Today, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and his lieutenants released the $40B FY18 budget, the first major piece of legislation since the massive pay raises in January.
Almost 100 days have passed since the House debated the rules and pushed through those pay raises. In that time, the chamber has been remarkably silent. And yet, amendments to the $40B budget are due from lawmakers in just three days.
The narrow window is a key to the Speaker's autocratic control of the House. It's not enough time for legislators or the public to really dig in to the budget. In the Speaker's my-way-or-the-highway style, the less information the public has, the better.
Debate will likely begin April 24. Until then, the MassFiscal team will be analyzing the House budget's implications for taxpayers. We'll keep you posted as the process moves along.
One thing is for sure. Liberals and conservatives should unite behind the demand for more openness in the budget process. DeLeo's tactics of keeping both rank and file and the public in the dark are bad governing.
More to come…
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