Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gov Patrick's budget for FY 2011

Gov Patrick released his budget on time. The budget home page can be found here:

The full process steps starting with the release of the Governor's budget can be found here

There is a budget guide to read about how to find out what you want to know. The guide can be found here

The home page for the FY 2011 budget can be found here

Respectfully, this is a whole lot of good information.

What does it mean for Franklin? 
The key dollars for the Franklin budget comes in the Local Aid section

The totals for FY 2011 proposed by Governor Patrick are:

     Chapter 70

FRANKLIN      $28,371,695         $2,177,055

This totals to $30,548, 750 which is $852,318 less than the $31,401,068 Franklin received for FY 2010.

What does this mean? Too earlier to tell. This is only the first step in the long State budget process. It is not good that we are starting with less than last year. I don't think it likely that either the House or Senate will increase what the Governor has already proposed, but that is my two cents.

What comes next?
  • The House Ways and Means Committee reviews the Governor's budget and then develops its own recommendation.
  • Individual representatives submit budget amendments which are then debated on the House floor.  Once debated, amended and voted on by the full House, it becomes the final House budget bill and moves to the Senate.
  • The Senate Ways & Means Committee reviews both the Governor's and House budgets and develops its own recommendation.
  • Individual representatives submit budget amendments which are then debated on the Senate floor.  Once debated, amended and voted on, it becomes the final Senate's budget bill.
  • State Finance law requires the Governor to submit budget revisions to his proposed budget if revenue forecasts predict a shortfall after the original submission.
  • House and Senate leadership assign members to a "conference committee" to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills. The conference committee report can only be approved or rejected - no additional amendments can be made.
  • Once approved by both chambers of the Legislature, the Governor has ten days to review it. The Governor may approve or veto the entire budget, or may veto or reduce particular line items or sections, but may not add anything.
  • The House and Senate may vote to override the Governor's vetoes. Overrides require a two-thirds roll-call vote in each chamber.
  • The final budget is also known as the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or "Chapter xxx of the Acts of 2010."
All of this should happen by June 30th in order to start the fiscal year on July 1.

Stay tuned in to the budget discussions. 

Franklin has a similar process. Each department prepares their budget. It is reviewed by the Town Administrator and presented to the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee hold public hearings to review, adjust and recommend a budget to the Town Council. The Town Council holds budget hearing to solicit input from any interested Franklin residents before voting on a budget. Franklin also needs to pass a budget to begin operations on the new fiscal year July 1.

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