Friday, November 19, 1999
Legislature passes state budget
Although long overdue, the state's final budget was approved by both the House and Senate on November 10 and 11. According to Senator Susan Fargo, the $20.8 billion spending plan combines sensible spending for social, health and educational programs while also providing sizeable tax cuts for all residents of the Commonwealth.
The Carlisle School will benefit from the state's School Building Assistance Program, receiving $137,807 in reimbursement costs for school renovations. In addition, Carlisle will also receive $520,306 in Chapter 70 school aid and $189,244 in lottery distribution funds.
Other highlights of the FY 2000 budget include:
· $52 million for the Senior Pharmacy Assistance Program
· $20 million for catastrophic drug costs for seniors and the disabled
· $53.4 million to fund construction costs at 65 schools
· $3 million in state aid for local libraries
· A roll-back in the state's income tax from 5.95 percent to 5.75 percent between January, 2000 and January, 2002
· An increase from $2,500 to $3,000 for rental deduction on state income tax (first increase since 1981)
· $48.5 million between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2003 for property tax relief for senior citizens with incomes less than $40,000 (individual) or $60,000 (joint)
· $10 million through FY 2002 to promote the construction and rehabilitation of low income housing
· An increase in local aid for cities and towns for municipal priorities.
As of Wednesday, Governor Paul Cellucci announced 346 vetoes, totaling $250 million from the proposed $20.9 billion budget. However, it seemed likely that hundreds of vetoes would be overridden before the Legislature adjourned for the year at midnight, November 17.
This information was provided by the office of Senator Susan Fargo.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito