BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick has vetoed $435 million dollars from a $33.6 billion dollar state budget. The move is necessary, Patrick says, because the budget numbers don't add up.
"This action will come as no surprise. I have never signed a budget that was out of balance and I am not about to start to do so," said Patrick.
Among the cuts, $240 million dollars for transportation and $177 million dollars for cities and towns. The Massachusetts Municipal Association Executive Director Geoff Beckwith is calling on the state Legislature to override the governor's veto.
"This is a massive and unnecessary cut in local aid that would destabilize municipal budgets all throughout the Commonwealth, forcing widespread layoffs and reductions in important services," said Beckwith.
In transportation, the cuts would put a question mark on funding for regional transit authorities, like the PVTA, Boston's bus and subway system, the MBTA, and highway workers.
Patrick says the municipal and transportation money he slashed from the state budget can be restored if state lawmakers approve his changes to a transportation-tax bill. The state budget relies on money generated in the tax bill. The governor recommends raising the gas tax if the Mass turnpike tolls come down in 2017 as scheduled. He says that will guarantee the money needed to support the state budget.
"I have proposed one way to get certainty, I am open to others, but one way or another, this has to be resolved," said Patrick.
In a statement, Senate President Therese Murray said she disagreed with the Governor's "interpretation" of the tax bill.
"The House of Representatives will protect the cities and towns of Massachusetts," said House Speaker Robert DeLeo in a separate statement.
Both branches will vote on the vetoes next week.