Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jones: Patrick-Murray Budget Plan Misses the Mark

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today in response to the Patrick-Murray Administration’s plan to make across the board cuts should hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid fall through.

The Patrick-Murray Administration’s proposed solution to the possibility that we may not receive over $600 million in federal funding for the FY11 budget is another missed opportunity to support reform while further targeting our cities and towns. The Patrick-Murray plan is merely designed to look like they are leading but in reality it is lacking in creativity and accountability. It is further proof they are incapable of handling the Commonwealth’s finances. First, they propose a budget based on federal aid that has yet to be approved. Then, as it appears this money is in jeopardy, they announce across the board cuts. That’s not reform – that’s more of the same.

The state’s financial situation provides a perfect opportunity to seek meaningful reforms. The Governor and his administration should use this potentially bad news as an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and attack areas of government that need to be reformed.

Despite the Governor’s grand declaration that he will not touch local aid or Chapter 70 funding, anyone who understands local aid and municipal finances know there are several accounts that will get slashed that are indeed local aid. Governor Patrick’s across the board cuts will affect Special Education reimbursements, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, Regional School Transportation, amongst others. All totaled, his plan means millions in reductions for our cities and towns - most of which have already adopted their FY11 budgets based on already reduced local aid numbers.