The legislation was signed into law (in part) on April 11, 2011.
Legislation as Filed
Please note: Below you will find the legislation as filed by Governor Patrick. After being filed, bills are sent to the Massachusetts legislature where they may be amended or altered.
Filing Letter and bill as a PDF file size 1MB
Text of Filing Letter
August 25, 2011
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
I am filing for your consideration a bill entitled "An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2011 to Provide for Supplementing Certain Existing Appropriations and for Certain Other Activities and Projects."
Thanks to our strong fiscal management and to tax revenue collections in excess of our budgeted revenues, the Commonwealth is closing out the FY11 fiscal year with an estimated surplus of $460 million. Because these surplus revenues are one-time in nature, we must be prudent in allocating them. Specifically, a significant portion of the surplus should be dedicated to reserves and the balance should largely be dedicated to one-time investments and unavoidable costs.
Accordingly, my legislative proposal calls for an additional year-end deposit of $300 million into the state's Rainy Day Fund, above the $100 million already authorized to be deposited in fiscal 2011. With this deposit, the year-end Rainy Day Fund closing balance would total $1.07 billion, thereby making it the highest closing balance since fiscal 2008 and one of the largest in the nation. This investment will ensure that reserves are available to preserve critical programs and services should the state face challenges in the future. This rainy day fund deposit will also help the Commonwealth preserve its strong credit ratings.
The legislation I am filing requests the use of roughly $95 million of these surplus funds to make a number of one-time job-related investments. Highlights of these investments include:
- Health Care Workforce Training - $15 million is proposed to support training initiatives for workers in the health care sector as the industry prepares to transition to the new health care delivery system I proposed in my health care cost containment reform legislation.
- Summer Jobs - $9 million is proposed to invest in our youth through employment opportunities in the summer of 2012.
- Adult Basic Education - $5 million is proposed for investments for adults seeking to continue their education opportunities and advance their careers.
- Quality Care Fund - $3.8 million in funding is proposed to support workforce development and training opportunities for workers in the human services fields who are responsible for caring for our most vulnerable citizens.
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) - $500,000 is proposed to support further investments by the state to leverage private sector investments in programs that prepare today's students for tomorrow's jobs.
- Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects - $35 million in investments that leverage private sector funding of approximately $150 million and generate up to 1,000 new jobs across the state.
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credits - $10 million to leverage federal funding awards and develop affordable housing units in the state.
- Innovation Investment & Access Fund - $15 million is proposed for strategic investments in those sectors that offer the greatest potential for growth in the Massachusetts economy, especially in high technology innovation clusters, and access to capital for our small to mid-sized businesses.
The legislation also commits $10 million to cities and towns impacted by the June 1st tornado for costs not reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The legislation further provides $6.2 million to reimburse cities and towns for a portion of the costs incurred in responding to the December 2008 ice storm.
The legislation also proposes $500,000 to fund the Commonwealth Corps, an important civic engagement initiative that addresses unmet community needs, and which has been totally defunded in recent budgets.
This legislation directs that a limited amount of surplus funds be used to address difficult cuts in health and human service programs that impact the state's most vulnerable. The bill restores the fall clothing allowance provided to low-income families receiving temporary assistance and supports programs for "at-risk" children, and other public health functions.
Finally, the legislation includes funding corresponding to recently ratified collective bargaining agreements with the following organizations:
- NAGE Local 229
- State Police Association of Massachusetts
- Coalition for Public Safety (Unit 5)
- Suffolk County Sheriff AFSCME Local 414
Sufficient revenues are estimated to be available to finance these appropriations. I urge your prompt and favorable consideration of this bill.
Deval L. Patrick