- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - A summary of Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to close a projected $768 million deficit in the state budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, with a breakdown of which measures require legislative approval.


- Executive branch reductions: $145 million. These cuts can be made unilaterally by the governor and do not require legislative approval. Approximately 300 line items in the budget would be reduced. Among a few of the more sizable cuts: More than $10 million in mental health services spread out over several line items; $5 million for substance abuse counselors; $5 million in kindergarten expansion grants; $5.8 million from the state police; and nearly $5 million from the state child support enforcement division. Baker said the governor’s office would take a 10 percent reduction in its budget.

- Non-executive branch reductions: $53 million. The proposed cuts in programs or agencies outside of the executive branch of government, such as the Legislature or judiciary, require approval from lawmakers.

- Transportation: $40 million. Proposed cuts in transportation also require legislative approval.

- MassHealth: $168 million. Baker said savings in the state’s Medicaid program can be achieved through a variety of administrative measures, including eligibility redeterminations that he said had not been done since the state’s Health Connector website failed last year and had to be rebuilt. According to the administration, only $10 million of the MassHealth reductions require legislative approval.

- Reversions: $108 million. These funds were appropriated for state programs that have not yet started and will instead go to offset the deficit. Legislative approval is not needed for the reversions.

Total proposed spending cuts: $514 million



- Capital gains taxes: $131 million. Baker is asking the Legislature to transfer $331 million in capital gains tax proceeds that would otherwise be earmarked for the state’s reserves - better known as the rainy day fund - to the General Fund to help reduce the deficit.

- Tax Amnesty: $18 million. The program, which requires legislative approval, waives interest and penalties for taxpayers who agree to pay off overdue tax debts.

- Other revenue: $105 million. The administration hopes to bring in additional revenue from several sources including federal reimbursements and transfers. $30 million of the total would require legislative approval, according to the administration.

Total proposed revenue additions: $254 million.

Online: Executive Office of Administration and Finance: http://1.usa.gov/1uViOxI



Click to Read More

Click to Hide