Romney likely to sign budget-cutting powers bill Monday

The Senate followed the House's lead Thursday in giving the governor the power to make cuts to Chapter 70 -- state aid to local school districts -- and to higher education. 

It is likely the governor will have a bill on his desk by Monday.  He is quoted as saying he will announce cuts to local aid in the next ten days.

MTA had urged senators to oppose granting Gov. Mitt Romney the authority to make cuts to Chapter 70 and higher education.  However, once it became clear that H2010 was going to pass, MTA lobbied senators to support amendments offered by Sen. Linda Melconian (D-Springfield), Sen. Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster) and Sen. Jarrett Barrios (D-Cambridge) that would ensure that no school district would fall below the foundation funding level.  (The foundation is the unique spending level set for each school district that determines the minimum expenditure necessary for to provide an adequate education for each student.) On a voice vote, the Senate accepted the amendment to prevent school districts from falling below foundation.

It appears today that the House has accepted the Senate's foundation-level funding amendment. 

Cll the governor's office, 617-727-3600, or click her to send an e-mail Governor Romney.

Tell the governor:

  • Cuts in the middle of the year wreak havoc on the programs of schools, colleges and the University.  Class sizes will increase right away, programs and classes will be canceled, and teachers, faculty and staff will be laid off within weeks. 
  • Cuts in education funding will fall disproportionately on school districts where students have the furthest to go to meet the high standards set by the state.
  • Public higher education has already sustained cuts of almost 10 percent.

The state has other options to meet budget shortfalls. For instance, revenues could be increased by closing corporate tax loopholes and raising the income tax and sales tax.  Don’t ask the cities and towns to raise their taxes.