Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld announced last week his approval of a $700 million package in revenues, cuts, and savings to balance the state's budget in fiscal 1994, beginning July 1, 1993.
Weld had said last month that the state was facing "between a $700 million and $900 million" budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. Although the governor said he was uncertain which programs will be cut, he did say that Medicaid allotments and other human service programs would suffer cutbacks.
Weld also said the legislature's override of his veto on a 13% pay raise for state employees all but wiped out $560 million for programs the governor had on his fiscal 1994 "wish list." The governor had planned to use those funds to acquire open space and to upgrade fish and wildlife programs.
In addition, Weld said, although there may be pressures from "some administrative officials" to use a portion of the state's $120 million cigarette excise tax to plug the budget gap, he will not divert any of those funds.
Last month, voters approved a 25 cent per pack tax on cigarettes only if those funds are used to improve health-care projects and antismoking information.