Gov. Charlie Baker announced the Administration’s revised Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal at a State House press conference on Oct. 14. (Photo courtesy Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

Gov. Charlie Baker today sent a revised fiscal 2021 state budget recommendation to the Legislature based on the most recent economic forecasts.

The budget plan updates the revenue and spending recommendations he filed in January (H. 2), before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related recession.

The revised budget is built on a projection that state tax revenues will be $3.6 billion lower than originally estimated, due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Overall, the updated budget would be balanced through a blend of increased federal assistance, a drawdown of $1.35 billion from the state’s $3.5 billion stabilization fund (preserving $2.1 billion for future needs), and changes to a range of appropriation recommendations.

The Division of Local Services released revised Cherry Sheet amounts for each city and town today based on the new budget recommendation. The DLS update includes receipt and assessment items for municipalities and regional school districts. (Link to updated Cherry Sheets for regional school districts.)

The governor said that he hoped the Legislature would return a final budget to him by Thanksgiving. This timetable would necessitate another interim budget to cover the month of November, as the current interim budget runs through the end of October.

The revised budget would fully fund the commitments made by the governor and legislative leaders in July to protect the two main municipal and school aid programs.

The budget would fund Unrestricted General Government Aid at $1.13 billion and allocate to individual cities and towns the same amount paid in fiscal 2020.

The budget would fund Chapter 70 school aid at $5.28 billion to ensure that all municipalities and school districts would receive at least the same amount paid last year. Some school districts would receive aid increases due to inflation and enrollment under the current formula. In total, Chapter 70 school aid would increase by $107 million.

The budget process now moves to the Legislature, with House and Senate leaders working to set a schedule for approval over the next four to five weeks. The MMA will be closely analyzing the revised budget submitted today, and will be working to protect all accounts that benefit cities, towns and school districts.

Governor’s Revised Fiscal 2021 Budget Recommendation Website
Link to statement from Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan about Cherry Sheet updates

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