Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 290: Reduction of the size of the Executive Branch of state government

Date: 09/07/1990
Issuer: Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor
Mass Register: No. 644

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has faced budget deficits in each of the last three fiscal years,

WHEREAS, the deficits have been caused by spending in excess of revenues as a result of a failure to meet revenue estimates and escalating costs,

WHEREAS, immediate steps must be taken to reduce the overall level of state spending and avoid a deficit in the current fiscal year,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution as Supreme Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:


Reduction of the size of the Executive Branch of state government

1.1. The number of management positions in each cabinet secretariat shall be reduced by 25% by December 31, 1990.

1.2. The Secretary of Administration and Finance (the "Secretary") shall forthwith design an early retirement incentive program, including the drafting of any legislation and the planning of administrative measures required for implementation for all employees in order to reduce the workforce of the Commonwealth, while avoiding layoffs to the extent possible.

1.3. The Secretary shall forthwith implement a temporary payroll reduction for state employees in the Executive Branch whose salaries exceed $40,000. Salary levels will be restored to current levels when the budget of the Commonwealth is balanced. In those cases covered by union contracts or civil service, the Secretary shall forthwith take the necessary actions required in order to implement these temporary reductions.

1.2 The Monthly Budget Report shall show for the last month, and for the fiscal year-to-date, the actual revenues, the estimated revenues, the actual expenditures, and the estimated expenditures. Furthermore, this report shall show the monthly spending for each executive department, and indicating separately for each executive department the variance, if any, from each department budget.

1.3 The Monthly Budget Report shall include figures for tax revenues (in accordance with Section 34 of H.5701), non-tax revenues, retained revenues, spending of all accounts, implementation of planned savings, costs accrued attributable to the period but not paid, one-time costs such as court judgements, and other information which materially affect the books being in balance.


2.1 At the close of each quarter of each fiscal year, the Monthly Budget Report prepared by the Secretary pursuant to Article I of this Executive Order shall be subject to a review by an independent accounting firm to be retained by the Secretary with the approval of the Governor. This review shall consist of an examination of the reasonableness of the assumptions and conclusions of Monthly Budget Report, for the quarter then ended, the reasonableness of the data relied upon in the preparation of such Monthly Budget Report, and whether the accounting principles utilized in preparation of such Monthly Budget Report are reasonable and have been consistently applied from period to period. The review by such independent accounting firm shall be submitted to the Secretary by the end of the month next succeeding the end of each quarter of each fiscal year and shall be a public record.


3.1 For any secretariat whose books are out of balance as indicated by the Monthly Budget Report, the secretary will submit to the Secretary, the actions which he or she will take to bring the books into balance by the next month, or receive approval from the Secretary that any expenditures over budget are the result of entitlements, court orders or other events outside the control of the cabinet secretary.

3.2 For any cabinet secretary whose books are declared in deficit, if that cabinet secretary fails to specify the actions he or she will take to balance his or her books or if he or she fails to receive approval from the Secretary for expenditures over budget, then he or she will be subject to a reduction in his or her salary. If any cabinet secretary's budget is in deficit for two consecutive months, then that cabinet secretary may be subject to suspension or termination.

Evelyn F. Murphy, Acting Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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