Governor Baker signs new $ 47.6 billion budget for the state of Massachusetts


BOSTON (AP) – Governor Charlie Baker on Friday signed a new state budget of $ 47.6 billion for the fiscal year that began July 1, as the state benefits from an expected increase in its income despite the pandemic.

The spending plan is designed to support cities and towns, schools, families, small businesses and workers across the state as Massachusetts emerges from COVID-19, Baker said.

The budget includes key investments, including full funding for the state’s new Student Opportunities Act, which requires more funds to be funneled into school systems with higher percentages of low-income students and English language learners.

There are no new taxes in the budget, which also provides for a deposit of $ 1.2 billion in the State Stabilization Fund – bringing the total balance of the “Rainy Day Fund” to 5 , 8 billion dollars. There is no planned withdrawal from the fund.

Baker and the House and Senate legislative negotiators who crafted the final budget have benefited from an upward revision of the fiscal revenue forecast of $ 34.3 billion for the fiscal year. This represents an increase of $ 4.2 billion from the consensus estimate of tax revenue for fiscal 2022 announced in January, based on better-than-expected actual tax collections in recent months.

The budget also includes a compromise on the film tax credit by making the tax relief permanent. The tax break has been criticized by some, saying big-budget Hollywood movies don’t need a tax break, but supporters – including Teamsters Local 25 – have said it’s essential to nurture the local film industry and keep jobs.

“As we continue our economic recovery, we are focused on supporting communities hardest hit by COVID-19,” the Republican said in a written statement. “We are able to responsibly grow our reserves without raising taxes, while continuing to make historic investments in our schools, skills training programs and downtown economies.”

The budget includes $ 35 million for a range of initiatives recommended by the Black Advisory Commission and the Latino Advisory Commission, including adult basic education, YouthWorks summer jobs, early college years, diversity teachers, small business development, financial literacy and workforce training, according to Boulanger.

Baker also signed some “outer sections” of the budget, which typically deal more with political initiatives than spending, including a section tabled by the administration to create a disability employment tax credit to support businesses that hire people with disabilities.

Another section makes the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority’s college savings tax deduction program permanent, which was scheduled to end this year. Nearly 30,000 filers across Massachusetts benefit from this program, according to the administration.

Baker vetoed $ 7.9 million in gross spending. Out of 149 outer sections, he signed 122, vetoed 2 and sent 25 back to lawmakers with proposed amendments.

Massachusetts House and Senate Democrats hold wide enough margins in both chambers to override any veto. Lawmakers estimated the budget they sent Baker to be $ 48.1 billion. The administration reached the slightly lower figure of $ 47.6 billion excluding funding from the Medical Assistance Trust Fund.

Also on Friday, Baker signed a separate spending program focused on transportation needs.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers on Thursday, authorizes $ 200 million to repair municipal roads and bridges and $ 150 million to support state-wide projects aimed at addressing the congestion, support electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritize bus infrastructure and improve public transport.


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