Gov. Patrick signs $27.6B 2011 Mass. state budget

Associated Press | 7/6/2010, 7:17 p.m.

Although he wouldn’t specify which programs he would cut, Baker said he would urge lawmakers to adopt changes to state government that he is recommending. Baker said those changes, including additional changes to the state pension system and the consolidation of state agencies, could ultimately save $1 billion.

“This budget will lead to higher taxes and fewer jobs next year and the year after,” Baker said of Patrick’s budget. “This is not the time to kick the can, this is the time for leadership.”

Patrick dismissed Baker’s criticism, saying his plan would lead to a “calamity” for the state.

Treasurer Timothy Cahill, the independent candidate for governor, also faulted Patrick for failing to force the state to live within its means.

GOP leaders in the House and Senate, including North Reading Rep. Brad Jones and Baker’s running mate Sen. Richard Tisei of Wakefield, faulted Patrick’s budget for relying too heavily on one-time funds including federal stimulus dollars, and for including the $300 million from the debt restructuring plan still awaiting a final Senate vote.

“The governor has simply pushed off the day of reckoning and has failed to address the serious financial crisis Massachusetts is now facing,” they said in a statement.

Patrick, who’s had to grapple with plummeting state revenue throughout his first term, said he remains upbeat about the state’s fiscal future.

“We can see light at the end of a long dark tunnel,” he said.

Associated Press