As we mentioned in Parts One & Two, the Massachusetts Senate Ways & Means is responsible for crafting and releasing the Senate’s budget. This is the third step in our state’s budget process:
The first step of the budget process was the release of the Governor’s Budget. The second step was the release of the House budget and the finalization of the House Budget.
To review the Senate FY 2017 Budget:
How the Senate approached MOTT funding
As you may recall, the House budget level-funded the following (as did the Governor in his budget): Mass Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) and the Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs). See:
The Senate took a different approach to funding MOTT and the Regional Tourism Councils.
Instead of funding the budget line items for these entities, the Senate added what is called an outside section to the budget with language to establish a funding mechanism for MOTT and the RTC’s (roughly to a tune of $10 million).
This is a very different approach from what the House took and means that this will be a key point of negotiation in the Conference Committee (where appointment members from both the House and Senate iron out/negotiate/reconcile the House & Senate budgets into one budget).
Here is the outside section language for MOTT:
SECTION 24. Chapter 23A of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 13T, inserted by section 27 of chapter 287 of the acts of 2014, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
(a) There shall be a Massachusetts Tourism Trust Fund which shall be administered by the Massachusetts marketing partnership established in section 13A and held by the partnership separate and apart from its other funds. There shall be credited to the fund $10,000,000 from the room occupancy excise imposed by section 3 of chapter 64G and section 22 of chapter 546 of the acts of 1969.
(b) There shall also be credited to the fund all revenue as designated under the Gaming Revenue Fund pursuant to subclause (b) of clause (2) of section 59 of chapter 23K.
(c) All available money in the fund that is unexpended at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditure by the fund in the subsequent fiscal year.
(d) Money in the fund shall be applied as follows:
(i) 40 per cent to the Massachusetts marketing partnership; and
(ii) 60 per cent to regional tourism councils.
(e) The partnership shall submit an annual report not later than December 31 on the cost-effectiveness of the fund to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the joint committee on tourism, arts and cultural development. The report shall be made available on the office of travel and tourism’s website. The report shall include: (i) expenditures made by the partnership from money out of the fund to promote tourism; (ii) expenditures made by the partnership for administrative costs; (iii) expenditures made by the regional tourism councils to promote tourism; and (iv) expenditures made by the regional tourism councils for administrative costs.