Budget-to-Actual Spending in the
Commonwealth’s Budgeted Funds
This section of CTHRU includes data on the Commonwealth’s budget-to-actual spending in the Commonwealth’s “budgeted” fund accounts, for fiscal years 2005 through the present. Budgeted fund accounts are those where specified spending amounts are appropriated in the Commonwealth’s annual spending bills or else authorized in Massachusetts General Law. A more detailed explanation of what is included and excluded from this budgeted-actual dataset is at the bottom of this page.
The data for 2020 is updated daily.
Definitions for each of the fields in the dataset can be seen by clicking or tapping on the three vertical dots to the right of each column name.
The budgeted funds include those where a specific amount of spending in a fiscal year is authorized in the Commonwealth’s budget bills (most often by appropriation account, or line item, but also in “outside sections”, which may authorize spending but not necessarily in specific accounts). These include the annual budget bill (the General Appropriation Act, or GAA) and subsequent supplemental appropriation bills. In addition, budgeted fund spending may be authorized in Massachusetts General Laws; the most significant budgeted fund spending in General Law is the Commonwealth’s annual pension funding contribution, where statute authorizes an annual General Fund expenditure based on the state’s triennially approved pension funding schedule (that contribution is more than $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2020). Whether authorized in specific line items, outside sections, or General Law, annual budgeted fund spending authorizations are shown in the “Total Available for Spending” field of the dataset.
The definition of total available for spending in the budgeted funds reported in this database is the same one used in preparing the Commonwealth’s two annual financial reports, the Statutory Basis Financial Report (SBFR) and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This definition differs from that reported by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance on its budget website, which excludes from its budgeted amounts certain spending authorizations, such as the Commonwealth’s pension funding contribution (which is authorized in statute and paid from the General Fund, but has no “line item” in each annual budget) and certain transfers from budgeted to non-budgeted funds.
Excluded from this dataset are certain transfers between budgeted funds, such as between the General Fund and Stabilization Fund, that do not result in increased net budgeted fund expenditures.
Actual spending in each budgeted fund account in this section of CTHRU reflects data from the state’s accounting system, and includes all cash expenditures (e.g., vendor payments; employee salaries), transfers from budgeted funds to non-budgeted funds and, for still active fiscal years 2019 and 2020, accrued but not yet paid expenditures. The definition of total budgeted fund spending reported here matches that used in preparation of the Commonwealth’s SBFR, CAFR, and financial disclosure documents.