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Budget Season Begins For Massachusetts Municipalities

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WAMC
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Municipal officials in Massachusetts are beginning to put together budgets with one annual uncertainty—how much state aid to expect.

Governor Deval Patrick has proposed to level fund un-restricted local aid to the state’s cities and towns. House Speaker Robert Deleo said his chamber’s version of the next state budget will contain an increase in state aid.   Patrick points out he has proposed record levels of spending on local schools and increased state funding for municipal streets and sidewalk work.

"It is not correct that local aid is flat. That is a reference to one line item that is very important to cities and towns," said Patrick.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will conduct budget hearings with department heads during the next two weeks.  Many town meetings will take up annual budgets in May in advance of the state’s new fiscal year that starts July 1st.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.