Baker taps MassDevelopment for $17.5m
Money will be used to close FY17 budget shortfall
IT’S UNCLEAR whether it qualifies as a nip or a tuck, but the Baker administration is tapping an independent authority for $17.5 million to help balance this year’s budget.
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, the state’s economic development and financing authority, said the organization’s board voted earlier this month to transfer the money out of its general fund. The spokesman said the state is under no requirement to replace the money.
The governor has been tight-lipped about how he plans to close an estimated $500 million budget gap in fiscal 2017, which ends at the end of this month. He has said his administration will be doing some nipping and tucking, but few details have emerged.
Baker administration officials declined to comment on the record, but confirmed the transfer of the funds from MassDevelopment.
As Baker works to close this fiscal year’s budget gap, the Legislature is trying to deal with a yawning gap between revenues and expenditures in fiscal 2018, which starts July 1. Such temporary imbalances occur frequently in state government, but what has analysts nervous is that they are happening at a time when the state’s economy is growing. If the economy should falter, officials say the state’s budget situation could quickly spiral out of control.