BOSTON—Saying the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an obligation to cities and towns across the state, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. has filed an amendment to the FY11 House Ways and Means budget that would restore local aid.
The amendment, which is expected to garner bipartisan support during next week’s budget debate, would restore Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Local Aid to the amount proposed by the Governor in his FY11 budget. Representative Jones proposes raising the Chapter 70 appropriation to $4.05 billion and the Unrestricted Local Aid appropriation to $936 million. The current appropriations are $3.85 billion and $899million respectively.
“The residents of Massachusetts benefit greatly when cities and towns across the Commonwealth are fully funded,” said the North Reading Republican. “Since the downturn of the economy, communities haves suffered the most, seeing their local aid slashed time and time again. I say enough is enough – no longer should cities and towns bear the burden for poor fiscal management by Democratic leadership on Beacon Hill.”
The amendment being offered by the Minority Leader is similar to the local aid resolution Republican lawmakers filed back in March. Several Democrats signed onto that resolution and Representative Jones is hopeful even more will join his cause this time around.
“As a former selectman from North Reading, I have always made protecting local aid a top priority of mine. Despite the outcome of this fiscal year’s budget debate, I will remain on the front lines in the effort to defend cities and towns from having their state payments slashed.”