On Wednesday the Massachusetts House passed a $124.7M supplemental budget to close the books on FY17. This budget, my first as Chair of House Ways & Means, secured $4.75M to ensure full funding for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. This fully funds the program, and funding goes directly to organizations in our community that deal with youth violence, like Mission Safe, Boston Center for Youth and Families, and Youth Options Unlimited.
The House approved an amendment to the budget that would ban bump stocks in Massachusetts. What we saw last week in Las Vegas was horrific. While we cannot bring those precious lives back, this bump stock ban prevents another tragedy from taking place in Massachusetts, and builds upon past legislation promoting sensible gun safety in the Commonwealth.
We also took a step forward in our journey to criminal justice reform by increasing access to job opportunities for those with a CORI. This section clarifies the statute’s intent by providing the MA Gaming Commission the discretion to determine which gaming service employees may be disqualified for employment due to certain CORI offenses.
This change is necessary because both the MGM Casino in Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett are beginning their hiring processes. Current restrictions could impact their ability to be adequately staffed, and would prevent individuals from accessing those jobs. As we begin to address criminal justice reform, employment opportunities are an important tool in the fight reduce recidivism. This language will help us accomplish that goal.
This supplemental budget now moves to the Massachusetts Senate for deliberation. The House will continue to work on legislation relative to criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and other important initiatives. I will work to keep my website, Facebook, and Twitter updated to relay timely updates on these issues.