Senator Eldridge urges State Senate to override Governor Baker’s vetoes

Highlighted cuts speak to Governor’s lack of vision on education, housing, environment, and human services

Boston – State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) urged Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) to vote to override multiple vetoes by Governor Baker that have a direct impact on the quality of life of the people of the district, in an attached letter submitted this week.

“I feel that the FY16 budget that the House and Senate passed was responsible, and contained significant increases in key budget areas, thanks to the leadership of Senate Ways and Means Committee chairwoman Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) and vice-chairman Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett),” said Senator Eldridge. “I am disappointed with Governor Baker’s cuts and I am concerned about the vision he has for Massachusetts.”

Eldridge is hopeful that at least some of the overrides will be taken up before the Legislature’s July 31st recess, or at the latest in September.

“I’m surprised that Governor Baker, through his vetoes, proposed to cut kindergarten grants, education aid, environmental enforcement, affordable housing, cultural councils, higher education, and human services,” emphasized Eldridge. “Governor Baker’s cuts in these budget areas, on top of his policies to limit access to shelter for homeless families, freeze environmental, workplace, and public health regulations, limit doctor options for MassHealth recipients, reduce public servants in key state agencies, and expand charter schools at the expense of traditional public schools only move Massachusetts backwards, without any vision for how we move the state forward.”

In his letter to Senate President Rosenberg, Eldridge urged the State Senate to take up the following overrides of Governor Baker’s vetoes:

• Education:
a. ELL in Gateway Cities: Veto for $1.2 million and now $0
b. Kindergarten Expansion Grants: Reduction by $17,589,713
c. Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative: Veto for $500,000

• Higher Education
a. University of Massachusetts. Reduction by $5,250,472
b. Community Colleges: Reduced by $418,000

• Housing:
a. MRVP: $3 million reduction
b. Housing Consumer Education Centers: $650,000 reduction
c. Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Services: Veto for $2 million now $0

• Environment
a. State Climatologist: Veto for $200,000 now $0
b. Environmental Protection Administration: Reduction by $325,000
c. DCR-Specifically for State Parks and Recreation: Reduced by $3,027,000

• Human services
a. Transitional Aid to Families w/ Dependent Children. Reduction by $9,395,093
b. Emergency Aid to the Elderly Disabled. Reduction by $2,677,285
c. Family Health Services (Family planning services, HIV testing and counseling): Reduction by $600,000

• Cultural Councils
a. Massachusetts Cultural Council. Reduction by $2,374,800

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