Statement of MMA executive director on governor’s $177 million local aid veto

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For immediate release
For more information, contact MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith at (617) 426-7272, ext. 101

“The massive and unnecessary local aid veto announced by Governor Patrick earlier today would impose $177 million in deep and painful cuts on cities, towns, schools and citizens in every corner of Massachusetts. The Governor’s veto would slash unrestricted municipal aid down to 1986 levels and create widespread fiscal distress in nearly every city and town.

“If this cut is actually imposed, communities will be forced to implement sweeping reductions in vital services, including police and fire protection, education, public works, libraries and much more. Cities and towns would lay off thousands of municipal and school employees, and increase their reliance on regressive property taxes.

“The Governor’s local aid veto would reduce direct local aid from the $920 million passed by the Legislature down to $743 million, a 19 percent cut that would also result in the diversion of $110 million in local Lottery funds away from cities and towns, and use those dollars to balance the state budget instead of funding local services, as originally intended in state law.

“On behalf of cities and towns across the state, we urgently call on the Legislature to override this veto as quickly as possible to restore stability to local budgets and ensure that communities can deliver the essential municipal and education services that the taxpayers of Massachusetts expect and deserve. If this veto is allowed to stand, communities will face an unexpected, undeserved and devastating fiscal crisis.”