in late April, followed by the Senate in May.
- Submitted by Senator Jehlen’s office. Photo courtesy Rep. Garballey.