Saturday, November 21, 2020

"House, Senate budgets contain plenty of policy proposals"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"So much for a “narrow” budget.

When the House and Senate Ways and Means committees released their fiscal 2021 budget proposals, both were relatively narrow with few policy initiatives. Chairs Aaron Michlewitz and Michael Rodrigues both stressed the need to adopt the budget on a quick time frame, with the state’s temporary budget expiring at the end of November and the fiscal year already five months in. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said at a Massachusetts Association of Health Plans conference that the budget “is not an appropriate place for major policy reform.”

But through the amendment process, lawmakers have now adopted numerous significant policy proposals. Whether a conference committee will be able to resolve differences quickly remains to be seen. Gov. Charlie Baker has line item veto power over the budget, so policy proposals could also die on his desk – although Democrats, with a veto-proof majority in both bodies, could override him.

The most obvious example is a provision expanding abortion access, which was passed in similar forms by the House and Senate. Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr objected to having a major policy proposal taken up in a lame duck budget session, as did Baker – though the governor did not say whether he would veto it."

Continue reading the article online



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