Massachusetts legislators override veto, restore $7.7 million in arts funding

Posted on: August 2, 2016

“Facing a midnight deadline, House and Senate lawmakers restored funding to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, reversing Gov. Charlie Baker’s state budget veto,” writes Gintautas Dumcius in Sunday’s (7/31) Republican (Springfield, Mass.). “The fiscal year 2017 budget lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk in July included $14 million for arts, humanities and sciences programs through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. But Baker vetoed $7.7 million, bringing the total figure down to $6.5 million, a 55 percent cut the agency called ‘devastating.’ … State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, said …, ‘I’m grateful to the 21 senators and 106 representatives that signed our letter of support for this override.’ Baker issued that veto and others as his administration grappled with declining tax revenues and a yawning budget gap.… ‘Just about this time last year, the Legislature and the administration thought we knew what tax revenues were going to be for the fiscal year that just ended, and we missed by almost $500 million,’ [Baker said].… Separately, lawmakers also overrode a $3 million cut to tourism accounts. They face a midnight deadline thanks to their own rules, which call for formal sessions to end on July 31.”

Posted August 2, 2016