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FY09 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
Issues in Brief
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor
While a budget worth $28 billion is bound to include a myriad of details, we have made a concerted effort to make those details more understandable, and to provide additional context for understanding the numbers. Such a focus is referred to as "budget transparency" - letting the public understand what their tax dollars are funding. The gains that were realized in the Governor's first budget were enhanced and expanded upon in this second budget.
Details Behind the Budget
- Summarized the major actions taken by agency in a budget narrative, and expanded upon some of my policy initiatives through Issues in Brief documents.
- Provided considerable detail on economic and fiscal conditions behind budget decisions.
- Displayed budget request grouped by major government area. Drill downs provided greater detail by department and account.
- Provided substantially more detail on revenue sources than prior budgets, listing specific fund transfers and detailing the sources of federal and departmental revenues.
- Graphed budget information in pie charts to enable a quick understanding of how the budget is divided.
- Used straightforward language as much as possible, rather than legalese, to make the intent more clear.
- Limited the number of outside sections, all of which have a clear relationship to
the budget. Each section also has a clear explanation of its intent.
- Linked to relevant laws within document to take advantage of online format. Related outside sections listed for each department.
- Created a "How To" guide for navigating the budget
- Detailed 5 years of historical budgets, spending, and employment levels. Spending information available to download for further individual analysis.
- Summarized 5 years of spending in 6 categories - Wages and Salary, Benefits and Withholding, Operating Expenses, Public Assistance, Aid to Cities and Town, and Debt Service. Possible to drill down to determine which agencies and accounts contribute to that spending.
- Listed the earmarks funded in the H.2 budget recommendation.
- Made main budget web pages ADA accessible.
- Developed an information page for each department to
display information on the department's mission, web site, organization chart
and related laws and regulations.
- Published the Tax Expenditure Budget within the overall
budget document to detail over $19 billion in personal, corporate and sales tax
- Incorporated a detailed economic forecast from the UMass Donahue Institute.
- Developed and maintained a Budget Tracking Tool to compare funding levels across the stages of the budget.
- Published the final GAA in the H.1 format to take advantage of the drill down and linking features.
- Published a main budget page on mass.gov/budget to allow the public to track progress of the budget process, and have a central link to budget-related information.
Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance • Rooms 373 & 272 • State House
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