Mass. Faces Unexpected Budget Shortfall

Monday, 26 Nov 2012 12:26 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Faced with weaker revenues than expected, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's administration has stopped a scheduled income tax reduction, curbed hiring, and has begun searching for areas to make deeper cuts.
According to the Boston Globe, recent tax revenues were $162 million short of estimates and are running about $256 million behind budget.
"Together the numbers add to the picture of a slow economic recovery and portend a daunting start to the new year for a governor already struggling with a state drug lab crisis and a fatal meningitis outbreak traced to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy," the Globe said in a report Monday.
"The news is consistent with reports showing that the recovery, which had been on its way in Massachusetts, is slowing down. In recent months, the Massachusetts unemployment ratehas climbed slightly and the state’s economic growth,which had been outpacing the nation, fell behind."
The decrease in expected revenues is not as bad as the numbers during the recession. But nonetheless, state officials told the Globe that plans to restore cuts in some programs next year will have to be put on hold as the state continues its belt-tightening.
 “I think there’s a strong likelihood that we will very soon be revising the budget estimates downward and make some budgetary reductions,” Jay Gonzalez, secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, told the Globe.

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