Finance & Economy, News

Deficit forces state to cut jobs

Governor Deval Patrick’s new economic plan for the state calls for cutting more than $1 billion from the budget, a move that will affect 1,000 jobs and put community improvement projects at a standstill.
Patrick held a press conference to announce his plan to remedy the state’s estimated $1.4 billion budget deficit Wednesday night.
‘The financial turmoil around the world has now hit home here in Massachusetts,’ he said.’
In an Oct. 7 press conference, Patrick said state revenues for the first quarter of this fiscal year, which began July 1, were $223 million below the year’s benchmark. Patrick pledged to cut costs that fell under his umbrella of power as governor during financial emergencies. He also called on legislative leaders and other offices, whose budgets he does not control, to find ways to reduce their respective spending.
The governor’s budget cuts totaled $1.053 billion, $100 million of which came from voluntary budget cuts from the legislature, judiciary, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, auditor, district attorney and independent authorities, or quasi-public agencies. In addition to the budget cuts, the governor also proposed taking $200 million from Massachusetts’ rainy day funds.
Patrick said officials from every office of state government worked together to address the budget shortfall.
‘At a time of upheaval in our state economy, state leaders all throughout government, have worked collaboratively to meet our challenges,’ Patrick said at the press conference.
Patrick stressed that he understands the disadvantages the budget cuts could cause Massachusetts residents, saying ‘state government is only doing its version of what individuals and families are having to do:’ figure out how in tough times to get by with less.’
Patrick encouraged Massachusetts residents to call his office and utilize the state’s website to find information on how to handle the changing financial realities of the current distressed economic state.
Despite budget cuts in areas such as early education and health facilities, Patrick said support for veterans, higher education, domestic violence, hunger and healthcare services will remain intact and funded.
‘My confidence in the future of the Commonwealth and her people is unshaken and unshakable,’ Patrick said at the end of his statement. ‘I intend to stick with you. And I ask you to stick with each other.’

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