Q: June revenues, as we know now, are coming in short. Gov. Patrick vetoed $147 million from the budget that was recently passed. Health care advocates are demanding the Legislature restore money to cover low-income legal immigrants. What are you going to do about the governor’s budget vetoes and what about health care coverage for legal immigrants?
Speaker: By vetoing those items, he’s given us the opportunity to provide health insurance to legal immigrants. I don’t think there’s anyone in this building opposed to doing that. On the other hand, our health insurance bill now in effect does provide services for legal immigrants. The elder, the young, the pregnant — so there is somewhat of a safety net for these folks now.
Having said that, the concern that I have is, as a result of providing the funds to do that, the governor has vetoed some very important line items in the budget. For instance, money for housing; for rental assistance; senior care; substance abuse; for nurses for folks who have been molested or raped.
These are a whole host of tough decisions that we’re going to have to make. But this has been a budget of compromise, so I think on the whole we played it pretty well.