• Conference Committee Begins Budget Talks

    by  • June 4, 2015 • News

    The state legislature is about to enter the “conference committee” stage of its budget process, possibly as early as today (Thursday, June 4). Three members of the House of Representatives and three members of the Senate will serve on the conference committee. They will discuss any and all differences between the two chambers’ budget proposals and create a compromise Fiscal Year 2016 budget the full legislature can agree on.

    According to the office of State Representatives Cory Atkins, Co-Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, the following representatives and senators will serve on the conference committee:

    • State Representative Brian Dempsey, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means
    • State Senator Karen Spilka, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means
    • State Representative Stephen Kulik, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means
    • State Senator Sal DiDomenico, Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means
    • State Representative Todd Smola, Member of the  House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means
    • State Senator Viriato deMacedo, Member or the Senate Committee on Ways and Means

    Once the conference committee drafts a compromise bill, the full legislature will vote on it. Once approved, the legislature’s budget proposal will be sent to Governor Charlie Baker. The governor will have 10 days to review it. He may then approve or veto the entire budget, veto or change individual line items, veto non-monetary “outside sections,” or submit amendments to the budget. The legislature may override any vetoes with a 2/3 majority vote.

    The State’s website has online tools to help you dig deeper into the budget process:

    https://malegislature.gov/Budget

     

    Stay tuned for more on the ins-and-outs of the state budget process!

     

    About

    John Weeks is a MALC Steering Committee member committed to social justice for artists. A former staffer at the Mass. State House, he works as a political consultant and a literary publicist. John is an author who studies the finer points of literary technique at Boston’s Grub Street.