Fiscal years run from July 1 of one year to June 31 of the subsequent year. In this frame, fiscal year 2016 runs from July 1, 2015 to June 31, 2016 — and early budgeting is beginning.
House 1 increases Chapter 70 funding (for public education) by $105.3 million or 3.6% higher than the FY2015 level, increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (for any municipal use) by $34 million or 3.6% higher than FY2015, and maintains FY2015 funding for most of other state programs (including regional school transportation, anti-gang grants, and library aid).
Statewide, we have a $1.5 billion deficit and the Governor wants to curb spending, increase state employee contributions to health insurance, offer a tax amnesty plan, and eliminate 4,500 state jobs through an early retirement program.
If the state legislature does not support the Governor’s plans to decrease the statewide deficit, then it’s likely our amount of local aid will decrease from House 1. I suggest contacting Senator Ives and Rep. Kelcourse and suggesting House 1 numbers be maintained during budget discussions.
However the tide turns on Beacon Hill, the School Committee is beginning discussion of their budget and the City Council will receive the Mayor’s FY2016 proposed budget in late April or early May.