The Governor’s proposal for closing the gap consists of the following items — roughly speaking 1/3 savings, 1/3 new revenues and 1/3 use of reserves.
Attention, sports fans: After the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday, the game to watch will not be “the Speaker vs. the Governor.” Taking nothing away from the Celtics, the real game to watch will be the economy.
Roughly speaking, half of the Commonwealth’s budgeted spending goes through agencies that primarily serve the needs of the less advantaged — through the subsidized health plans, public assistance, and other social services, including housing and subisidized day care.
The answer appears to be Yes in the sense that we face needs that considerably exceed revenue as we prepare the 2009 budget and look out over the next few years.
Although specific quantities are hard to predict even one year out, and the uncertainties multiply as one looks further, it seems fair to say that the state cannot meet any of its presently well-identified major unmet needs without making big changes — either in spending priorities or in broad-based tax revenues.
According to most commentators, across the spectrum, the FY2009 budget is tighter than in most years.