Massachusetts’ $5.15 billion interim budget for July took effect over the weekend after state lawmakers couldn't agree on a fiscal 2018 spending plan.
Both the House of Representatives and Senate have passed their respective budgets of roughly $40 billion. A six-member conference committee, from which budget approval is necessary under state law, has yet to agree on a final plan to present Gov. Charlie Baker.
The committee has been working on the new budget since early June. Smaller-than-expected revenue growth has prompted legislators to take a hard look at the plan.
The interim budget should “give us through the end of July,” said Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Karen Spilka, D-Ashland.
“I hope that is not necessary,” she added.
Baker’s administration backed off of plans to collect sales tax from more Internet retailers. Amazon already began collecting sales tax in Massachusetts as well as other states.
The governor’s plan only would have applied to large retailers, those that sell at least $500,000 and make at least 100 transactions in the Bay State annually.
S&P Global Ratings last month downgraded the commonwealth’s general obligation bonds to AA from AA-plus, affecting roughly $22 billion in debt. Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service rate Massachusetts GOs AA-plus and Aa1, respectively.