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State Ways and Means Committee hears from locals at UMass on FY2011

By WGGB Staff

AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — Local leaders got a chance to give their input on the state’s fiscal 2011 budget Monday at the University of Massachusetts during one of eight such hearings being held in the state.

Members of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means heard from various local officials about just how tight budgets have become and the distress facing many communities.

Education was one of the major topics at the hearing, and Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget has called for level funding in that area. However, some officials still said funding is lacking in different areas because of previous cuts in education, such as a 39 percent cut to special education funding in fiscal 2010. 

Some communities are already planning for budget shortfalls for the coming fiscal year. In Amherst, voters are expected to decide on a Proposition 2 1/2 override in March.

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