After adding $74.4M, Massachusetts Senate adopts 2020 budget

  • Legislators stand and applaud in the Senate Chamber at the Massachusetts Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Boston during the oath of office ceremony for 40 senators. AP PHOTO/Elise Amendola

State House News Service
Published: 5/24/2019 9:21:17 AM
Modified: 5/24/2019 9:21:05 AM

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate passed a roughly $42.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 on Thursday night, leaving a little more than five weeks for negotiations between the House and Senate ahead of the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

The Senate voted 40-0 around 10:30 p.m. Thursday to adopt the spending plan, which was amended over the course of three days of debate in the Senate Chamber. In total, senators tacked about $74.4 million in additional spending onto the fiscal 2020 budget that the Ways and Means Committee proposed, the committee said.

“We can be really proud of the work we have accomplished,” Senate President Karen Spilka told senators just before the unanimous vote. “We expressed our best hopes for the future of our commonwealth and together we made the hard decisions to produce a fiscally responsible budget that truly reflects our Senate values.”

The Senate this week backed a sizeable increase for a state grant program that helps religious and nonprofit facilities “at risk of terrorism and violent threat” improve their security, bolstered funding for regional school transportation reimbursements, added funding for civics education, and authorized an increase in some Registry of Deeds fees to boost funding available through the Community Preservation Act.

Many of the highest-profile budget amendments received attention but no actual vote when the Senate began its week of debate Tuesday. Amendments that would have brought in significant new revenues by increasing corporate tax rates were withdrawn after remarks by their sponsors, as was one that would have implemented the first year of the higher-education reforms contained in the so-called Cherish Act.

The House last month authorized $42.7 billion in spending for fiscal year 2020, including significant new investments in elementary and secondary education, while avoiding any major tax increases. Lawmakers are now expected to appoint three senators and three representatives to iron out the differences between the House and Senate plans in a conference committee.

The next fiscal year starts on July 1, but the Legislature has in recent years missed that deadline for having a new budget in place and instead has resorted to passing a spending plan sufficient to meet the state’s needs for about a month to buy themselves more time to agree on a compromise budget. Massachusetts was the last state to adopt a fiscal year 2019 budget.

Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy