GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES UNEXPECTED REVENUE GAINS
One-time revenue will help close remaining $120M budget gap, restore homeless shelter funds; Pointing to ongoing fiscal challenges, Governor continues to push for expanded budget cutting authority
BOSTON - Friday, December 4, 2009 - Revenues from a significant tax settlement the state Department of Revenue agreed to this week, along with a modest increase in tax collections above the year-to-date benchmark, will allow the Administration to avoid a further round of emergency budget cuts to close a previously identified outstanding budget gap of $120 million, Governor Deval Patrick announced today. Continuing to aggressively respond to the state's budget challenges, the Governor last month directed Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez to develop a plan to address the shortfall after the Legislature adjourned for the year without adopting the Governor's full proposal for closing a $600 million revenue gap for Fiscal Year 2010.
"We had some unexpected good news this week, and it gives us some breathing room," said Governor Patrick. "At best we can do better by homeless individuals and families with the winter coming."
"This news is certainly unexpected, however, it will allow us to further support individuals and families with needed emergency assistance during a very critical time," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, chair of the Governor's Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness.
To avoid additional emergency cuts to the Executive Branch - so called 9C cuts - the Administration will use $82 million from the one-time tax settlement and $37 million in above benchmark revenue collections reported by DOR this week. The Governor also plans to file a supplemental budget that will address funding for homeless shelters across the Commonwealth.
Pointing to ongoing revenue uncertainties, however, the Governor continues to call for expanded emergency budget cutting authority in order to responsibly manage the budget over the remaining half of the fiscal year.
"While the unexpected revenues will help avoid the immediate need to make additional cuts to the Executive Branch, we are continuing to seek expanded 9C authority to cut from non-Executive Branch agencies in order to effectively and fairly manage the budget over the remaining half of the fiscal year," said Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez. "Having as many tools as possible during these challenging economic times will allow the Governor to act promptly and responsibly -as he has to date - thereby securing the state's positive credit rating."
The Administration will continue to closely monitor revenue collections through the remainder of the fiscal year and will make adjustments as necessary.