The House just voted it’s local aid resolution. Based on the sales tax vote taken yesterday, the House was able to allocate an additional $205 million to local aid. See figures here for Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge.
Even with the sales tax increase, the budget will sustain deep cuts and Massachusetts will have a roughly average tax burden compared to other states. The increase will fund local aid, Big Dig debt and limited restorations of key programs.
Pension reform is probably the most fundamental and controversial among the reforms on the agenda this year. Now seated on the Public Service Committee, I expect to give this area quite a bit of my own attention.
Our mantra in the legislature this spring is “Reform before Revenue.”
The House Ways and Means Committee released its budget today (4/15/2009). The Committee made deep cuts in many state services, but only relatively modest additional cuts in local aid.