April 12, 2017

$40.3B House spending plan brings fiscal 2018 budget battles into focus

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Sam Doran / State House News Service

Outgoing House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey.

BOSTON — Democratic leaders of the Massachusetts House put forward a $40.3 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018 that Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey said focused “first and foremost on the fundamentals” – health care, pensions and local aid.

Increases of $322 million in MassHealth, $198 million for pensions and $164 million for local aid consumed $684 million of just more than $1 billion in projected revenue growth, leaving just one-third of new revenue to spread around to other programs and services.

The House also signed off on Gov. Charlie Baker’s controversial employer assessment plan to generate new revenue to cover a shift of workers off employer-sponsored health coverage to MassHealth, but left the details for the administration to work out.

Watch: House leaders talk spending priorities


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