Navigation Guide

FY2013 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 FY13 Budget, located at www.mass.gov/bb/gaa/fy2013.

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 2013, generally shortened to FY13.

To learn more about the budget process, click here

The GAA has several main sections.

  1. The line items are the heart of the budget – the individual funding levels by department.  Access line items through the Statewide Summary section.
  2. Outside sections include any law changes needed to implement the budget, and can be accessed from the Outside Sections link on the Navigation panel. 
  3. Local aid is detailed in section 3.  School funding and general government aid are detailed by community and school district. 
  4. The Account Listing lists all of the accounts with FY12 spending and/or in the FY13 GAA.
  5. Budget Downloads provides files of the budget, including number details, in various formats such as Word, Excel and PDF.
  6. Budget Glossary provides a comprehensive list of Massachusetts budget terminology.
  7. Helpful Links lists bills, laws and official documents that are related to FY13 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 FY13 approved budget levels by area of government.  Above the table, five tabs provide additional context for reviewing the budget recommendations. 

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.

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