5 Things Nov. 1: Fall Town Meeting, Rainy Day Fund and More

Your Patch Facts for the day.

Five Things You Need to Know Today is a Patch column that provides readers with essential, daily information at a glance. Check back later for more, and let us know what you think of the feature in the comments section.

1. Fall Town Meeting
The Fall Town Meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, will be held 7 p.m. tonight at Norton Middle School. To see the articles on the warrant click here.

2. Knot Just Knitting
Norton Public Library will host the Knot Just Knitting group at 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the community room.

3. Wellness exercise class
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at Sturdy Memorial Hospital will offer a six-week wellness exercise program designed to increase your fitness while assisting you to lose weight, decrease your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and achieve your specific health goals. The overall objective of this program is to help you begin and maintain living a healthy lifestyle. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30 to 5 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Cardiac Pulmonary Exercise Facility at Sturdy Memorial Hospital. The cost for the six-week program is $120. For more information or to register call 508-236-7390.

4. Surplus of $116 M added to Rainy Day Fund
The Executive Office for Administration and Finance announced today that the Commonwealth ended Fiscal Year 2012 with a surplus of $116 million that will be deposited to the Commonwealth’s Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the “Rainy Day” fund.

The deposit is highlighted in the Statutory Basis Financial Report (SBFR) issued by the Office of the State Comptroller this week. This is the third year in a row that the Rainy Day Fund balance has increased over the prior year’s closing balance as a result of the prudent fiscal policies and strong fiscal management by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the legislature. After accounting for the year-end-deposit, the Rainy Day Fund balance increased from $1.379 billion at the end of FY11 to $1.652 billion at the end of FY12, marking a net deposit of almost $273 million.

The FY12 estimates released by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) in June 2011, together with the results reported in the SBFR, indicate that Massachusetts’s Stabilization Fund balance of $1.652 billion is estimated to be the third highest reserve fund balance in the nation in absolute size.  The only two states with a higher reserve fund balance are Alaska and Texas due to billions of dollars of oil tax revenues which those states collect and deposit in their reserve funds.

Earlier this month Secretary Gonzalez certified that projected revenues continue to be sufficient to meet projected expenditures for FY13.  However, there are a number of potential risks to the current revenue estimate, and the Secretary has imposed FTE-caps, tightened spending controls and initiated a contingency planning process in the event that mid-year budget reductions are necessary.  The contribution of the FY12 surplus to the Rainy Day Fund will help the Commonwealth manage any such future challenges in a way that mitigates the impact on programs and services.

5. High near 59, low around 40
Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. Southwest wind will be 5 to 11 mph. Tonight will be cloudy, with a low around 40. Southwest wind will be around 6 mph becoming calm in the evening.


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