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Merrimack Valley

March 29, 2013

Dempsey rules out borrowing scheme element of Patrick's budget

(Continued)

“The bond rating agencies reports confirms our concerns that we have had around House 1 from the very beginning,” Dempsey said.

“There’s a timing difference between when we receive the revenue and when we need to spend the revenue. We do not see there being a fundamental problem with borrowing what amounts to a relatively small amount of money,” Deputy Secretary for Capital Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs Scott Jordan told the News Service on Tuesday. He said the proposed revenue and the spending were matched, and the borrowing plan is “conceptually” no different than the $1 billion of short-term borrowing the state already uses to meet cash flow needs throughout the fiscal year.

Moody’s reported that Patrick’s budget would task the “already volatile” income tax with raising 72 percent of the state’s General Fund revenue, which Dempsey said was a “concern.” He declined to rule out any form of new revenue and said transportation-related revenue is a preferred method of transportation funding.

“I think folks feel better about it if they know where the money is going. They know it’s going to repair roads and bridges and do the important structural things that we have to do,” Dempsey said.

House Ways and Means will release its budget April 10, and while DeLeo has indicated he would like to focus on a separate transportation financing bill ahead of the budget, the window for that is shrinking.

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