Baker Administration proposes buyouts to close state’s budget gap

Top lawmakers in the state disagree about whether the cuts are necessary.

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baker Administration is looking for ways to cut back on state spending and offered roughly 42,000 employees the chance to leave the public sector in exchange for a buyout package. All Executive Branch employees are eligible except those who work for the Department of Children and Families. State employees have until November 14th to apply for the program.

Retirement-eligible employees were offered a one-time payment of $15,000 to voluntarily leave their jobs. All other employees would get $5,000. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that whether layoffs are needed will depend on how many employees accept the buyout package.

This proposal comes as top state leaders clash over the severity of the budget gap. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who is skeptical that the cuts are needed, told 22News “My feeling is until we get a better feel in terms of the budget ahead, that the cuts probably should be held off.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said possible budget cuts could be announced later this week. 22News will continue to follow this story as it develops.