Governor Patrick Files Legislation to Reorganize Cabinet
Article 87 restructuring to streamline secretariats and their agencies
Governor Deval Patrick today filed Article 87 legislation to reorganize the governor's cabinet and several of the agencies they oversee to create a more efficient and unified Executive Office.
"This is a first step toward a more coherent organization of government, one organized to address today's agenda," Governor Patrick said. "Elevating the issues of housing, energy and working people to Cabinet level status reflect key parts of that agenda. We will soon prepare additional ways to make ours a better, more efficient government."
Under restructuring, Cabinet Secretaries will lead the following new or renamed Executive Offices: Administration and Finance, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, Labor and Workforce Development, Public Safety and Security, and Transportation and Public Works. The Departments of Elder Affairs and Veterans Affairs remain unchanged.
The reorganization under Article 87 of the Massachusetts Constitution must be voted up or down without amendment by the Legislature within 60 days.
The reorganization plan:
* Establishes the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, consisting of the Department of Business and Technology, the Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and the Department of Housing and Community Development - which shall be headed by an Undersecretary.
* Establishes a new Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, under the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. The office shall include the Department of Labor, the Department of Workforce Development and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, which is being transferred from the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.
* Divides responsibilities of the Department of Telecommunications and Energy between the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and transfers the Division of Energy Resources from the Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Recreation, Agricultural Resources and Fish and Game also will be part of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
* Abolishes the Commonwealth Development Coordinating Council. The governor had previously created a Development Cabinet, a collaborative partnership between Cabinet Secretaries geared toward identifying and promoting business development, job growth and infrastructure projects. The Development Cabinet is chaired by Governor Patrick and draws together Secretaries of Housing and Economic Development, Transportation and Construction, Labor and Workforce Development, Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Administration and Finance. The Cabinet meets weekly to identify opportunities where Secretaries can work together on projects that will expand the economic opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.