Gov. Deval Patrick released his $30.5 billion budget proposal Wednesday, warning of millions of dollars in cuts to state jobs and programs.
In Danvers, the deepest cut is to unrestricted government aid – $174,182 – while Chapter 70 funding (education aid) gets a modest boost compared to fiscal 2011 estimates, according to financial sheets within the proposed budget.
In all, Danvers would lose nearly $150,000 in state aid. Patrick’s proposed budget does include small cuts in charter school tuition reimbursement and for exemptions for veterans and others, along with small increases to veterans’ benefits, police career incentives and school lunch reimbursement.
Patrick is pledging $80 million more to special education reimbursement (circuit breaker funding) and $45 million more to road and sidewalk repairs under a transportation bond bill (many cities and towns use the Chapter 90 funds to pay for the bulk of those repairs).
Superintendent of Schools Lisa Dana said any increase in special education funding is good news, but the exact percentage of reimbursement to cities and towns is still unclear.
In announcing the budget on Wednesday, Patrick said, the proposed state budget supports four key priorities in his second term: Growing jobs, closing the achievement gap in schools, ensuring affordable and accessible health care and addressing youth and urban violence.
“This budget makes investments in critical areas that will help strengthen our economy in the near-term, position us for a strong recovery in the long-term, and continue to improve the way government does business,” said Patrick. “More jobs. Stronger schools for all our children. Affordable health care. Safer neighborhoods. That’s the work of our second term and it starts with filing this budget. Through optimism and effort, and support for these proposals, I am confident that our best days lie ahead.”
While investing in the four priorities, Patrick’s budget also takes an ax to other areas, including $65 million in local aid to cities and towns.
The budget proposal now heads to conference committees in both the state Senate and House. Most of the time that results in two more budget proposals that state lawmakers then have to reconcile into one spending plan by June 30.
Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis said on Wednesday he plans to have a town budget proposal before selectmen by March 1. With the state budget likely still up in the air for months to come, he’s only anticipating there will be a decrease in local aid, not how much that might be.
Check out the charts below to see how estimates for Fiscal Year 2012 local aid compares to the numbers for FY 2011.
Fiscal 2012 local aid estimates for Danvers
|Line Item||FY 2011 Cherry Sheet Estimate
||FY 2012 Governor's Budget
|Unrestricted Government Aid||$2,409,018||$2,234,836||-$174,182|
|Police Career Incentive||$21,667||$23,393||$1,726|
|State Owned Land||$188,986||$188,292||-$694|
|Exemption Vets: blind, surviving spouse||$124,364||$121,649||-$2,715|
|Total||$7.06 million||$6.91 million||-$146,148|
Source: Massachusetts Department of Revenue