According to an article in today’s Boston Herald, the Commonwealth could be facing up to a $4 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year 2010. This comes as Governor Patrick is prepared to make significant cuts to local aid in order to close the $2.5 billion dollar budget deficit for fiscal year 2009. In the Herald piece, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Robert DeLeo is said to be relying on federal funds from President Barack Obama’s stimulus package as well as dipping into the Rainy Day Fund, something our caucus adamantly opposes. To depend on money from the federal government is foolish, considering it is facing a huge deficit itself. Additionally, taking too much more money from the rainy day fund to balance the out of control budget passed last year may only leave the Commonwealth more vulnerable in years to come as we are expected to be facing economic uncertainties for several months and possibly years.
Instead, the Patrick Administration and the Majority party must learn the hard lesson that out of control spending must come to a grinding halt in order to continue providing our constituents with essential services. We hate to say we told you so, but had the House and Senate passed a more modest budget, we may not be in a situation so severe and dire.