House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s release of his $45.6 billion Fiscal Year 2022 state budget proposal:
“Governor Baker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 state budget charts a fiscally responsible course for the Commonwealth as we continue to navigate the many public health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19.
This budget sends a strong message that the Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to prioritizing local aid and maintaining strong state-municipal partnerships. The budget offers nearly $5.5 billion in Chapter 70 education aid and close to $1.2 billion in Unrestricted General Government Aid to support the delivery of essential municipal services to all residents. I am particularly pleased by the Governor’s decision to fully fund the first phase of the 2019 Student Opportunity Act. It is critically important that we begin to close the achievement gaps that exist between school districts to ensure that every student in Massachusetts has access to a quality education, regardless of where they live.
Governor Baker’s budget comes at a critical time during the pandemic, when many families and small businesses are still struggling financially. While I agree with the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth remarks that ‘better days are coming,’ we must be mindful of the many challenges that still lie ahead, and do everything we can to deliver the programs and services that our residents and employers need to weather this unprecedented public health crisis.
The Governor’s proposed budget offers a strong starting point for the House and Senate to begin their budget deliberations. I look forward to working with my colleagues and with the Administration in the weeks ahead to develop a spending plan that will help position the Commonwealth for a robust post-pandemic economic recovery.”