With Massachusetts facing a $6 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers hope to avoid big spending cuts while minimizing hardship.

The Berkshire Eagle reports there still is no consensus on how to do that.

Cuts could delay economic recovery, observers say, and have harmful long-term consequences on those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Some say tax increases are preferable and perhaps inevitable.

Legislators expect that the state will draw from its $3.5 billion rainy day fund, raise new revenue and possibly borrow — with some targeted cuts.

 

"In my 35 years in municipal government and state government, I've never seen a situation where you increase taxes when things are going bad," said state Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams. "That's when you're supposed to use the rainy day funds."