DeLeo Aims To Restore Funds Cut By Baker

December 7, 2016

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he'll restore funding Gov. Charlie Baker cut yesterday when he unilaterally slashed state spending.

DeLeo tells WGBH News he expects to pass a supplemental budget in January or February that will restore at least some of the $98 million Baker cut from the state budget Tuesday. DeLeo says he'll work with his Ways and Means Committee to determine if the state takes in enough revenue in December to allow spending on the cut items.  

Baker made the cuts to free up funds to pay for critical accounts he said the Legislature has underfunded. Many of the budget reductions were items Baker had previously vetoed from spending bills that lawmakers overrode, including some legislative priorities Baker considers wasteful earmark spending.

DeLeo said he will focus on restoring funds for substance addiction treatment, suicide prevention, and homelessness programs that suffered cuts. 

The reductions did not sway DeLeo to consider adding tax increases to next year's annual budget. The speaker said that without a clearer revenue picture, it's too early to make cuts or consider additional taxes to help balance the budget.


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