FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808
Massachusetts Democratic Party Calls Out Baker for Secret Budget Cuts
BOSTON – With 48 hours left in the fiscal year, the Massachusetts Democratic Party today criticized Governor Baker’s secret budget cuts and budget mismanagement.
“The last time he faced a budget gap, Governor Baker cut more than $2 million in funding to fight the opioid epidemic, at a time when we should be increasing our investments in prevention and treatment programs. This week, we learned that he’s raiding job creation funds to balance the budget, at a time when the unemployment rate is on the rise because many people are looking for work for the first time in years,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “With two days left in the fiscal year, the Governor hasn’t said a word about how he’s balancing a more than $400 million gap this year, and he’s failed to follow state law by proposing amendments to his budget to close an almost $1 billion dollar gap next year. What secret cuts is he making this year? What secret cuts is he planning next year? It’s time for Governor Baker to come clean with the public and explain his plans.”
Talking Out of Both Sides of His Mouth: Opioid Abuse Prevention Cuts
Last year, more than 2,000 people died of opioid overdoses in Massachusetts, but in December, Baker cut $2.1 million in funding for substance abuse prevention programs across the state, as well as anti-addiction programs in several school districts.
Baker’s Shell Game: Job Creation Cuts
On Friday, Commonwealth Magazine reported that the Baker administration took $17.5 million from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, the state’s economic development and financing authority, to help balance this year’s budget.
Passing the Buck: Baker’s Failure to Amend Budget
Last week, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation noted that “state finance law does require the Administration to submit an amended budget plan to the Legislature if tax or other revenues have decreased since the Governor’s spending plan was originally filed.” Baker has refused to do so.
Taking from Main Street: Local Economic Development Cuts
At the end of last year, Baker cut over $6 million from local tourism councils and programs, which support local community development and create full and part-time jobs for working families throughout the state.
Baker’s Bad Grades: Bond Rating Decrease
For the first time in thirty years, the state’s bond rating was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings earlier this month because “despite above-national average economic growth through a prolonged period of economic expansion, the state has not demonstrated a commitment to its adopted budget reserve policies.”
“Instead of putting forth clear plans and finding real solutions to address the budget issues we face, Governor Baker continues his game of kicking the can down the road,” continued Bickford. “Massachusetts deserves more than a Governor whose Administration is rife with mismanagement and who refuses to take responsibility for the issues our state is facing.”