State Senate president jetting off to Ireland

Nancy Reardon

Senate President Therese Murray said she will be in the loop with Senate leaders and her staff about the state’s tottering finances while in Ireland this week.

The Plymouth Democrat leaves tonight for five days to attend a health care summit on electronic medical systems in Ireland.

“I don’t feel comfortable leaving, but the work we had to do is done,” she said. “I didn’t hide this trip. I put it out there.”

Murray was invited to attend in March and will be the only person representing the United States. The trip will be paid for with personal and campaign funds.

Murray said the Senate budget – which is due out May 14 – will be going to the printer Thursday. It is for the state fiscal year starting July 1.

She told The Patriot Ledger that the Senate’s revised revenue estimate for the state – the basis of its budget – will be announced before she leaves this evening. That figure is expected to be about $1 billion less than the estimate used by the House.

Murray made an unexpected visit at an emergency revenue hearing at the State House on Tuesday and warned the state’s finances will be “doom and gloom” for a few years.

The state’s tax collections this year have plummeted, down $3 billion from what was predicted.

Nancy Reardon can be reached atnreardon@ledger.com.