Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick proposed a $34.8 billion budget on Wednesday, which included no funding for the valued AgeWell West Roxbury program.
But it's a proposed budget, which state Rep. Ed Coppinger, D-West Roxbury, addressed.
"The Governor’s budget is just the first step in a long process so not everything he proposed will end up in the budget that we pass in the House of Representatives or what the (state) Senate passes either. I am looking forward to debating it and helping the House draft our budget in response," said Coppinger, who also represents parts of Brookline and Roslindale.
Coppinger also spoke about the lack of funding to AgeWell West Roxbury, which received approximately.
"On other issues in the budget, I am very disappointed that the governor has not included money for AgeWell West Roxbury. AgeWell West Roxbury is a great program that works on a tiny budget to help seniors living in West Roxbury age in their own homes," said Coppinger.
"It provides fun social events and crucial services for our friends and neighbors, but this is the third year in a row that the governor’s budget has not funded it and similar naturally occurring retirement communities. It is disappointing, but each year, I work hard with (state) Senator (Mike) Rush to make sure that AgeWell West Roxbury would receive state funding in the final version of the budget, and we will be sure to do so again this year," said Coppinger.
Coppinger, a father of four children younger than 18, talked about education funding. "I have focused on fighting for increases in education spending and I’m happy that this budget invests in early education programs and also invests in higher education to help minimize tuition increases at schools like UMass Amherst where so many kids from my district go," said Coppinger.
Added Coppinger, "Like I said, this is only the first step in the process so I look forward to talking with people in West Roxbury, Roslindale and Brookline to get their take on the budget. The House of Representatives will release and debate its budget in April.”