House Budget Offers Little in Fiscal Restraint or Responsibility

Several Reform Minded Amendments Shot Down by Speaker

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance commented on House lawmakers successfully passing Speaker Ron Mariano’s proposed FY2025 budget, which offered little to nothing in the way of spending restraint or fiscal responsibility. The budget comes in at roughly a whopping $58 billion dollars. The House budget increases spending while the state’s revenues are down, does not offer any tax cuts that would make Massachusetts more economically competitive, and fails to incorporate several common-sense reform amendments.

“Clearly Speaker Ron Mariano has one thing on his mind, which is to spend now and figure out the economic mess later. His budget successfully mugs the taxpayers of their hard-earned money, and keeps them on the hook to fund new priorities. The Speaker’s top three priorities are to spend, spend, and spend. His budget has nothing to show in the way of spending restraint or fiscal responsibility. Through budget amendments, the House had several opportunities to reform how they spend our taxpayer money, but they were all shot down. The Speaker was unusually cruel to taxpayers of Massachusetts, as spending continues to grow with nothing to show for it,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

“When House lawmakers had the opportunity to redirect taxpayer money funding phone calls for prisoners to local aid for cities and towns, Speaker Mariano shot it down. When House lawmakers had the opportunity to add a residency requirement for the right to shelter law, a move which could save hundreds of millions and act as a deterrent for more strain on the program, the Speaker stopped it. When House lawmakers had the opportunity to prioritize Massachusetts residents on the waitlist for Emergency Housing Assistance, the Speaker wasn’t interested in prioritizing our own residents. And when House lawmakers had the opportunity to reform the emergency shelter program to prioritize honorably discharged homeless veterans, the Speaker let politics stand in the way of supporting our veterans. The Speaker may have achieved his goals, but it came at the expense of the taxpayers of Massachusetts,” concluded Craney.

  • On Thursday, an amendment (amd. 645 RC#92) was brought forth that would take $35 million from the recently created “no cost calls” for prison inmates and reallocate it to cities and towns who have seen budget shortfalls and recent 9C budget cuts. That vote was rejected 29-128, garnering support from every Republican, three Democrats and the sole unenrolled member.
  • Another roll call vote was taken on Friday for an amendment (amd. 1393 RC#99) that would impose a 3-month residency requirement to be eligible for emergency shelter. This amendment was voted down 30-125 with four Democrats and the unenrolled member voting with Republicans.
  • Amendment 1394 prioritized Massachusetts residents on the waitlist for Emergency Housing Assistance. This amendment failed 27-131 (RC#100). This vote picked up two Democrats to vote with Republicans.
  • This next roll call was on a somewhat familiar topic that called for the emergency shelter program to prioritize honorably discharged homeless veterans for the program (Amd. 698). This was voted down on a 27-129 (RC#101) vote with yet again only two Democrats voting with Republicans.

To view these roll call votes on these amendments, please click here.

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