BAKER SEEKS $32 MILLION TO IMPLEMENT NEW JUSTICE REFORM LAW

State House News Service

By Matt Murphy

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 18, 2018....With mid-year spending bills already pending before a six-member conference committee, Gov. Charlie Baker filed another supplemental budget billon Friday seeking $54.9 million for the implementation of aspects of the new criminal justice reform law and new State Police and Corrections recruit classes.

Baker is seeking $32.6 million in additional funding in fiscal year 2018 for newly mandated prison and jail programming, new protocols for testing and tracking rape kits, expanded forensic laboratory oversight and new responsibilities being assumed by the Parole Board, Trial Court and district attorneys.

In his filing letter, Baker said the new funding request is a substitute, albeit a higher one, for the $15 million he sought in legislation filed at the same time he signed the criminal justice reform law on April 13.

The mid-year budget bill also recommends $5.2 million for a new State Police class and $10.8 million to train the next generation of Department of Correction officers. Both recruit classes a "critically needed," Baker wrote.

The governor filed for the same funding as part of his fiscal 2019 budget proposal in January, but the money was not included in either the House budget passed in April or the Senate Ways and Means proposal that will be debated next week.

The final spending piece of the bill requests $6.3 million for a new collective bargaining agreement with the National Association of Government Employees, the New England Police Benevolent Association and unions representing sheriff department employees.

Baker said additional changes in the bill would change state laws to "clarify the impact" of President Donald Trump's federal tax reform law, including "deemed repatriation" that imposed a one-time tax on pre-2018 foreign profits in 2017.

The governor wrote that the bill also clarifies the way two new categories of federal taxable income created by the the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be treated for state tax purposes. Those categories are Global Intangible Low Taxed Income and Foreign Derived Intangible Income.

Baker said the state currently has sufficient revenues to support the additional spending.

The supplemental budget bills already in conference committee (H 4382 and S 2493) were approved in each branch in April.

Tax collections are surpassing estimates for the fiscal 2018 annual state budget, but midyear spending cuts into any potential year-end surplus.

END
05/18/2018