Page 12 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRiDAy, ApRil 21, 2023 BEACON | FROM PAGE 11 ment would eliminate that change and revert to the current 15 percent formula. “When excess funding is transferred to the Tax Reduction Fund, that helps provide for some modest tax relief to the commonwealth’s residents by allowing for an increase in their personal exemption when filing their taxes,” said amendment sponsor Rep. Brad Jones. “The whole purpose of this bill is to make Massachusetts more competitive, aff ordable and equitable, but raising the threshold makes it less likely that taxpayers will actually get a break, which runs contrary to the stated goals of the legislation.” Opponents said that raising the cap will allow more money to remain in the Rainy Day Fund so that when it does “rain” and state revenues decline, the Legislature will not have to cut important programs or raise taxes. They noted hiking the cap is not without precedent, noting that the Legislature previously raised the cap from 7.5 percent to 10 percent in 2001 and from 10 percent to the current 15 percent in 2004. Rep. John Cusack (D-Braintree), chair of the Revenue Committee, did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call to comment on why he supports raising the cap. (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment making the cap 15 percent. A “No” vote is against the 15 percent cap and favors the 25.5 percent cap). Rep. Joseph McGonagle No NEW CABINET POSITION: SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND LIVABLE COMMUNITIES (H 43) Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House Gov. Maura Healey’s reorganization plan that would split the current Executive Offi ce of Housing and Economic Development into two separate cabinet level departments: the new Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities and the renamed Secretary of Economic Development. “The creation of a new Secretariat will bring a cabinet-level focus to the commonwealth’s housing crisis,” said Sen. Nick Collins (D-Boston), Chair of the Senate Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. He noted that Gov. Healey who will now be able put her vision for housing and livable communities into action.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill). Sen. Sal DiDomenico Yes ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE PROPOSES $56.2 BILLION FISCAL 2024 STATE BUDGET (H 4000) – The House fi red the second shot in the long battle over the state budget for fi scal year 2022 that begins on July 1. Gov. Maura Healey fired the opening volley in January when she fi led her version of the spending package. The House Ways and Means Committee last week unveiled its own $56.2 billion version. The Ways and Means budget recommendation would increase spending by $3.73 billion, or 7.1 percent over the current year’s budget. Debate on the House version is scheduled to begin during the week of April 24. After the full House fi nally approves a version of the package, the Senate will follow suit with its own draft, and a House-Senate conference committee will eventually craft a plan that will be presented to the House and Senate for consideration and sent to the governor. CHANGE “SELECTMEN” TO “SELECT BOARD” (S 12) – The Municipalities and Regional Government Committee held a hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment that would replace the gendered reference to “Selectmen” with “Select Board” in the state’s constitution. Supporters said it is long past time to eliminate this outdated and sexist language from the state’s constitution. “This is a change which many communities BEACON | SEE PAGE 13

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