Baker Vetoes $170,000 From Dracut Projects In FY'18 Budget
Jul 22, 2017 05:50AM
● By Bill Gilman
The Massachusetts legislature is expected to start reversing at least some of the $320 million in spending cuts made by Governor Charlie Baker to the FY18 state budget, including over $150,000 that had been secured for Dracut.
The Republican governor vetoed $170,000 from the state budget that had been on its way to Dracut for public schools, public safety and a Michael Blatus memorial. Additionally, Baker is threatening further cuts if the legislature does not accept a MassHealth savings plan that would bump 140,000 low-income people from Medicaid.
“It’s frustrating, but I can’t say I’m surprised,” said State Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover, who represents Dracut, Andover, Lawrence, and Tewksbury. “We see this year after year from Baker. It is difficult to fathom why a governor who claims to champion economic development, education, and public safety would then turn around and veto funding for these very programs. In my district, the majority of the governor’s vetoes target schools, hospitals, and police and fire departments. It’s a difficult budget year, but that’s never an excuse to abandon those most in need. I will be working hard to restore these cuts and oppose Baker’s healthcare plan to hurt the working poor.”
"I share the senator’s frustration,” said Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut. “While some people feel that earmarks are just ‘pork’ for our district, as legislators we know our districts and what their needs are. I look forward to overriding the governor’s vetoes of Dracut's projects."
Gov. Baker's vetoes to the FY 2018 budget that impact Dracut:
VETO: Public Safety Improvements: $100,000 for a communications tower replacement for Marsh Hill
VETO: Dracut Public Schools: $45,000 for technology upgrades for the Dracut Public School District
VETO: Michael Blatus Memorial Gazebo: $25,000 for a memorial for the late Mike Blatus, a much-beloved community leader in Dracut.