CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A $460 million dollar budget deficit is looming, with just 3-weeks left in this fiscal year.
22News sat down exclusively with Governor Charlie Baker, to get answers to how he’ll close a nearly half-billion budget gap, before June 30th.
Governor Baker said, they’ve been working on closing the gap without making more spending cuts for months. “We’ve basically been aware that we’d have a revenue shortfall, since the revenue started to tail off four or five months ago. You can usually find several hundred million dollars worth of savings, without really doing significant harm to many of your programs, and that’s really what we’ve been doing.”
This year’s budget deficit is partially due to slow tax revenue. Governor Baker said workers haven’t seen large increases in their paychecks.
While the Governor has the authority to make cuts without the approval of the House and Senate, he told 22News, they’ve been moving money around instead. “Some stuff starts late, some things don’t cost as much as you thought they were going to cost, some services you don’t use as much as you thought you were going to use,” he said.
As for raising taxes, Governor Baker told 22News his opinion on the topic has not changed. “Not really, I mean the whole question about raising taxes comes down to, in my point of view, how it’s going out there. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people are working, they’re doing ok. They’re living within their means, they should expect the state government to do the same thing,” he said.
That may mean cutting money from the budget for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1st.