Lawmakers move forward with Baker budget veto overrides

The House voted to override the $320 million Baker vetoed from the spending plan

BOSTON (WWLP)—Despite a revenue shortfall last fiscal year, lawmakers are moving forward with overrides to the Governor’s budget vetoes to restore spending to programs Charlie Baker had cut.

The House Wednesday completed votes to override the $320 million Baker vetoed from the spending plan in July, despite concerns for slow revenue growth and last year’s budget shortfall. The Senate has restored $40 million in funding so far.

“Some of these are essential programs that we just absolutely need to fund, for example, pediatric palliative care at Bay State Health Center, among other programs,” State Senator Eric Lesser, (D-Longmeadow) said.

Despite concerns for the uncertainty of revenue coming into the state, the House and Senate continued budget overrides Wednesday.

September revenue collections later provided some relief for lawmakers, coming in above expectations. The state is now $124 million above benchmark for the fiscal year.

September is one of the larger revenue collection months according to budget committee leaders. But if revenues fall short later in the year, the governor has the power to make executive cuts.

“I’m a little bit concerned as we’re only a few months into the new fiscal year and only into that first quarter but all indications say that things are strong, business confidence is up, unemployment is still down,” State Rep. Aaron Vega, (D-Holyoke) said.

Both the House and Senate must approve of the budget veto overrides before they can restore funding. The Senate will likely take up the remaining veto overrides from the House in the coming weeks.