BOSTON — House budget chief Rep. Brian Dempsey called for passage yesterday of legislation authorizing $56 million to pay winter road-clearing bills, $10 million for summer jobs for young people, and $13.5 million to cover the costs of state and municipal elections.
According to the Youth Jobs Coalition, the $10 million allocation represents a $1 million increase over last year and will fund 500 new jobs at a time when there’s funding available in most cities to fund jobs for one of every four teens who apply and when youth employment levels have dropped by 50 percent since 2000.
During remarks on a $96 million spending bill, Dempsey, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said the budget bill also restores $8 million for charter school reimbursements and $2 million for communities that host prisons while dedicating $1.2 million to cover costs of sheltering people in hotels and motels.
Dempsey also echoed calls from the Patrick administration to proceed cautiously on additional spending since the bulk of a potential surplus, currently estimated at $575 million, will need to be deposited into the state’s stabilization fund due to laws governing the allocation of capital gains tax collections and revenues from one-time tax settlements.
“Most of this will have to go to stabilization,” Dempsey said. He attributed a surge in capital gains collections to “investor behavior” tied to this year’s increase in the federal tax on long-term capital gains from 15 percent to 23.8 percent. In 1986, Dempsey said, the rate rose from 20 to 28 percent. “In 1987, we saw the same thing happen, where revenues shot up,” he said.