Friday, March 1, 2013
The governor's optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Governor Deval Patrick's still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically-damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution to outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
MIddlesex County has more than 9000 federal employees, most of whom work in defense.
Friday, March 1
The numbers here show the federal employees in Massachusetts by county in 2012, according to the latest figures from Eye on Washington, a DC-based lobbying firm that tracks federal employment. It compiles the data from the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Employment Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. No other county in Massachusetts, other than Suffolk County, which encompasses Boston, has more federal employees than Somerville's Middlesex County. While much has been made written on how the current sequestration battle in Washington could affect the national economy, these numbers are meant to give readers a sense of the sequestration at the local level. No one knows for certain what the sequestration cuts, some $85 …
Sunday, July 8, 2012
See what Somerville's state senators and representatives have to say about the state's fiscal-year 2013 budget.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was expected to sign the state budget on Sunday, July 8, according to an announcement from his office. In the state budget, Somerville will receive $40.6 million in local aid, according to a joint announcement from Somerville's state senators and representatives. Here's the announcement sent by the city's Beacon Hill delegation: Legislature Passes Balanced FY13 Budget Somerville to receive $40.6 million in Local Aid BOSTON – Somerville’s state legislators Senators Patricia D. Jehlen and Sal N. DiDomenico and Representatives Carl M. Sciortino, Denise Provost and Timothy J. Toomey joined their colleagues in the Legislature on Thursday June 28th to enact a $32.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2013 (FY13…
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The bill increases public aid while not raising taxes.
The Massachusetts House and Senate overwhelming passed a $32.5 billion budget last week and Gov. Deval Patrick has until July 8 to review and sign it, or to issue vetoes. The thrust of the bill is to shore up aid to public programs while at the same time not increasing the burden to taxpayers. Overall, the 2013 budget is about 3 percent higher than this year's, but considerably tighter than previous recent years. Here are some of the bill's highlights: 1. It includes no new taxes or fees. Instead, $516 million will be taken from existing funds, including $350 million from the state's rainy day fund, leaving it over a billion dollars in the black. Still, that's down from the $2.2 billion it had in 2008. 2. It tightens welfare. The bill …
Friday, June 22, 2012
Members had debates about a plan for hiring outside custodians and about the Group Insurance Commission health care plan.
The Somerville Board of Aldermen approved Thursday night a $171,620,447 operating budget for fiscal year 2013. In passing the budget, Board of Aldermen President Thomas Taylor, from Ward 6, said, "This budget process was quite enjoyable, really, because we didn't have to cut anything." Ward 4 Alderman Tony Lafuente, who's new to the Board of Aldermen, thanked his colleagues. "You've taken a lot of difficult votes and the administration has done a lot of difficult work over the past ten years to get where we are," he said. The Board conducted a series of meetings throughout the month of June in order to approve the city's budget before July 1, when fiscal year 2013 begins. In doing so, they made $180,883 in reductions from the proposed …
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
A look at the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget and the salaries it contains for important Somerville officials.
Throughout June, the Somerville Board of Aldermen will be working to approve the city's fiscal year 2013 budget, proposed by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone earlier this month. (Fiscal years run from July 1 to June 30, so fiscal year 2013 begins in less than a month.) Here's a list of top Somerville officials listed in the budget and their base salaries. The proposed budget, which includes this information, is publicly available on the city's website. A few things to note: These are base salaries listed in the proposed budget. (You can find the fiscal year 2012 budget here.) Some city workers—police officers, for instance—receive other forms of compensation, such as overtime, so their annual take-home pay may be different than what's …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the fiscal year 2013 budget will focus on education.
Somerville faces no layoffs and no budget gap as the city prepares to make final a budget for the next fiscal year. At the same time, the school system is poised to receive a boost in funding. Somerville Mayor Joesph Curtatone, who presented a proposed budget to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, said the city faces a healthy financial situation heading into fiscal year 2013, which begins in July. The mayor said the proposed budget for the upcoming year places an emphasis on education, family and youth. Speaking about the budget earlier on Tuesday, he said "the greatest area of interest, in a long time, will be in education." The proposed general fund appropriation for fiscal year 2013 is $171.7 million, which represents a 1.2 percent …
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Somerville's mayor said better revenue projections and "efficiencies" will help close the gap, and he credited the city's switch to the GIC health care plan as a reason the gap isn't bigger.
Somerville will have to close an approximately $3 million budget gap when it shapes the fiscal year 2013 budget this June, according to a city ResiStat presentation. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, speaking at the Ward 5 ResiStat meeting Monday night, said, "That's where we are right now," in terms of planning the upcoming budget. Fiscal year 2013 begins on July 1, and the Somerville Board of Aldermen and mayor's office will spend much of June working on a final budget. The budget gap is the difference between revenue the city takes in and expenditures. At the moment, on the verge of June's budget season, revenue and expenditure estimates are still evolving. Relatively speaking, a $3 million budget gap in May isn't huge. Last May, the …
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Speaking to the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Michael Capuano said "zealots" in Congress are not willing to compromise.
"I don't think there's much we'll be able to get accomplished this year," said Rep. Michael Capuano, speaking about the current state of Congress during a breakfast talk to the Somerville Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. With both parties in election mode, "I don't expect much significant to happen," he said. Capuano, a former mayor of Somerville, spoke at Mount Vernon Restaurant in East Somerville. He talked about transportation funding, the Green Line extension and the general climate in Washington. Government gridlock and the seemingly growing divide between political parties are occurring because "so many people have walked away from the party system," Capuano said. "When people walk away from the party system, they walk away from …