REYES: How We Put the State Budget Together

By: State Rep. Estela Reyes – 5/24

April is always a special month.

First, there’s Earth Day, which reminds us to appreciate the trees that are beginning to bloom, and we get a taste of the warmer weather to come.

In the Massachusetts House of Representatives, April is a notable month as well, as it marks the passage of the first draft of the state’s budget for the next fiscal year.

With one round of budget debates behind me, I am familiar with the process and was eager to begin on the FY25 Budget. The familiarity does not, however, make the decisions on the allocation of state funding any easier.

Transparency is a core value of mine. I will use this space to detail the budget process and highlight a couple of budget priorities for the Merrimack Valley, in hopes of making the workings of the State House digestible to readers of the Valley Patriot.

The budget decisions are made and voted on by all 160 members of the MA House of Representatives. We gather in the State House Chambers to review and approve budget amendment requests from local, regional, and statewide organizations. This process occurs over three long days at the end of April.

The FY25 Budget is not finalized until it is amended by the MA Senate and the Governor, which will be at the end of July. Our state has seen unprecedented changes this year in environmental damage and in immigration patterns, which meant funding and resources are spread thinner than last session.

Public health is a topic which has been at the center of conversation for quite some time now. Supporting our health care centers, health care workers, community centers, and youth wellness programs are non-negotiables for me. The Merrimack Valley secured funds for several community support programs which range from youth sports to mental health centers. I encourage everyone, of all ages, to get involved with their local community centers.

These centers offer invaluable enrichment opportunities such as fitness programs, assistance with accessing housing and support resources, cultural celebrations, community, and more.

It is a priority of mine to support organizations who work towards providing safe, encouraging spaces where youth can learn integral skills like collaboration and team building. Research has long indicated that expanding opportunities for youth to engage in positive encounters lowers their likelihood to choose risky behaviors and encourages a successful transition into adulthood. This is also true of our schools.

This budget includes funding to support academic programs for students with disabilities, students who speak English as a second language (ESL), and students who are working to obtain citizenship. Schooling prepares youths for their adult lives. Schools need sufficient educators and courses which support students’ growth in academics, communication, and beyond.

What I have listed above hardly scratches the surface of the contents of the FY25 Budget. The House Budget is a 360-page document that is dense with numbers and names.

To view the House Budget for yourself, visit
As always, I welcome and appreciate communication from my constituents.

Please reach me at with any inquiries, questions, or concerns. ◊