Lawmakers moved Wednesday to restore nearly $100 million in spending vetoed from the state budget by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, including funds for full-day kindergarten programs and for the University of Massachusetts system.
Baker used his line-item veto power to shave $162 million from the more than $38 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, saying that while the overall spending plan approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature was a responsible one with no new taxes, the cuts were required to assure a balanced budget "and maintain fiscal stability."
Baker said upon taking office in January that he had inherited from the administration of former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick a budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended last month, along with a potential $1.8 billion shortfall in the current year.
House leaders said earlier Wednesday that they hoped to restore $97 million of the $162 million in vetoes, targeting education and economic development among other areas.
In the first of dozens of expected overrides, the House voted 155-0 to restore nearly $17.6 million in kindergarten expansion grants. The grants are designed to increase access to full-day kindergarten with preference given to school districts in lower-income communities where students average lower scores on standardized tests.
The Senate later voted 38-0 to restore the funds as well.