Gov. “will figure out what to do” after vetoes

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Written by Colin A. Young

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON  As lawmakers began pouring money back into the state budget over his objections, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he will review the Legislature’s veto override actions and determine what steps he must take to balance the state budget.

“When they finish their work we’ll take a look at it, add it up and figure out what we need to do to make sure that the budget is balanced and that we live within our means,” Baker said, “because that fundamentally is the end game we’re all collectively seeking to pursue.”

House leaders said earlier in the day they aim to restore $97 million in spending to the $38.1 billion budget Baker signed earlier this month, overriding nearly 60 percent of the vetoed funds.

Baker said his primary objective is to avoid having to make midyear budget cuts, known as “9C” reductions.

“Midyear 9Cs, which have become sort of a staple for the past two or three years, is no way to create predictability,” he said. “So, we’ll take a look at what they do when they’re finished, but my goal is going to be to make sure we don’t have to 9C stuff.”

While Baker said his vetoes were needed to balance the budget, Senate budget chief Karen Spilka told her colleagues Wednesday that the budget they delivered to the governor was already balanced.

The Legislature on Wednesday restored $5.25 million for the University of Massachusetts that had been cut by the governor, with the House voting 139-16 and the Senate 38-0 to complete the override – a two thirds vote is required in both branches to overturn a veto.

“Now is the time to be investing in the UMass system not cutting it,” Spilka said before the vote.

[Michael Norton contributed reporting]