With the state's budget outlook appearing rosier than expected, House Speaker Ron Mariano rolled out his plan for Massachusetts to spend nearly $48 billion in the coming fiscal year and to reverse cuts proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker — all without raising taxes.
The plan Mariano and House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz released Wednesday would increase overall spending by 2.5% over the current fiscal year. The plan is at odds with Baker's $46.9 billion budget proposal which would have amounted to a 1.3% reduction.
"We're trying to take care of the residents' immediate needs that are created by dealing with the pandemic and trying to chart the course of the Commonwealth's future by looking at some ways that we can change job training and create some jobs here in Massachusetts," Mariano said.
Much of the budget is built around federal funds from Medicaid and last year's relief laws, but Mariano's plan does not take into account funds from the most recent American Rescue Plan.
Both the House and Senate have agreed to putting the state back on track to fund local schools. After shelving the newly-overhauled school funding formula last year in the face of the pandemic economy, Democratic leaders have agreed to change the original seven-year implementation plan for $1.5 billion in funding to a six-year scheme.
Mariano said his budget will invest $10 million for offshore wind development programs to lure companies to build turbines and other facilities off the state's coast.
"We think it's the beginning. And we think with some encouragement, we can make Massachusetts the focal point for offshore wind development," Mariano said.