Section 20. The board shall approve a preliminary itemized budget for the subsequent fiscal year not later than March 15 prior to the beginning of that fiscal year. The authority shall submit to the advisory board a final itemized budget not later than April 15 prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
The itemized budget shall establish a projection of operating costs and revenues for each commuter rail, rapid transit, bus and water line or route, each maintenance facility and for each department and unit of the authority. The itemized budget shall identify expenditures in such a manner that establishes the cost of operating the service provided on each such line or route. In conjunction with the itemized budget, the authority shall also calculate any additional costs that would be incurred in the event that service on each such line or route is mandated to expand or change beyond the level of service established or proposed by the itemized expenditure budget.
The board shall forward not later than November 15 of each year to the governor, the secretary of administration and finance, the joint committee on transportation and the house and senate committees on ways and means the estimated capital or operating cost the authority projects to incur in the following fiscal year for expansions or changes in service imposed by the general court on the authority after July 1, 2000.
No expenses shall be incurred in excess of those shown in the budget; provided, however, that revenues shall exceed expenses at the close of each fiscal year in the operating funds of the authority by an amount equal to 1/2 of 1 per cent of the dedicated revenue source. The itemized budget may from time to time be amended by the board. The final budget and any supplementary budget shall provide for payment of all debt service payments or other payments due under financing obligations including, without limitation, leases, reimbursement obligations or interest exchange agreements for which the commonwealth has pledged its credit or contract assistance or is otherwise liable. If, during the fiscal year, the authority projects that total revenues for the fiscal year will be insufficient to meet total expenses, the authority shall take immediate steps to increase revenues or decrease expenses, other than debt service payments or other payments due under such financing obligations, such that a deficit will not occur in the following fiscal year and shall file with the secretary of administration and finance a deficit reduction plan delineating such steps. Upon the filing of such plan, the authority may, if it will otherwise have insufficient funds to pay expenses, draw on the Stabilization Fund in section 19 or issue temporary notes pursuant to section 12 for the subsequent fiscal year.