This Week’s QUOTABLE QUOTES on Beacon Hill

By Bob Katzen

Gov. Maura Healey released a proposed $55.5 billion fiscal 2024 state budget. Here’s what they are saying about it.

“Our … budget is what Massachusetts needs to meet this moment and build a strong economy, livable communities and a sustainable future. Combined with our tax relief proposal, we will set Massachusetts up for success by lowering costs, growing our competitiveness and delivering on the promise of our people.

Additionally, we are taking aggressive action to address our housing crisis by creating the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities led by a housing secretary who will coordinate across state government and with cities and towns to move us forward on our housing goals.”
—Gov. Maura Healey.

“Hang onto your wallets. Gov. Maura Healey’s budget will cost you. A $55.5 billion dollar proposed budget, which is 14 percent higher than [ex-Gov. Charlie Baker’s] budget proposed last year. If Question 1 didn’t scare away the taxpayers, a 14 percent increase to state spending certainly will. This budget doesn’t include broad based tax cuts and tax eliminations that Massachusetts desperately needs to compete with states like New Hampshire and Florida. Instead, it explodes state spending, which seems to be rife with abuse by adding generously to payroll expenses, new bureaucracies and giveaways.”
—Paul Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

“We thank the Healey-Driscoll administration for a … budget that makes significant and important investments in Jewish communal priorities. Today’s budget provides $1.5 million in vital funding for nonprofit security grants, $1.5 million in the Genocide Education Trust Fund and builds towards greater economic security.”
—From a press release from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

“While the governor’s budget proposes several meaningful new initiatives, it doesn’t come close to making the investments necessary to address our workforce challenges, tackle our broken childcare system, end the housing affordability crisis or fix the MBTA and build a 21st century statewide transportation system. Instead, a massive permanent tax cut for the wealthy would most likely lead to catastrophic budget cuts the next time we hit a recession.”
—Andrew Farnitano, spokesman for Raise Up MA Coalition that spearheaded the successful November 2022 ballot question requiring taxpayers who earn more than $1 million annually to pay an additional 4 percent income tax, in addition to the current flat 5 percent one, on their earnings of more than $1 million annually.

“Gov. Healey’s … budget proposal includes several positive elements that begin to address the new competitive challenges Massachusetts employers are facing, but rehabilitating Massachusetts’ declining business climate will require far more significant steps.”
— Chris Anderson, President of the Massachusetts High Technology Council.

“The filing of Gov. Healey’s first budget proposal comes at a critical time for the commonwealth. With pandemic-era federal support ending for many programs, it is imperative that we set clear priorities to ensure that state spending is maintained at sustainable levels. I look forward to reading through the governor’s budget in more detail and following the upcoming Ways and Means budget hearings to get a better understanding of what her proposal entails.”
—GOP House Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading).

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