June 29, 2009

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:

Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am returning to you for amendment Section 112 of House Bill No. 4129, "An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2010 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements and for Certain Permanent Improvements."

Section 112 allows the Chief Justice for Administration and Management to transfer funds among Trial Court accounts under specified conditions. I support the purposes of this section to promote efficiencies and to respect the independence of the judicial department.

This section, however, exempts the Commissioner of Probation and the Office of Community Corrections from such transferability. I see no reason to exempt these two offices from the salutary purposes of this section.

For these reasons, I recommend that Section 112 be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-

SECTION 112. Notwithstanding subclause (a) of clause (xxiii) of the third paragraph of section 9 of chapter 211B of the General Laws, or any other general or special law to the contrary, the chief justice for administration and management may, from the effective date of this act through April 30, 2010, transfer funds from any item of appropriation within the trial court to any other item of appropriation within the trial court. These transfers shall be made in accordance with schedules submitted to the house and senate committees on ways and means. The schedule shall include the following: (1) the amount of money transferred from 1 item of appropriation to another; (2) the reason for the necessity of the transfer; and (3) the date on which the transfer is to be completed. A transfer under this section shall not occur until 10 days after the revised funding schedules have been submitted in written form to the house and senate committees on ways and means.

Respectfully submitted,

Deval Patrick