Celebrating Budget Successes!

The State Legislature recently passed the FY22 budget, which contained several wins for MPHA and our partners. THANK YOU for your advocacy, which made the difference on many of these measures! Here are the highlights (the full budget can be found here):
 
  • $15m for local and regional boards of health, a significant step forward in the effort to create a 21st-century local public health system in MA,
  • Language included that requires vaccine equity benchmarks by 7/30/21, in order to spur additional vaccine distribution to our state’s hardest-hit communities,
  • $300K for the Massachusetts Food Trust (triple last year), which supports new & expanding grocery stores, farmers markets, and other local food enterprises in areas of food scarcity, and
  • Language maintained for the Mass in Motion program, protecting against any funding cuts compared to last year. 
  • $94m for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) was included in the budget, but that is now under threat from a governor’s veto. See how you can help restore this funding below!
Action Needed to Support Regional Transit

In an important step forward, the Legislature allocated $94m in the FY22 budget for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), maintaining transit and paratransit services in 250+ cities and towns outside the reach of the MBTA. RTAs play a critical role in driving good health outcomes by connecting residents to medical care, food, jobs, education and other necessities. Unfortunately, last week Gov. Baker vetoed these provisions, recommending instead only $87M in base funding for RTAs and $3.5 M in performance grants. MPHA and our partners in the RTA Advocacy Coalition are now reaching out to legislators to urge them to override his veto. Take action today by adding your name to our sign-on letter requesting an override vote.  
Progress on Vaccine Equity
 
YOUR support for vaccine equity is paying off! With an increased focus on strategies designed to reach people in hard hit communities, the vaccination gap between white residents and Black/Latinx residents in MA is beginning to shrink. In May, 37% of Black residents and 33% of Latinx residents had received at least one shot, compared to 55% of white residents. Today, that gap has been reduced to roughly 14 percentage points, with 50% of both Black and Latinx residents having received at least one dose, compared to 64% of white residents. Much more must be done to achieve real vaccine equity, and MPHA is proud to be working with our partners in the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition to advocate for effective strategies and hold the Baker administration accountable. And thanks to allies in the Legislature, we now have a new tool: language in the recently passed state budget requires the administration to develop equity benchmarks for vaccination!
Job Openings at MPHA

Looking to work with a dedicated team for greater health equity and racial justice? MPHA is recruiting for three positions:


To find out more about these exciting opportunities, click here.
Making the Case for Federal ARPA Funds to Support Public Health

The time has come to transform the Commonwealth’s inefficient and inequitable local public health system! MPHA and our partners in the Coalition for Local Public Health are asking the Legislature to allocate $250.9M in federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) over the next five years to local public health, in order to:
 
  • Invest in local public health infrastructure to address health disparities,
  • Enhance public health data systems, and
  • Support workforce development and training.
 
This request represents less than 5% of the $5.3B in ARPA funds coming to Massachusetts. By making this strategic investment, we can take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a 21st-century local public health system. To learn more, click here.
Massachusetts Public Health Association