To the People of Massachusetts:
Lieutenant Governor Murray and I are pleased to file our budget recommendations for fiscal year 2013. We have proposed a balanced, responsible budget that makes investments in critical areas that will help us grow jobs and opportunity in the near-term, and strengthen our Commonwealth in the long-term. Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than most other states. We believe this budget will sustain and even accelerate our recovery.
While our fiscal position is strong when compared to other states and continues to improve, we again face serious challenges in the coming fiscal year. Because of the economic downturn, the demand for health care and safety net services continues to grow. Our tax revenues are improving but not enough to meet the increased demand. This means that across state government, we will again need to reduce spending. Once again, we must do more with less.
We will continue to invest in the strategies that create jobs, lower the cost of health care, bring us closer to eliminating the achievement gap and build safe and successful communities. We have worked together to support these strategies because we know they will build a stronger Commonwealth.
In fiscal year 2013, we will continue to use the budget as a vehicle to reform state government. Through the newly created Office of Commonwealth Performance, Accountability and Transparency (CPAT), we will launch an initiative on performance management to use objective metrics to help evaluate and manage programs and achieve better outcomes.
We will continue to execute an aggressive health care cost containment strategy to help manage costs throughout all state health care programs. We will leverage the Commonwealth’s purchasing power to reward provider models that are the most cost-effective means of delivering high-quality coverage and care and better coordinate health care purchasing decisions.
We have taken bold steps to reform state government though better use of technology. To that end, we have consolidated IT functions, improved service delivery and improved data security, making our IT system more efficient, transparent and responsive to the public. This year will bring even more innovative solutions and efficiencies with the appointment of a new Chief Innovation Officer and the formation of a new Commission on Innovation.
While this budget will make use of a responsible and appropriate amount of one-time resources, we have also proposed limited and targeted revenue proposals consistent with a responsible, balanced solution to our budget challenges.
We made difficult choices to balance this budget. Some worthwhile programs will not be funded. Some have seen major reductions. But in the long run, these choices allow us to be responsible to the next generation.
We look forward to working with you.
Deval L. Patrick