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

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2011

Budget Transparency

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Governor Patrick    FY2011 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


The Patrick-Murray Administration continues to engage all stakeholders in the budgeting process, and to prioritize transparency in the budget development process. In recognition of this commitment, for the second year in a row the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.  This national recognition reflects that the Commonwealth has produced a budget document that serves as a policy document, operations guide, financial plan and communications device to promote our best practices to the public. 

Community Forums

Building upon the success in 2008, the Administration continued to solicit public input on policy and budgeting decisions throughout 2009. Forums held in the fall were held to gain the public’s input in advance of the Governor delivering his budget recommendation in January. The Administration held 19 public meetings across the state, 8 budget hearings and 11 budget forums. Feedback from residents related to a wide variety of programs – from child care programs to the funding for the state library – and this input was considered throughout the development process.

Outside Section Descriptions

Each year, the House 2 recommendation includes sections that propose new laws or make amendments to existing statute. Because they often contain technical legal language, these “outside sections” can be difficult for residents to interpret; therefore, in the 2010 House 1 recommendation, the Patrick-Murray Administration began including reader-friendly descriptions of each section. The Administration continues that in fiscal year 2011 House 2 for each of the 42 sections included in the budget recommendation.

This is a picture demonstrating where readers can find straightforward descriptions of outside sections included in the House 2 budget.

User Guide

One again the Patrick-Murray Administration has included a Users Guide in its budget recommendation that helps readers navigate the sections of the document. The Guide outlines the information contained within the budget, explains how a reader can locate a particular budget item, and describes how to interpret the information they find.

This is a picture showing the cover of the House 2 budget, along with the tabs that are included in it.

Section 2E

In The Patrick-Murray Administration is proposing to include a new section – Section 2E – in its fiscal year 2011 budget recommendation. This new section reflects spending that currently occurs in "off-budget" trust funds, but that is more appropriately reflected alongside all other state spending. Showing this spending in an appropriations section of the budget, rather than through an outside section, increases transparency on these sections by allowing the expenditures to be viewed alongside all other expenditures in the budget, while at the same time not changing the “bottom line” spending that to be included in the “bottom line” spending in the budget.

Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office (MassRRO)

It is estimated that Massachusetts will receive approximately $14 billion in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This spending will occur outside of the main budget; however, the programs funded through ARRA often overlap with programs that are funded from the main operating budget. Therefore, House 2 includes a section that describes the efforts of the MassRRO to maximize the amount of funding Massachusetts receives from ARRA, as well as its process in selecting programs to receive the funding.

Tax Expenditures

While the tax expenditure budget is an important component of the overall state budget, it can be difficult to interpret this information. For this reason, and because in fiscal year 2011, the Patrick-Murray Administration propose several reforms to tax expenditures, House 2 provides a full definition of the expenditures, as well as the data that is used to develop the budget. Like the main document, House 2 includes a guide for reading the tax expenditure budget, as well as a full description of each of the expenditure categories.

Prepared by Katie Luddy, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information contact: (617) 727-2040

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