From State House News Service
ON THE AGENDA
- Administration, Legislature set to grapple over $256M in vetoes
- Baker pours it on in support of charter school expansion
- Inspired by Tarentino, bill would protect cops under hate crime laws
- Black, Latino lawmakers call for more police protection
- Data analysis could change pretrial detention system
TOP OF THE HILL
Baker’s $256M in state budget vetoes rankle legislative leaders, spur debate
At odds with the administration over the health of state finances, legislative leaders in the coming days and weeks plan to address the governor’s $256 million in spending vetoes.
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, D-Winthrop, contended Thursday that the $39.1 billion budget sent to Gov. Charlie Baker was in balance, accounting for new, lower revenue estimates. “Anything that we may be taking up relative to a veto override is not going to be putting our budget out of balance. It’s within the amount that we knew that we had to work with to have a balanced budget, so I want to make that clear and some folks are questioning that,” DeLeo said.
The speaker said the budget would “still be balanced” even if lawmakers restored all the spending cut by the governor. “I’m not saying we will,” DeLeo said. “We could.”
Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said earlier in the week Baker had lopped off too much from the budget sent to his desk. “We thought we sent a good budget to the governor’s desk and anything that got removed is a disappointment,” he said.
Baker, a Republican and former Mass. secretary of administration and finance under Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci, cut the fiscal 2017 budget down to $38.9 billion. In recent years, budgets drafted by the Legislature have fallen out of balance midyear, requiring steps to align spending and revenue.
“We wouldn’t have done what we did if we thought the budget was balanced. We didn’t. And I’m sure there will be an ongoing conversation about that,” Baker said.
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