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The state budget often is where public priorities are put into action. Take, for example, the new law to overhaul the state’s education funding formula. It raised the standards on how much money it takes to provide a good education to every child in Massachusetts. And now lawmakers have to actually fund this law. This is done through the state budget.

At its heart, the state budget is about well-being. It funds public goods that enable us to have functional, thriving communities. Massachusetts lawmakers make choices every year about how much money each program and service gets.

The yearly budget cycle kicks off this week with the Governor’s proposal for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget. In preparation, MassBudget published a series of briefs that highlight some major stories to watch in the FY 2021 debate. (An explanation of how the state budget process works is in the How to follow the state budget process section of this brief.)

Below is a summary of four key stories highlighted in our series.

(Throughout this brief, you will see words in bold. These terms are defined in a glossary at the end of the report.)

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