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Brewer touts approved budget

May 30, 2011
As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) has worked hard over the last few months to prepare an equitable budget.

All of that hard work paid off on Thursday, May 26, as the Massachusetts Senate voted to pass a $29.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2012.

The spending plan remains consistent with the Senate's goal to use funding reductions, ongoing revenue initiatives, and one-time revenues to find a balanced approach of cuts and revenues. The budget plan also marks the smallest year-to-year spending increase in the past decade.

"This budget tackles the Commonwealth's difficult fiscal constraints head on," Brewer said. "Simply put, the money is not there. We were forced to make painful reductions but have remained dedicated to preserving services for the neediest citizens in this state."

Although consensus revenue numbers from January resulted in a 7-percent increase of $20.52 billion, cuts were needed to achieve the goal of a budget with no new taxes and a reduced dependence on the state's stabilization fund. After using various initiatives to identify programs that will most effectively use funding, the Senate targeted programs aimed to provide financial assistance to education initiatives, municipalities, and families.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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