Menu tabs for the main headings.

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

Massachusetts State Senator  Brian A. Joyce Room 413A State House, Boston, MA. 02133


News. Contact Senator Joyce Legislative Information Senator Joyce's Biography Senator Joyce's District Kids Zone.