Looking to close the books on fiscal 2021, Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a supplemental budget bill today that would allocate a significant portion of a state surplus that exceeded $4 billion.

Priorities in the governor’s spending proposal include adding $1 billion to the Unemployment Trust Fund and $568 million for relief programs, mostly focused on housing insecurity and human services.

Ten million dollars would be set aside for the Community Preservation Trust Fund, which provides funding to cities and towns that have adopted local property tax surcharges under the Community Preservation Act.

The surplus is enabling the state to avoid a $1.1 billion withdrawal from the state’s stabilization account that had originally been anticipated as necessary to balance the fiscal 2021 budget. The surplus is also adding $1.1 billion from above-benchmark capital gains tax revenue to the fund. At the close of fiscal 2021, the stabilization fund balance stands at a record $4.63 billion, according to the administration.

During the public health emergency, the administration and the Legislature used revenue estimates that reflected the uncertainty of the times to create the fiscal 2021 budget. Since then, state revenues have far exceeded expectations, leading to a higher-than-usual budget surplus.

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