(APRIL 27 – STATE HOUSE) Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland) will be live-tweeting the budget debate during the week of April 27th through his Twitter handle @tsannicandro and with #mabudget. Sannicandro regularly uses social media to communicate with constituents, and has live-tweeted the budget debate for five consecutive years.
“By live-tweeting the debate, I’m able to give my followers insight into this important discussion as it happens,” Sannicandro said. “I always enjoy engaging with the public, and I’m looking forward to yet another year of productive conversation and collaboration.”
Sannicandro has also live-tweeted from the floor of other legislative debates, including the casino gaming debate in 2011.
The House Ways & Means Committee released its FY 2016 budget this month, and it includes targeted investments in K-12 education, childcare, affordable housing and opiate use prevention and treatment. The House Ways & Means Committee’s proposal increases funding for several initiatives supported by Representative Sannicandro, including early education and disability services. For example, the budget increases funding for early education by $12.8 million over FY 2015. Also, the budget allots $556.4 million for programs and services administered by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). The budget also proposes funding disability services at $1.84 billion, a 4 percent increase from FY 2015.
Sannicandro filed amendments to the budget ahead of next week’s debate to increase funding for the higher education scholarship line item to make college more affordable in Massachusetts, as well as an amendment to allow students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in higher education. He also co-sponsored several amendments, including additional funding for the 495/MetroWest Partnership and for the state’s Adult Basic Education program.