Speaker Robert De Leo’s budget chief, Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), told the News Service that a budget released in April by the House Ways and Means Committee will be balanced primarily with program cuts.
The other day, our legislative leaders in the House, namely Speaker De Leo and Chair of Ways and Means Brian Dempsey both acknowledged a budget deficit of some 2 Billion dollars and announced that they planned to closed that deficit with program cuts and not new taxes or withdrawals from the rainy day fund.
Here is the full report from the State House News Service’s Kyle Cheney. Its longer than usual, but worth reading to the end. My least favorite quote is above in italics.
And then Chairman Dempsey goes on to say,
“I think that it’s going to be a challenging budget and there’ll be cuts across the board,” he said. “You really have to focus on the spending side of the equation. That means that we’re really drilling down into every single line item to determine the appropriate dollar amount that we can afford this particular year.”
Dempsey said he is against using the state’s $1.3 billion rainy day fund “aggressively” in the upcoming fiscal year, calling the governor’s proposal to drain $400 million from the account “a healthy number.”“I think the challenge that we have is managing expectations,” he said. “There’s a sense because our unemployment numbers are coming down. There’s a sense because our revenues in February, for instance, were pretty good, that things are better than they appear. We’ve got to be careful.”Asked about local aid to cities and towns – one of the largest most closely watched accounts – Dempsey said House and Senate leaders are considering declaring their intentions with a resolution “in the next week or two.” Cities and towns typically request that legislators indicate their intentions on local aid by mid-March to aid municipal leaders with their budget planning process.
Challenging indeed. Especially for the poor the elderly the disabled and every single city and town in the Commonwealth.
You’ve seen the tree image before, ONE Massachusetts uses it to illustrate how our Government funds and supports the important programs that keep our Commonwealth healthy and strong.
It’s part of a “Plain Talk” power point to illustrate , in part at least, how our Public Structures get funded by the taxes we all pay. To quote the notes:
“ Here is an example of how to put public structures into context. Here we see how revenue and budget decisions have positive and negative affects on the health of our entire state. Interactions of public money and services are seen in this illustration as one Massachusetts ecosystem.Note that the leaves on this tree – services like public schools and the courts – are not there just for those citizens who choose to take advantage of them. Public structures improve our community as a whole, contributing to public safety and economic stability. Many families, for example, do not have any children in our public school system, but those schools are building a productive, educated workforce that will attract new businesses, ultimately boosting state revenues and the quality of life for all people in our state!And then the next slide shows some leaves falling off the trees … because of tax cuts. Sometimes, some of our public structures aren’t always looking so healthy. Services may be under-funded, or even cut. Like in nature, this system is in a delicate balance – with services tied to revenues coming from both individuals and corporations. ”
Interested in this presentation for your Board, Staff or Leadership who are trying to figure out how to advocate for their issue in these hard times? The Academy can come to you to make this presentation as part of a 2 hour session on Advocating for your Issue During Hard Economic Times.
You can find a sample agenda and some materials here.