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Baker's Big Budget for Massachusetts

  • Broadcast in Politics Progressive
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What's said and unsaid is rarely as pointed as when money is involved. Add a heavy dose of politics and poof! you have budget proposals.

MA's newish Gov. Charlie Baker made his first and it was pretty good theater. I hit the highlights and some of the things unsaid. 

On the face of it, this is level funded. It does grow by 3% to $38 billion, but most parts of government will get effective slashes with no inflation or room to hire. Schools through UMASS level, local aid (state revenue sharing), and the MBTA (our subway, commuter rail, bus and such) get a boost. Numerous small sensible programs like Down syndrome pilot and prostate disease research are gone. 

Baker doesn't go for anything hard here. Most notably, he does not attack the terrible underfunding and debt assigned to the MBTA. That's not surprise as he was a key player in a previous Republican administration that structured all that. Instead, he fashions and repeatedly presents himself as a turn-around manager, a fixer.

I describe where he expects revenues to come from while he keeps his no-new-or-raised-taxes pledge. Some are questionable sources. 

This proposal goes to the legislature for each house to reject, refine or reform before the real negotiations head to a July 1 balanced-budget deadline. I see it as a savvy PR and political program by Baker. He repeated told his press conference announcing the budget he inherited a big deficit. He clearly paints himself as a savior and fixer...sounds like someone setting up to run for VP or even Prez in 2020 or 2024.

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