Saturday, November 14, 2020

Senate Ways and Means Releases FY 2021 State Budget Recommendations

The House of Representatives this week debated their version of the state's annual operating budget. On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means produced a $45.985 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021. The Committee’s budget recommends allocations to protect access to core essential services, address urgent needs, and support efforts to build an equitable recovery for the Commonwealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last night, members of the Senate met a 10 PM deadline to offer proposed amendments to the committee's proposal. There are 473 amendments to the bill - these will be debated next week. You can read the text of the underlying budget bill and the filed amendments here: The Committee’s budget recommends a total of $45.985 billion in spending, a 5.5% increase over the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) General Appropriations Act. 

This spending recommendation is based on a revised tax revenue estimate of $27.592 billion, which is $3.558 billion less than the original consensus revenue estimate of $31.151 billion, as originally agreed upon in January. To close this anticipated revenue shortfall, the FY21 budget includes $1.5 billion from the Stabilization Fund, ensuring a majority of the Stabilization Fund balance remains for future years, $1.38 billion in available federal supports, and more than $400 million in new revenue initiatives.