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June 30, 2010

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, I am returning to you for amendment Section 116A of House Bill No. 4800, "An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2011 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 116A provides $6 million in unspent fiscal year 2010 funds to the Trial Court for expenditure in fiscal year 2011. I support the purposes of this section, but I believe it is essential that these funds be used to pay part of the Trial Court's liability for an arbitrator's award for Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 6.

This award is an unfortunate consequence of a flawed statutory scheme, whereby only Trial Court collective bargaining agreements are not reviewed by the executive branch before submission to the Legislature for funding. Therefore, there is no consistent method of ensuring that they are in line with salaries and benefits negotiated with labor organizations throughout the remainder of state government. I wish to take this opportunity to renew my previous recommendation that Trial Court agreements be placed on the same footing as all other such agreements, as indeed they were until 1996.

For these reasons, I recommend that Section 116A be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-

SECTION 116A. (A) Item 0330-0300 of section 2 of chapter 27 of the acts of 2009 is hereby amended by inserting after the words "January 11, 2010" the following words:- "; and provided further, that the unspent balance in this item shall be available in fiscal year 2011 in addition to any amount previously appropriated in this item, solely for a transfer to the comptroller to pay part of an arbitrator's award for Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 6 ".

(B) Section 7 of chapter 150E of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the word "Massachusetts", in lines 8 and 22, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, the following words:- , the chief justice for administration and management.

Respectfully submitted,

Deval Patrick