Wednesday, March 4, 2015

House Minority Leader Brad Jones' Statement on Governor Baker's FY2016 Budget Proposal

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) released the following statement regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 and accompanying legislation that was filed today to establish an Early Retirement Incentive Program and provide an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit:

“I applaud Governor Baker for delivering a state budget that recognizes the significant fiscal challenges the Commonwealth is facing, but does so in a way that is responsible, transparent and sustainable.

The proposal released today increases state spending at a rate of 3 percent, which is well below the projected revenue growth of 4.8 percent, while holding the line on new taxes and fees and avoiding any draw down from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  It also sets clear priorities, beginning with a commitment to local aid in the form of a $105 million increase in Chapter 70 education funding and an additional $34 million in Unrestricted General Government Aid for our cities and towns.

Governor Baker inherited a sizable deficit from the previous administration, but he has risen to the challenge by forging ahead with a creative budget plan and accompanying legislation that seeks to addresses a myriad of key issues including ongoing service problems at the MBTA, slowing the growth of Medicaid, and providing much-needed relief to working families by doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit over a three-year period.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House Caucus to ensure that Governor Baker’s initiatives are fairly considered as components of the House budget in the weeks and months ahead."