Navigation Guide is designed to help users navigate 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 Governor’s FY10 Budget Recommendation, located
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 budget recommends funding
levels for a fiscal year, beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30. The
current budget fiscal year is 2010, generally shortened to FY10.
To learn more about the budget process, click here.
The Governor’s budget is called “House 1” because the House
Clerk’s office has traditionally reserved the first bill number in each
legislative session for the Governor’s budget. In the second year of the
legislative session, the bill is numbered “House 2”. 2009 is the first year of
the 2009-2010 legislative session.
The Constitution requires the Governor to file the budget by
the 4th Wednesday in January. New governors are given an additional
5 weeks to prepare their first budget.
The Governor’s budget is a comprehensive multi-part
provides a general overview of the state’s fiscal condition and planned
spending in key areas of government. It includes messages from the Governor
and the Secretary of Administration and Finance, a detailed explanation of the
policy changes in the budget document, a description of the Governor’s MassGOALS initiative, and
Policy Briefs which
provide further background for particular budget initiatives. These documents
can be found in the Introduction portion of www.mass.gov/budget/governor.
Development section includes a detailed discussion of the state’s
fiscal condition, financial policies, governance structure, and specific
challenges faced in the development of the budget. A detailed discussion on
health care is provided, as well as a detailed economic
report from the UMass Donahue Institute as an appendix.
Statements include balance sheets detailing the expected revenue and
recommended spending for the current and upcoming fiscal year. They are
required by state law to be in balance. The revenue tables summarize the
sources of tax and non-tax revenue, as
well as transfers
between Commonwealth funds. Finally, fund tables show the
breakout of revenues and spending by major government unit for each budgeted
fund from FY08 through FY10.
items are the heart of the budget – the individual funding requests by
department. Access line items through the Budget Recommendations section.
Local aid is
detailed in section 3, and is accompanied by a Local
Aid narrative. School funding and general government aid are detailed by
community and school district.
sections include any law changes needed to implement the budget, and
can be accessed from the Outside Sections link on the Navigation panel. Summaries
are available for each outside section and can be viewed by selecting sections
individually, or by selecting the summary document.
Listing lists all of the accounts from the FY09 budget, the FY09
estimated spending in those accounts which reflects the impact of the
Governor’s mid-year budget reductions, and the FY10 H.1 budget
recommendations. Since the Governor’s budget includes substantial
consolidations of accounts, a comment describes where the funding for
particular accounts is located.
Budget describes the Administration’s overall capital policy, and
provides a link to the FY2009-2013 capital plan, which can be found at mass.gov/capital.
Expenditure Budget details the estimated revenue that is lost in FY08,
FY09 and FY10 due to exemptions from taxes. This section is prepared by the
Department of Revenue.
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 terminology.
Legislation lists bills that are being filed in conjunction with the
budget to accomplish some of the policy goals that are reflected in the budget
Line Items – Overview of the Budget Recommendation Screens
The budget document has been issued in hardcopy, but the
online version offers much additional information. A video clip from the
Governor’s press conference on the budget, plus additional information from the
unveiling of the budget, is the opening screen. The Navigation panel on the
left mirrors the Navigation panel within the main budget application.
Select “Budget Recommendations” to view a
table with FY10 spending and revenue recommendations by area of government.
Above the table, five tabs provide additional context for reviewing the
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 and supporting document 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 information.
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.