The Fiscal Year 2000 Budget - Chapter 127 of the Acts of 1999.

* Fully Funded Education Reform - The budget contains $245 million
increase for local aid to schools and meets the mandate of the Education Reform Act of 1993 insuring that all schools systems have achieved a foundation budget.

* Expanded Senior Pharmacy Program - The Senior Pharmacy program is expanded from $30 million to $52 million and the benefit and income limit levels raised to $1250 annually and 188% of the poverty level.  An additional $20 million was also allocated to help senior citizens with catastrophic drug costs.

* Pay Raise for Human Service Providers - The budget contains a $28 million salary reserve to increase the pay of human service workers making less than $30,000 a year.

* Libraries - The overall allocation to public libraries is increased
from $6.9 million to $9.9 million.  The budget also allocates $30,190,680 to help with the public construction of new libraries and $3 million to improve library automation.

* Tobacco - The budget places 70% of the $91.2 million in Tobacco
Settlement Funds into a trust fund.  The other 30% will be used for health related programs including funding for the Senior Pharmacy Program and Community Health Centers.

* Forward Funding of the T - These outside sections change the funding formula for the MBTA by placing the T on a budget and dedicating 20% of sales tax revenue directly to the authority.

* Local Aid Allocation to Cities and Towns (the so-called Cherry
- The budget increases allocations to cities and towns.

* Senior Volunteer Program - The budget allows cities and towns (at
local option) to abate up to $500 from local property tax bills for seniors
who volunteer for their communities.

* Clean Elections - The budget allocates $10 million to start funding
the clean elections ballot initiative.

* Regional Transportation Authorities - The budget allows RTA's to
expand bus service to include night, weekend and holiday service.

Tax Cuts
* The income tax rate was reduced to 5.85% on January 1, 2000, will be lowered to 5.80% on January 1, 2001, and finally lowered to 5.75% on January 1, 2002.

* The exemption for renters was increased from $2500 to $3000.

* The investment tax credit for business was extended at the 3% level
until January 1, 2004.

* The definition of dependent was changed to include elderly and
disabled dependents.  The benefit level will increase from $1,200 to $2,400 on January 1, 2001 and to $4,800 on January 1, 2002.  As of January 1, 2001 individuals will also be able to claim an additional dependent (currently they can only claim one dependent benefit).

* The budget also creates a circuit breaker tax cut for low and
moderate income seniors that gives them up to a $750 tax credit if their
property tax exceeds 10% of their income.  This tax credit will be partially implemented January 1, 2001 and fully implemented January 1, 2002.

Year 2000 Budget / Year 2001 Budget / Senate Engrossed Bills /
1999 - 2000 Bills Passed / 1999 - 2000 Bills with Amendments