Today the House released their $40.98 billion state budget proposal—this represents an increase of $83 million over Governor Baker’s original budget proposal.Over the last several years revenues have consistently declined below their projected levels every spring. This has put some severe strains on our state budgets, added to our state's overall debt load, and even led to the downgrading of our bond rating last June. This year, however, we’ve seen a sizable increase due to the Trump tax reform law and legislative leaders seem very eager to spend that surplus. The budget conveniently doesn’t include any broad-based tax increase, insulating legislators from the wrath of an election year.House Speaker Robert DeLeo, claims the budget reflects living within the state's "fiscal realities” but we’re not so sure.For the second year in a row, House leaders scrapped the Governor's attempt to find savings at MassHealth through shifting 140,000 able-bodied adults making over 100% of the federal poverty limit to comparable plans at the MassHealth Connector, despite assurance that people who are transferred would receive zero-copay, and zero-premium coverage. In this budget, MassHealth makes up 41% of all spending.According to the Mass Taxpayers Foundation, MassHealth debt service and pensions accounted for 55% of tax revenues in FY2007. That number jumped to 73% in FY2017.As we speak, House members are furiously writing up their amendments to the budget that will likely add millions in pork projects and earmark spending to its bottom line.We will keep you informed as the budget continues its way through the halls of Beacon Hill..read moreHave you seen the new movie Chappaquiddick that was released over the weekend? We have, and we think it’s something that all lawmakers at the Massachusetts State House would benefit greatly from seeing. To help make this happen, the Fiscal Alliance Foundation and the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance will be sponsoring movie tickets for legislators. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure you get your ticket to this eye-opening film.read more
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