Thursday, April 7, 2011

Senate Republicans Secure Commitment for Early Local Aid Notification by April 14

The Massachusetts Senate has approved a Republican Caucus proposal to provide cities and towns with preliminary Fiscal Year 2012 local aid figures no later than April 14.

An Order adopted by the Senate today requires the Senate Ways and Means Committee to prepare and file local aid numbers for cities and towns by April 13, detailing the minimum amount of Chapter 70 education aid and general government assistance communities can expect to receive from the state for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1. Those numbers will be voted on by the Senate at the next formal session on April 14.

“Given the continued uncertainty surrounding the state’s economy, it’s important that we provide cities and towns with preliminary figures in advance of the new fiscal year so local officials can have realistic numbers in front of them when they prepare their municipal budgets,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), who filed the Order along with Senators Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), Michael Knapik (R-Westfield) and Richard Ross (R-Wrentham).

Tarr said the early local aid notification will allow municipalities to be better prepared by providing communities with the most up-to-date numbers in advance of their annual town hall meetings, rather than making them wait until the budget is finalized on July 1.