BOSTON (WBZ-AM) — The annual budget season kicked off on beacon hill Wednesday when Govenor Baker unveiled his $41-billion dollar spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July.
Commonwealth Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernen says the Baker administration is sticking to the game plan they started with in 2015.
"Eliminating the structural deficit in a responsible way, second keeping spending growth in line with reoccurring revenue, third protecting and rebuilding our rainy day fund, and fourth protecting core state services while investing in key priorities," he said.
The priorities include the opioid crisis and the dept of children and families. Some critics are questioning the contribution of just $100-million dollars to the rainy day fund at a time when the economy is good.
Eileen McAnneny of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has a couple of concerns--first, a small hike in next years contribution to the rainy day fund and a failure to address a potential cut in the state sales tax.
"If the sales tax rate reduction ballot is enacted in November, that would take affect halfway through the fiscal year and it could be a sizable decrease in revenues," she said.
Also in the budget proposal, the Baker administration wants to see increases in local aid. More money for the Department of Children and Families and few families receiving health care thru medicaid.
The plan does expect a $60-million dollars in revenue from the sale of marijuana.
The house and senate will be introducing their plans over the next several weeks with an eye toward having a budget in place by July 1.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Lana Jones reports.