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Government of Massachusetts

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Massachusetts GovernmentThe state government of Massachusetts is set up and guarded by the Massachusetts Constitution. Massachusetts was granted statehood on February 6, 1788[1]. The government of Massachusetts has been divided into three branches, as specified in the constitution-- the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial. These branches work dedicatedly to ensure smooth functioning of the government of the commonwealth.

Massachusetts Executive Branch

The executive power in Massachusetts is divided among the constitutional officers who are elected every four years. The Governor of Massachusetts leads the executive branch of the government and acts as the chief executive head.

Office of the Governor

The Governor is the head of the administrative branch, the chief administrative officer of the state and the commander-in-chief of the military forces. The Governor prepares the annual budget, nominates judicial officers and appoints the heads of major departments of the state. He also accepts or vetos every bill the Legislature passes.

Contact Details
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617.725.4005
Fax: 617.727.9725
Website: http://www.mass.gov/governor/

Office of Lieutenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor functions as the acting governor when the latter is absent, dead or removed from his duties. The lieutenant governor is a voting member of the Governor's Council.

Office of the State Treasurer

The duties of the Office of the State Treasurer include overseeing cash and debt management, the Pension Reserves Investment Management, the State Board of Retirement, investment fund, and the assets of county.

Contact Details
Office of the State Treasurer
State House, Room 227
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-367-6900
Website: http://www.mass.gov/treasury/

Office of the State Auditor

The Office of the State Auditor is responsible to manage public funds. The Office conducts performance, financial, and technical assessments of programs, agencies, departments, authorities and contracts to achieve financial success. The office provides recommendations to improve efficiency, accountability and transparency of the government.

Contact Details
Office of the State Auditor
State House
Room 230
Boston, MA 02133
Phone:(617) 727-2075
Fax:(617) 727-3014
Website: http://www.mass.gov/auditor/

Office of the Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General acts as the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Office of the Attorney General
Is responsible to protect consumers, protect civil rights, combate fraud and corruption and promote meaningful economic recovery.

Contact Details

Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108-1518
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Website: http://www.mass.gov/ago/

Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the principal public information officer of the state government. The duties of the secretary of the state is to oversee the Corporations Division, the Massachusetts Archives, the Elections Division, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Securities Division, the Public Records Division and the State Records Center.

Contact Details

Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Phone: 617-727-7030
Fax: 617-742-4528
E-mail: cis@sec.state.ma.us
Website: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/

Massachusetts Legislative Branch

Officially referred to as the "Great and General Court", the Massachusetts Legislature is responsible for making laws in the commonwealth. The legislative power is divided between the Senate and the House of Representatives. Together they make the laws of the Commonwealth.

SenateThe Massachusetts Senate composes of 40 members[2]. Each elected Senator represents a district of 159,000 people. The Senate meets every 72 hours year round to consider legislation. The Senate is led by the President of the Senate who is elected by the members of the body.


House The Massachusetts House of Representatives composes of 160 members and each member represents a district of 40,000 people[3]. The House meets every 72 hours year round to consider legislation. The House is led by the Speaker of the House who is elected by the members of the body.


Massachusetts Judicial Branch

The Judicial power in Massachusetts is exercised by the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court and the Trial Court and its departments. Both civil and criminal matters and appeals of lower court decisions and administrative rulings are heard by these courts. The judges are appointed by the governor and they hold office till the age of 70 years.


Supreme Court


The Supreme Judicial Court is the highest appellate court in the Commonwealth. It is empowered to advise the Governor and the Legislature on questions of law. The court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices who hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases.

Contact Details
Supreme Judicial Court
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-557-1000

The Appeals Court is the Commonwealth's general appeals court. Litigants appealing decisions of the trial court take their case to the Appeals Court.

Contact Details
Appeals Court
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Suite 1200
Boston, MA 02108
617-725-8106

The Massachusetts Trial Court comprises of seven court departments with unique jurisdictions and responsibilities. The Trial Court is dedicated to fair and impartial justice and protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties.

The Superior Court Department hears serious civil and felony criminal cases, civil cases and appeals of certain decisions made by administrative commissions and boards.

Contact Details
Superior Court
Administrative Office
Suffolk County Courthouse
13th Floor
Three Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-788-8130
Fax: 617-788-8137

The District Court Department hears civil, criminal, juvenile, mental health, housing, and other cases. The court also issues criminal complaints, search and arrest warrants.

Contact Details
District Court
Administrative Office
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
First Floor
24 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114-4703
Phone: 617-788-8810
Fax: 617-788-8985

The Boston Municipal Court Department hears cases of serious criminal offenses or felonies, contract disputes, unemployment compensation appeals, mental health commitments and more.

Contact Details
Boston Municipal Court
Administrative Office
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
6th Floor
24 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-788-8700
Fax: 617-788-8747

Taxes in Massachusetts


Taxation in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue oversees taxation system in the commonwealth. In Massachusetts the income tax that is collected helps in funding public services and resources such as public works projects, public safety, education and social services. In Massachusetts the personal income tax rates apply to the residents, nonresidents, corporate trusts and estates and trusts. A tax rate of 5.15% is imposed on earned income like wages, salaries, commissions, tips and unearned income like dividends interest and capital gains.

Important tax rates in Massachusetts[4]

  • Personal income and fiduciary income rate: 5.15%
  • Sales and use tax rate: 6.25%
  • Sales tax on meals, prepared food and all beverages rate: 6.25%

Government Departments in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts various state departments operate and function diligently for the smooth functioning of the works of the commonwealth and to ensure development of the commonwealth. The various departments of Massachusetts are the following:

Massachusetts Department of Education

The Massachusetts Department of Education works to strengthen the public education system of the Commonwealth. Education in MassachusettsBy its curriculum, instruction, and assessment the department ensures that students are prepared to succeed in post secondary education and are made competitive citizens.

Contact Details
Massachusetts Department of Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Phone: (781)338-3000
Website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) oversees the entire transportation network in the commonwealth. The department works to provide the nation's safest and reliable transportation system. A Secretary of Transportation, appointed by the Governor administers the MassDOT.

Contact Details
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
Toll Free - 877-MA-DOT-GOV (877-623-6846)
Fax: 857-368-0601
(TTY) 857-368-0655
Website: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/

Massachusetts Department of health

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health looks after the health care services in Massachusetts. It strives to enhance the living standards and health of the community. The Department strives to prevent illness and injury and assures high quality public health in the commonwealth.

Contact Details
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Phone: 617-624-6000
Website: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

The Department of Agricultural Resources works to strengthen the economic viability of agriculture of Massachusetts and to provide safe and local supply of high quality foods. The department promotes the environmental sustainability of the agricultural industry.

Contact Details
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114-215
Phone: (617) 626-1700
Fax: (617) 626-1850
Website: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/

Department of Veterans' Services

The Department of Veterans' Services works to serve as the chief advocate for the Commonwealth's veterans and their families. The department sets up policies and makes sure that adequate funding for the program of veterans is included in the Governor's budget.

Contact Details
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Veterans' Services
600 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-210-5480
Fax: 617-210-5755
Website: http://www.mass.gov/veterans/utility/contact.html



References:

  1. Massachusetts Statehood
  2. Massachusetts Senate
  3. Massachusetts house of Representatives
  4. Massachusetts Tax Rates
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