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Crowd gathers at State House to protest Romney cuts

More than 1,000 protestors rallied outside the Statehouse on Dec. 6, chanting "Hey hey! Ho ho! These budget cuts have got to go!" The Campaign for Public Responsibility, a coalition of groups and individuals affected by Gov. Mitt Romney's unilateral budget cuts totaling more than $358 million, sponsored the rally and legislative lobby day.

The MTA, which is a member of the group, has been calling on legislators to reconvene to overturn close to $92 million in cuts to education made by the governor, including reductions in early childhood education, MCAS remediation, full-day kindergarten and higher education.

"In a blatant attempt to make a national name for himself, Governor Romney is slashing programs, including early education and full-day kindergarten, that make a difference in the lives of Massachusetts students and families," MTA President Anne Wass said.

Romney's cuts are called 9C cuts after the section of the state law that allows him to make unilateral reductions in spending to bring the budget into balance. The cuts include:

  • $13 million for early education funding for Head Start, Reach Out and Read and preK programs in the public schools.
  • Close to $9 million in K-12 funding for MCAS remediation, full-day kindergarten, extended learning time and special education.
  • Funds for retroactive salary increases paid to public higher education faculty and staff and funds for health insurance premiums for state employees.

The Campaign for Public Responsibility includes the MTA and 1199 SEIU, AFSCME Council 93, Boston Center for Independent Living, Central Mass. Housing Alliance, Children's League of Massachusetts, Coalition for Social Justice, Community Partners, Inc, Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, Delta Projects, Inc., Disability Policy Consortium, Family Economic Initiative, Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project; Greater Boston Legal Services, Health Care for All, Homes for Families, Homestart Inc., Jane Doe, Inc., Jewish Community Relations Council, League of Women's Voters, Lynn Health Task Force, MACDC, Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children, Massachusetts Association of Older Americans, Inc. (MAOA), Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition, Massachusetts Communities Action Network, Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Mass. Coalition for the Homeless, Mass. Senior Action Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PAL), Project R.I.G.H.T., Incorporated, Public Policy Institute, Renaissance Club, SEIU 509, Stavros Center for Independent Living, Stonewall Communities, The ARC of Massachusetts, UAW MA State CAP Council, United Teen Equality Center, Inc. (UTEC), and Wake Up Wal-Mart. (Partial list only.)