State representatives debate on how to spend $42.7B state budget

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – After four days of debate, lawmakers are close to agreeing on how to spend the $42.7 billion state budget. 

The governor released his budget proposal in January and sent it to the house ways and means committee which reviewed the recommendations and added and subtracted funding where they felt it was necessary.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted to increase spending by three percent without raising taxes. 

The revised version of the budget was then sent to the house which submitted more than 1,300 amendments to the spending plan.

Lawmakers voted this week to increase funding in key areas of education, social services, and local aid. House Speaker Robert DeLeo called the budget ‘fiscally responsible’ but he believes it re-invests money in areas where it’s needed most, like western Massachusetts.

“Whenever we’re doing a budget or other piece of legislation that we make sure that we don’t forget any part of the state that we make sure this isn’t just about Boston, this is about all of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Speaker DeLeo told 22News. 

So far, House members have added more than $44 million in spending, and another $67 million could be added if more amendments are adopted. 

Once house members come to a final agreement they will send their budget proposal to the Senate for further consideration. Fiscal 2020 begins July 1.

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