Tax revenues are coming in about $755 million higher than expected this year, WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports. So the Patrick administration will use some of that “found” revenue to cover health care costs, including unfunded coverage for legal immigrants.
Secretary for Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez says the state will use some of that money to cover the rising number of residents enrolling in Masshealth and to fund coverage for legal immigrants, specifically a program that was scheduled to run out of money this month.
“We determined we had sufficient resources to cover that additional cost, and it was a priority of the governor’s to insure that we continue coverage for legal, taxpaying immigrants who would otherwise lose it,” Gonzalez said.
With improving revenue, Gonzalez says, state spending next year can grow 3.7 %, but rising costs will still leave a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.