Monday, May 28, 2018

House-Senate budget differences headed to conference committee

The House and Senate have each approved budget bills for next year, with some important differences in local government accounts and on policy issues that will have to be resolved by a six-member conference committee.
With state finances more stable this budget season than over the past two years, some of the concern about funding levels for state and local government programs has diminished a bit, and in some cases there is an opportunity for growth. Last year at this time, state collections were falling almost half a billion dollars behind the forecast. This year, collections through the end of April are about $800 million ahead of the target.
Policy differences in the House and Senate fiscal 2019 budget bills include some controversial issues that affect cities and towns, including Senate-approved updates to the Community Preservation Act fee schedule, a provision to establish a new car rental fee to help fund the municipal police training program, and a measure that would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The House is acting on a police training program funding plan in separate legislation

Apparently, the state Senators think there should be no rule of law in Massachusetts.