Jones: Local Aid Cuts Must Be 'Last Resort'
House Republican Leader responds to proposal by Governor Patrick aiming to close large state budget gap.
House Republican Leader Brad Jones announced Wednesday that “cutting local aid must always be a last resort,” in response to proposed budget balancing measures by Governor Deval Patrick.
In a statement, the North Reading Republican, who also represents Lynnfield, said Patrick was both “incorrect and misleading” in saying that he would cut local aid by only 1% as he works to close a possible $540 million budget shortfall.
Instead, Jones said that “the totality of Governor Patrick’s 9C plan would remove nearly $35 million from municipal budgets, a far cry from the $9 million first reported by this administration."
“Unfortunately, some of these reductions would be to vital local aid accounts such as Special Education Circuit Breaker, Regional School Transportation, and Homeless Student Transportation,” added Jones.
"What is abundantly clear is that the Legislature, including Governor Patrick, must exhaust all options for savings at the state level before placing the Commonwealth’s budgetary problems on our local municipalities. Cutting local aid must always be a last resort.”
As noted earlier this week on Lynnfield Patch, town officials were headed into Wednesday night’s budget summit with figures envisioning a zero percent aid increase in the coming year, until further information is available on what, if any, local aid cuts will happen.