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 133 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 133 transfers $10 million to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Fund, but only from any consolidated net surplus that may exist at the end of fiscal year 2009. I support this section.
It is unlikely, however, that the available fiscal year 2009 surplus will even approach this amount. Moreover, the promotion of life sciences research is so fundamental to our citizens' well-being and to the Commonwealth's economic future that I believe an additional $10 million transfer is justified, and I have reduced other spending to the extent necessary to afford this. This is consistent with the $20 million transfer that I proposed in my original budget for fiscal year 2010.
For these reasons, I recommend that Section 133 be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-
SECTION 133. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, after complying with clause (a) of section 5C of chapter 29 of the General Laws, the comptroller shall dispose of the consolidated net surplus in the budgetary funds for fiscal year 2009 as follows: (i) the comptroller shall transfer $10,000,000 from the General Fund to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund established by section 6 of chapter 23I of the General Laws; and (ii) the remaining balance shall be transferred from the General Fund to the Stabilization Fund.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the total administrative and operational expenses of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center established in section 3 of said chapter 23I shall not exceed $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2010. The center shall report on the center's annual operating expenses including, but not limited to: payroll costs, contracted personnel costs, consultant costs, travel costs, pension and insurance costs, office related expenses, lease costs, facility operating expenses, energy costs and costs of equipment leases and maintenance. The center shall file a report with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, who shall forward the same to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, on or before February 28, 2010.
(c) All transfers specified in subsection (a) shall be made from the undesignated fund balances in the budgetary funds proportionally from the undesignated fund balances, but no such transfer shall cause a deficit in any of the funds.
(d) In addition to the transfers specified in subsection (a), the comptroller, in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance, shall transfer $10,000,000 from the General Fund to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund, established by section 6 of chapter 23I of the General Laws, no later than June 30, 2010.