BOSTON — This year’s tax-and-spending back-and-forth on Beacon Hill exposed rifts in the fiscal priorities of Gov. Deval Patrick and legislative leaders — fissures that become more apparent in subsequent years, beyond the next Massachusetts state budget.
The debate began in January, when Patrick unveiled an ambitious proposal to increase funding for new transportation and education initiatives, and then escalated with legislative leaders’ response: a smaller, transportation-only financing package, offered in April.
Now, the House and Senate are reconciling their quite-similar budget proposals. And so we thought it’d be helpful to look back at the governor’s plan — what might have been — and compare it to the Legislature’s spending blueprints. The infographic below displays:
- Patrick’s Fiscal Year 2014 plan, and how it compares to the current state budget*, the House proposal and the Senate plan;
- The total new revenue disparity between the three plans in 2018.
Two telling pictures emerge: Looking just at next year’s budget, you’ll see that the overall differences between the proposals are fairly minor, but by 2018 the governor’s plan would have made available much more revenue — for spending on transportation and other priorities.
*Clarification: An earlier version of the infographic contained misleading text about Patrick’s proposal. The infographic compares his plan to the current budget by share of the overall budget, not more/less funding in terms of overall dollars.