Methuen’s local aid numbers, as reflected in Governor Patrick’s budget submission, are listed below. The Governor has recommended level funding unrestricted local aid, and has also recommended an increase of $145 million in Chapter 70 (school assistance) aid. That Chapter 70 allocation will not bring Methuen additional school aid, as the Chapter 70 formula will level fund Methuen’s Chapter 70 assistance. The Commonwealth will see about a 4% increase in overall revenue, and the Governor, in his budget message, indicates that an extra $65 million in unrestricted local aid may be made available, if the FY12 budget ends up in surplus. That $65 million would bring the unrestricted aid account (FY13) up to actual FY12 numbers, since the Legislature gave municipalities a supplemental appropriation during the course of this year. Overall it is good news for the City, as the lack of a cut is now considered to be positive news. The Governor and the Legislature deserve high marks for negotiating this budget crisis in a balanced way. Yes there are still major issues that need to be resolved, but revenues are slowly coming back, and Massachusetts is working on the most vital issue of the day, restraining the explosion in health care costs. Here are Methuen’s numbers:
Chapter 70 remains exactly where it was last year at $38,823,822.
Charter School tuition reimbursement goes from $31,421 to $65,197, an increase of $33,776.
School Lunch reimbursement goes from $42,409 to $41,806, a decline of $603.
Overall education spending: From $38,897,652 to $38,930,825, an increase of $33,173.
Unrestricted Local Aid remains at $4,266,346.
Veterans Aid goes from $317,004 to $418,406, an increase of $101,402.
Statutory Exemptions: From $253,563 to $246,881 a decrease of $6,682.
Public Libraries: From $39,833 to $44,438, an increase of $4,605.
So the General side of Government goes from $4,876,746 to $4,976,071 an increase of $99,325.
And unified aid numbers are: from $43,774,398 to $43,906,896 an overall increase of $132,498.
These are numbers based on the Governor’s initial proposal, and are likely to change as the Legislature undertakes its own budget process. I am quite sure there will be more to come as that process unwinds.