Governor Charlie Baker was a welcome visitor at a meeting of the Local Government Advisory Commission.
Baker is proposing to increase unrestricted local aid by 3.6 percent in his first budget, to be released Wednesday - state aid for public schools would rise by 2.4 percent.
Baker said, "We've said all along that support for cities and towns and support for local education is going to be a major priority of ours. We meant it."
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Baker is also calling for a more than 50 percent hike in annual state aid for the MBTA pushing direct payments going to the troubled transit system to 187-million dollars for next fiscal year.
Those increases come as Baker faces a projected 1.5 billion dollar budget deficit which will most certainly require significant cuts to other state services.
MassHealth is one line item that is sure to get slashed - as even House Speaker Robert Deleo alluded to at his speech to the Greater Boston Chamber when he said, "MassHealth's gross budget has risen close to 50 percent. That, my friends, is not sustainable."
Also on Baker's chopping block... the state's controversial film tax credit which Baker says has had middling results with only about a third of the jobs created in state.
Baker said, "Two thirds of the jobs were people outside the Commonwealth and the price tag of each job was over $100-thousand dollars. ... entitled to."
The savings from the film tax credit will be used to double the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, which currently adds almost a thousand dollars to the tax returns of low-income families.
Baker said, "The population that benefits from the earned income tax credit to begin with, and an expansion of it, it basically single women with children, who are working. It's one of the best ways I can think of for the Commonwealth to send a loud message about wanting to make work pay."
Baker has been adamant, his budget will not include new taxes or fees.