A Note from the Secretary of Administration and Finance
It is challenging to put a state budget together under any circumstances. It is a special challenge for a new administration to do so in its first few weeks in office. I would like to acknowledge and thank the many people inside and outside state government who have helped us to develop this comprehensive document in a short time.
The Governor's executive staff provided essential policy guidance. Cabinet secretaries and agency personnel stepped up to identify immediate savings and efficiencies to help balance the current budget while keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the goals they plan to achieve in the future.
The Governor's Working Group on Budget and Finance, an outstanding group of individuals across a range of finance fields, provided leadership and advice on key components of the budget, especially in the area of transparency.
I am especially proud of my team at the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, including the Fiscal Affairs Division staff of financial analysts led by our new Assistant Secretary for Budget, Matthew Gorzkowicz. Matt and I are indebted to two former budget directors, David Westervelt and Tim Sullivan, for their generous contributions to this budget.
During the process, I heard from many legislators and interest groups about valued programs and new ideas for funding them. While the current fiscal situation constrains our ability to address all of these ideas in our first budget, I believe that the relationships forged in this first round are investments in future budget innovations.
Treasurer Timothy Cahill and his staff made collaborative contributions toward the production of this budget, and our thanks go out to them.
I would especially like to express my personal deep appreciation to Senator Therese Murray, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and Representative Robert DeLeo, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and to their respective staffs. A difficult budget climate demands hard choices, and these legislative leaders will undoubtedly take a different approach to many elements of the budget, but they have generously assisted our new team and begun a valued collaboration on issues of mutual importance.
Finally, I wish to express my team's appreciation for the many hours Governor Patrick and Lt. Governor Murray personally spent with us in reviewing budget and program detail and making the numbers work to address their vision for the Commonwealth and its citizens.
Leslie A. Kirwan