Thursday, July 12, 2012
The governor's budget in $32.1 million slimmer that that proposed by the Legislature.
Gov. Deval Patrick largely passed on Sunday the 2013 budget hammered out by the House and Senate, but vetoed 10 line items that totaled about $32.1 million in spending from the $32.5 billion plan. His vetoes included a plan to keep the 169-bed Taunton State Psychiatric Hospital open with 45 beds. Instead, Patrick wants to close the hospital altogether, shaving $5.1 milllion from the budget. But his veto of the scaled-back plan presented by the Legislature stirred controversy in light the dwindling state resources dedicated to those with psychiatric problems. South Shore legislators have already said they will seek to override it, according to the Boston Globe. In another controversial move, Patrick vetoed an amendment that would …
Monday, July 2, 2012
The bill increases public aid while not raising taxes.
The House and Senate overwhelming passed a $32.5 billion budget last week and Gov. Deval Patrick has until Sunday 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 would limit the …
Friday, June 29, 2012
Improvements coming to neighborhood parks, pools and playgrounds — including a $400,000 makeover for the boathouse at the Pond.
The Boston City Council unanimously passed Mayor Thomas Menino's Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget of $2.5 billion at Wednesday's regular council meeting. There is $215 million in new fiscal 2013 project authorizations throughout the neighborhoods - so let's see what Menino and some of the councilors believe are the highlights to the budget, which begins on Monday. Overall, the city's budget increased 3 percent over last year, coming in at $2.5 billion for fiscal 2013. That's an annual increase of $72 million. Property taxes continue to be the city’s largest source of revenue, along with hotel, meals and other excise tax revenue. according to city officials. The city’s second largest source of revenue is net state aid from Massachusetts, …
Thursday, April 12, 2012
JP's District Councilor "encouraged and impressed with Mayor Menino's FY 2013 budget proposal."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino proposed a $2.4-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on July 1. District 6 Boston City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who represents JP and West Roxbury, offered an initial comment regarding the proposed budget: At first blush, I’m encouraged and impressed with Mayor Menino’s FY2013 budget proposal. Today begins a lengthy and robust City Council process of hearings and conversations about our spending priorities and revenue streams. What is perhaps most heartening about the budget is the fact that due to the City and municipal unions coming together to address health care costs, we were able to actualize a $26 million savings. This is particularly noteworthy as while other cities and towns seem to be …
Friday, March 9, 2012
A new webpage from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council invites you to show you how you would fill in the budget gap.
To fill a $161 million defecit in their budget, the MBTA has suggested two possible solutions, and the T Advisory Board has proposed a third. Many observers say that the solution will be a combination of those methods. Do you think you can solve it? The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) created a webpage to calculate the effects of different combinations of options on that looming $161 million budget. With their MBTA Budget Calculator, you can pick and choose the options and make your own proposal. Each available option describes what impact it would have. For example, the check box for "Increase an average of 10 percent" includes a mouse-over "Details" panel listing what those fares would be. Once complete, you can submit your …
Friday, March 2, 2012
A video made by concerned Curley School parents decries the steep budget cuts being made at the popular JP K-8.
Enrollment at the popular Curley K-8 School is set to rise sharply. But the school's budget is going in the other direction. Parents have an active opposition movement going to reverse the cuts. They made these videos, in both English as well as Spanish, to explain the cause. For more information visit the School Parent Section of the Curley's Website.
Monday, February 20, 2012
In an interview with the Boston Globe, State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said the state is scrambling to raise enough revenue so that proposed service cuts can be scotched.
In a departure from proposals that would raise T fares and slash services to balance the T's budget, the state's top transporation official says his agency aims to raise enough revenue to avoid service cuts. Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey made the remarks to the Boston Globe. The about-face comes after thousands of people have turned out a public meetings to denounce the proposals. One of those meetings was held in JP. The cuts on the table would eliminate the 48 Bus, among other effects on JP. For the entire story, please visit the Boston Globe.
Friday, February 17, 2012
House Republicans aim to restructure federal transportation budget.
While local groups argue with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority about potential reductions to bus and ferry service, a proposal in Washington could worsen conditions for T riders. A Salon.com opinion piece reported this week that House Republicans have proposed a transportation bill that would eliminate the Mass Transit Account from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Such a change could sharply impact the MBTA. “The House transportation bill represents a giant step in the wrong direction for transit systems all over the country,” said Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Eighth District, who represents Jamaica Plain. “The dedicated funding stream for mass transit projects, which has been in place for decades, is being eliminated. This will mean less …
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The MBTA Advisory Board proposed a plan that would raise fares by 25 percent, shift some costs to other state agencies and institute some thought-provoking fees and changes.
The MBTA Advisory Board, which provides public oversight of the MBTA, has presented a new plan—some might call it a third option—for dealing with the MBTA's in fiscal year 2013. The plan comes amid over put forth by the MBTA that would substantially raise fares and cut service on Boston's public transportation network. In recent weeks, thousands of angry T riders have attended public hearings around the Boston area to protest those proposals. Under the advisory board's plan, there would be no service cuts, and the fare increase would be less than with the MBTA's two current proposals. Here are some highlights of the plan: Here are some of the more creative ideas The MBTA Advisory Board estimates that, taken together, its proposal would …
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
More than 250 people attended the second annual "State of Jamaica Plain" forum. Local politicians spoke about specific topics before the meeting broke into small groups for discussions.
More than 250 people attended the second annual "State of Jamaica Plain" at English High School last Thursday. The event brought together residents and politicians, with an aim of strengthening neighbors' ties to one another in terms of working on problems facing the neighborhood. The main organizer was the JP New Economy Transition, and it was co-sponsored by a slew of JP organizations, including JP Patch. In introducing the event, organizer Orion Kriegman said one of the challenges facing JP is homogenization. "Boston as a whole is getting more diverse, but JP is getting more white," he said. The 2010 Census showed that JP has lost Latino and Black residents while gaining White and Asian residents. The format led off with focused …