State Budget Comes to Cape Ann

Last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means, of which I am the vice chair, released its budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year. This bill is the culmination of a months-long process for the committee, which includes a number of hearings held around the state on the governor’s budget proposal.

On March 8th, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing at Gloucester City Hall to hear budget testimony from Attorney General Andrea Campbell, several secretariats from the Healey-Driscoll Administration, and a number of state commissions. This is the second time in two years that the committee has held a budget hearing on Cape Ann. As vice chair of the committee, I am given the opportunity to host one of the budget hearings. As I did last year, I chose our community to host the hearing that dealt with the topics of economic development, labor, and housing. These are issues of great importance across the Commonwealth, but especially so here on Cape Ann.

I am glad to be able to hold these hearings in our community in order to give Cape Ann residents a chance to see the budget process in person. Additionally, holding these hearings on Cape Ann provides me with an opportunity to familiarize my colleagues in the Legislature with our area, which enables me to better advocate for the needs of our residents and communities. The committee heard testimony from Attorney General Andrea Campbell, Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, Labor and Workforce Secretary Lauren Jones, Housing Secretary Ed Augustus, Board of Library Commissioners, Mass Cultural Council, Commission on the Status of Women, and Cannabis Control Commission. Thank you to those who provided testimony and to my colleagues on the committee who attended.

I want to offer additional thanks to Attorney General Andrea Campbell, who took time before the hearing to speak briefly with Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro and Tito Rodriguez from the Gloucester Police Department Community Impact Unit. Attorney General Campbell had previously visited the Community Impact Unit and we thank her for her support of its mission.

Next week, the House of Representatives will debate the fiscal year 2025 state budget, the most significant piece of legislation that the Legislature takes up each year. With state tax revenues below expectations, this process will be a delicate balance of passing a fiscally responsible budget that still meets the many needs of our residents and communities. As always, my priority remains making sure that Cape Ann has a seat at the table and receives its fair share.