“I commend the conference committee members for their hard work in producing a budget that provides local aid increases for our cities and towns while also rejecting any broad-based tax increases. The conference committee was faced with the difficult task of putting together a budget at a time of rising costs and declining revenues, but rose to the challenge by working to preserve critical programs and attempting to limit spending reductions to areas that will have minimal impact on the state’s residents.
I’m pleased to see the budget also acknowledges the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to rein in MassHealth costs and to provide unemployment insurance relief to the state’s employers, particularly the small businesses that help create jobs and fuel the Massachusetts economy. However, this work is far from done, and it’s important that we continue to pursue other MassHealth reforms put forward by the administration that were not addressed in this budget.
Moving forward, we must be cognizant of the fact that we still face a significant revenue shortfall, and will need to do everything we can to protect the interests of the state’s taxpayers by making sure the state spends within its means. While I continue to have concerns about certain accounts that have traditionally been left underfunded, I know we have a Governor in the corner office who is committed to fiscal responsibility and will do the right thing to ensure we have a balanced and sustainable budget. What we should not do is rush into taking up overrides once the Governor has issued his vetoes, but instead should allow some time to pass so we can get a better sense of where revenues are trending in the new fiscal year.”