Massachusetts house releases annual budget proposal
BOSTON, Massachusetts: Leaders in the Massachusetts House of Representatives released a $32.3 billion annual budget on April 11. The budget would increase funds for cities and towns, specifically, by $105 million more than Governor Deval Patrick's (D) recommendation. Outside of this, the budget was generally in line with most projections, and failed to produce many controversial spending measures.
With regard to cuts, the House proposal would lower spending on Departments and Agencies by $175 million, and looks to pull $400 million from the State's rainy day fund to help close a $790 million gap. In a move to avoid hitting cash strapped taxpayers and businesses, the House has rejected Patrick's proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes and candy, as well as his proposal to increase corporate excise taxes projected to raise $10 million.
On keeping the budget balanced, House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey (D) claimed, "It’s really a combination of things and a lot of little things we were able to put together." This positive sentiment was echoed by Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr. (R), who said, "The proposed budget contains some positive aspects, particularly since it does not contain any new taxes, as promised by Speaker DeLeo. I am pleased that multiple Republican-led initiatives, including proposals derived from the GOP Jobs Package and increased oversight for government led assistance programs, have made their way into the budget presented today."