The 2013 budget includes nearly $900 million in aid for cities and towns, as well as reforms in community colleges, welfare, and immigrant verification systems.
It draws about $350 million from the state’s “rainy day” stabilization account, leaving more than one billion in reserves. It also funds more than $11 million dollars for bus transportation for homeless school kids.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) says that the budget is good news for individual communities. “Cities and towns are very happy in terms of what we’ve done,” DeLeo said.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman
Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), agreed. “Leading the way, obviously, is local aid. We’ve made a very strong commitment to local aid.”
Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) said that the bill contains “Community college reform, EBT reform that’s fair and balanced.”
Governor Deval Patrick has ten days to review, sign and return sections of the bill with vetoes or amendments.
The fiscal year begins Sunday, but earlier this week the Governor signed an interim budget so the state has the resources it needs to operate if he doesn’t sign the budget by then.
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