Overview of final action on FY2019 Budget

In the last week of July, just prior to the end of the Legislature’s formal session, the Massachusetts House and Senate voted to reject the vast majority of Governor Baker’s FY19 budget vetoes and amendments. Among the spending line items restored to the budget were funding for school-based health programs and the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, which supports the development of alternative student assessment models. 

The Legislature also rejected the governor’s amendments to two MTA-backed outside policy sections. The first lifts the so-called “cap on kids” that currently prohibits parents who receive financial assistance for dependent children from receiving additional payments for children conceived while or soon after they first began receiving the benefit. The second raises the cap on the number of hours per year that public-sector retirees may work in public service jobs, from 960 to 1200. Baker’s amendments would have significantly scaled back both proposals. 

Procedurally, while a spending line item is automatically put back in the budget once both chambers override the governor’s veto, outside policy sections are sent back to the governor for his consideration after the Legislature rejects his amendments. Unfortunately, Governor Baker vetoed both MTA-backed policies in the first week of the Legislature’s August recess. 

Ultimately, the budget does not provide significant resources to address years-long underfunding of our public higher education institutions, and it fails to make needed investments to the preK-12 Chapter 70 funding formula. 

For a more in-depth look at the final FY19 state budget, click here for a summary by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. The MTA’s final budget analysis will follow.