ADVANCES - WEEK OF JAN. 14, 2018
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JAN. 12, 2018....Massachusetts residents will likely learn next week how generous Gov. Charlie Baker intends to be with growing state tax collections as the governor puts finishing touches on a fiscal 2019 state budget that comes with the usual number of tricky variables and a bunch of big new ones, including income and sales tax policy questions hurtling toward the November ballot. The governor's team and Democratic legislative leaders on Friday agreed that they expect tax collections to grow 3.5 percent next fiscal year, and also raised their expectation of fiscal 2018 tax revenues by $157 million. It's become tradition for governors to use the Massachusetts Municipal Association's annual meeting to share details about an area of major interest to the people responsible for delivering K-12 education and local public safety services: local aid. Baker's full budget proposal, which will be reworked by the House and Senate in April and May, is not due for 12 more days. While some of the less popular plans will remain secret until then, it's likely that spending plans and policy proposals that Baker wants to showcase will be unwrapped early, and very publicly, in this election year. Local officials are also anxious to learn about likely local road and bridge repair funds.
-- THE LEGISLATURE: Senators next week return from a roughly two-month break. The House has a formal session scheduled for Wednesday when lawmakers are scheduled to consider H 1223, An act relative to Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Project. On Thursday, senators are scheduled to consider S 104 providing consumers with equal protection for all real estate appraisals; S 680 relative to uniform financial aid information; and S 2182 further regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices.
-- FED BUDGET SHOWDOWN: Beacon Hill officials have an eye on Washington where Congress is running up another government shutdown deadline. While some in Congress want long-term spending plans put in place to alleviate uncertainty among those hoping for and counting on federal funds, the tendency in recent years has been for temporary funding bills that keep the government running for a brief period. State officials are paying particular attention to the handling of Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding, which in Massachusetts is due to run out in March. The budget deadline is Friday, Jan. 19.
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