Senate budget slashes spending; tax debate looms

Senate leaders are proposing to spend $1.3 billion less next fiscal year than the House authorized in its budget passed earlier this month, Senate officials said Tuesday.

The draft budget cuts $439 million from Beacon Hill’s aid to cities and towns and wrestles with a fiscal crisis marked by a prolonged plunge in state revenues by making deep spending reductions and leaving the door open to heavy tax hikes.  Read more

'Austerity' hallmark of mayor's budget

When Mayor Thomas Menino unwrapped last year’s city budget, he touted its stability and a host of reconstruction projects.

This year, not so much. If anything, this year’s city budget is highly unstable as state revenues continue to plunge and policymakers have yet to see a bottom. The state’s House of Representatives was set to unveil this week a fiscal 2010 budget even more austere than the governor’s version, with deeper cuts in services and none of the tax increases both Governor Deval Patrick and Menino have pushed for.  Read more