Pulling together multiple sources today.
"Despite the pandemic-related recession and high unemployment rates, and an expected drop in state tax revenues, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday released a budget proposal for the current fiscal year that is actually higher than the budget he proposed in January.https://commonwealthmagazine.org/government/baker-releases-45-5-billion-revised-fy21-budget-proposal/
Baker, a Republican, is recommending a fiscal 2021 budget of $45.5 billion, or 3.8 percent more than was spent in fiscal 2020. The budget he released in January would have spent $44.6 billion, or 2.3 percent more than in the prior fiscal year.
The high budget is largely driven by excessive spending in MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. It would be paid for with an influx of federal money as well as a $1.3 billion draw from the state’s $3.5 billion rainy day fund.
“The rainy day fund is there to support services when it’s raining, and I think most people would agree it’s raining,” Baker said at a State House press conference."
"The revised budget is built on a projection that state tax revenues will be $3.6 billion lower than originally estimated, due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Overall, the updated budget would be balanced through a blend of increased federal assistance, a drawdown of $1.35 billion from the state’s $3.5 billion stabilization fund (preserving $2.1 billion for future needs), and changes to a range of appropriation recommendations.
The Division of Local Services released revised Cherry Sheet amounts for each city and town today based on the new budget recommendation. The DLS update includes receipt and assessment items for municipalities and regional school districts. (Link to updated Cherry Sheets for regional school districts.)
The governor said that he hoped the Legislature would return a final budget to him by Thanksgiving."
"Today, Governor Baker filed his FY21 budget with you. While I had hoped for better than the inflation-only increase that was passed in July, I to some degree was also resigned to it. However, to hear the Governor repeat the deceptive framing posed by Secretary Peyser yesterday, that the funding to schools this year surpasses that laid out by the Student Opportunity Act, is infuriating. I have had reason to wonder if the Governor has any understanding of the school funding formula before this, but this statement has confirmed that he either does not or chooses willfully to ignore the principle upon which it is based.
Pandemic funding is precisely that: it is funding for an EMERGENCY. To have that funding then touted as filling the gaping hole in our basic needs is simply wrong; having to spend money to repair my car does not take away my need for gas money.
Moreover, the funding for the pandemic has been flat: it is distributed regardless of student need, regardless of community need. Every student in every district, whatever its wealth, received that emergency funding. The state's funding formula, on quite the other hand, is progressive: it recognizes that greater need requires greater resources to meet. "http://who-cester.blogspot.com/2020/10/a-plea-from-worcester.html