Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2011

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2011

Line Item Consolidation

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Governor Patrick    FY2011 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


Throughout each budget cycle Governor Patrick has recommended significant line item consolidations in an effort to provide maximum flexibility for agency leaders to manage with limited resources.  Over time, individual line items have been created in an effort to highlight a specific program or service.  This structure places limitations on an agency head’s ability to direct resources where they may ultimately be needed.

Traditional Structure has Built-in Delays

The fiscal year 2010 General Appropriation Act (GAA) funded 644 separate line items within 144 departments. 

A consolidated approach allows for agencies to correct for changes in projected spending by shifting savings from one program to another.  Without this ability, this Administration must prepare supplemental budgetary legislation, which then requires the review and approval by the Legislature. Targeted line item consolidation offers a more efficient and effective approach to managing the Commonwealth’s budget.

Account Summary
FY10 GAA 644 Line Items
FY11 House 2 542 Line Items
Result: 102 Fewer Line Items


It is simply impossible to accurately predict the exact needs of individual programs as economic conditions continue to evolve.  The reductions to agency budgets included in the House 2 recommendations will continue to be evaluated over the coming months, and final plans will be developed for individual programs, services and employee levels.  In developing their plans to live within these budget constraints, managers will be tasked with evaluating programs and services based on need and priority.  The flexibility of a consolidated line-item structure to move funds from one program or service to another will be essential to this effort.

Example – Department of Public Health

The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health encompasses critical services from substance abuse treatment to domestic violence prevention; from hospital care for inmates to inspections to ensure a clean, livable environment for residents in the Commonwealth’s long-term care facilities.  Over time, line items within the Department have become fragmented into over 50 budgetary line items.  The Patrick-Murray Administration’s effort to consolidate the DPH line items will allow for efficiencies in programs that reach similar populations, permit the Department to leverage resources, and allow the Department to respond to evolving public health needs.

The proposed Health Promotion, Violence Prevention and Workforce Expansion line item is comprised of 13 individual line items that represent services that impact the wellness of families and their individual members.

Example Line-Item Consolidation
From Account   To Account  
4510-0110 Community Health Center Services 4510-2500 Health Promotion, Violence Prevention and Workforce Expansion
4510-0715 Primary Care Center and Loan Forgiveness Program
4510-0810 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Pediatric SANE Programs
4512-0500 Dental Health Services
4513-1024 Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program
4513-1026 Suicide Prevention and Intervention Program
4513-1111 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (includes Hep C, BEHA, and BLC)
4513-1130 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Treatment
4530-9000 Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Services
4590-0250 School-Based Health Programs
4590-1506 Violence Prevention Grants
4513-1000 Family Health Services
4000-0112 Youth-At-Risk Matching Grants


Prepared by LeeAnn Pasquini, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information contact: (617) 727-2040

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