The plan: 61 Votes totaling $275 Million in overrides.
House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sanchez (D – Boston) plans on leading his colleagues in the House in overriding $275M out of $320M of the Governor’s vetoes through the FY2018 budget process. Yesterday, the House met to start the override process and according to Speaker DeLeo (D - Winthrop), this process will take weeks.
Rep. Sanchez outlined his plan before the chamber as being a positive approach to budgeting and fiscal responsibility. Let’s break down the numbers.
In July, the legislature passed the FY2018 budget, totaling $40B. Just before the bill passed, the Boston Herald reported that the state ended the fiscal year with $400M in budget deficits. Governor Baker made $320M in cuts in over 160 budget vetoes, warning the legislature that not only was the spending plan irresponsible, but the conference committee who created the budget in secret already underfunded some accounts by a total of $198M.
As of today, tax collections are up about $60M this year over the same period last year. However, the benchmarks by which Rep. Sanchez and the leadership made their budget projections are still down by $11M. This is because they projected a 2.9% growth rate in tax collections whereas the past 2 years, tax collections have seen no more than 1.4% growth. The House continues to over budget based on wildly ambitious projections, grounded in nothing but hope.
House Republican Minority Leader, Brad Jones (R – North Reading) strongly recommended that the House wait until October to have a more substantive conversation about the budget. His recommendation was turned down as quickly as it was brought up.
The House plans on meeting again to continue to restore money we don’t have to the budget. The Senate, still on recess since Senate President Stan Rosenberg is traveling out of country, will return at the end of the month. We will be updating our scorecard with the new votes as the House and Senate meet to vote on the overrides.