Statement from the Mass. Municipal Association in support of Rep. Cutler and State Legislature's vote to override Local Aid Veto:
The House and Senate voted unanimously today to override the governor’s veto of $177 million in unrestricted municipal aid, restoring local aid to the funding level established by the Legislature in the fiscal 2014 state budget approved earlier this month.
Thanks to the Legislature’s vote, cities and towns will receive $920 million in Unrestricted General Government Aid, a $21 million increase over fiscal 2013. The vote finalizes the fiscal 2014 Cherry Sheets and ends the uncertainty over local aid levels that was triggered when the governor issued his local aid veto.
The governor’s veto on July 12 would have slashed aid to every city and town by 19 percent. Legislative leaders immediately announced that they would protect localities and work to override the veto.
The governor did not veto other local aid accounts, securing a $130 million increase for Chapter 70 education aid, full funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker program, as well as increases for regional and vocational school transportation accounts.
The vote to restore local aid occurred moments after the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto of a transportation finance package by wide margins, ending months of debate and enacting $500 million in new taxes as part of a comprehensive $800 million framework to invest in transportation to rebuild and maintain the state’s road and transit systems.
“On behalf of cities and towns in every corner of Massachusetts, we thank the members of the House and Senate for their action to protect and restore local aid,” said MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith. “The leaders and members of the Legislature have worked hard to deliver a strong budget for cities and towns, and we appreciate their hard work and commitment to local government.”