April 19, 2016

Analysis finds temporary budget solutions 'troubliing'

Courtesy Photo

Statehouse

The budget has yet to be set by Massachusetts' government.

Gov. Charlie Baker and House leaders appear on the same page in trying to reduce the state's structural budget deficit and wean state government off the practice of annually spending non-recurring revenues. But the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says Massachusetts is too far removed from the recession to still be relying on "temporary solutions."

"This far into an economic recovery the state should not need to rely on temporary solutions to balance the budget and should be fully implementing policies to be prepared for the next downturn," center officials wrote in a detailed 35-page analysis of the House Ways and Means Committee's budget bill on Monday. The center described the use of temporary solutions as "troubling."

The spending bills drafted in the Corner Office and by House Speaker Robert DeLeo's team are "similar," according to MassBudget, which called the House $39.48 billion bill "largely an austerity budget that reduces spending in some accounts, keeps most essentially at current levels, and contains only very modest new initiatives."

Both the governor and House leaders say their budgets would use $253 million in one-time revenues to balance spending in fiscal 2017, less than half of what is being relied upon in the current state budget.

The full House begins its annual budget deliberations on Monday, April 25.

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