Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2011

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2011

Outside Section 25

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Renegotiate or Terminate Leases or Temporarily Close Courthouses

SECTION 25.   (A) Section 23 of chapter 5 of the acts of 2009 is hereby amended by striking out the figure "2010" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 2011.

(B) Notwithstanding section 40G of chapter 7 of the General Laws or any other general or special law or regulation to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may on behalf of any state agency or the administrative office of the trial court renegotiate any existing facilities lease of that agency or office, which was procured pursuant to said chapter 7, to obtain a reduced lease rate or other valuable consideration in consideration of an extension of any such lease for a period of time beyond the 10-year limitation provided in said section 40G of chapter 7; but no lease shall be extended to a date that is more than 15 years after the original commencement date of the lease. The commissioner shall first make a written determination that the renegotiated lease provisions of each renegotiated lease are favorable to the commonwealth based on a cost-benefits analysis. The authority granted by this subsection shall expire on June 30, 2011.

(C) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, if the chief justice for administration and management determines that sufficient funds to maintain all existing courthouses have not been appropriated, he may, with the agreement of the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, temporarily close courthouses and re-assign personnel employed at that courthouse, including a clerk or clerk-magistrate, to other courthouses. Any permanent amendment to the jurisdiction of a court shall require the amendment of the applicable General Laws.

This section extends through fiscal year 2011 the present legislative authorization for DCAM to terminate state agency and court facility leases for insufficient funding. It also authorizes DCAM to realize operating budget cost savings by renegotiating lease terms in return for extending lease terms to as much as a total of 15 years, and if appropriations are insufficient, it authorizes the Trial Court to temporarily close courthouses and to re-assign personnel employed there.

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