Wednesday, July 8, 2015

House Minority Leader Brad Jones’ Statement on Enactment of Fiscal Year 2016 State Budget

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today in response to the enactment of the Fiscal Year 2016 state budget conference committee report by the House of Representatives:

“The Fiscal Year 2016 budget passed by the House today reflects many of the priorities of the House Republican Caucus by increasing local aid to our cities and towns, holding the line on taxes and beginning the process of implementing meaningful reforms to the state’s public transportation system.

 The budget reaffirms the state’s commitment to our local communities by increasing Chapter 70 education aid by $111 million and unrestricted general government aid by $34 million. It also provides significant increases for regional school transportation, special education and charter school reimbursements to help alleviate the financial pressures impacting municipal budgets.

I am particularly pleased the conference committee rejected several new tax proposals that would have unfairly burdened the state’s hard-working taxpayers, including a plan to freeze the income tax rate at 5.15 percent.  The residents of Massachusetts were promised a reduction in the rate to 5 percent, and this budget upholds that promise by keeping us on track to achieving that goal in the near future.

The budget also contains significant reforms targeting the MBTA, including a realignment of the MassDOT Board of Directors, the creation of a Fiscal Management Control Board and a three-year suspension of the Pacheco Law to provide the MBTA with more flexibility in its procurement practices.  These changes are critical to ensuring that the MBTA can achieve long-term fiscal stability while also providing more reliable service to the public.”