The Massachusetts Senate Friday sent a $48.1 billion state budget to Gov. Charlie Baker, but not without hearing first an objection from Sen. Diana DiZoglio.
DiZoglio said the body once again gave senators less than 24 hours to read the 434-page spending plan that emerged from a House-Senate Conference Committee.
“It’s not acceptable. If we keep doing this over and over again, it’s not going to magically become acceptable. The fact that we didn’t get even a day to review this is very disappointing, but what’s more disappointing is the fact that those in our communities who have a stake in what happens in this bill, those it will impact most, our schools, our elderly populations, those who are coming from positions of powerlessness, those folks probably—many of them—still don’t know we’re taking this bill up today,” DiZoglio said in the Chamber.
The senator from Methuen also argued the budget fails to include non-disclosure agreement reform and does not adequately compensate Beacon Hill staffers or provide health insurance on their first day as it does for legislators.
“Some of our staffers were helping people deal with food insecurity while they, themselves, were dealing with food insecurity, and may still be dealing with food insecurity,” she said.
The new state budget pours billions into the state’s rainy day fund, rather than withdrawing more than a billion as lawmakers forecast earlier this year when the pandemic was still raging.