Friday, July 12, 2013 -- Governor Deval Patrick today signed a $33.6 billion Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) balanced budget that makes significant investments in education, health care cost containment and youth violence prevention.
The FY14 budget increases Chapter 70 education funding by $130 million over FY13 to $4.3 billion, bringing funding for Chapter 70 aid to the highest level in state history. The budget also includes a significant investment in the Commonwealth's public universities and colleges, moving the state towards funding 50 percent of public higher education costs within the UMass system, and thus avoiding tuition and fee increases for students at our public campuses across the state in the coming year. Additionally, $15 million in new investments for early education will help reduce the waitlist for high-quality early education programs, providing access for over 1,000 new eligible children in FY14.
"This budget invests in many of our most important needs as a Commonwealth, especially education, reforms government in ways that make it perform better, and is balanced," said Governor Patrick. "I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to get a good transportation bill, and through it accelerating our job growth."
The FY14 budget also reflects the Patrick Administration's efforts to reduce the state's reliance on one-time budget solutions. It includes a withdrawal from the Stabilization Fund of $350 million, leaving the fund with a balance of at least $1.25 billion, and positioning the Commonwealth to have one of the nation's largest reserve fund balances.
The Governor also took action today to ensure that the budget is in balance, in light of the currently unresolved status of the transportation finance bill, which raises revenue to support not only transportation, but also other needs in the FY14 budget. In order to balance the budget, the Governor vetoed $240 million in transportation funding and $177 million in Unrestricted General Government Aid. The Governor strongly supports local aid to our cities and towns, but must also fulfill his responsibility to produce a balanced budget.
The Governor filed a FY14 supplemental budget as well today, which includes a provision to automatically restore full funding for transportation and unrestricted local aid, should the Legislature accept his amendment to the transportation finance bill.
"This budget is both balanced and fiscally responsible and positions us well for the future," said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. "This budget protects services for the most vulnerable and makes critical investments for the long-term in education, job creation and health care."
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT