Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 289: Open books and balanced budget

Date: 09/07/1990
Issuer: Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor
Mass Register: No. 633

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, it is both the policy and Constitutional mandate that the Commonwealth balance its budget; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has experienced erratic revenue growth which has resulted in three years of expenditures in excess of revenues; and

WHEREAS, the resolution of the deficit in those three years involved, in one instance, depletion of the Rainy Day Account, and for two years, new taxes; and

WHEREAS, the first two months of fiscal 1991 indicate that revenues are below the budget estimate; and

WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon the current administration to manage the budget to ensure that it is actually in balance when a new administration takes over in January, 1991:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby issue this order as a necessary step to ensure open disclosure of the status of the budget at regular intervals and to restore the confidence of the citizens of the Commonwealth in government's ability to manage tax dollars.


1.1 Every month within five (5) working days of the final revenue receipts or final payment of bills, whichever is later, the Secretary of Administration and Finance ("the Secretary") shall submit a monthly balanced books report (the "Monthly Budget Report") to the Governor and the Clerks of the House and Senate, which report shall be a public record and which shall document whether the state's books are in balance for that month and for the fiscal year to date. If the budget is in deficit, the Monthly Budget Report shall further include a summary of specific measures to be taken commencing within one month to address the imbalance as projected for the fiscal year.

1.4. The Secretary shall forthwith prepare a plan to restructure his department which shall take into account the recommendations of the Management Task Force and which shall be designed to achieve a 10% reduction in payroll.

1.5. The Secretary shall forthwith freeze all remaining out-of-state travel funds and all overtime except to the extent required to protect the public safety until such time as the budget of the Commonwealth is balanced.


Elimination of Non-essential state spending

2.1. The Secretary shall immediately take actions, legislative or administrative, to sell or lease the Massachusetts Convention Center and all other surplus state property as listed in the Massachusetts Real Estate Assets System Report.

2.2. The Secretary of Administration and Finance shall consult with other cabinet secretaries to identify non-essential programs and services; implement a program to eliminate, privatize or temporarily suspend such programs and services and submit the appropriate legislation and design the appropriate administrative actions to accomplish these purposes.

Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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