Senate adds MTA amendments

The Senate passed its version of the FY09 budget on May 22. Included is an amendment to require the state to conduct a study to determine what resources are needed for students to meet the state standards. The Senate included the amendment in the budget after getting 25 cosponsors on an amendment by senators. Ed Augustus (D-Worcester) and Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster). 

This amendment had the most cosponsors of any of the almost 900 amendments filed.

In addition, the Senate included the House language raising the COLA base from $12,000 to $16,000 for state and teacher retirees and also added an amendment to allow local pensions this option. That amendment was sponsored by senators Marian Walsh (D-Boston) and Mike Morrissey (D-Quincy).

However, the Senate added little additional funding to the Senate Ways and Means budget proposal. Many of the amendments MTA supported to add funds to programs did not pass.

Now, the action on the budget moves to the Conference Committee, made up of three members from each branch. The committee will likely be appointed sometime during the week of May 26 and will be working to complete the budget no later than the end of June, for the budget year beginning July 1. 

A more complete analysis of the Senate budget will be forthcoming. Visit massteacher.org for updates