Update from Rep. John Velis

Good Morning Westfield! I hope everyone is enjoying the first weekend of the spring!
The next few weeks are set to be very busy in Boston! As many of you know we are in the midst of the budget process on Beacon Hill. For those who aren’t familiar with the budget process, let me give you a quick rundown.
The Governor released his proposed budget in the end of January. This comes in the form of a bill filed in the House Committee on Ways and Means. This committee then takes the time to examine the Governor’s budget and propose their own recommendations.
The recommendations made by the House Committee on Ways and Means are passed on the the House of Representative for consideration. Here the House, including yours truly, propose and debate amendments before approving an amended version of the budget which is then passed on to the Senate for consideration. The Senate proposes, debates, and passes their own amendments until they approve their own version of the budget.
This version is then sent to the conference committee consisting of three appointed Senators and three appointed Representatives. The conference committee looks at the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget and work until they reach consensus between the two. This final compromise budget is then sent back to the House and Senate for a vote of approval.
Once approved, the budget is sent back to the Governor for review. The Governor may pass or veto an entire budget, or choose to veto specific sections. Once the Governor is finished reviewing the budget, the Legislature has the opportunity to override any vetoes with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. After this the budget is finalized the the process is complete!
This week in Boston, the House passed a supplemental budget. This supplement applies to the current budget in place. It covers some unforeseen costs that have popped up since the last budget was passed. The Senate made their own amendments and passed it as well.
This week I also had the opportunity to sit down with my colleagues and the folks at Western Massachusetts Hospital. It was wonderful to hear about the great things they are doing at that facility. I also had the pleasure of attending the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce’s legislative lunch. I love having the opportunity to hear from so many business owners in our community!
That’s it for this week Westfield! As always, please feel free to contact me with your questions, issues, or concerns at [email protected] or at my district office phone number, 413-572-3920.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not the staff, editor, or publisher of this publication.

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