New England Law Review
v. 47 | 265
Moreover, recent legislative attempts to restrain the Governor’s authorityto reduce budget allotments during periods of fiscal crisis (“9C authority”) by designating what funds will pay for a particular appropriation arelegally ineffective. The Governor is able to veto language creating fundsand then act later in the fiscal year under 9C, a result suggested by theliberal construction that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”)has given to the Governor’s budget-cutting power. The combination of theGovernor’s constitutional and statutory authority concerning the budgetprovides the Governor with more than sufficient power to veto spendingrestrictions such as the funding splits in the fiscal year 2011 budget.
he General Appropriations Act is the state budget for theCommonwealth of Massachusetts.
While the line items that makeappropriations
for various agencies are of considerable importance,the hundreds of so-called outside sections are just as significant.
Inaddition to presenting an important opportunity for legislative log-rolling,they often embody legislative attempts to restrain, direct, and influenceexecutive power.
Indeed, buried in the arcane language of the fiscal year2011 budget, a battle between the executive and legislative branches ofstate government smoldered.
In the summer of 2010, the Massachusetts State Legislature included anoutside section in the General Appropriations Act providing a repositoryfor anticipated federal revenues.
The federal money was in the form of
http://www.mass.gov/bb/gaa/fy2012/dnld_12/hglossary.htm (last updated July 11, 2011)
An appropriation is “[a] specified sum of money authorized by the Legislature for aspecific period of time to accomplish a specific purpose.”
Outside sections, as defined by the Massachusetts budget website, are “[s]ections in a budget act following section 3, which contain specific provisions of law which govern theparticular appropriations contained in the budget, make other special laws that usually applyfor only one fiscal year, and amend the General Laws to implement permanent changesincluded in the budget.”
MEDICAID: FMAP Extension Means States Could Revisit Budgets
Aug. 16, 2010, at 5,
2010 WLNR 16179225. The fund, createdas a repository for the FMAP payments, was formally titled the “FMAP Budget Relief Fund.”O
http://www.mass.gov/bb/gaa/fy2011/os_11/h190.htm [hereinafter O
The budget that went to the Governor for his approval or veto was the product of a