• Executive branch

    Icon symbolizing the executive branch

    The role of the executive branch is to execute, enforce, and administer the laws. The executive branch consists of independently elected constitutional officers -- the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Treasurer, who are each elected for a four-year term, and the Governor's Council (eight councilors, elected to a two-year term) -- as well as several independent agencies and commissions.

  • Legislative branch

    Icon symbolizing the legislative branch

    The role of the legislative branch is to make laws. Massachusetts has a bicameral legislature; it consists of two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Together, they are also known as the General Court. The General Court has been meeting since 1713.

  • Judicial branch

    Icon symbolizing the executive branch

    The primary responsibility of the judicial branch is to interpret and apply the laws, and ensure their constitutionality. The Governor, with the consent of the elected Governor's Council, appoints all Massachusetts judges. Judges hold office until the mandatory retirement age of seventy.

  • Independent authorities & quasi-public agencies

    Authorities and quasi-public agencies are state agencies and boards created by statute, that are funded to some extent with state tax dollars, and that are not directly accountable to a single elected official. They tend to be headed by chief executive officers who report to boards of directors who in turn are appointed by multiple elected officials. For example, the State Auditor, Treasurer, and Governor each appoint members to the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System. 

  • Alphabetical listing of state agencies

    This page provides an alphabetical listing by keyword for all state agencies. Use this list to access any state agency, regardless of which branch it belongs to.