Jan 25, 2024 - News

Healey wants more for MTBA, shelter

Photo illustration of Maura Healey with lines radiating from her.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

After giving lawmakers and the public a glimpse at her plans for new spending in her annual speech last week, Gov. Maura Healey laid out a specific budget proposal yesterday.

  • Healey's plan amounts to $58 billion in spending, about 3% higher than the current fiscal year plan.
  • That's a lower growth rate than any budget proposal in the last five years.

What's new: Healey wants to double the amount the state gives directly to the MBTA's day-to-day operations and give another $45 million to support discounts for low-income riders.

  • The state lottery would be able to operate online games under Healey's plan, something lottery officials have called for to help compete with mobile wagering platforms.

Healey is proposing to spend $325 million on emergency shelter for homeless families, but acknowledges the cost will likely exceed that.

The fiscal year that begins in July will be the second year to include revenue from the additional 4% surtax on incomes over $1 million voters approved in 2022.

  • Healey's plan dedicates about 55% of the $1.3 billion expected to be generated from millionaire income to education programs and the remaining 45% to transportation.

What's next: The Democratic power brokers who run the State House often see the governor's budget as simply a helpful suggestion or first draft for the spending plan that will ultimately become law.

  • Expect Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano to take a scalpel — or even an ax — to many of Healey's preferences.
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