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Action Alert: Budget Vetoes

Late in the day on July 13, Governor Deval Patrick vetoed over $122 million from the FY09 budget that had been sent to him by the Legislature on July 3. In addition to making the vetoes, the governor  filed a bill to make supplemental appropriations.

A number of the vetoes have an impact on public education and MTA members, including:

  • $4 million cut from the University of Massachusetts.
  • $1.8 million cut from state colleges.
  • $4.8 million cut from the community colleges.
  • The elimination of funding for a bullying prevention program.
  • The elimination of funding for a pilot program and research on reducing class sizes.

Vetoes need to be taken up by the Legislature during a formal session. Formal sessions end for this legislative year on July 31.

COLA

The Legislature increased the base on which the retiree COLA is calculated from $12,000 to $16,000. Patrick sent the COLA section back to the Legislature with an amendment. This amendment raises the base on the COLA to $16,000 for retirees whose pensions are under $40,000, but leaves the base at $12,000 for those whose pensions are over $40,000.

The Legislature needs to first reject the amendment by a majority vote and then send this provision back to the governor to either sign or veto.

Action Needed

Time is short. Please call 617-722-2000 or e-mail your representative and senator today. Veto overrides must first be passed in the House by a two-thirds vote, and then the Senate must also pass them by a two-thirds vote.

Supplemental Budget

The governor sent to the Legislature a supplemental budget that included $61.8 million to pay for the first year of contracts to be negotiated this year.