Haverhill Programs May Grow After Legislative Overrides of Baker Vetoes

UMass-Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan with Greater Haverhill Foundation Manager Ronald Trombley.

UMass President Marty Meehan stands with Greater Haverhill Foundation’s Ronald Trombley after UMass Lowell agreed to lease two floors of the planned Harbor Place commercial building in downtown Haverhill.

Overriding Gov. Charles D. Baker’s recent budget vetoes, the legislature voted Wednesday to restore $5.3 million to the University of Massachusetts and $2.4 million to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

Both overrides impact the region since UMass Lowell plans to locate a campus in downtown Haverhill and the MCC provides money to artists through local cultural councils.

“We very much appreciate the Massachusetts House and Senate restoring $5.25 million in funding to the University of Massachusetts budget. This is a victory for the students, faculty and staff of the five-campus UMass system, and Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Rosenberg, the members of their leadership teams and the legislators who supported today’s override are to be commended for their vision and their commitment to excellence in public higher education,” said UMass President Marty Meehan.

The override brings total state support of the UMass system to nearly $532 million—a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s original budget before $8 million in cuts by former Gov. Deval Patrick.

The House and Senate also voted separately to restore $2.37 million to MCC’s budget. State funding for MCC is now $14.16 million—up from $11.8 million last fiscal year.

“This is a significant achievement for the arts, humanities, and sciences,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “Collectively, our community made a powerful and persuasive case that greater state support will deliver a strong return on investment to the Commonwealth. And our elected leaders on Beacon Hill listened.”

The Cultural Caucus circulated a letter to the legislature’s leadership asking it to support the override. The letter was written by caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli of Lenox.

Haverhill Rep. Brian Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, expressed strong support for the override, MCC said in a statement. Final votes in favor were 153-2 in the house and 38-0 in the senate.

Dr. Ira Lapidus, MCC board chair, said the additional funding will allow the agency to expand access to arts and culture through grants for organizations, local cultural councils and creative youth development programs in schools and afterschool.


One thought on “Haverhill Programs May Grow After Legislative Overrides of Baker Vetoes

  1. So the FIsh Family reaps yet another windfall, Marty “Term Limits” Meehan gets a promotion and continues to spread his $4 million dollars from his CONgressional campaign coffers to his “friends”, Brian “We’re working on it” Dempsey continues to pull monies from other communities to subsidize a bankrupt city, but it is the students and student loan borrowers who continue to get screwed as UMass continues its economic rape for a horrible ROI.