House Ways and Means Chairman Murphy’s remarks at Harvard

From the site

November 6, 2009


 Dear Colleagues,

 This past Wednesday House Ways and Means Chair Charles Murphy of Burlington was the key presenter at the Harvard Superintendents Roundtable at the Faculty Club in Cambridge.  I felt that I would provide you with the highlights of the comments that Chairman Murphy made to guide your thinking with your local officials as you look towards impossible future budgets.

 In his very clear and candid analysis, the Chairman made the following points:

  1. Since becoming “chair” $2.2 billion has been cut from the state budget.
  2. We are going through some tough and awful times.
  3. There will be no tax increases meaning many more state cuts.
  4. Everyone has to begin to “think differently” on financial issues. (Because you have been funding something does not mean you can continue doing so.)
  5. The real issue at the state level next year will be how to minimize the essential cuts needed.
  6. In 2013 we will begin to see some improvements.
  7. Cities and towns have been given the opportunity to increase taxes on hotels  and meals with few taking advantage of this process.
  8. If he was involved at the local level in building a budget for next year, he would prepare three budgets: one with a 5% reduction, a second with a 10% reduction and a third with a 15% reduction from the current fiscal year budget.  

 The Chairman said that this past month’s revenues (e-mailed to him while he was speaking) were up which was a good sign and expressed the hope that it would continue in that positive direction. He expressed his concerns to all school officials present for the problems this economy has produced in terms of impacting on the tough decisions for all school officials in doing so much with less.



Paul J. Andrews

Director of Professional Development and Government Services

Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents

756 Marrett Road

Lexington, Massachusetts


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