Posts Tagged: state budgets

Massachusetts 2019 Legislative Session: FY20 Budget Finally Passes, More to Come

The Massachusetts legislature is one of only 10 full-time state legislatures that meet throughout the year. The other nine states are outside New England (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). Seven months into the 2019 session and three weeks into the new fiscal year, Massachusetts lawmakers completed work on the FY20 budget. The spending ...

Lawmakers Create Separate Board for URI, Reject Expanding College Promise to Four-Year RIC

Rhode Island lawmakers tackled education reform and OK'd a separate board of trustees for URI even as they erased a $200 million budget gap. Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a $9.9 billion budget for FY20, which avoids new taxes, strengthens PreK-12, continues the phase-out of the car tax (auto excise tax) and closes a $200 million budget gap. She praised lawmakers for their hard work but criticized a...

Maine’s 2019 Legislative Session Produces Less Rancor, More Healthcare

Maine lawmakers adjourned the 2019 legislative session, passing a two-year budget of $8 billion for FY20 and FY21, absent the partisan rancor of previous years. The budget contains no tax increases or tax cuts. Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby (D-Lewiston) noted the budget committee cast more than 1,100 votes on budget line items with 99% being unanimous. The budget was the first for new Demo...

Connecticut Makes Community College Free, while Raising Minimum Wage and OK’ing Paid Family and Medical Leave

Connecticut lawmakers ended their session and sent a balanced budget of $43 billion for FY20 and FY21 to Gov. Ned Lamont. Democrats, who hold a majority in both legislative branches, said the budget erases a deficit without raising tax rates. Progressive Democrats in the General Assembly unsuccessfully pushed to tax the wealthiest Connecticut residents on investment income. The effort to tax th...

Vermont Legislative Session 2017: It Was Supposed To Be Smooth Sailing …

From January to April, there appeared to be an unusual degree of cooperation among legislators and newly elected Gov. Phil Scott. The House and Senate passed a budget with minor differences. Up until this point, some legislators were characterizing the session as “boring.” All that changed on April 20, when Scott proposed that the Legislature adopt the Vermont School Boards Association’s pla...

Rhode Island Legislative Session 2017: Free College Tuition Becomes Law … at Least for Community College

The Rhode Island General Assembly abruptly ended its 2017 legislation session on Friday evening, July 1, following a protracted disagreement between House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio related to the car tax. Eliminating the car tax was a high priority of Mattiello’s. But some lawmakers expressed concern that with revenues lagging by approximately $100 mil...

New Hampshire Legislative Session 2017: Keno-garten

New Hampshire lawmakers ended hard-fought budget deliberations on June 22 and passed a two-year $17.7 billion budget along party lines. During House budget deliberations, Republicans faced opposition in their own party coming from the newly formed Freedom Caucus. The result was the Republican-dominated House failed to produce a budget, which hadn’t happened in several decades. The Republican...

Maine Legislative Session 2017: Legislature Overturns the Will of the Voters

The first regular session of Maine’s 128th state Legislature was exceptionally challenging, as lawmakers engaged in a bitter fight over the budget while wrestling with four ballot questions approved by voters in the November 2016 election. Lawmakers were divided on Question 2, which was approved by voters and would have imposed a 3% tax on those making $200,000 or more. Funds would be used t...

Massachusetts Legislative Session 2017: Budget Signed But Hot-Button Issues Face Legislators in September

Two weeks into FY 2018, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $39.4 billion spending package that increases spending by 1.7% over the prior year. He vetoed $320 million from the budget, including $222 million in spending for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. Baker has proposed reforms to MassHealth including a “gate” which blocks eligibility for full-time workers who have access to...

Connecticut Legislative Session 2017: Session Ends Without A Budget

On June 7, 2017, Connecticut legislators wrapped up their session without passing a two-year budget. The failure to pass a budget or a provisional budget reflects a deeply divided Legislature with an 18-18 split in the Senate and a slight Democratic majority, 79-72, in the House. As lawmakers adjourned, Gov. Dannel Malloy chastised them for failing to break the deadlock and pass a budget. A big s...