State budget protects Medfield

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The state economic downturn will effect our state services, but not the state aid to education or local state aid for Medfield (see text I put in red below), as the state cuts monies for programs and cancels an income tax cut in order to balance its FY17 budget.

This Statehouse News Service article was shared by John Nunnari.


By Matt Murphy

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 29, 2016…..House and Senate leaders on Thursday will seek passage of a $39.15 billion budget accord for the fiscal year that begins on Friday, crafting a compromise in the face of unstable economic conditions that cuts $750 million in projected revenue and $413 million in proposed spending from previous plans.

The deal, reached on Wednesday by six negotiators from both branches, preserves increases to local aid and school funding for cities and towns, as well as substance abuse programs, but made tradeoffs that will result in many agencies and programs receiving level funding as the page turns Thursday night from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017.

The compromise plan would increase Chapter 70 school aid by $116 million and unrestricted local aid by $42 million, Dempsey told reporters.

House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey said the compromise cuts $260 million from the roughly $39.5 billion spending plans approved by the House and Senate in April and May, including $142 million from Medicaid by deferring some payments until fiscal 2018 and reducing caseload estimates in public assistance and health insurance programs.

The budget bill, which will be put before House and Senate lawmakers Thursday for passage, also cancels a proposed $200 million deposit in the state’s reserves due to lower than anticipated capital gains taxes, which have taken a hit from the volatility in the stock market.

Dempsey said the budget conferees, with the help of the Baker administration, identified $100 million in savings through “procurement efficiencies,” and are no longer assuming a reduction in the income tax rate from 5.1 percent to 5.05 percent in January, freeing up $80 million in taxes for spending.

“I think that this action on the part of the House and Senate, the conferees that have worked very, very hard over the last several weeks, shows that we are taking strong action that will certainly deal with the challenges and adjustments that we see with respect to revenue,” Dempsey said.

As a result of the lower anticipated revenues in fiscal 2017, automatic transfers to the School Building Authority and the MBTA from sales taxes will occur at lower levels, reducing the amount delivered to each entity by about $30 million, Dempsey said.

Senate budget chief Karen Spilka plans a 5 p.m. budget briefing.

[The News Service will have further budget coverage as more details become available]


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