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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 7H: Budget submitted by governor to general court; recommended corrective amendments message

Section 7H. The governor shall submit to the general court annually, within 3 weeks after the general court convenes in regular session, an operating budget for the commonwealth. In the first year of the term of office of a governor who has not served in the preceding year, the governor shall recommend the budget within 8 weeks after the convening of the general court. The recommendations contained therein shall, to the fullest possible extent, conform with the programs of the several offices and departments as defined by the secretary of administration and finance with the advice of the agency heads or other officers responsible for the administration thereof. The budget shall also include definite recommendations of the governor for financing the expenditures recommended.

All appropriations based upon the budget to be paid from budgeted revenues shall be incorporated in a single bill to be designated the general appropriation bill, set out in conformity with section 6D. With the budget the governor shall submit to the general court statements detailing and explaining the governor's reasons for recommending any increase in, decrease in, or deletion from the budgetary recommendations (a) of any department office, commission, or institution, or other public agency, or in the case of a department, office, commission or institution within any executive office established by chapters 6A and 7 of the secretary of such executive office, (b) of the general court, and (c) of the judiciary.

The governor shall also submit such other messages, statements of supplemental data relative to the budget as the governor deems expedient and, from time to time during the session of the general court may submit supplemental messages on recommendations relative to appropriations, revenues and loans. Such statements of supplemental data shall include, at a minimum, statements of projected health care cost trends, caseload eligibility and enrollment trends, anticipated debt service costs and future growth in payments to fund the commonwealth's liability for. pensions and the commonwealth's liability for retiree health care over the next 5 fiscal years. Upon submission of the budget to the general court, the governor shall, through the executive office for administration and finance, make available to the public all material relevant to said budget, including all supporting documents pertinent thereto. This shall include at least the electronic or other distribution, at the time of submission of the governor's budget and subsequently the house and senate ways and means budgets, of (a) copies of these budgets to the state house library, and to the state office building in Springfield, (b) copies of all reports, statements, recommendations, or evaluations required by sections 3, 4, 5B, 5D, 6, 7 or any related reports required by any chapter of the general laws to the state house library. They shall be placed on public display and made available for reproduction during business hours.

Any information which is required to be filed under this section or section 6, either with the budget by the governor, or as a part thereof, and which is not contained within the budget as filed or within accompanying documents filed at the same time, shall be filed by the governor not later than 14 days following the required filing date; provided, however, that such information shall be accompanied by a detailed statement explaining the failure to provide the information at the time the budget was submitted.

If the governor determines from information supplied by the executive office for administration and finance, from the tax revenue resolution established under section 5B or from any other competent source that the tax revenues or non-tax revenues supporting the general appropriation bill have materially decreased, or that appropriations or statutory amendments that would provide funding to support recommended levels of appropriations have materially changed from the time the general appropriation bill was originally submitted, the governor shall submit to the general court by message recommended corrective amendments to the governor's original budget submission to ensure that total appropriations recommended in the general appropriation bill do not exceed total revenues supporting said bill. Such message shall be submitted to the general court within 15 days from the date of such determination.