July 7, 2006

Mass. Gov expected to sign 2007 budget Saturday

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on
Saturday is scheduled to sign the fiscal 2007 budget into law,
the governor's spokesman said on Friday.

The Republican governor will support an 8.5 percent
increase in local aid that the Democrat-led legislature
approved on June 30 but is expected to veto some spending
included in the $25.7 billion budget, according to spokesman
Felix Browne.

In fiscal 2007, which began on July 1, Massachusetts cities
and towns will receive $4.8 billion in local aid, Lieutenant
Gov. Kerry Healey said on Friday.

Healey said in a statement that a budget surplus put the
state in a position to share revenues with local communities.

"Our shared commitment to fiscal discipline and holding the
line on spending is the reason local aid is now at record
levels," he said.

Lawmakers boosted school aid by 7 percent to $3.5 billion
and increased lottery aid by 21 percent to $920 million.

But legislators financed higher spending by borrowing $550
million from the reserve fund, something that the Republican
governor has opposed.

Earlier this week, Romney said he would veto funding for
some projects that lawmakers added to various state agencies
outside of their regular operating budgets.