Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Governor Patrick Asks Legislature for Expanded Budget AUTHORITY

Additional authority allows the Governor to distribute up to $1 billion in cuts more equitably across state government

BOSTON – Wednesday, January 7, 2009 – Facing a likely additional $1 billion budget gap this year, Governor Deval Patrick today filed legislation requesting expanded budget-cutting authority in order to avoid disproportionate cuts to programs and services residents rely on most during challenging economic times.

“A budget gap of the magnitude we face will require tough choices that impact individuals, families and businesses across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “It’s necessary for us to have everything on the table when making these decisions.”

The expanded 9C power will give the Governor emergency budget authority over agencies outside of the Executive Branch – including the Legislature, the Judiciary, District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and other Constitutional Officers – and local aid.

Without 9C authority, the Governor’s budget cutting powers are limited to Executive Branch agencies. In October, with revenues sharply declining, the Governor issued $1.4 billion in cuts and spending controls. At that time, many Constitutional Officers and departments outside the Executive Branch voluntarily offered to reduce their budgets.

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