Support the news

Mass. Senate Unveils $27.8B Budget; No Tax Hikes

The Massachusetts Senate is unveiling a $27.8 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Panagiotakos said the budget includes no new taxes and doesn't draw out any money from the state's rainy day savings account.

The Lowell Democrat said the budget relies on cuts and one-time federal stimulus dollars. Like the House budget, the Senate plan recommends a $159 million — or about 4 percent — cut in aid to cities and towns.

Panagiotakos said every community will receive enough education aid to meet the requirements of the state's 1993 Education Reform law.

The Senate plan also tries to ease the state's homeless problem by spending $2 million to rehab 2,000 public housing units now sitting idle.

Panagiotakos said difficult times are likely to continue for a while since about 70 percent of state revenue comes from the state income and sales taxes.

"Those are both driven by jobs," he said. "Until we see serious job creation, we won't see any significant increase in state revenues."

The Senate is scheduled to debate the budget next week. The Senate, House and the Patrick administration have six weeks to agree on a final budget before the new fiscal year.

This program aired on May 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news