FY2012 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 FY12
Budget, located at www.mass.gov/bb/gaa/fy2012.
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 2012, generally shortened to FY12.
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 with FY11 spending and/or in the FY12 GAA.
Downloads provides files of the budget, 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 FY12
budget development, veto decisions 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 current and historical spending levels.
Select “Statewide Summary” to view a table
with FY12 approved budget levels by area of government. Above the
table, five tabs provide additional context for reviewing the budget
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.
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.