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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

August 21, 2003




Governor Mitt Romney today signed the Fiscal Year 2003 deficiency budget, approving $25 million in spending to pay for expenses that occurred last year.


“With this deficiency budget, Massachusetts has met many of its outstanding obligations from the last fiscal year,” said Romney. “We look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the Legislature to meet the rest of our fiscal needs.”


Romney approved the following spending items in the deficiency budget:




$15.4 million for the Committee for Public Counsel Services for their work representing indigent clients;

$5.6 million for the Regional Transit Authorities;

$2.9 million for the Monson and Greater New Bedford School District to maintain foundation school spending;

$350,000 for the Worcester District Attorney’s office;

$286,469 for the Treasurer’s Office to pay for bank fees;

$208,950 for the Judicial Conduct Commission;

$145,745 for the Plymouth District Attorney’s Office for rental agreements; and

$106,000 for state boulevards and highways.

Romney also approved several outside sections of the budget that will:




Allow the Bureau of State Office Buildings to recoup costs from outside groups for special events held at the State House during business hours;

Clarify the recently enacted ferry fee;

Expand membership of the recently formed study commission for public construction projects; and

Prevent the closure of six Registry of Motor Vehicles branches and the elimination of 35 direct staff positions by permitting the Registry to retain renewal fees for the maintenance of service.

In addition, recognizing that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) cannot accurately or precisely track or measure ridership, Romney signed the provision that removes a prohibition on a fare adjustment if annual ridership has decreased by more than four percent in the previous year. He directed the MBTA to rid the system of any inefficiencies, conduct a comprehensive review of its finances, reach out to the public, and make efforts to increase the number of people who use the T before putting in place a fare adjustment.


Romney also vetoed several outside sections of the deficiency budget, including:




A measure allowing the state to collect $46 for a marriage license fee since the service is provided by cities and towns and not the Commonwealth;

A provision seeking to exclude MBTA employees from the health insurance contribution rates that all state employees now pay under the reforms in the Fiscal Year 2004 budget; and

A section extending a special exemption in the state’s retirement law that was repealed as part of the Fiscal Year 2004 budget.

In addition, Romney returned a section for amendment that may have had unintended consequences to Chapter 91, the Public Waterfront Act. His change will narrow the scope to ensure that this section only applies to existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) related to Chapter 91 that have already been through an extensive public process.





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