Friday, June 19, 2009

Chamber statement on state budget conference committee report

The Chamber supports several measures included in the conference committee budget released by House and Senate negotiators, including the designation of $275 million for transportation and the dedication of capital gains revenue to the Rainy Day Fund.

Coupled with the transportation reforms enacted by both branches of the legislature yesterday, the designation of $275 million for transportation will help alleviate the system’s immediate budget troubles. These funds will help secure the state’s obligation to bondholders, while also delaying toll hikes and MBTA fare increases. The Chamber will continue to work with administration officials and legislative leaders on further system reforms and a more permanent solution to the revenue shortfall.

The Chamber believes that the budget proposal transferring a significant portion of new capital gains revenue growth to the Rainy Day Fund is a step in the right direction. This measure will strengthen the reserve fund, and lessen our reliance on volatile capital gains revenue to fund general expenditures. The more capital gains revenue that can be deposited into the Rainy Day Fund in the years ahead, the better equipped we will be to preserve critical programs, avert tax increases, and weather future recessions.

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