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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, August 29, 2008

We interrupt this party...

There is a sobering message awaiting Democrats staggering back to Boston after their Denver party even as Republicans mount up to head out to their own bash in St. Paul.

The state budget is tanking (subscription required).

The Statehouse News Service is reporting Massachusetts faces up to $1 billion in shortfalls in the $28.2 billion budget signed less than two months ago. And the source is state officials themselves -- in the form of a prospectus to bondholders.

“In total, these updated revenue forecasts and cost estimates for fiscal 2009 suggest the potential need for approximately $1 billion in budgetary solutions.”

The twin culprits? Soft tax collections and the uncertainty over $600 million in federal dollars to support health care reform.

Lawmakers restored over $50 million in vetoes offered by Gov. Deval Patrick and declined to give him the power to make unilateral mid-year cuts. That means they will need to come back to address the problem -- probably in the fall during the campaign over the income tax repeal.

Now that will be a post-convention hangover. It would be nice if the Boston media noticed it.

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