Supreme Judicial Court reviewing dispute between House & Senate

Dispute centers around Senate plans for income tax

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

BOSTON (WWLP) – There’s a power struggle going on between the Massachusetts House and Senate, and now the state’s highest court is getting involved. Lawyers for both chambers submitted their arguments over tax policies to the Supreme Judicial Court.

The Senate included new tax policies in their version of the budget – creating a debate between House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst). This is why: the state constitution requires bills involving tax increases to originate in the House. The Senate wants to expand the tax break for the working poor. To do so, they are proposing freezing the state income tax rate; bypassing a law that allows the rate to fall to 5%.

The legal counsel for both chambers submitted their arguments to the SJC for review.

Facing a July 1 deadline, Rosenberg told reporters he believes the state will pass a budget on time.

“It’s our hope that it will be on the Governor’s desk roughly the same time it would have been had this situation not arisen,” Rosenberg said.

Both the House and the Senate are waiting for the Supreme Judicial Court’s advice. There will be no opportunity for appeals.

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