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 132 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 132 transfers $2 million to the District Local Technical Assistance Fund for fiscal year 2010. In general, I support the purpose of this section as consistent with my Administration's commitment to supporting responsible planning and promoting regionalism.

However, given the extraordinarily challenging fiscal climate producing increasing stresses on state programs to meet the needs of our citizens, this need is less critical than competing priorities such as safety net services which play a fundamental role in protecting the well-being of the people of Commonwealth in difficult economic times. I therefore propose reducing this transfer to $1 million.

For these reasons, I recommend that Section 132 be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-

SECTION 132. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, not less than 10 days after the effective date of this act, the comptroller shall transfer $1,000,000 from the General Fund to the District Local Technical Assistance Fund, established by section 2XXX of chapter 29 of the General Laws.

Respectfully submitted,

Deval Patrick