Senate Budget Draft

Last week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee released its draft of the state budget for FY25. The Committee prepared for senators an overview which I pass on to you with permission. Click here for powerpoint format or here for pdf format.

Each of the hundreds of line items in the budget is a story in itself. The job of the Ways and Means Committee is to hear all of those stories through meetings that go on all year round but especially and most formally during the months before budget release. The Committee also seeks input from all senators on their priorities. Having heard the stories and the priorities of senators, the Committee has to make hard decisions as how to allocate funding. Funding is never sufficient to meet all legitimate needs and priorities.

Unless one knows the stories behind particular line items and also has a sense of the trade-offs, it can be hard to interpret spending levels — for example, is $197 million the right level for “financial assistance to families in need of resources to avoid eviction?” Most people will read the attached overview more to understand the themes and priorities reflected in the draft — the specific numbers may not seem meaningful.

Overall, I’m pleased with the draft — my sense is that it does reflect strong investment in the major priorities that I mentioned in my priorities letter in late March. The next step is for the Senate to review proposed amendments to the Ways and Means Committee’s draft . Those amendments have already been filed. Over the next few days, we will be hearing from advocates for particular line items. We will vote through an amended draft before Memorial Day and that draft will be the basis for final budget negotiations with the House.

Happy to answer questions and take input in comments below.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

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85 Comments

  1. I read a Boston Globe story today suggesting that proposed funding to the MBTA was nowhere near what the system needs. Given the climate crisis and traffic congestion in the Boston area, it’s imperative that the state fully supports the MBTA!

    1. Thank you Vanessa! I agree completely.
      If the state plans to develop transit dependent residential housing around T stops the T service needs to be world class. I have used Mass Transit in most of the European capitols and our T just doesn’t compare to service in similar size cities of Europe.
      Montpelier, Brussels, and Limoges all have superior public transit due to Federal and EU funding. The budget allocation in SWM is a drop in the proverbial bucket. Needs to be in the hundreds of millions to make a difference. According to the MBTA Advisory Board Report the fiscal 2024 budget ridership is stuck at 60% of pre0-Civid levels resulting in an over $ 260 Million operating deficit which is being covered by $ 260 Million of the 750 Million Deficiency Fund. Similar deficits are predicted for the next three years and absent a massive resurgence of ridership that will exhaust the Deficiency Fund.
      The state will need to cover the deficit eventually. If more money were used to create a more attractive rider experience it might help ridership to recover.

  2. I think the amount of money that has been spent, and that the Senate is anticipating spending ,on contracts with local hotels and food suppliers for undocumented migrants is excessive. Perhaps the Senate could choose an independent business person(s) who is savvy, and successful monetarily, who could help direct the State on how better to get bids and negotiate cost savings without compromising quality when contracting to meet the state’s right to shelter law. I think the Senate should also continue to give deep consideration whether or not they want to continue to include undocumented migrants in the state’s right to shelter law. I think US citizens should get top priority regarding tax payer dollars around the issue of homelessness, particularly families with children, but also veterans, people who have disabilities, and the elderly. In any case, I think American citizens should always take priority over non-citizens, and I have seen an alarming uptick of homeless single individuals this year. I just met one on my early morning walk at Chandler Pond. A man in his mid to late twenties. He is an American citizen, he needs services, and he’s not getting his needs prioritized.

    1. I’m a life long Democrat and used to understand the hyperbolic attacks and rhetoric use against Democrats as an inoculation against just criticism, but now the Democrats have in truth become the worst of those claims. I am far, far more afraid of the cryptic, insidious and anti-democratic, anti-reason, anti-constitutional path my party is on than the well-characterized and ultimately checked fascism of the party and cabal of the “imperfect instrument.” It is imperative to rescue the center or all will he lost.

      1. Massachusetts must send must send a seismic message to “Democrats” orders of magnitude stronger than the anti-Western “uncommitted” votes and end the socialist hijacking of the party.

    2. Spending our state and federal tax dollars on illegals is tantamount to putting money in foreign coffers. Not only that, we’re funding our own destruction.

  3. Hello Senator:
    I would like to know whether in this year’s budget whether the agencies that have regulatory authority over the ‘life sciences’ industry have bumped up their budget numbers to account for the hundreds of not thousands of new biomedical and other research laboratories that have begun and will begin operating in the Boston metropolitan area, as well as elsewhere in the state. The building developers and champions of the biomedical and bio-engineering research and development industry assure the public that, not only is this industry a good economic engine for the state, it is a “highly regulated” industry and therefore safe, even if carried out in densely populated and congested areas. The point is that the assurance of being “highly regulated” is meaningless if none or few of the regulatory agencies are ready for the juggernaut of new filings for lab and research permits in buildings next to our homes, our schools, our transportation facilities, our grocery stores, restaurants, and any other places frequented by the public, including those working in these lab facilities. If the agencies involved report that they have sufficient manpower and resources to manage this new and intense influx of laboratory permitting and monitoring requirements, then I would argue that they have been grossly over-staffed and over-funded.

    1. With the current biomedical trend, many of these labs will stay unoccupied for a while, if not forever.

      1. That is a possibility. I am very concerned for worker safety in these rental lab spaces.

    2. I can’t say that funding for this type of regulation has been increased. I do note that regulation of life sciences is also federal and institutional, but I not know enough to have an opinion on the adequacy of this regulation.

  4. Thank you for all you do for us Senator Brownsberger! I would like to see a better commitment to funding transportation in the future. Our roads and bridges are in terrible shape and the MBTA is in shambles. We need to be able to reliably navigate ourselves around our commonwealth whether via car, bus or train. Citizens of Massachusetts need to keep their eyes glued to the road to avoid potholes and road damage while public transport users need to wait endless hours for an overfull train to break down on them. We deserve better

    1. Not only am I seeing potholes, but I am seeing patches and large areas of road where the asphalt is too quickly degraded and large accumulations of aggregate in the road and washing into storm drains.
      Is the surge in passenger trucks and electric vehicles which weigh as much as them plus their destructive torque the reason for the third world quality of our roads?

  5. Not enough for MBTA in this draft. I believe the T will still have a funding gap and would like to see this noted in senate proposal and recommendations to close this.

  6. Do we know why the graduation rate for community colleges is 27%? If it’s not because of lack of funds, then why make the schooling free? What is the job placement rate for community colleges, by area of study for each community college? What percentage of community college students go on to get a four year degree? Before making community college free, we need to know that answer?

    1. Hi- great question. In case it helps: The tuition benefits do allow students and families to continue their education, complete training, finish their programs and graduate. It also allows people to earn credits while working, which will often not be on the same timeline as the reporting uses to calculate that one number. Students often earn credits, and do pre-requisite courses, and may (often) transfer before completing a full associates degree. That would be in “transfer out metrics”. The DHE issued a Strategic Plan with graduation and student success metrics for 2023 through 2033, with both graduation rates and transfer rates tracking, tracking up to across eight years going forward (previously 4 and 6). (See also the Exec Office of Labor and Workforce Development). The DHE PMRS website shows info on all the community colleges and state universities. There are specifics on placement to high demand fields “Workforce Alignment and Development”, in some cases Over 90%.

      IPEDS and HEIRS (and other) reporting track stats. There are also what they call “articulation agreements” between community colleges and the four year schools to help students transfer and continue on to four year schools.

  7. Why is the senate underfunding the T? If we want to get people out of their cars, they need a fast and reliable mass transit system.

    Ferries should not be funded. If people from Hingham and other wealthy places want to use the ferry, let them pay the full price.

    1. We are long past the point of diminishing returns on the T. There are structural bottlenecks and Massachusetts is not suited for growth. Dependence on the T ensures a secondly class status and is an obstacle to opportunity.

  8. According to the Globe on May 13, the Senate, the House, and the governor are underfunding the T.
    In Philip Eng Healey has given us a competent and seasoned leader who is systematically systematically addressing years of neglect. Eng has made it clear what’s required to reach a sound endpoint. This is no time to shortchange the project. And risk losing the best transportation leader we’ve had in decades.

    1. I applaud Philip Eng for his efforts, and he certainly is steering the T in the right direction. But I have to wonder if the reason the T isn’t being fully funded has to do with the costs associated with our “Right-to-Shelter” law. As I understand it, the Commonwealth is spending $1B this year and next on housing/feeding undocumented migrantes. How much of that money could have gone to the T instead?

      1. The answer is very clearly that it all could have gone to the T. I’m not saying it would or should, but clearly every penny burned up by delivering “services” to people who have not a single solitary right or proper claim to presence being in this country is a penny that is taken away from the people of Massachusetts. A CIS report today based on US census numbers indicates that 46% of immigrants who have come to the US in the last 2 years are working. LESS than HALF. Senator, it is time to start running this state with the respect for the citizens you’re taking the money from that you currently give to those who you’re giving our money to. Else you and those like you should be replaced.

    2. I agree with this post. Philip Eng is doing a good job making up for years of T management neglecting maintenance needs. Underfunding the T now will make his job harder and delay, if not stymie getting all the fixes made. Metro Boston needs first class rapid transit if downtown is going to thrive. We’ve learned it can’t be done on the cheap. If you want to see what urban rapid transit can look like, visit London. Yes, the upgrade there was very costly, and the fares are higher than the T’s, but the result is spectacular. Underfunding the T now won’t make its problems go away. The Legislature will just have to face them again in December or whenever the budget funding is running low. Stalling until after the election is pointless.

      1. The irony of pointing to current-day London as a model in a thread discussing the trade offs of the billions spent on illegal invaders is rich enough to fund the whole budget.

  9. It would be much more helpful to see trend data for spending and some attempt to correlate to results or outcomes. Without such basic in information it hard to make any actionable insight. In simple terms how do you know you are having any meaningful impact. The word investment implies a return. What return have we been getting? It may make more sense to direct more spending to few areas to accelerate impact.

  10. One legislative fix to promote disability access would be to pass the long-languishing bill to change the Architectural Access Board, S.1553, so that gut rehabs and change of function (eg, mill conversions) will require accessible units.
    There have to be creative ways the state can get more involved with new housing . The state has a huge need, as everyone acknowledges.
    The millionaire tax is awesome!

    1. I don’t think the Millionaire’s tax is terrific. I have lived in and owned my residence for close to 40 years. Been paying real estate taxes to the City of Boston that long. Thanks to the out of control real estate values, I’m going to be hit with a massive tax when I sell or maybe I’ll die first. I voted against the Millionaire’s tax. Secretary Galvin was quoted in the papers he was going to make an exception for the elderly who have lived in their residence for a long time. The elderly need that money to survive. They get to the point where they need physical care doing the “activities of daily living.” Whether Secretary Galvin said that before or after his re-election, I’d have to go back and research that. If you’re concerned about disability access, please see if you can get Boston City Hall to fix the two escalators leading to the lower floor where you pay the real estate tax bill. One man behind the window where I got a print-out of my real estate tax bill said the escalators haven’t been working for two years. I saw a man paying his bill and then with his two crutches slowly walk up the long set of steps next to the inoperable escalators. The real estate taxes don’t go down and yet they can’t fix or put in new escalators. Lucky neither he nor I fell on those shiny tile stair steps. Maybe you have to go around to the back of City Hall to get to another elevator which goes to the payment floor. Still those escalators should be operable.

    1. I believe that the “T” and regional transit agencies should be allowed to access a property tax on properties that have rapid transit within a 1/2 a mile or so of a property, and a lower property tax on property that has bus or rail service within a 1 mile of a route. If they have both, the should pay both taxes. This way the funding source for transit is tied to the property gets the benefit from the transit service. The current sales tax based funding make little sense because it causes a resentment in areas that do not have transit. It also does not encourage payers of the tax to advocate for good management and service by the agencies providing transit.

  11. I think the Commonwealth needs to study phasing out the gas tax and replacing it with mileage driven tax or some other form of transportation tax to support Roads and Bridges. The sooner the Commonwealth has the conversation about the fact that gas taxes are already declining and will start to dramatically go down as a revenue source as cars and trucks become electrified the better it will be for this major part the budget. Having the discussion now would allow a discussion, study and consensus as to how this major part of the funding for budget changes into the future.

    1. That would bring some equity to offset the the ultra heavy, ultra torquy EVs turning our asphalt roads into loose aggregate.

  12. I also think the Legislature should consider adding a citizenship requirement to the “Right-to Shelter-law. I believe that right now the Commonwealth is spending only $20M on sheltering our homeless veterans but is spending close to $1B this year and next year to house and feed undocumented, unvetted migrants.

    While I am sympathetic to the needs of migrants (many of whom are fleeing violence in Haiti), and I certainly don’t want to see anyone starve or be unhoused, I also don’t want to see essential services like police, fire, and education having to endure budget cuts because money originally earmarked for theses serices has to be diverted to housing and feeding migrants. The costs are just unsustainable.

    Also, no matter how many new shelters you open, they will be filled up immediately unless either the Commonwealth amends the Right-To-Shelter law, or if the Biden administration finally realizes the depth of their folly and starts to police the border. But I suspect neither will happen because our politicians see these people as future Democrat voters.

    1. Bob, few of them are “migrants.”
      They’re *illegal aliens* whom Biden has encouraged to flow over the border and who taking money away from taxpayers and shortchanging badly needed programs.

        1. I agree too.

          I read that during the Biden Administration 7M illegals have crossed over the border. That is more than the entire population of Massachusetts. This is not only a national issue but a local issue as well, and I hope that the Legislature takes some kind of action. We cannot continue to bear the costs of letting millions of people come into the country illegally.

  13. Please fully fund mass transit. We have some of the worst traffic – worldwide! Investing in EVs is not going to solve that and the MBTA Communities Act can’t work without functioning public transit.

    1. The MBTA Communities Act isn’t meant to work as advertised. It’s meant to shore up power of a progressive weltanschauung and their entrenchment and supplanting of the Democratic Party and the anti-democratic initiatives and apparatchiks elected and unelected whose fealty is only to their aims.

      Milton is not a warning, it’s a wake-up call.

      “Lack of housing is our top justice issue and our problems are entirely due to 100 years of local decision-making that restricts housing.” -Sen. Will. Brownsberger

      I am a life long Democrat from a family that included union organizers and I feel like a heretic questioning something that my party slaps the word “justice” onto, but what I’m hearing nowadays is “democracy is problematic.”

      To vote is the democratic instinct and the fact that Belmont did not hold a non-binding public policy question regarding the many implications of recent changes to the MBTA Communities Act is a matter of repressing this right and instinct. Who better than the residents of Belmont to have a voice in how her land is used, or not used and green-space preserved, or destroyed, and who better than Belmontonians to know and to offer wisdom on the good and ill effects of a desperate, avaricious decision made in the corner office, and smokey back rooms and over steaming cups of latte?

      I question whether the MBTA Communities Act is really about “justice” and more about the state’s failed bid to land GE and Socialist Progressives feeling their oats in the Democrat’s driver’s seat.

      I believe strongly in justice. We the people are slowly, properly and organically working towards a more perfect union. It is a grievous and irreparable act to spend down our democratic endowment by instituting divisive antidemocratic initiatives which and unelected officers faithful only to their antidemocratic agenda who only serve to empower the pseudo-progressive political elites who profit from the intangible emoluments of bestowing red meat- or, in this case, tripe to their pseudo-progressive voters.

      When I sent comments to the town’s website, Christopher Ryan, Belmont’s Director of Planning and Building shared with me a lengthy email of what he would later say were “[his] thoughts alone” essentially not to worry, that it’s only zoning, we’re not compelled to build, beware the specter of Milton and the financial catastrophe they brought upon themselves with their (foolish) voting.

      The MBTA Communities Dictat is far from embraced by all. The fact that the p.r. for it broadcast on the evening news is threats and ruin, I’d say a vote would have been in order. If the “Belmont Dems” and their Republican counterparts wanted a non-binding vote on this we would have had one. I look at the back page of The Voice and see it is owned by a real estate firm. The few plugged-in and politically active are naturally biased and colored by paternalism and their own interests and often think they know better than to have things ruined by putting it to a vote, especially in this moment in history.

  14. That’s a great budget, except personally, I don’t see anything that will benefit me or my family,
    since we do not qualify for any of those endless listed freebies or services.
    I do not foresee any meaningful improvement in MBTA; either in quality, reliability, or accessibility.
    I foresee more construction apparently designed to intimidate those of us who need to get to the office daily (driving) and then pick up kids from whatever activity they are in (driving).
    Also, I don’t quite see where are the money designated for refugee support allocated. Last time I heard, it’s not the tiny sum the state has to shell out.
    Oh well, nobody promised us that life would be fair.

  15. As one those person in the low income bracket. I would to love to see the bill pass by Congress that will furnish Internet essential and phone bill!!?

  16. QUESTIONS:
    1. What % of corporate and business taxes funds the MBTA to get their employees to work if any and what level is appropriate, if any in a capitalist system?

    2. The citizens of MA lawfully voted for the MA Hands-Free Law. What mechanism is cancelling-out the will of the voter? Who is responsible for instructing non-enforcement, or for stalling progress? What has been the impact on morbidity and mortality? I personally don’t like the law, but far too many people are not governing themselves well on the roads.

    3. Why are we throwing good money after bad by staying in the CCP Rolling Stock deal?

    1. Because Richard Neal, the Congressman from the Springfield district, wants to keep those assembly jobs there, despite it being a fiscal disaster.

  17. Is the senate’s budget going to override what the taxpayers voted on, to get a tax refund, in the event of a surplus? I read the house’s proposed budget is set up to override the will of the voters on this issue, and I would like to know if the senate’s budget proposes to do the same.

  18. Right now the Commonwealth is spending only $20M on sheltering our homeless veterans but is spending close to $1B this year and next year to house and feed undocumented, unvetted migrants. Maybe this is an error and the $1 billion is for the vets. I can’t imagine who would prioritize migrants over vets. This makes me upset and angry. I am a Navy vet and I needed a lot of help when I left the service. I didn’t get the help I needed.

  19. 1. I believe the main function of the state is to protect its citizens, therefore THIS BUDGET and every previous budget back to the first state lottery is a PERVERSION, REGRESSIVE, a continually CORRUPTING proposition that altered the relationship and compact between man and state. In the same vein the state has no business expediting and profiting in any way from other forms of gambling. Both these forms of profiting from the preying upon the weakest of our citizens lets people and businesses off the hook for contributing their fair and moral share.

    2. As I said three days after 10/7 I believe you can pin a large share of the social unrest we are seeing on college campuses directly on President Biden for not lowering the flag for Americans killed on 10/7. This send a message that “Israel had it coming,” a message carried out through the Democratic establishment for the purpose of preserving DEI initiatives and to pander to progressives extorting the party with third party threats and leverage. Not lowering the flag is essential to progressives who have absorbed the at root antisemitic, expusionist BDS movement.

    1. To that end (and to the elements of this budget that go beyond the needs of “health and human service” that is, to commune with and reward progressives) President Biden’s calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel’s failure and a guarantee that Palestinian lives were lost in vain. Calls for an undefined ceasefire are in service to the anti-semitic agenda and the handling of the conflict has been an abject dereliction and national security malpractice. Further, they are a blow to US soft and hard power and lethal to Ukraine. The outrage of President Biden drawing a red line for the just use of force by an ally is compounded and made absurd by President Obama’s (and VP Biden’s) drawing a red line for dictators in Syrian Palestine and Russia and backing down the bluster of these tin pots. American prestige is on the wane. What is more is Israel’s hands are absolutely clean. All the blood spilled is squarely on the Palestinian Hamas terrorism brigade and her paymasters. War is awful, but has its own logic. Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender and are a kin to and in fact are aid and comfort and to the extent that US treasure funded ceasefire overtures they are material support. There is no suppression of expression. The petulant, self-righteous, assaultive, empty-headed aping of exterminist slogans on campus are not love-ins or teach-ins. There’s no debate only demands. The Palestinians will know peace and liberty along aide their neighbors.

  20. To that end (and to the elements of this budget that go beyond the needs of “health and human service” that is, to commune with and reward progressives) President Biden’s calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel’s failure and a guarantee that Palestinian lives were lost in vain. Calls for an undefined ceasefire are in service to the anti-semitic agenda and the handling of the conflict has been an abject dereliction and national security malpractice. Further, they are a blow to US soft and hard power and lethal to Ukraine. The outrage of President Biden drawing a red line for the just use of force by an ally is compounded and made absurd by President Obama’s (and VP Biden’s) drawing a red line for dictators in Syrian Palestine and Russia and backing down the bluster of these tin pots. American prestige is on the wane. What is more is Israel’s hands are absolutely clean. All the blood spilled is squarely on the Palestinian Hamas terrorism brigade and her paymasters. War is awful, but has its own logic. Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender and are a kin to and in fact are aid and comfort and to the extent that US treasure funded ceasefire overtures they are material support. There is no suppression of expression. There is assaultive, empty-headed aping of exterminist slogans and co-opting a servile press.

  21. It bears repeating: anything that alleviates climate change is a good thing. More trees, less driving (there is a group devoted to less traffic in Watertown at this time; they were collecting signatures at the library Saturday), encouraging less plastic use by local restaurants -some use way too much for take out, and last, encourage solar panels. I’m done for now.

  22. yers ($22,761 M / $40,202 M), and but only 12.5% is originating from businesses ($5,041 M / $40,202 M)? Source: Slide 2/16 of the PowerPoint slide deck?  Those businesses are making profit multiple times over what they pay out to employees for wages & salaries, inclusive of any corporate taxes they are paying.
    What is the taxpayer distribution in terms of individual taxpayer income that’s financing this?  There are some major global corporations that have large, significant offices in MA (Fidelity, Google, any of the pharma companies) which also tend to have very prime, incredibly well-located downtown real estate, which also include a lot of vacant offices (that could otherwise be repurposed/renovated for housing).  There aren’t *that* many MA residents (7 M).

    What other capital expenditures can be made to help support affordable housing ownership initiatives for those who are very low or low income?  Talking specifically about those who would otherwise qualify for Section 8 housing if the stock were available, and those who are in the 10-70% income brackets (which often do not qualify and have zero programs which serve them in order to qualify for “affordable housing” lottery programs which tend to start at the minimum 80% income bracket.  How are those who are most at-risk financially able to acquire the most stable form of transferable investment asset (housing) vs. renting which is exponentially rising annually?  
    Just because there are those who are low-income does not mean that they don’t deserve the opportunity to own a significant asset with a fixed payment which will better and more sustainably serve them & their community for years to come, vs. increased gentrification.  It is entirely possible to create less-expensive fixed location assets in a development setting (ex: Boxabl casitas which are 400 sq. ft. & $60k & can be unfolded & footed within 1/2 day of labor and attached to existing sewer & power infrastructure), & partner with banks and housing programs to secure mortgages for them with more realistic monthly payments for those who are very low income than 3 years of market-rate rent. If they can be put onto heavily subsidized, previously public land that was re-zoned that is otherwise vacant, that would be ideal.  All nonprofit universities, schools, nonprofit hospitals, etc. already pay PILOT taxes on their land, not regular real estate taxes had they been zoned differently).  The biggest client for Boxabl casitas currently is the US military & they’re being used for deployments.  The same type of housing could really benefit a lot of low & very low income people here in MA.  Having the PO purchasing power of the state would likely make fulfillment happen a lot faster if streamlined through the state, than only via individuals, as their waitlist is currently 160k units long.
    How much state-owned land can be put up for affordable sale & re-zoned for affordable housing?  Especially with land that’s abutting public transportation infrastructure?

    1. ***How is the tax revenue more than 50% originating from individual taxpayers ($22,761 M / $40,202 M), and but only 12.5% is originating from businesses ($5,041 M / $40,202 M)? Source: Slide 2/16 of the PowerPoint slide deck?  Those businesses are making profit multiple times over what they pay out to employees for wages & salaries, inclusive of any corporate taxes they are paying.

    2. State owned land is entrusted and can’t be transferred from the people to a person.

  23. More attention needs to be given to the process of matching the sources of revenue to the expenditures.
    Especially education at all levels. The MBTA communities need to be re-embersed and made harmless by the increase in public school cost burden caued by the ACT.
    Also business should be taxed to fully fund the costs of higher education from community colleges to public universities. After all they are the ultimate beneficieries of our educated minds. The fair share act is headed in the right direction but needs to be fine tuned.

  24. As with others, disappointed that public transportation doesn’t even rise to the level of a slide despite known budget shortfalls at the T

  25. What are we going to do about the T? It’s still having accidents and there’s slow zones. The Medford expansion was an embarrassment. I heard this budget doesn’t increase funding for the T. How will it be possible to for the T to improve service, increase frequency of the bus lines, increase hiring (as required by by the FTA), pay down it’s debt, and repair the backlog of infrastructure without a funding increase? Keeping the funding at the same level is actually a funding DECREASE due to inflation.

  26. There is no Progressive mandate.

    To the extent that progressives items are proposed and added to THIS BUDGET and our historic laws are amended (our history and origins cancelled) for solipsistic strutting and thrusting activists can feel their oats in this time of democratic dysfunction is abhorrent.

    The Democratic Party has Stockholm Syndrome from being held hostage by smug Sanders Socialists and their ilk. There is only the rarest breed of politician on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill who have any sort of mandate in these hyper-partisan times as both parties campaign on fear and survival.

    The over-proud progressives are mistaking ransom for vindication.

    If Clintonian Triangulation is the mother of know-nothing MAGA politicking it is also mother to the dissolution and take over of the of the Democratic by anti-democratic forces and influences and the information revolution is father to both fascists (real and imagined) and proto-communists.

    The servile and gutted press and media (with notable oases of real journalists) only hyper inflated this progressive distortion thereby augmenting their purchase on the democratic process.

    And, in this distorted political and social milieu naively, or paternalistically depending on the case, giving positive sanction to anti-democratic and anti-American and yes anti-semitic actions on our campuses and streets be clear that yes of course free speech is near absolute, make no mistake that speech and conduct of the brutish pro-Palestinian occupations are nothing more than victory celebrations for 10/7 and ringing endorsements of Hamas. Indeed, the protesters are essential instruments carrying out Hamas and Iran’s et al.s’ war aims against the America. The ‘protesters” provide aid, comfort, material support for Hamas and her paymasters ultimate aim of undermining liberal democracy.

    And, as it took Russia’s full-scale invasion to wean the commercial media off of RT (The Russian Times) the propaganda outfit of the Russian state, so too did it take a warring invasion of Israel conducted through cities of Gaza for Israel to shit down Al Jazeera, the propaganda outfit of the Arab states.

  27. I echo a number of residents requests for more money for the T. Is it possible to earmark for specific spending? For instance adequate funds to fully restore the hours and route of the 55 bus. Another area that would benefit from funding would be “the ride” that many depend on but needs more investment to be more accessible in terms of getting a ride promptly or being able to reschedule a ride. General increases in funding would be welcome too but it would be great to see specific improvements locally.

  28. Instead of potentially stigmatizing every body who rides the 23, 28 and 29 bus line as needing welfare, and making them the “welfare buses” can you find a way get the welfare to the riders who actually do need assistance?

    1. There is a time and place for a helping hand- for assistance. I’ve literally eaten government cheese. There’s a place for quasi-socialist programs and initiatives that moderate our amoral capitalist system when society’s morals are wanting. Capitalism cannot survive – well it can- liberty and democracy cannot survive in a capitalist system when the population is unmoored from a moral and ethical system in part rooted in Judeo-Christian, Western values. One may be an atheist and still appreciate the humanism, ethics and morals baked into the language and ideas our legal system. It’s not jingoism to recognize the differences amongst civilizations and the implications for the balkanization and threat to liberty which will every group in our diverse melting pot. There will be only losers.

  29. I object to programs such as the free regional transit authority rides, the proposal for free community college, and many other “free” programs, that are, of course, not free. They result from legislators using citizens’ money to provide favored groups and programs support. As Mrs. Thatcher explained, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
    With respect to your role, please list any earmarks and their cost that you added to the budget.

    1. Everyone benefits from an educated workforce, not just employers. Making community college free for students isn’t free for us as taxpayers: it’s an even better deal than that.

      1. I wasn’t planning to weigh in, but I see that several constituents are taking the opportunity to suggest that Massachusetts should cease to fund shelter for undocumented people.

        It does nobody any good to fail to provide for people who, by the rules of our own immigration system, are barred from working and providing for themselves, and also barred from other forms of assistance, like Social Security, that native-born people are permitted to access. If those commenting in opposition to such support,want this support from the state government to be less necessary, I suggest that they let their members of Congress know that they should support federal immigration reform that would permit undocumented people to regularize their status and work for the same wages as native-born people.

  30. I would like to see the cap on the stabilization fund (aka rainy day fund) raised. Sooner or later, there will be a recession. The amount in the fund will help, but the amount of relief we’ll be able to provide will be limited. In the current strong economy, we can and should continue saving without hardship, instead of stopping just because the fund has reached an arbitrary number.

  31. As it was for a certain unfortunate parrot, so it is for the Democratic Party- it is no more. It ceases to be.

    Ever since Senator Clinton encouraged Pres. Trump to run for office, the Dems have profited, while the country, liberty and democracy has suffered. I am a Democrat, but I respect pre-Pres. Nixon Republican values and the way the interplay between the schools keep Democrats and Republicans honest. The only way to save our democracy is to rescue the middle. The Democrats are not moving the country forward you’re moving us into the abyss. The current command of the Democratic Party is rotting the party.

    RBG’s ego and avarice ended Roe. It’s emblematic of the Party. There will always be another Trump unless we go through the shock test to prove he won’t be king. The party is dead, but most just don’t know it yet. The date of death is not yet chiseled on our tombstone and if enough Dems do the required work of registering as Republicans for three to ten cycles we will get through this era before it’s too late for both parties.

    1. Alternatively, my party must throw the socialist interlopers overboard and make voting for is a rational proposition in November.

      1. Alternatively, my Democratic Party must throw the anti-contituionist, socialists overboard and make voting for Biden, or (barf) the vintner Newsom this November a rational choice for moderate Republicans.

        1. Moderate Republicans, those with fealty to The Constitution would have an easier time voting with the Dems if we didn’t have a proven track record of trashing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with DACA, protected classes, the tyranny of the compelled speech of pronouns and intolerance of diverse viewpoints/cancellation and the abandonment of “all men are created equal” in the Griener affair, and the attempted cooption of the very narure of what reality is with male bodies in women’s sports.

  32. I ASK SOMEONE PUT FORWARD A MOTION THAT NO BUDGET COME UP FOR A VOTE WITHOUT AN UNFETTERED AUDIT BY THE STATE AUDITOR.

    1. Every single good lawmaker on Beacon Hill may be the heir of a fiefdom distorted by ill-gotten gain, graft and undue influence for which it is beyond the influence of any one, or many of them to right. Additionally, not all lawmakers are good and sophistry abounds. AUDIT THE LEGISLATURE!

      1. We are in a time of unprecedented financial happenings: gambling, legalized cannabis, on-line betting, casinos, Covid money, Covid spending, crypto, graft, emoluments and so on, it’s not unreasonable we are in a time of unprecedented corruption, organized crime, mis-management, unfair, and injudicious applications of the office and power &c., &c.

        We are in the information age.

        Garbage in, garbage out.

        Yet we have no audit of the legislature. WHY?

        Human nature is not in abeyance. Conflicts of interest arise and may, or may not be addressed appropriately. Bribes are offered and bribes are taken.

        Our “emperors” are partly dressed.

        There’s a lot we know about the governing shortcomings of Governor Patrick and the impact on the legitimacy of the connections of the DNC et al. What more is there to learn?

        We know of the opacity of Governor Baker’s inequitable decision-making around Covid. Who won, who lost who lived and who died. How many thumbs were in the pie skewing the determinants of health and health care equity we Dems claim to be so noble about?

        And, what don’t we know about Baker’s administration’s decision to allow the Sackler’s Purdue Pharma off with a slap on the wrist for what is literally mass manslaughter, a catastrophe an industrial disaster of an unprecedented national scale, which primed and supercharged the opioid crisis and disaster? Remember Bhopal? Ask your parents, or look it up. 2,500 died in their sleep. 8,000 people died two days later and 40k were injured. How many people died in the immediate release of Oxycontin due to overdose and murder? You can count them in BHOPAL UNITS.

        Yet, an audit treads on the independence of the legislature? Give me a break. Have this co-equal branch invite Diana DiZoglio to do an audit. PROBLEM SOLVED.

  33. We need more funding for the MBTA! Keep up the improvements on it, and then do more maintenance and check-ups than we did in the past. Add more service (pay our drivers more if we need to; they literally make our city run and have an incredible way of handling all the stress in their job). Once we have good public transit, we will save a lot of money on the maintenance of roads, and as individuals, we’ll save money on car-related costs.

  34. Free community college!?

    The “Millionaires” Tax isn’t supposed to be an ingratiating quid pro quo emolument, give-away for progressives to entrench their hold over the Democratic party and dismantle capitalism. It’s not meant to fund give-aways and create dependency on the teat of the mother state. It’s a slippery slope into socialism and inexorably communism.

    The Millionaire’s Tax is meant to that the wealth and good to society that the wealthy create isn’t done in a vacuum, that wealth is created in part from a functioning infrastructure, good roads, utilities, public transportation.

  35. Thanks for the updates on the budget. Glad to see thought given to creating a commission to look into consolidations in the Corrections area. Also an Inspector General for Corrections is needed to be sure things are done right. Also I just wanted to remind everyone that despite the problems in our state, it is one of the best in providing healthcare, education, low rates of gun violence , good jobs and in treating all people as human beings. I work in a business where many out of state people come here and they are so impressed with Massachusetts. Sometimes we forget how lucky we all are.

  36. With a combined budget of the DOC and the sheriffs of more than $1.2 Billion to incarcerate approximately 5,000 people sentenced to state prisons and approximately the same number of people in jails (more than half of whom are there pre-trial), I think a Corrections Commission which would hopefully look at consolidation and the need for transparency and accountability the the DOC and the sheriffs would be one step in the right direction.

  37. We are in a time of unprecedented financial happenings: gambling, legalized cannabis, on-line betting, casinos, Covid money, Covid spending, crypto, graft, emoluments and so on, it’s not unreasonable we are in a time of unprecedented corruption, organized crime, mis-management, unfair, and injudicious applications of the office and power &c., &c. We are in the information age. Garbage in, garbage out. Yet we have no audit of the legislature. WHY? Human nature is not in abeyance. Conflicts of interest arise and may, or may not be addressed appropriately. Bribes are offered and bribes are taken. Our “emperors” are partly dressed. There’s a lot we know about the governing shortcomings of Governor Patrick and the impact on the legitimacy of the connections of the DNC et al. What more is there to learn? We know of the opacity of Governor Baker’s inequitable decision-making around Covid. Who won, who lost who lived and who died. How many thumbs were in the pie skewing the determinants of health and health care equity we Dems claim to be so noble about? And, what don’t we know about Baker’s administration’s decision to allow the Sackler’s Purdue Pharma off with a slap on the wrist for what is literally mass manslaughter, a catastrophe an industrial disaster of an unprecedented national scale, which primed and supercharged the opioid crisis and disaster? Remember Bhopal? Ask your parents, or look it up. 2,500 died in their sleep. 8,000 people died two days later and 40k were injured. How many people died in the immediate release of Oxycontin due to overdose and murder? You can count them in BHOPAL UNITS. Yet, an audit treads on the independence of the legislature? Give me a break. Have this co-equal branch invite Diana DiZoglio to do an audit. PROBLEM SOLVED.

  38. Thank you Senator Brownsberger for the budget update and providing a democratic forum. (I’m not on social media, so I have some things to say 🙂 )

    1. What is the status of a bus from Watertown Square ( or better yet, from Belmont) to Forest Hills Station?

    2. I received an email from the T regarding my complaint about DTX accessibility. There are improvements in the works. The missing element is an elevator or escalator for southbound Redline travelers connecting to the southbound Orange Line at DTX. There is an elevator but it’s unreasonably far away.

  39. To the extent that this budget has progressive(socialist) giveaways we must take pause. Progressives will never be satisfied until they have absolute power over government, industry and thought.

    The opportunists in the Democratic party fostering a Progressive worldview, or those capitalizing on it are not “bending the arc to justice” you are undoing it. You think you are striking while the iron is hot and have been given the grace of a parted sea to work for your narrow “justice” all the while the iron you’re heating is softening the latticework of I-beams holding up the tower of all of American creation and in the blink of an eye it can just collapse and the waters will rush back to fix the wrecked pile.

    The current fruits of the (the DNC’s opportunistic cooption of) progressivism of the moment did not sprout from the merits of its seeds, they are sprouting from the extortive conditions we find ourselves in and history won’t look kindly (unless progressives succeed in ushering in the end of history). The progressivism of the moment is in flower only because on embracing the darkness in human nature: fear, othering, exclusion, ostracization, and ANTISEMITISM. The hallmark of Western Civilization is truth, liberty and Justice and Israel is not beyond criticism, Israel’s actions are not beyond reason and cause. Progressives are not motivated by reason, only ego and feeling.

    Our votes this November may continue to sow the end of American Exceptionalism. The DNC’s elite’s paternalistic sophistry and pandering to “progressivism” is fostering selfishness, solipsism, entitlement, cultural balkanization, laziness, degeneracy, division.

    The Democratic Party (such as it was) is not about paternalism, pandering, it was about protecting hard working Americans and allowing all Americans to build a nest egg and build a better country.

    The Democratic Party is dead. The ONLY way to resurrect it is to not vote to put more nails in the coffin this November.

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’” and the “value added” of the DNC is fear.

    “While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as [zionists] and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205.”

    If you love the Democratic Party and democracy we can’t reward the current path we are on. We are welcoming and rewarding openings and weakening of national security including nuclear black mail as well as contributing to the delinquency if our populous.

    Our local, state and federal apparatus are girded against the threat from the cabal behind the MAGA Party, we can be America Strong by being “UNCOMMITTED” to a Democratic party in the clutches of socialists and a procommunist future.

  40. Is there anything specifically in this budget to help towns pay for the negative effect of the hundreds of vehicles and trips of Uber’s and Lyft’s, DoorDash’s, GubHub’s &c fleets on towns?

    On a regular basis I see drivers throw litter from their previous fare, or delivery on our roads and yards, some directly in front of the drop off address and some when they turn the corner.

    Ask yourself- was my neighborhood this strewn with litter before the pandemic and the advent of app fleets? Was the parking lot you shared with your neighbors and visitors of your coffee shop, drug store, or grocery store a veritable sewer of dumped drinks and strewn with left behind coffee cups and trash from Uber driver’s fares? Are your public trash receptacles more often full?

    These fleets of “independent contractors” (indentured servants unless they get union representation) are essentially anonymous. They don’t have a company logo, or if they do you can’t hold Uber responsible. You can’t easily catch a tag number. They don’t have Uber, or Grub Hub et al. Providing a corporate infrastructure to manage vehicle waste.

    How many additional miles are these “fleet vehicles” putting on our roads?

    How many accidents and agita are these moped deliver drivers causing? They almost exclusively drive their ICE motor scooters in bike lanes, making U-turns from roads onto sidewalks, travel down sidewalks, park in handicapped spaces, filter between cars stopped at traffic lights and on and on. It’s like a scene of lawless drivers from Mumbai, or Paris.

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