Boston Herald – House lawmakers on Monday are set to open debate on a $47.6 billion proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
The House’s fiscal year 2022 budget avoids any new broad-based taxes while also avoiding service cuts. To square a nearly $1.2 billion boost in spending, lawmakers have proposed drawing $1.9 billion from the state’s shrinking rainy-day account — an amount in line with other pandemic-era budgets.
The spending plan finds lawmakers still reluctant to “declare any sort of victory” over the pandemic and hesitant to cash in on the billions of federal relief dollars headed to the state.
The plan is higher than Gov. Charlie Baker’s $45.6 billion fiscal 2022 budget proposed in January and represents a nearly $1.2 billion boost in spending over the current year.
House lawmakers pad jobs spending and give a 3.5% boost to local aid and other programs considered important to the state’s recovery. Charitable deductions would remain off the table for taxpayers for a second year, a move that will keep about $64 million in the budget. Unlike Baker, the House doesn’t rely on any new revenues from a yet-to-be passed sports betting bill.
Education spending is also up, with House lawmakers making a commitment to fund one-sixth of the Student Opportunity Act, which sought to inject $1.5 billion into public schools by 2027.