– News covered by Quincy Quarry News with commentary added.
Massachusetts House and Senate Rush 40 Billion Dollar Budget to Governor.
Were the cuts made to balance the budget “painful” or “responsible?”
Problems include the failure of the State Legislature to honor a commitment to enact healthcare spending reforms in response to businesses’ “willingness” to be hit with a two hundred million dollar healthcare tax increase that will still be imposed upon them so as to help balance the state budget.
Additionally, time was not allowed for legislators to actually review the revised budget before they had to vote on it.
Republican State House Representative Shaunna O’Connell of Taunton said the quick vote on the bill that was released on Friday morning and then voted upon shortly thereafter made it “impossible” for legislators to know for certain what was still in the budget and what had been left out.
Further, Senate Democrats shot down a bid by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr to seek but a few days delay to allow reviewing the revised budget before the State Senate then voted on it.
Noting that an interim budget is in place for the month of July, Senator Tarr said the Senate could surely afford to postpone the vote (until this week, ed.).
“It is inappropriate for us at this time to consider a document filed just a few hours ago,” said Gloucester Republican. “It is more than 320 pages and spends more than $40 billion, which members have had a chance to review for only a very short period of time.”
Further problems include that the state legislature has yet again failed to address the fact that the state’s budgets are inextricably mired in a structural deficit even during the current generally healthy economy.
Similarly, the state’s so-called “Rainy Day” fund was seriously depleted in the wake of the Crash of 2008, insufficient funds are likely to be available to duly replenish it any time soon and that the state’s credit rating was recently lowered over these and other valid concerns about the Commonwealth’s financial well-being going forward.
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