Led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Angelo D’Emilia (R-Bridgewater) and Representative Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville), a bi-partisan group of legislators submitted a letter Thursday to Governor Patrick, asking him to reverse the 9C cuts that were made to accounts affecting local aid. Rendered last December for Fiscal Year 2013, the legislators feel that the cuts have negatively impacted communities across the Commonwealth.
“In light of continued strong revenue collections, restoring these local aid funds cut by the Governor is both fiscally responsible and justified,” said Representative Jones. “The funds outlined in our letter to Governor Patrick are essential for cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
The letter to the Governor, which is supported by both House Democrats and Republicans, emphasizes that “communities across Massachusetts are counting on funding so that they may provide necessary services to our constituents.” The correspondence notes that while 9C cuts are within the Governor’s authority, the Legislature worked diligently in providing Governor Patrick with a compromise of funding necessary in order for local programs and agencies to operate at an efficient and effective level.
“When first faced with the reality of 9C cuts, which would have a negative impact on our communities and constituents, the House and Senate worked diligently and provided Governor Patrick with a compromise of priorities,” said Representative D’Emilia. “Now, with the state’s finances having well exceeded benchmarks, local aid should be restored before any other monies are spent by the Governor.”
Citing Year-to-Date tax revenue collections through April being $510 million above revised benchmark, the letter to the Governor goes on to say, “With this incredible turnaround in revenues, now is the time to restore the cuts which so negatively impacted our communities.”
"With revenue coming into the state at a higher level than predicted, it is clear that the 9C cuts should be restored," said Representative Orrall. "Ensuring predictable funding is a priority and we are advocating for our municipalities to receive all promised state funding. We will continue to focus on increasing aid to our communities for vital services and will stand against any unnecessary cuts."
Some of the accounts that the group of legislators is seeking to restore funding to include: Veterans’ Benefits; Transportation for Regional School Districts; Reimbursement for Special Education; Charter School Reimbursements; and Department of Correction.