9C Cuts Spare Local Aid, FY25 Budget on Tap

In early January, Governor Healey announce 9C cuts in an attempt to bring the fiscal 24 budget into balance. The shortfall was estimated at one billion dollars. Although revenue is higher than fiscal 23, it has fallen short of benchmark which had called for approximately a 4% increase. Unlike cuts by Governor Patrick in the early 2000s, local aid was spared. Public safety was mostly spared from the cuts. The lone exception was line item 8000-0313 that covered earmarked EOPS grants to both police and fire in several communities. This cut resulted in a 50% reduction (approximately 2 million) to this item. The rainy day fund (8 billion dollars) was untouched. We will continue to monitor revenues for the remainder of the fiscal year to assure municipalities are insulated from any cuts.

Governor Healey will release her fiscal 25 later this week. Although I have no specifics, she recently hinted the budget would contain a 3% increase to local aid. This should allay some fears for municipalities and allow for clearer contract negotiations.

On Tuesday, we participated in the Veteran Affairs committee hearing which heard our Veterans Buyback bill H2662 filed on our behalf by Representative Silvia. Ironically the exact language of our bill is contained in two others as well as Governor Healey’s Hero’s Act initiative. The Hero’s Act offers the buyback and several new and increased benefits for veterans. This buyback has been one of our legislative priorities. It gives current public employees one year to opt in to the buyback and future employees up to one year of vesting to opt it. With this type of support, we are hopeful to have this signed into law.

On a national note, I spent time in DC meeting and advocating for changes to social security benefits for public employees. Costs are estimated at 29 billion dollars. Outright repeal is not likely but we are hopeful of changes. Something would need to happened quickly before election year politics takes hold.

Stay tuned for updates.
Jim Machado
Executive Director