Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Senator Tarr’s Statement on Today's Release of Fiscal Year 2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) released the following statement today, as the Senate Committee on Ways and Means unveiled its $32.275 billion Fiscal Year 2013 state budget:

“A preliminary review of the budget introduced today by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means indicates it responds to some important priorities by:

• Increasing Chapter 70 education aid for municipalities;

• Expanding Unrestricted General Government Aid for our cities and towns;

• Addressing the state’s commitment to special education services by increasing the levels of funding available for communities through the Circuit Breaker;

• Making important changes to the Community Preservation Act to increase local participation;

• Minimizing the amount of money withdrawn from the Stabilization Fund to a level that is much lower than the proposals put forth by the Governor and the House of Representatives; and

• Putting in place greater tools to reduce fraud in public assistance programs.

Nevertheless, the budget increases overall spending significantly compared to this year, and contributes to a concerning trend of spending increases that are unlikely to be sustainable. Therefore, we must remain vigilant and leave no stone unturned as we work to identify greater efficiencies and cost savings throughout state government on behalf of the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. Our caucus will be fully engaged in pursuing these important goals over the next several days as we prepare for next week’s budget debate.”