Senate to release its budget Tuesday, debate starts May 25

Boston Statehouse
Boston State House

Boston State House

BOSTON (SHNS) – Senate leadership plans to release its fiscal year 2022 budget bill next Tuesday with plans to debate it and the hundreds of amendments likely to be filed during the week of May 24.

Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a $45.6 billion state budget in January, the House last month passed its own $47.716 billion spending bill for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means will meet in an executive session Tuesday to roll out its own recommendation.

As soon as Chairman Michael Rodrigues introduces his committee’s budget during the 1 p.m. session, senators will get to work drafting and filing amendments to the spending plan. Those amendments will likely be a main topic of discussion when the Senate’s 37 Democrats meet Monday, May 24 for a private caucus at noon.

Formal Senate sessions to consider the budget and amendments are planned to start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25, and senators have been told to prepare for possible formal sessions Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week as well.

After the Senate passes its fiscal 2022 budget, the House and Senate will likely appoint a conference committee of three representatives and three senators — typically the Ways and Means Committee chairs, another Democrat from each branch, and the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee from each chamber — to reconcile the spending plans.

In recent years, the Legislature has struggled to reach an agreement on the full-year budget to have it in place by the time the new fiscal year begins July 1 and Massachusetts often begins a new budget year operating under a temporary, one-month budget.

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