Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday morning signed an interim budget to keep state government running when the new fiscal year begins on July 1 since the Legislature has not yet developed a fiscal 2021 spending plan.
The governor filed the $5.25 billion interim budget a week ago and said Friday that the amount is sufficient to fund government operations through July and "will make it possible for the treasurer to deliver local aid payments to cities and towns."
House and Senate leaders have not laid out a timeline yet for completion of a budget for the full fiscal year. With just a few days until the new budget year begins, the Baker administration this week told municipalities that upcoming monthly local aid payments will largely be based on fiscal year 2020 estimates. The planned implementation of a new school funding law in the new fiscal year is on hold, at least for the time being.
"We obviously look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature during the month of July, as some of the issues associated with fiscal '20 get a little clearer and fiscal '21 get a little clearer, to finalize what I would call a budget for the go-forward on the rest of the year," Baker said Friday after announcing he had signed the stopgap budget. "But I want to thank the Legislature for acting quickly on this one and providing some security and certainty to people with respect to how the new year will start here for the commonwealth and for the commonwealth's cities and towns."