Governor Baker signs $39.4 billion state budget

The budget increases education funding and local aid

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is now running on a nearly $40 billion budget for this fiscal year after a couple weeks of delays. Although the budget doesn’t raise taxes, it cuts spending in several areas, including health care.

Governor Charlie Baker signed a $39.4 billion budget into law Monday for this fiscal year after lawmakers missed the July 1, deadline.

Budget writers crafted the spending plan at a time when the state tax collections continue to come in below expectations.

“Despite slower than anticipated revenue growth we are still able to fund increases to important state services for our schools, our cities and towns and our citizens,” said Governor Charlie Baker, (R) Massachusetts.

The final budget still increases local aid to cities and towns by about $40 million and raises education funding by nearly $120 million.

Despite a revenue shortfall, lawmakers didn’t raise taxes to balance the budget. Instead, Governor Baker vetoed several line items to make up for slow revenue growth.

“We are vetoing $320 million gross, $193 million net in spending to address the additional deficiencies and the lower tax revenue projections,” said Secretary Kristen Lepore of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

One of those vetoes included more than $200 million gross in MassHealth spending, in addition to the $150 million spending cuts from the conference committee budget.

Despite lawmakers looking for new revenue sources, several proposals didn’t make the final budget, including a tax on short-term rentals, like Airbnb.

The state is now running on the budget that governor baker signed into law, but the legislature can override his vetoes and can choose whether to adopt his amendments to the spending plan.