Saturday, January 27, 2018

MassBudget: Tools for Understanding State Budget Proposals

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Tools for Understanding State Budget Proposals 
Wednesday (Jan 24) the Governor will kick off the state budget season by releasing a detailed Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal. The Governor's proposal begins an important process of determining what we as a Commonwealth hope to do together through our government next year, and detailing how we will pay for those things. The likely schedule for subsequent steps in the budget process is:
  • In April, the House will debate and approve its FY 2019 budget proposal.
  • In May, the Senate does the same.
  • In June, a joint House/Senate conference committee reconciles differences between these two budgets which the Legislature approves.
  • The final budget plan, which requires the Governor's signature, will ideally be completed by July 1st, the beginning of FY 2019.
MassBudget works hard to produce the following resources to help you stay informed and engaged in the public debate. We hope you find them useful!

Shortly after each major budget release, we produce a written Budget Monitor that analyzes major proposals across a range of key areas (e.g. education, transportation, health care, revenue). We send these Monitors to our email list and post them on our website. Here is our FY 2019 Budget Preview, which lays out major fiscal challenges in the coming fiscal year. Our Budget Resources page includes Monitors from previous fiscal years.

Budget Browser
Our Budget Browser, which we update shortly after spending proposals are released, is an online tool where you can track all state spending back to FY 2001. You can drill down to individual programs (called line items) or look at clusters of programs that support similar activities (e.g. Child Welfare). You can adjust for inflation and generate your own tables and graphs.

Each line item of the Browser has a "Proposals" tab, where you can compare each of the FY 2019 proposals as they are released.

Children's Budget
This web tool is similar to the Budget Browser; however, it tracks state funding only for programs related to children. This tool also includes program descriptions and links to other resources for more detail. This is updated during the budget season.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our analysts, who are the experts behind these resources. You'll find contact information and their respective research areas on our staff page.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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