NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 13, 2013

Gov. Patrick vetoes local aid funds

Holaday is 'confident' cuts will be overturned

(Continued)

“The House of Representatives will protect the cities and towns of Massachusetts,” DeLeo said.

Patrick did say the budget has many positive elements, including a $130 million increase in funding for public school districts, bringing total state spending on schools to a record $4.3 billion.

Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday said she’s confident the legislators “will do the right thing” and overturn it.

“I’m very disappointed that the governor has taken this position with the Legislature, we still haven’t returned to local aid numbers since 2007, we’re just starting to move in the right direction, cities and towns have worked very hard over the past few budget seasons to maintain services,” Holaday said. “We just put together the best budget we could based on what made the most sense and what was coming out of the Legislature, and the under-budget that the Legislature sent to the governor we would have been in good shape.”

“Instead of giving us a surplus and giving us a separate additional local aid allocation in September like they did two years ago, they rolled it into our local aid accounts, and that would have meant an extra $170,000 over what we budgeted for,” she added.

“I feel very confident that the legislators will do the right thing and veto this, because they know how hard we’ve worked during this economic downturn — especially after seeing the statement (from) DeLeo.”

Patrick pointed to $15 million in new investments for early education in the budget that he said will help reduce waiting lists for early education programs, providing access for more than 1,000 new eligible children.

The state has been operating on a stopgap budget since the new fiscal year started July 1.

Patrick had sought $1.9 billion in new taxes in his original budget request, including a hike in the income tax that would have been coupled with a reduction in the sales tax.

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