FY2009 Budget Summary Navigation Guide
This Budget Summary
Navigation Guide is designed to help users navigate the various iterations of
the state budget and find the information most important to them. The Guide
contains a brief explanation of the budget’s contents, describing what
information can be found in each area. The Guide also provides navigation tips
and additional information for using the online presentation of the FY09
Budget, located at www.mass.gov/gaa.
Background of the Massachusetts State Budget
The annual Massachusetts state budget funds all aspects of
state government, from the Courts to the Legislature, from Executive Branch
agencies to dozens of boards and authorities. The final budget passed by the
Legislature and signed by the Governor is called the General Appropriation Act,
or GAA. The GAA provides funding for a fiscal year, beginning on July 1 and
ending on June 30. The current fiscal year is 2009, generally shortened to FY09.
To learn more about the budget process, click here.
The GAA has several main sections.
The line items
are the heart of the budget – the individual funding levels by department.
Access line items through the Statewide Summary section.
sections include any law changes needed to implement the budget, and
can be accessed from the Outside Sections link on the Navigation panel.
is detailed in section 3. School funding and general government aid are
detailed by community and school district.
Listing lists all of the accounts from the FY09 GAA, as well as any
mid-year budget reductions, along with descriptions of those reductions. The Budget
Reductions section lists only those accounts that were reduced to
address the FY09 budget shortfall.
Downloads provides files of the budget and budget reductions, including
number details, in various formats such as Word, Excel and PDF.
Glossary provides a comprehensive list of Massachusetts budget
Links lists bills, laws and official documents that are related to FY09
veto decisions, budget reductions and related bills.
Line Items – Overview of the Budget Recommendation Screens
The GAA has been issued in hardcopy, but the online version provides
considerable content for approved and projected spending levels, including
details for mid-year budget adjustments.
Select “Statewide Summary” to view a table
with FY09 approved budget levels by area of government. Above the
table, seven tabs provide additional context for reviewing the budget
Summary is the default, displaying FY09 conference budget levels,
amounts vetoed by the Governor, those overridden by the Legislature, and the
resulting General Appropriation Act (GAA) values. The current estimated
spending levels are also displayed.
displays the FY09 GAA (from the Budget Summary tab), approved FY09 supplemental
budgets, FY08 budget amounts authorized to continue into FY09 (Prior
Appropriation Continued, or PAC), and transfers from central reserves to cover
the costs of collective bargaining contracts. The combination of GAA + Supps.
+ PACs + Coll. Barg. provides the total available to an agency to spend in
FY09, prior to any mid-year budget reductions.
displays the actions taken in October 2008 and again in January 2009 to reduce
agency budgets. These columns combine 3 different types of actions taken:
Executive branch budget reductions under the Governor’s authority
under Chapter 29, section 9C.
Budget reductions in non-executive agencies that were outlined in
section 7 of chapter
377 of 2008.
Budget reductions in non-executive agencies that were voluntarily
offered by that constitutional officer.
The total remaining funds are
displayed after removing the total reductions from the total available funds.
In section 4 of chapter 377 of 2008,
the Secretary of Administration and Finance was given authority to transfer
funding from one account to another within a secretariat. FY2009 Transfers
details those transfers. In some cases, amounts that were previously reduced
under the Governor’s 9C authority were reallocated to offset a deficiency
within another, or sometimes the same, account. Notes at the account level
describe where funding was transferred to or received from.
shows three years of budgeted amounts through the General Appropriations Act
(GAA), actual FY08 spending, the FY09 GAA, and FY09 spending which reflects the
impact of the Governor’s mid-year budget reductions.
Spending summarizes spending by expense category (see below for
explanation). Actual expenditures for FY05, FY06, FY07 and FY08 are displayed,
as well as the FY09 GAA, and FY09 budget reductions. Actual spending rarely
equals the exact budgeted amounts. The reasons may include bills coming in
higher or lower than expected, programs starting late, supply issues, accounting
rules, or staff turnover.
The expense categories are:
Wages & Salaries – payroll spending for employees and
Employee Benefits – health insurance and other employee costs
Operating Expenses – administrative expenses including office supplies,
facility and equipment costs, and information technology
Public Assistance – programs for Massachusetts citizens – from
cash assistance to health care
Grants & Subsidies – grants to public and non-public entities
Debt Service – payments for Massachusetts’ bonds and contract
displays the overall structure of Massachusetts state government, and includes
drill-downs into underlying organizational charts for secretariats and their
Pie charts below the spending and budget tables give context
for the numbers. For instance, while the statewide budget summary has 12 lines
for the various government areas, the funding for Health and Human Services is
nearly half of the budget. Similarly, while salaries are the bulk of most
agency budgets, the highest statewide category is public assistance.
Additional Information Available
Agency Information – Each department has a page devoted to
its mission statement, web site, organizational chart, and related laws and
regulations, as available. Access this information from the Agency Information
tab on the Department level screen.
Related Information – In such a large document, it can be
difficult to locate pertinent information on a specific policy area. Each
outside section has been linked to the departments that are most affected by
it. At the Department level, select the Related Information tab to view a list
of relevant sections.
To search for a particular account, use the “Where’s My Line
Item” feature at the top of each screen in the budget site.
A general search of the entire budget site is also available at
the top of each screen.
The tables are designed for accessing further information about
an agency or line item. For instance, after selecting Judiciary from the
Budget Summary table, a screen with a list of the judicial departments appears
with budget information at that level. Selecting a department will display the
The list on the left side of the screen also allows for
navigating between departments. Select a Government Area from the list, and it
will expand to display the related secretariats, and then departments.
Once a type of information has been selected, such as Historical
Spending, the same type of data will be displayed as you navigate between the
References to the Massachusetts General Laws or Special Acts
since 1997 are linked within the text of the line-item language or outside section
for easy review.
Line-item language is available for each account, but the default
is to display only headings for easier analysis. Select “View line item
language” to expand the page.
Detailed information for all secretariat line items can be found
by selecting the detail link at the top of the secretariat screens.