State Budget Hearings Move to Methuen Today

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill) co-chairs the Joint Committee on Ways and Means with Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).

Some local lawmakers and state officials gather Tuesday at Methuen High School for the latest in a series of state budget hearings held by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay are scheduled to appear and discuss proposed spending next fiscal year for departments under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). The hearing is scheduled to also review proposed budgets for the offices of Labor and Workforce development, Libraries and Cultural Council. It begins at 10 a.m., Tuesday, in the media room at Methuen High School, 1 Ranger Road, Methuen.

Local joint committee members Rep. Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Sen. Kathleen A. O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) are listed as facilitators to the local hearing. Rep. Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill) co-chairs the joint committee along with Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).

Public hearings began last month after Gov. Charles D. Baker released his proposed $39.6 billion fiscal 2017 budget. According to online descriptions of the state budget process, Dempsey is expected to release a House Ways and Means proposal after hearings held across the state are completed. An amended plan approved by the full House would be forwarded to the Senate Ways and Means before its budget proposal is released and deliberated by the full Senate. Later, a conference committee reconciles differences between the two budget plans before final approvals by each branch and then by Baker.

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