Mid-Year Surplus May Go To Disaster Relief

By Sarah Birnbaum

Aug. 29, 2011

The State House is seen in Boston. (Philcrites/Flickr)

BOSTON — Massachusetts politics this week will likely be dominated by the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Meanwhile, legislators will consider a midyear spending plan. 

On Monday, state and local governments will begin examining the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. The weekend storm left thousands without power throughout the state. Officials say damage doesn’t appear to be as severe as initially feared, but it could be another week before electricity is fully restored to some areas.

This week at the State House, lawmakers will be mulling over Gov. Deval Patrick’s $460 million midyear spending bill. Tax revenues from the last fiscal year came in higher than expected, so the state now has a small surplus. Patrick wants to put most of the money into the state’s rainy day fund, which was depleted during the recession.

Other funds would go to the Western Massachsuetts communities  ravaged by the June 1st tornadoes and cities and towns impacted by the ice storm in 2008. And now, Tropical Storm Irene disaster relief could also be added to the list, depending on how bad the damage turns out to be.

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