House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) released the following statement today regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed $40.5 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2018:
“Governor Baker’s budget proposal charts a fiscally responsible course for the Commonwealth that emphasizes a commitment to our cities and towns and accountability to the state’s taxpayers.
I am thrilled to see the Baker-Polito Administration continue to prioritize local aid for our cities and towns. Maintaining strong state-municipal partnerships is crucial to ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth share in the state’s prosperity. The proposed $91 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid and $40 million increase in unrestricted local aid will help further this goal by providing critical funding for schools, public safety and other important municipal services, and form a strong starting point for our local aid discussions.
The Governor’s budget continues to take positive steps towards reducing the state’s structural deficit, and significantly reduces the use of one-time spending revenues. His budget not only avoids drawing from the state’s stabilization fund, but also calls for a portion of the state’s tax revenues to be deposited directly into the fund every year before other spending priorities are set. This is a sensible approach that will help build the fund so that vital state programs and services residents rely on can be preserved during future economic downturns.
Governor Baker has made it clear that he will oppose any plans to implement a broad-based tax increase. As the budget process moves to the Legislature, I am hopeful the House and Senate will follow this same philosophy when crafting their respective spending plans. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration over the next few months to develop a budget that will address many of the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth.”