Taxation & Government
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CLT&G Update
Thursday, May 28, 1998

Greetings activists and supporters;

It would appear that the teachers union "quo" return on their million dollar "quid pro" expenditure of killing the Promise tax rollback is paying off in spades. Never let it be said that "The Best Legislature Money Can Buy" doesn't appreciate its shills and front-men. And I wonder where that "Rule of 90" -- early retirement reward for teachers -- is in the scheme of things?

"There are people who cannot get work because they don't have the skills," Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stanley Rosenberg said of the Senate's "Working for Progress" $19.5 billion budget, but when I look around I see "Help Wanted" signs everywhere and a serious shortage of job applicants.

Maybe the Senate intends to make a major investment in alarm clocks?

Nope. "To provide those skills, the Senate plan would spend $3.25 billion on public elementary and secondary schools . . ."

Apparently the skills shortage must belong to wannabe teachers!

-- Chip Ford --


SHNS . . . MAY 27, 1998 . . .

Unlike the budgets offered by the House and the governor, the Senate's plan has a title: "Working for Progress." And Ways and Means chairman Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) described the central theme of appropriations bill as "the value of work, the importance of work, the desire to provide an opportunity for every citizen to work."
Many of the initiatives highlighted today by Rosenberg had been unveiled in past days and weeks: the Senate's $543 million tax cut package, the use of $18 million worth of unemployment insurance dollars for workforce training, full funding for the Education Reform Act, and an additional $14 million in funding for adult basic education.
The fiscal plan also includes a $31 million funding increase for home care providers; a $30 million increase in state scholarship assistance; and $15 million to provide food stamps to immigrants cut off by federal law.
And, sticking with the "work" theme, the budget aims to prepare welfare recipients for the new time limits on their benefits. A $5 million account will provide transportation services, like free T passes, to those who live far from their jobs or child care arrangements. Another $10.2 million account within the Department of Transitional Assistance will offer job referrals, counseling and training.
[ . . . ]
At a press conference on an unrelated matter, acting Gov. Paul Cellucci chastised the Senate for excluding his educational and tax-cutting initiatives.  "I'm very disappointed that they did not adopt the 90-10 [school budgeting] rule and the $40 million which would enable us to hire 4,000 new teachers," Cellucci said. . .

The Boston Herald
Thursday, May 28, 1998
Senate's $19.5B budget plan pushes education, job training
Senate leaders yesterday unveiled a 1999 budget with major spending increases for education, job training and day care.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) described the budget as providing the support systems that will get everyone in Massachusetts back to work.
"There are people who cannot get work because they don't have the skills," Rosenberg said shortly after his committee approved the $19.5 billion fiscal 1999 budget. "There are people who want to go to work but don't have the support services to do so."
To provide those skills, the Senate plan would spend $3.25 billion on public elementary and secondary schools and another $927 million on higher education. That's $75 million more than the House or acting. Gov. Paul Cellucci proposed spending on education.
The Senate budget also included $543 million in tax cuts, doubling the personal income tax exemption, and lets many senior citizens pay no taxes on their investments. The Senate plan spends $374 million on day care and early childhood education, much of it targeted at low-income families -- $11.9 million more than in the bill passed by the House earlier this month.
The Senate also adds $2.1 million for new career centers that provide job training.
It provides $20 million -- $5 million more than the House -- to help welfare recipients who reach the end of their benefits make the transition to work. Among the new Senate initiatives is a plan to buy T and regional bus passes for welfare recipients who need help getting to work.
To make those increases, the Senate leaders rejected several House proposals. They did not fund $50 million for road projects, spend $18 million on deferred maintenance for state buildings or $21 million to change the way the MBTA is funded.
Senate leaders also rejected the House's controversial plan to hike the pay of 10 House leaders who are close to House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran.
"We don't set legislative salaries in the budget," Rosenberg said.
However, like the House budget, the Senate document does fund raises for state judges.
The Senate spending plan is expected to be debated and approved next week.
It will then go to a conference with House and Senate members to work out differences between the two bills. Lawmakers expect the final budget to be on Cellucci's desk by the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

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