Monday, July 11, 2011

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Signing of Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today in response to Governor Patrick’s signing of the Fiscal Year 2012 state budget:

“The Fiscal Year 2012 budget signed into law by Governor Patrick today is a responsible budget for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in light of the circumstances we face. And while I recognize the hard work of my fellow lawmakers, this budget is not perfect.

The landmark Municipal Health legislation that was passed is both beneficial and cost effective for Massachusetts. This single piece of legislation will not only save up to $100 million for cities and towns, but will save jobs across the state. Like in many other states, the passage of Municipal Health legislation reflects a meaningful change in the collective bargaining paradigm at the municipal level.

Additionally, while I am glad that the Governor agreed to adopt the Republican-led reversions proposal, I am disappointed that he vetoed language relative to prescription drug waste. As proposed, this legislation stood to save close to $25 million for taxpayers.

Moreover, I believe the Governor needs to accept responsibility for contributing to the structural deficit in the Bay State, rather than simply putting the blame on his predecessors. The fact of the matter is, while in office, Governor Patrick has contributed to the structural deficit by utilizing almost $5 billion in federal bailout money and close to $2 billion in “Rainy Day” reserves. While this budget is a step in the right direction, the structural deficit is most certainly not eliminated. Much work remains to be done to put Massachusetts on the correct path to achieving long-term, sound, fiscal footing.”