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Senate Ways and Means Releases FY 2016 Budget Recommendations

May 14, 2015

Cover Page FY 16

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced a $38.01 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The budget makes strategic, targeted investments in a variety of areas to create new opportunities, strengthen networks of support and encourage overall economic growth for individuals, families and communities across the Commonwealth.

“These budget line items are more than just numbers,” said Senate Committee on Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka. “They reflect shared Senate values and our commitment to foster upward economic mobility and greater equality for all residents. Our goal is to lift all families and lay the foundation for shared prosperity.”

Click here to read a Message from the Chair, the Executive Summary and the full budget recommendations.

Read more about the Senate Ways and Means budget recommendations in the news:

Senators can file amendments to the Senate Ways and Means recommendations until Thursday at 5 p.m. The full Senate will then debate the Fiscal Year 2016 budget in formal session beginning Tuesday, May 19th.

In June, a Conference Committee will work out the differences between the House and Senate versions and send a compromise budget to the Governor.


Senate Passes FY2015 Supplemental Budget

March 20, 2015

state house

The Senate on Thursday voted to pass a $402.2 million supplemental budget to cover costs of increased caseloads, time sensitive deficiencies and unanticipated cost increases in Fiscal Year 2015, announced Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The supplemental budget includes funds to support increased caseloads in the Department of Children and Families and the state emergency shelter system, as well as additional funds for snow and ice removal.

“This mid-year spending bill allows us to sustain critical government services through the end of Fiscal Year 2015 while maintaining a fiscally responsible budget,” said Senator Spilka. “These funds support social workers, emergency assistance and shelter for homeless families and other services that help children, families and communities across the Commonwealth. We also provide funding to help our communities continue to recover from this winter’s historic storms.”

Read more…

Office Hours in Franklin and Medway on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd

February 2, 2015

Sen. Spilka Headshot 2013Senator Karen Spilka or representatives from her staff will be available for district office hours in Franklin and Medway on Tuesday, February 3rd. Constituents are invited to share their concerns, questions and policy priorities and hear updates on the latest news and events from the State House and in the district.

Franklin Office Hours

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

The Cake Bar

17 East Central Street, Franklin


Medway Office Hours

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The Muffin House Café

116 Main Street, Medway


Residents who are unable to attend or are interested in scheduling an appointment should contact Senator Spilka’s office at (617) 722-1640 at any time.


Senator Spilka Announces Key Pieces of Legislative Agenda for 2015-2016 Legislative Session

January 16, 2015

Priorities include consumer protection, women’s equality and health, under-served and vulnerable groups

state house

Senator Karen Spilka today announced key pieces of her legislative agenda for the new 2015-2016 legislative session. In addition to her economic development and innovation priorities, Senator Spilka will continue to advocate for consumer protection, women’s equality and health, transportation issues and vulnerable populations in MetroWest and across the Commonwealth.

“These bills address many different issues and challenges that people in our community and state-wide face,” said Senator Spilka. “I look forward to another session of speaking up for those who don’t always have a voice and working to secure a brighter future for under-served and at-risk residents of MetroWest and the Commonwealth.”

Read more…

Senator Spilka Announces Economic Development Agenda for 2015-2016 Legislative Session

January 14, 2015

Priorities Include Civic Innovation, Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurship & Education

MA tech

Senator Karen Spilka today announced key pieces of her economic development legislative agenda for the new 2015-2016 legislative session. Senator Spilka will continue to advocate for programs and policies that encourage economic growth, job creation and innovation across all sectors of the Massachusetts economy.

“I am always looking for new ways to help Massachusetts companies start, grow and thrive here,” said Senator Spilka. “We need to continue to support all sectors of our economy, foster innovation and improve education and workforce training opportunities. I look forward to a new session advocating on behalf of smart economic development policies for MetroWest and the Commonwealth.”

Senator Spilka will also continue her work to boost the state’s thriving life sciences, biotech and technology sectors in particular as co-chair of both the Biotech Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus.

Senator Spilka’s bills to advance economic development and encourage job creation and innovation include:

Read more…

Tech Hub Caucus Seeks Feedback on Innovative Communities Legislation at Working Group Meeting

January 9, 2015

schoolhouse rock bill2

On Monday, January 12th, Massachusetts Legislative Tech Hub Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante will update legislators and people from the startup and tech community on a proposed “Innovative Communities” bill for the 2015-2016 legislative session. The new Innovative Communities program would serve as a common place of access, education and connection for startups and municipalities seeking innovative technology solutions.

The bill is based on the winning idea from November’s Idea-a-thon, a first-of-its-kind event hosted by the Tech Hub Caucus to hear directly from the tech community about ways to help Massachusetts technology companies start, grow and thrive here. The winning team presented an idea to make it easier for startups to navigate the procurement process and contract with government.

At the meeting, Senator Spilka will discuss the ongoing, collaborative process of transforming the winning idea into draft legislation and invite attendees to share feedback.

Innovative Communities Working Group Meeting

Monday, January 12, 2015

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

State House, Room 222


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