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A letter from the Governor
A letter from Secretary Stephen P. Crosby  
    January 23, 2002

To the People of Massachusetts:

After a decade of unprecedented economic expansion, we find ourselves in the midst of fiscal uncertainty. Like many families, state government must focus on its core responsibilities and plan carefully to manage with fewer resources. Fiscal Year 2003 poses challenges that while unforeseen just a year ago, present opportunities for creative, thoughtful leadership.

Fiscal responsibility is our first and best strategy. It is what allows government to meet society’s most pressing needs over the long term; it provides a cushion for the tough times; and it builds a strong foundation for future growth. We must have a tax structure that is competitive and attractive to businesses that provide our people good jobs with decent wages, and we must have a rate of spending growth that we can sustain even when times are bad.

My priorities, set forth in this budget, are:

Unlike our last economic downturn, we are well prepared to weather the fiscal storm that we are facing. Controlled spending growth, healthy reserves, a more diversified economy, and key investments in our Commonwealth’s infrastructure have created a solid economic foundation that will keep us from the crisis we faced only a decade ago. This budget recommendation totals $23.5 billion, a 2.7% increase above projected Fiscal Year 2002 spending. It holds all but the most critical state programs to last year’s spending levels or less.

By staying true to our values, Massachusetts will emerge from these uncertain times stronger and better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.

    Very Truly Yours,
  Governor's Signature
    Jane Swift


A Note from the Secretary
of Administration and Finance


How much do you know about our state budget?

If the answer is “not very much,” you’re not alone: Most people aren’t familiar with the budget. One reason is that state budgets—in Massachusetts and elsewhere—tend to be written in a way that only accountants can understand. And even if you are an accountant, few people have the time to sift through hundreds of pages of numbers.

This year, as part of Governor Swift’s first budget recommendation, we thought we’d try to do better. The first chapter of the budget recommendation has been redesigned to give you more useful, concise information about the budget, and some important information about the Massachusetts economy.

Understanding the state budget is, after all, very important. The budget is a plan for how state government uses your money—how it will pay for its services and activities, and how it will spend it. Next year, your state government will spend over $23.5 billion, or almost $3,700 for every man, woman, and child in Massachusetts. Most of that money will come from taxes on individuals like you and me.

As you’ll see in the following pages, state funds are used for a wide variety of vitally important activities that affect all of us, each day. To give you a flavor of some of the things state government does, here are a few examples. Last year, in 2001:

And those are just a handful of the things our state government does. If you have any questions about the budget, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

  Secretary of A&F's Signature
    Stephen P. Crosby

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Office for Administration and Finance
Fiscal Affairs Division
State House, Room 272
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 727-2081

Last updated on January 23, 2002

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