Five Pieces of Pork In The Massachusetts Senate’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

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The Massachusetts Senate wants the Commonwealth to have a $49.78 billion budget in fiscal year 2023. 

The legislative body unanimously approved a budget of this size on Thursday, May 26, for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2022.

It won’t include tax cuts for Bay Staters despite the state’s massive budget surplus.

But you know what it will include?


The budget is replete with waste, including various amendments for local pet projects filed by various legislators.

Here is a look at five pieces of pork in the budget:


1.  Promoting Irish Culture

Irish culture is terrific. The music, the literature, the step dancing …

But do we all have to pay for it?

The Massachusetts Senate says we do.

The approved budget says the state government should give $75,000 to the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England.

The organization in question says that its goals include “providing access to Irish-oriented lectures, concerts, exhibitions of art, artifacts and memorabilia, political discussions, international relations, GAA sports, Irish language classes, summer youth camps, student international exchange and genealogical research.”

They sound like great activities, which should prove enriching and invigorating to certain Massachusetts residents with close family ties to Ireland.

They also sound like the sort of things private groups do — not government.

Yet, thanks to Amendment 1027 filed by state Senator John Velis (D-Westfield), we’re all possibly on the hook for it.

This is an example of the state government promoting one group over another. At best it’s favoritism. At worst, it could fracture social cohesion.

The Irish have a proud tradition and vibrant culture in this country. They can tend to it themselves.


2.  LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Did you know that Massachusetts has an LGBT Chamber of Commerce?

And did you know that it’s set to receive $250,000 in taxpayer funding in fiscal year 2023?

You can thank state Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield) for adding Amendment 320 to the Massachusetts Senate’s version of the state budget.

The organization’s web site describes the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce as “a small, lean non-profit powered by hundreds of brilliant LGBT-owned businesses.”

Well, it’s about to get less lean, if the Massachusetts Senate gets its way.

And if it really is “powered” by “hundreds” of “brilliant LGBT-owned businesses” … does it need to be powered by all of the state’s taxpayers, too?

Here are the not-so-broad aims of the organization:


  • We foster meaningful relationships amongst and between member businesses and our corporate partners. These relationships help to identify opportunities and meet the business goals behind them. They also build an ever-stronger network of people committed to both economic growth and diversity and inclusion.

  • We support our members and corporate partners in their goals for improvement. Whether it’s presenting their businesses in the best possible light or creating workplaces that welcome and support LGBT employees and vendors, we are here to help.

  • We champion the innovative practices that ensure LGBT inclusion in our marketplace and their contributions to driving growth throughout the Commonwealth.


If businesses want to support LGBT people, they have a right to do that. If they want to and don’t know how, they can hire outside consultants to help them.

They don’t need Massachusetts taxpayers propping up an organization like this to do it. 


3.  Improving Teacher Diversity

Again thanks to state Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield), the Senate’s budget provides $100,000 to make the teaching workforce in Western Massachusetts more diverse (Amendment 744).

It says that the money will go to “1 Berkshire Strategic Alliance Inc. for programs to recruit and retain a diverse teaching workforce.”

Why not just recruit the best teachers available, regardless of any immutable characteristics? 

Good teachers don’t hail from any particular ethnicity. Why try to limit the scope of who is being recruited to fill these positions? Schools could miss out on some great talent by discriminating like that — just as they would if they discriminated against any group of people.


4.  Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Working people don’t drive electric cars.

But good news:  the Massachusetts Senate budget provides a $100,000 subsidy to create electric vehicle charging stations — in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

You can thank state Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) for that one (Amendment 307). 

Let’s ignore that Wellesley is a notoriously wealthy town. So this amounts to a transfer payment from poor people to rich people.

Buying a new electric vehicle has an average transaction price of $56,437; compare that to $46,329 for the average new vehicle. 

If someone wants an electric car, they can have a charging station at their house — or a gas station can respond to the market and create charging stations. We don’t need working people subsidizing rich people’s cars. 


5.  Celebrating Weymouth?

Let’s all congratulate the city of Weymouth on its 400th anniversary. Weymouth is a historic and interesting place, worthy of respect and study.

Should taxpayers have to pay extra to celebrate it?

Or should Weymouth pay for Weymouth’s celebration?

State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) wants the state government to provide the city with $100,000 (Amendment 281) to help cover the cost of its 400th anniversary celebrations this summer.

Now, Weymouth is a nice place. But it shouldn’t need the state government’s help to fund its celebration. This money could go towards helping the less fortunate, providing funding to fire departments, or ensuring that people have clean water to drink.

Or — a tax cut.

Instead, it will go to something that doesn’t improve the material condition of the anyone outside Weymouth … and of not that many people in it, either.


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