Below, please see my letter re budget to the House Ways and Means Chair:
BY EMAIL AND BY HAND
Dear Chairman Murphy,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the FY 2011 budget.
I am particularly concerned about local aid — especially Chapter 70 and the special education circuit breaker. I also hope that we are able to move forward on changes in municipal health insurance purchasing, generally in the direction advocated by the Mass Municipal Association.
Additionally, I have identified a list of other accounts that are particularly important to the people that I represent.
Please note that I am not asking for any earmarks at this stage and I would prefer to vote for a budget with no earmarks in it. I especially think that earmarks that name specific organizations (as opposed to program categories) are ill-advised. However, if it appears that we are doing organization earmarks in the budget, I do have a couple I would offer at the amendment stage.
Finally, I have attached documents pertaining to three additional issues that I hope that we will address in the budget vehicle or otherwise over the next couple of months: (1) business practices in legislative operational accounts; (2) House 701, a cost neutral bill facilitating the acquisition of a piece of state property (identical to language which passed both branches in the environmental bond bill last year); (3) a spreadsheet showing that an early retirement incentive for teachers could be cost effective for municipalities even if they have to pay for the increased pension costs.
I look forward to our meeting, now rescheduled to Wednesday, March 10.
Thank you again for the opportunity to comment.