BOSTON—Nearly ten months into her administration, Governor Maura Healey finally got a major legislative win. Before legislators, advocates and state officials, she signed a tax cut bill, with a value of upwards of $1 billion, to great acclaim.
It was not until four years into the Control Board that the legislature created the supra-departmental position of Chief Administrative & Financial Officer. Timothy “T.J.” Plante is not the first formal CAFO, but he held the position for over a decade after years in the city finance department.
SPRINGFIELD—In what could be the full mayoral field’s last outing, the candidates to lead the City of Homes sparred over crime and economic development. Incumbent Domenic Sarno tried to swipe at his opponents, but faceplanted.
The Massachusetts state budget, which both legislative chambers on Beacon Hill passed Monday, was late. It passed 31 days after the last budget expired on June 30. A 10-day period for Governor Maura Healey has begun when she will review the document and issue any vetoes.
On June 20, for the first time since the shroud of the coronavirus fell upon Springfield, city councilors confronted Mayor Domenic Sarno, faccie e faccie, in chambers as he presented his budget for new fiscal year.
The budget process is always political. This is true whether the context is the hottest set of races Springfield has seen in a decade or not. Yet, on display at the City Council meeting last Monday was proof that chambers had become an area in the city’s political battlefield this cycle.
State money allocated to Springfield via Chapter 90 is nothing new to the City Council. Every year, the body formally accepts the disbursement. In recent years, city officials have paired it with bonding to maximize road repairs. The annual allocation has also been flat.
On Thursday, following commonwealth’s upper legislative chamber’s announcement, the Massachusetts House of Representatives released committee assignments for the 193rd General Court. For the 413, the changes ranged from minimal to dramatic.
The city of Springfield should thank Charles Ryan, at least partly, for having the breathing room to whether this mother of all crises.
SPRINGFIELD—Despite roughly two hours of often passionate debate, the City Council here unanimously approved Mayor Domenico Sarno’s budget for fiscal year 2022 without cuts. With some help from the American Rescue Plan, the $756 million spending plan largely peels city government off the floor after going into a defensive fiscal crouch during the coronavirus pandemic.