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

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2011

Civic Engagement


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Governor Patrick    FY2011 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

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

 

Commitment to Civic Engagement

During the late fall, the Patrick-Murray Administration enlisted his leadership team—cabinet secretaries and department heads—to meet with communities across the Commonwealth to discuss the difficult fiscal year ahead. The goal of the community forums was to solicit resident input in advance of the Governor delivering his budget recommendation. The Administration held 19 public meetings across the state, 8 budget hearings and 11 budget forums. An average of 50 people attended each event. The participation of the public included a diverse group, consisting of many individuals who were attending such a forum for the first time as well as experienced advocates and public officials.

What We Heard: How Public Input Impacted the House 2 Recommendations

The Patrick-Murray Administration heard from the public though many venues—the public forums, blog posts, Twitter and calls or emails to the Governor’s Constituent Services office we heard from thousands of residents. Top items discussed included:

  • Child Care – Over 1,000 constituents contacted us regarding their concerns about funding to the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), particularly child care programs and vouchers.  To address this concern, House 2 recommends level funding EEC at $520 million which will allow the department to fully fund child care for low income families involved with EEC. In addition, access to low income child care will be reinstated, proving an additional 4,000 kids with child care.
  • Veterans and Soldiers’ Homes – Veterans supporters have been vocal about cuts to outpatient services at the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke through the 9C process. In response, Governor Patrick reversed the 9C reductions and continues to fund the services in his House 2 recommendations. In addition, the Governor level funds all accounts at the Department of Veteran’s Affair and funds growth for annuity and benefits to accommodate projected caseload growth within an increasing benefits package. 
  • Services to MA Disabilities Communities- Providers and families have attended meetings and contacted the office with concerns about cuts to disability services and many participated in a sit-in within the State House to be seen and heard as 9C recommendations were being developed.  The Governor committed $1.3 billion to the Commonwealth’s disability agencies--Department of Developmental Disabilities, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. The governor level-funded turning 22 services and the Autism Division.  At MassHealth, funding for services by Personal Care Attendants, Day Habilitation and Adult Foster care were preserved and in fact grow based on utilization and inflationary increases.  A change to dental coverage was included to achieve savings; however, it was structured to protect services to intellectually disabled members with active cases at the Department of Developmental Services. 
  • State Library - A petition was delivered to the Governor including 2,000 signatures concerned with budget cuts that would affect the George Fingold State Library.  In response to the outpouring of support to preserve out Library the Governor committed additional dollars in the budget and is soliciting the support of others, including the University of Massachusetts Libraries, to keep the doors open for fiscal year 2011.
  • Reduce Costs of State Contracts – A municipal budget officer who attended a community forum recommended asking state vendors to agree to a reduction in costs under state contracts. Just as state employees and those who rely on state programs and services have had to share in the sacrifice required to meet the state’s fiscal challenges, state vendors should as well. As a result, Secretary Gonzalez has directed all state agencies to seek reductions in state contracts of at least 3%.

You Can Be Heard

Your participation has greatly influenced the budget process.  There are many ways that your voice can continue to be heard. 

Screenshot of Mass.gov webpage: Public Calendar of Events

 

Boston, MA Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617.725.4005
     888.870.7770 (in state)
Fax:  617.727.9725
TTY:  617.727.3666

Springfield, MA
Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor
State Office Building
436 Dwight Street
Suite 300
Springfield, MA 01103

Phone: 413.784.1200

Washington, DC
Office of the Governor
444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 208
Washington, D.C. 20001

Phone: 202.624.7713
Fax:  202.624.7714


Prepared by LeeAnn Pasquini, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
www.mass.gov/budget/governor
For more information contact: contactanf@massmail.state.ma.us (617) 727-2040



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