State House News Service is reporting that, “state tax collections are expected to reach $17.989 billion next fiscal year.” The article goes onto say "the downgrade is nearly 8 percent and more than $1.5 billion below the original $19.53 billion fiscal 2010 estimate that Gov. Deval Patrick and the House used in their budget proposals.”
Today, House leaders defended the passing of last week’s budget, saying the exact revenue decline figures were not available at the time of debate.
While the exact numbers were not public knowledge last week, the direction and the severity of the revenue decline certainly was. Republican lawmakers proposed to postpone debate, knowing that the budget passed last week was dramatically out of balance and unsustainable. The entire Republican caucus voted against the budget, and the new revenue numbers released today underscore the reason why.