Patrick Orders Cuts to Close $540M Budget Gap
By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has ordered spending cuts across state government in response to slower-than-expected growth in state tax collections.
Patrick said Tuesday that his administration is revising its revenue estimate downward by $540 million for the fiscal year that started on July 1.
The governor is using his authority under state law to cut executive branch spending by $225 million.
He’s also asking the Legislature to approve a 1 percent reduction in the budgets of the judiciary and other constitutional offices, and for a $9 million cut in unrestricted local aid to cities and towns.
He also plans to take $200 million from the state’s rainy day fund.
Patrick says he believes the shortfall in revenue is largely due to worries over the looming “fiscal cliff” if President Barack Obama and Congress are unable to reach a deal.