Represents the largest decrease in spending since World War II
Concord--House and Senate conferees on the state budget returned to the table this morning and hammered out a final few points on a budget that represents a 12.8 percent decrease in General Fund and Education Trust Fund spending. In doing so, the legislators were successful in maintaining spending within the limits set forth in House Resolution 11 of $4.422 B. The previous state budget spent $5.070B in General Fund and Education Trust Fund dollars.
"Today we have delivered on a promise that we made to the voters last November to return fiscal sanity to state government. It was a very difficult budget to put together and there were many difficult choices that had to be made," said House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt. "But in the end, we have delivered a balanced budget that will serve the interests of our citizens, effectively and efficiently, without tax or fee increases, without any additional bonding, and without the "budget gimmickry" used in the previous budget," added Bettencourt.
The budget also included a ten cent decrease in the cigarette tax, from $1.78 to $1.68; reduces the saltwater fishing license while sun setting other license fees; increased funding to the community technical colleges; funded the developmentally disabled wait list; and made the technical changes to the retirement fund that were necessary to hold our cities and towns harmless and protect our property taxpayers."
The agreement will now go the House and the Senate for approval before moving to the governor's desk for his signature.