MA Municipal, School Advocates Push for Local Aid

Governor Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts budget proposal released last week is expected to be hotly debated. On Wednesday a group of municipal, school, and taxpayer advocates are meeting to discuss local aid needs.

Those for and against Patrick’s proposed tax changes are already weighing in, including those concerned about municipal budgets. Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees says in his forty year career, there are two things he’s always been able to count on. 

“Consistent themes in my life are the Red Sox never had enough pitching, and there was never enough local aid.”

Koocher will speak at Wednesday’s meeting which is organized by the Suburban Coalition, a group that advocates for taxpayers and communities. He says local aid in the past has favored the eastern part of the state, and he’s hopeful that overall increases proposed by Patrick will benefit cities and towns in western Massachusetts. 

“We have argued that a lot of that aid needs to go into regional transportation and special education costs because everybody gets something.”

Koocher says the budget process is only beginning, and much could change before the state’s finances are finalized later this year.