Cataldo: Here’s how the Massachusetts budget affects Concord 

By State Rep. Simon Cataldo (D-Concord) 
September 14, 2023

I appreciate everyone who reached out to me concerning the omnibus gun safety legislation after my August 4 piece in The Concord Bridge. Now, I want to share with you some notable aspects of the Commonwealth’s recently passed $56 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget. 

I was proud to work on and vote for this budget, which features several historic line items for Massachusetts, including: 

  1. Reimbursement for communities, like Concord, that transport students in family shelters to their home school districts; 
  1. Free school meals, which I considered to be a top priority. In recent years, we have seen alarming levels of child hunger in our district; 
  1. $1.5 billion of early education funding to address Massachusetts’ highest-in-the-nation costs; 
  1. “No cost calls” for inmates at MCI-Concord and other state prisons. Maintaining contact between inmates and their loved ones is an effective anti-recidivism measure; 
  1. $557.9 million for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, representing the largest percentage of the budget ever devoted to the EEA. 

Locally, I secured earmarks for Concord’s Hugh Cargill Trust and the construction of an all-persons trail at the Brewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary, in addition to earmarks for schools, senior Meals on Wheels, police department equipment, and water infrastructure projects in Carlisle, Acton, and Chelmsford.  
The budget omitted the House’s proposed tax relief package, which would have increased our antiquated $1 million estate tax threshold and supplied tax breaks for seniors, families with dependents, and middle-income workers. I am hopeful we can send a robust tax bill to the governor’s desk this fall.  
Legislators will next consider overrides to the governor’s vetoes, which affected civics education grants, a mental health hotline and other items.  

On the budget, and any other matter, I respectfully request your input. Reach me at or (617) 722-2000 ext. 8676.