BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state is nearly a week past deadline in getting an annual spending plan signed into law. Lawmakers will spend this upcoming week waiting to be called into the State House for a formal vote.
Six days into the new fiscal year and lawmakers have yet to send a state budget to the Governor’s desk for his review. A six-member conference committee, made up of both House and Senate members, has been privately negotiating since late May. State lawmakers are at a standstill, waiting for them to reach an agreement.
Second Assistant Majority Leader State Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford) told 22News, “The conference committee is working. They’re getting closer and closer, so we want to be in anticipation of a full formal session. We want to be prepared.”
The House and Senate have not been on the best terms this year. They do not see eye-to-eye on tax policy, solutions at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and internal rules. The Governor signed a temporary $5.5 billion budget into law to keep state government afloat for a month until they reach a deal. Top state leaders are hinting that the committee may wrap-up budget negotiations as early as this week.
“It is time to bring this to a close and I’m cautiously optimistic that that’s going to happen in the next several days,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).
The earliest state lawmakers could vote on the budget would be Wednesday, but nothing has been set in stone just yet.