VETOES GALORE

By Bob Katzen

Gov. Baker vetoed millions of dollars in funding in the $46.2 billion fiscal 2021 state budget. This is in sharp contrast to last year when, in an unusual the governor signed the fiscal 2020 state budget into law without vetoing any of the $43.3 billion in spending approved by the House and Senate.

Beacon Hill Roll Call talked to several Statehouse veterans at that time and not one could remember any other time in the last four decades that the governor did not veto funding in the budget.

Baker said his reason for vetoing most of the funding in this fiscal 2021 budget was because it was not consistent with the budget he had filed.

Override supporters defended the funding and the programs and said cutting them would be irresponsible and result in a cut in services.

Here are some of the vetoes:

$500,000 TO HELP LEGAL PERMANENTS RESIDENTS BECOME CITIZENS (H 5164)

House 132-25, Senate 38-1, overrode Gov. Baker’s $500,000 veto reduction (from $1,741,575 million to $1,241,575) in funding for a citizenship for “New Americans Program” to assist legal permanent residents of the state in becoming citizens of the United States.

(A Yes” vote is for the $500,000. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

$300,000 FOR COMMISSION ON LGBTQ YOUTH (H 5164)
House 152-5, Senate 38-1, overrode Gov. Baker’s $300,000 veto reduction (from $800,000 to $500,000) for the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Commission (LGBTQ) Youth. The commission would use the entire $800,000 to address issues related to the implementation of the state’s antibullying law designed to combat the rising suicide rate among and incidents of violence and discrimination against LGBTQ youths.

(A “Yes” vote is for the $300,000. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

$ 181,801 FOR PRISONERS’ LEGAL SERVICES (H 5164)
House 136-20, Senate 37-2, overrode Gov. Baker’s $ 181,801 veto reduction (from $2,208,332 to $2,026,531 in funding for Prisoners’ Legal Services, a program that provides legal representation for indigent and disadvantaged defendants.

(A “Yes” vote is for the $181,801. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

$500,000 FOR SMOKING CESSATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS (H 5164)
House 150-7, overrode Gov. Baker’s $500,000 veto reduction (from $5,118,155 to $4,618,155) for smoking prevention and cessation program. The Senate has not yet voted on this reduction.

(A “Yes” vote is for the 500,000. A “No” vote is against it).

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes

$500,000 FOR GUN AND VIOLENT CRIME PREVENTION (H 5164)
House 151-6, overrode Gov. Baker’s veto of the entire $500,000 for a neighborhood-based gun and violent crime prevention pilot program for targeted work with out-of-school youth and young adults aged 17 to 24. The funding would be used to prevent gun violence and other violent crime in neighborhoods and municipalities with the highest rates of violent crime.

Gov. Baker said that not only is this item not consistent with his budget recommendation, but he also argued that $14 million in funding is available in fiscal year 2021, carried forward from fiscal year 2020. The Senate has not yet voted on this reduction.

(A “Yes” vote is for the $500,000. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes

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