HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4526 FILED ON: 8/7/2009
House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4206
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
Pursuant to Section 5 of Article 63 of the Amendments to the Constitution, I am today signing House 4181, “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2010 to Provide for Supplementing Certain Existing Appropriations and for Certain Other Activities and Projects”, while disapproving certain items and sections.
I am approving $40 million in additional funding to help meet the health care needs of legal immigrants who will be disenrolled from their existing Commonwealth Care health insurance because they do not currently qualify for federal reimbursement. I appreciate the difficult budget choices that have to be made in this tough economic environment. Thus, the fact that the Legislature has expressed a desire to continue to provide funding for health care for all legal, tax-paying residents in these difficult fiscal times is heartening.
While we appreciate this statement of support, I regret that the Legislature did not approve my prior requests for full funding of approximately $130 million to maintain their existing Commonwealth Care coverage, or, as a subsequent compromise proposal, $70 million to offer them a modified health insurance package for the remainder of the fiscal year. The failure to provide the requested level of funding imposes significant constraints on our capacity to fund health services for this population in fiscal year 2010. We will work within these constraints to put the $40 million in funding appropriated by the Legislature to the best possible use to address these health care needs during this fiscal year, recognizing that there will be limitations to what we can achieve. At the same time, we will continue striving for a long-term solution that offers comprehensive, affordable coverage to these legal residents.
I am also approving part of the proposed supplemental appropriation for the Commonwealth Zoological Corporation, bringing its state appropriation to $3.5 million for fiscal year 2010. I am confident that this level of public funding, together with increased private funding and needed reductions, will result in a manageable short-term solution. Furthermore, this will give the Corporation an appropriate amount of time to develop a plan to move towards greater self-sufficiency and less reliance on state funding. Greater self-sufficiency is both achievable for the Corporation and imperative to preserve scarce state resources for core state functions. I am directing my Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and other senior Administration officials to work closely with the Corporation to develop a plan to move towards greater self-sufficiency as a condition for the release of the additional state funding. No funds shall be released unless these conditions are met.
Regretfully, I am not able to approve all of the funding contained in this supplemental appropriations legislation in light of continuing revenue uncertainty in fiscal year 2010. Thus, I am disapproving $33.3 million ($24.9 million in net spending, after accounting for foregone accompanying revenue) of this legislation. These vetoes cover the full amount of the July tax revenue shortfall.
I am disapproving or reducing items of sections 2 and 2A of House 4181 enumerated in Attachment A of this message for the reasons set forth in that Attachment; and
I am disapproving those sections of House 4181 itemized in Attachment B of this message for the reasons set forth in that Attachment.
I approve the remainder of this Act.
DEVAL L. PATRICK,
I disapprove the following items:
I disapprove Sections 11A, 11B, 13 , 14, 15, 16 , 17, 18, 22 and 32A.
The remainder of this bill I approve.
Approved, August , 2009
at o'clock and minutes, .M.
Veto Items: Line Item Accounts
Section 2 A
Veto Items: Outside Sections