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  • The Senate completed its budget process last night. The next step is conference with the House to reconcile differences with their budget. It was a good process under the new leadership of Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka -- a lot of collegiality and openness in the process. I was most pleased by our successful efforts to reach consensus on a big part of the Governor's MBTA reform package.
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  • Over the past two months, I have heard from roughly 200 constituents in my district who are concerned about the Governor's proposal to eliminate the film tax credit. Some of the most thoughtful constituents indicated that they didn't like the credit going to out of state movie stars and would like to see it used in a less wasteful way to benefit in-state workers. To further that conversation, in this year's Senate budget we adopted a very modest compromise amendment, calling for a report.
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  • Here is a chart showing the last few years' budgets for local aid for municipalities in Senator Brownsberger's district, compared to the Governor's proposed FY16 budget.
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  • In conjunction with his budget, Governor Baker proposed the elimination of the Film Tax Credit. On this issue, I agree with the Governor. While I am basically eager to encourage every job-creating industry in Massachusetts, the film tax credit is just too generous to one particular industry -- no other industry receives a subsidy as deep as that offered by the film tax credit.
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  • Today, Senator Brownsberger submitted this letter to the Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee outlining his budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2016. He lists many items of importance, but his top priorities are increased Chapter 70 (education) funding; full funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker Fund; full funding for the Department of Conservation and Recreation; substantial fund increases for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation; full funding of Charter School Reimbursements to local school districts; and full funding of Kindergarten Development Grants.
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  • I was heartened by Governor Baker's effort to budget honestly for the costs that are hard to control in the state budget.
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  • We share this press release from the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senator Brownsberger offered the amendments adopted to bill S.21 related to Committee for Public Counsel Services and statewide grand juries.
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  • My daughter goes to school over at the Obryant School and I am constantly astounded by how horrible the traffic patterns are in that area, which makes visiting the area for a school night or meeting not really inviting. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about later night closings for bars (or potential later closings) for bars.
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  • It should be possible for a percentage of Senior Housing to be set aside for working poor and the middle class. Presently people are transferring assets to their children to qualify for a place in senior housing. If the rules are not changed, I fear the Democrats will lose the support of the working class base.
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  • Unlike previous economic recoveries, revenues aren't growing as fast as the state has budgeted. For the next couple of years, this will have an impact both on state spending--we have to work very hard to stretch available dollars--and on how revenues are estimated when state budgets are built.
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Will Brownsberger
State Senator
2d Suffolk and Middlesex District