With just two weeks until the new fiscal year, the City Council in Springfield Massachusetts will start holding hearings on a proposed budget that cuts municipal services while calling for higher fees and taxes. WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports.
Springfield City Councilor Timothy Rooke, who chairs the finance committee, says the administration has not squeezed enough savings from city government.
The city of Springfield Massachusetts will reduce its municipal workforce and cut some city services under a budget recommended by the mayor. At the same time, the city council is being asked to raise almost $3 million in fees and taxes to avoid even deeper cuts. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
The next state budget in Massachusetts is likely to include the first increase in local aid in four years. But, it appears it won't be enough to avert layoffs and service cuts in the state's third largest city. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
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Governor Cuomo is pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s state wide school budget vote, but teachers and school board leaders see some disturbing trends.
This year’s school budget vote was the first to take place after Governor Andrew Cuomo convinced the legislature to adopt the property tax cap. The governor says the tax cap imposed “fiscal discipline.” He says he’s pleased that few schools attempted to override the cap, and that most schools kept tax increases to a minimum, and were approved by voters. He says tax payers, as well as state government, are tapped out.
The Massachusetts budget proposed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee is winning praise from municipal officials. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…
Senate leaders say the spending plan for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 would boost local aid by $275 million over current year levels and provide full funding for unrestricted local aid. An earlier budget proposal by Governor Deval Patrick had made $65 million of unrestricted aid contingent on state revenues reaching certain benchmarks in the current year.
State governments have long lured workers with the promise of lucrative pensions that provide nearly the pay in retirement that employees earned on the job. But after years of budget crunches, nearly every state has revamped public retirement benefits in an effort to shrink the long-term obligations that are billions of dollars short of what is needed to cover benefits.
The moves have triggered a legal and political battle over whether states are reneging on their promises to millions of public-sector workers.