Massachusetts Governor Says DC’s ‘Inability’ to Stop Influx of Migrants Will Cost His State $139 Million

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says that DC’s “inability” to stop the influx of migrants into the US will cost his state $139 million.

On Monday, the governor filed a $139 million Fiscal Year 2023 supplemental budget to cover increased demand on the emergency assistance shelter system.

“Massachusetts’ emergency shelter system provides support for thousands of families each year, but a recent uptick in new migrant arrivals, coupled with a strained housing market have led to a need for greater capacity across the system,” said Governor Baker in a statement.

Governor Baker said the increase in migrants is “unfortunately driven by the federal government’s inability to address our country’s immigration challenges.”

Baker continued, “these expanded resources will help us quickly and effectively address this humanitarian crisis, especially as we enter the winter months. We look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature, the nonprofit community and local government as we all address this unprecedented challenge, which is unfortunately driven by the federal government’s inability to address our country’s immigration challenges.”

The budget will also cover funding for school districts that are seeing an increase in enrollment due to migrants.

“This legislation is a comprehensive response to the shelter capacity challenges we are facing across the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The bill includes important provisions such as funding for school districts that will see an increase in enrollment as we expand the shelter system statewide to meet our statutory and moral obligations to provide shelter for families in crisis.”

The funding is in addition to the $20 million recently provided in the state’s economic development bill to support the needs of immigrants and refugees.

The governor’s office said that, “the reserve includes $73 million to expand the overall capacity of the shelter system, which will fund the provisioning of more than 1,300 additional temporary shelter units and shelter provider rate increases to support recruitment and retention. It also includes $20 million to establish and maintain a temporary central intake center, where families during their first few days in shelter can receive timely case management services and various intake assessments. The remaining $37 million will support the costs associated with placing new students in local schools through the end of FY24.”

“This supplemental spending proposal will provide the state with resources urgently needed to respond to increasing demand in the emergency shelter system,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “The Commonwealth has sufficient revenues to finance these appropriations and measures in Fiscal Year 2023, and we hope to see this legislation quickly acted upon to ensure we are able to continue providing critical services and shelter to all families in need in Massachusetts.”


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