More than three weeks late, leadership demands a vote before Mass. lawmakers can read it.
On Monday, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance again took legislative leaders to task for one of the least efficient and transparent budget processes in recent memory. Lawmakers are more than three weeks late in producing their annual state budget and Massachusetts remains the last state operating without a budget in the country. The final proposal agreed upon adds an additional $317 million more in spending than either the House or Senate had initially approved. Legislative leadership is expecting rank and file lawmakers to vote on it mere hours after its release.
“Only in Massachusetts could two sides enter into a secretive budget negotiation and end up with a spending figure this much higher than either side was asking for,” said Paul D. Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“Legislative leaders disregard for the budget deadline was obvious and now they want lawmakers to vote on it before they had a chance to read it. Their contempt for transparency is on full display. Rank and file lawmakers need to start asserting their rights as elected officials and put their foot down. They should delay a vote and provide the public and their colleges an opportunity to actually read what’s before them,” continued Craney.
“House and Senate leadership shouldn’t be the only ones with the “privilege” of reviewing the state budget before voting on it. Massachusetts is better than this,” concluded Craney.