Governor Patrick Files Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Year 2007
Revenue neutral measure would be used to fund emergency services for at-risk children, homeless and low-income residents; $3.4 million returned to General Fund
BOSTON- Tuesday, February 6, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today filed legislation to address funding shortfalls in several accounts this fiscal year that provide early intervention services to at-risk children, shelter beds for the homeless and emergency assistance for the elderly, disabled and children.
The bill recommends $19 million in supplemental appropriations, which are fully offset by $22.4 million in combined new revenue and spending reductions tied to surplus funding. The remaining $3.4 million will be returned to the General Fund.
"We have an obligation to the Commonwealth's citizens," Governor Patrick said. "I am very pleased that we were able to meet those needs by reallocating existing funds and also to return revenue to the General Fund. This is the kind of flexibility and creativity that I am asking for from my team."
The supplemental items to fund existing obligations include:
- $4.1 million to fund higher caseloads at the Emergency Assistance for the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA);
- $2.7 million to maintain capacity at DTA family shelters;
- $1.1 million to fund National Guard patrols at the Pilgrim Power Plant, and cover armory utility costs;
- $900,000 to increase the retained revenue ceiling for the Early Intervention program at the Department of Public Health; and
- $4.5 million to increase the retained revenue ceiling for State Police private details.
The legislation also addresses $5.7 million in obligations under collective bargaining agreements approved by the previous administration affecting regional Registries of Deeds, the Board of Higher Education, local sheriffs and others.
Governor Patrick has established a Development Cabinet, which he chairs, to identify and promote business development, job growth and infrastructure projects. Because the Development Cabinet is now performing the functions of the former Commonwealth Development Coordinating Council, the legislation abolishes the Council and transfers the balance of its funds for FY 07 to the Governor's Office.
The bill also eliminates entirely a $5 million earmark for Tourism Massachusetts.
Further, the bill expands the scope of the Central Artery/Tunnel audit program to include cost recovery and management. Currently, the audit's scope is limited to construction and safety.