WASHINGTON — Massachusetts stands to receive some $655 million in federal Medicaid and education funding to prevent budget cuts, under a state aid package that narrowly cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate this morning.
The money would save more than 2,400 public education jobs in Massachusetts, according to Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, who supported the measure.
“Governor Patrick, mayors, teachers, parents, and first responders are breathing a sigh of relief now that the Senate has finally thrown them a lifeline,” Kerry said in a statement after the vote.
Final approval in the Senate is expected later this week, before the measure goes to the U.S. House, where it would be expected to pass.
The legislation, a $26 billion national aid package, is paid for by spending cuts and a tax hike on multinational corporations. The bill prevailed over a Republican filibuster by a vote of 61-38. Sixty votes were required to overcome the GOP's procedural roadblock. Two Republicans broke ranks and supported the measure: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.
The Bay State’s junior senator, Republican Scott Brown, voted against the bill, saying there were better options for paying for it. “We can pay for that by not increasing taxes in the middle of a two year recession,” said Brown, in an interview after the vote.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.