MassFiscal wants to publicly give a BIG thank you to the ten lawmakers who voted on Friday against the conference committee’s secretive $40B budget.
The bi-partisan list of lawmakers are: Senators Sonia Chang Diaz (D-Boston), Ryan Fattman (R-Webster), State Representatives Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield), Nicholas Boldyga (R-Southwick), Geoff Diehl (R-Abington), Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk), Peter Durant (R-Spencer), Kevin Kuros (R-Uxbridge), Jim Lyons (R-Andover), Shauna O'Connell (R-Taunton), and Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville).
Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) released the 327 page conference committee budget at 10 a.m. and called for a vote at 2 p.m., giving legislators scant time for study.
The conference committee irons out differences between House and Senate versions of the annual spending plan. Among the changes contained in this one were increases in employers fees to fund MassHealth and the removal of important reforms to the budget-busting state health care behemoth.
House and Senate Republicans argued that the four-hour time frame didn't allow for adequate review, and while their efforts failed, they were able to force a few roll call votes on the matter.
The lightning fast process brought to mind former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's words of advice to her Congressional colleagues so long ago: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it.” Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Rosenberg clearly took a page out of her play book this budget season.
Governor Baker has ten days to sign the budget and veto what line items he sees fit. MassFiscal will keep the public updated on what the Governor does and in the meantime, please view and share the MassFiscal scorecard to see updated votes and scores. More info at: www.MassFiscalScorecard.org.