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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, October 09, 2009

Budget blues

Contrary to the prevailing view that the Patrick administration only releases bad news on Fridays, we've got a boatload of it emerging on Thursday. And there's probably more than enough the cover the rest of the work week and the weekends too.

The unrelenting bad news on state finances is a seven-day nightmare over at the Department of Revenue, where Commissioner Navjeet Bal told a public hearing the administration is already projected a $400-$600 million hole in the FY10 budget

Senate President Terry Murray is even more pessimistic, pegging the gap at up to $1 billion for the current year. And recall that's after a year where revenues fell so far off the table lawmakers imposed a sales tax increase.

Going into an election year, it's clear that taxes are off the table. And while Murray says casino gambling is "inevitable" nothing will emerge in time to prevent deeper cuts in FY10 and FY11.

It's not a lot of fun for any elected official who prides him or herself on providing important services for constituents. Because the "waste, fraud and abuse" myth has also run it's course and there's nothing left to cut but flesh and muscle.

Maybe everyone should agree to take Fridays off and allow us to enjoy the weekends.

Speaking of which, I'm taking a long one. Enjoy yours and see you back here next week.

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