Massachusetts lawmakers miss 2020 budget deadline

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – For the second consecutive year, state lawmakers are late delivering a budget to the Governor’s desk, and that’s because several key spending areas are holding up the process.

Massachusetts lawmakers have once again missed their intended July 1 deadline for the state budget.

On Tuesday, the budget conference committee failed to finish reviewing terms that both house and senate members agreed to.

“I don’t have a problem with the budget being a week or two late, I care a lot more about the quality of the work product,” Governor Charlie Baker said.

The budget bills approved separately by House and Senate members contain many similarities but take different approaches in key areas, like school aid, prescription drug pricing, and new taxes on vaping products and opioid manufacturers.

“What I’ve seen this year, I don’t know if it’s the number of issues are as great as they have been in years past, but they’re probably more involved issues than they have in years past, and I think that’s probably some of the hold up,” House Speaker DeLeo said.

A $5 billion interim budget that Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito signed last Thursday is keeping state government operations going and administration officials said that funding is sufficient for the month of July.

Of the 46 states that started the new fiscal year Monday, only Massachusetts and Ohio still waiting for their Legislature to finalize a fiscal 2020 budget.

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