House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) released the following statement today regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed $40.9 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2019:
“Since taking office, the Baker-Polito Administration has closed the $1.2 billion structural deficit it inherited and dramatically reduced the state’s reliance on one-time revenue sources, all without raising taxes. Governor Baker’s latest budget proposal continues to take a fiscally responsible approach to state spending, providing funding increases for critical programs while also promoting accountability to the state’s taxpayers.
Local aid remains a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration, as evidenced by the budget’s inclusion of nearly $4.9 billion in Chapter 70 education funding and $1.1 billion in unrestricted local aid. Cities and towns will also see a $10 million increase in special education circuit breaker funding, while communities impacted by the recent influx of hurricane victims will receive additional funding to help manage these unanticipated costs. The Administration has long emphasized the importance of maintaining strong state-municipal partnerships, and this budget builds on that commitment.
The Governor’s budget also prioritizes higher education and workforce training. I strongly support the Governor’s proposal to expand scholarship funding to help make our community colleges more affordable, and I appreciate his commitment to promoting workforce development and skills training in critical areas such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, and healthcare. I also applaud his continuing efforts to address the scourge of opioid abuse by providing additional funding for substance abuse programs and expanding the number of treatment beds across the state.