The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Office of Representative David F. DeCoste
State House, Boston, MA 02133-1054
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2018
CONTACT: Caitlin Favreau (617) 722-2430
The $41.88 Billion State Budget Compromise
Boston – After a few long and busy months, Representative David DeCoste (R-Norwell) joined fellow legislators of the MA House of Representatives and Senate in a general consensus over the budget for the 2019 fiscal year, which began July 1. This process, which consists of the House and Senate passing individual budgets, required extensive negotiation between the two branches before they can come up with a singular budget plan to present to Governor Baker. Next steps require the Governor to review the proposed legislation and issue any vetoes or amendments within ten days of it reaching his desk. The budget, H4800, is estimated to be on track to reach the Governor’s desk by the end of the day on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.
The 2019 fiscal year budget’s late arrival was primarily due to work complication on other bills, as many lawmakers had less than two weeks to finish writing other major bills that addressed consumer data protections, short-term rental regulation and taxation, health care, education funding, environmental spending, animal welfare, veterans benefits, civic education, automatic voter registration and clean energy. Additionally, House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez told reporters that he did not think there was “any one thing” that kept negotiators from producing an on-time budget, as “they weren’t simple policy pieces… I’m just happy and proud we got out of the woods and we have a budget before you that does have significant policy pieces in it.”
On Wednesday, the fiscal 2019 budget was quickly approved in the House with a 143-6 vote and a Senate vote of 36-1 with a bottom line that is nearly $400 million more than what either branch approved. It is also anticipated to add an additional $271 million deposit for the state’s rainy day fund, which would address concerns over inadequate reserves. The supplementary $400 million includes an estimated $190 million for what is characterized as priorities in both branches, and about $150 million to address structural deficiencies in accounts like snow and ice removal and the Committee for Public Counsel Services. In total, the budget includes $1,098,945,897 in unrestricted general government aid, $4,907,573,321 in Chapter 70 aid to local schools, $5.02 million for state parks and recreational areas, $7.99 million for the Cannabis Control Commission, $12.79 million for youth-at-risk summer jobs, and $161.75 million for emergency assistance family shelters. It does not include the Senate proposal to restrict local authorities’ cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
David DeCoste represents the towns of Norwell, Rockland and Hanover in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.