On Wednesday, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey unveiled her plans for the state budget and tax proposals.
Governor Healey proposed a $55.5 billion state budget and revealed her priorities for her first year in office. Among her priorities is to cover the cost of community college for all residents aged 25 years and older who have not earned a college degree or industry credential, reports WAMC.
Healey also outlines her plan for the estimated $1 billion in extra revenue the state will collect after approving the “millionaire tax” amendment in November. AP News reports the estimated revenue, which imposes a 4% surtax on the individual’s annual income if it exceeds $1 million, is split evenly between transportation and education programs.
Her budget proposal includes students’ financial support that would cover the cost of tuition, books and supplies, fees, and funding for career and support services. She said she would aim to stabilize higher education expenses by locking in costs like tuition and other fees for each incoming class of students at state universities through graduation.
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Transportation spending would focus on major projects like the ongoing efforts to create a passenger link connecting western Massachusetts and Boston. She would also set aside $5 million for income-based public transit fares.
During her inaugural speech in January, Healey said that her budget proposal would include funding to hire 1,000 workers focused on the operation of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA within the first year of her administration.
Budget officials said the MBTA has enough budget to hire new workers, but Healey’s administration promised to help and give additional support in the process of finding new workers. The city experiences bus and subway delays due to a shortage of workers in the transit system.
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