As the ink was still drying on a $30.6 billion state budget signed into law on Monday by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a spokesman for Cape and Islands state Sen. Dan Wolf said they were still studying the local impacts of the budget.
Pared down some $750 million from the previous year, Mr. Wolf has characterized the budget as one of the most difficult in memory, but his chief of staff Seth Rolbein said there were some welcome developments.
“Local aid is going to be pretty much level with recent years which is a surprise to a lot of people and a welcome surprise,” Mr. Rolbein said. “Town managers were gearing up for cuts across the state.”
Mr. Rolbein said budget cuts that will be felt most deeply are in the areas of human and social services, including for people with housing or special needs.
“Those are being felt everywhere around state especially the Vineyard,” he said. “Those are the cuts that worry us the most.”
It wasn’t all retrenchment, though; Mr. Rolbein pointed to a $4 million line item in the budget that will provide assistance for the planning and development of regional school districts. Although the statewide pool would be primarily for emerging districts, Mr. Rolbein said existing regional schools such as those on the Vineyard would have access to the funds.
“We’re hopeful that this type of funding will allow districts to continue to fund teachers and programs,” he said.