The $400,000 allocated to the Newburyport Shellfish and Purification Plan will help the facility maintain its operations, as will the $90,000 for the C-10 Research and Education Foundation, which monitors emissions from the Seabrook Station nuclear reactor and compiles data for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and for MEMA.
“C-10’s important work to monitor radiation levels within the 10-mile fall-out radius of the Seabrook nuclear power plant is a critical public safety service that can now continue,” O’Connor Ives said.
The $20,000 allocated to Our Neighbors’ Table will help support the Amesbury-based food pantry’s efforts to help feed local residents who are in need.
Lawmakers also included $500 million in new taxes, which were approved along party lines with Democrats voting overwhelmingly to approve them. The taxes include 3-cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax, $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax, applying the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax to computer system design services and increasing taxes on utilities.
Overall, O’Connor Ives said the final state budget includes $920.2 million in unrestricted local aid for cities and towns, an increase of $21.2 million over last year, along with increases in Chapter 70 aid, special education and state aid to public libraries.
O’Connor Ives said she believes the budget allocations will make a real difference for residents of the Merrimack Valley and is hopeful that Gov. Patrick will accept the budget soon so the funds can be put to work quickly.
Patrick will have 10 days from the time of the budget’s approval to consider it and announce new amendments or vetoes before he signs it.