GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Latest Cape Ann News

May 20, 2013

Tarr wary of Senate budget plan revenues

BOSTON — The state Senate’s budget chief is describing differences between the House and Senate spending plans for fiscal 2014 as “incremental.”

But a quick review of the bill shows the branches taking different paths on education and welfare issues. And Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, notes that the Senate plan “rejects once again the massive tax and spend measures that have been advocated by Gov. Patrick,” he said. He remains concerned about the added revenue measures that are included.

The $33.9 billion Senate budget proposal scrapped several significant policy proposals touted by House leaders intended to improve oversight and accountability over early education and the public welfare system.

And while making significant new investments in public education, elder home care and transitional housing assistance, the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s budget proposal also took a less aggressive approach than the House toward increasing funding for the University of Massachusetts and other higher education institutions, potentially putting tuition and fees hikes for the next school year back on the table.

All of the issues are likely to come into play this week when the Senate opens debate on the fiscal 2014 budget plan.

“I’m not saying that anybody ignored any of those things, but the Senate president has got a comprehensive welfare reform piece that she is drafting, working on, that will be all encompassing,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer said.

“In order to put our state on a steady path toward economic prosperity and future balanced budgets,” said Tarr, “we need to ensure that the spending proposed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee can be sustained without continuing to resort to one-time fixes and burdening struggling household budgets with more taxes.

“The Senate Ways and Means budget makes a notable effort to reduce spending in many accounts,” he added. “Yet, in responding to yet another sizable budget gap, today’s proposal relies on a combination of over $627 million from one-time revenue sources and $450 million in tax increases, and that’s on top of the millions of dollars in additional tax increases that have been approved in recent years, including a $900 million increase in the sales tax implemented in 2009.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites