Massachusetts State & Local Government

Massachusetts State Resource Center




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Massachusetts Statewide Offices

  • Attorney General

    The Attorney General is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Attorney General is also a resource to residents who are facing challenges in the area of consumer protection, fraud, civil rights violations, health care, and insurance issues.

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Massachusetts is a leader in higher education, health care, high technology, and financial services.

  • Governor

    The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the executive magistrate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He lso serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth's armed forces.

  • Lt. Governor

    The Lt. Governor serves in place of the governor when he is outside the borders of Massachusetts.

  • Secretary of the Commonwealth

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

  • State Auditor

    The OSA audits the agencies of state government to ensure that funds are spent in an appropriate manner. In so doing, the State Auditor provides the Governor, Legislature, auditees, and the public with an independent financial, managerial, and technical assessment of the state's agencies, activities, contracts, and programs.

  • State Treasurer

    The State Treasurer manages the state’s finances. Departments and Divisions of the State Treasury Office include: Abandoned Property; State Board of Retirement; Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust; Debt Management; Deferred Compensation; Financial Education; and Cash Management.

Massachusetts Legislative Branch

  • The General Court

    The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members.

Massachusetts Court Rules and Forms

Massachusetts Judicial Branch

  • Massachusetts Court System

    Courts of Massachusetts include: the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court; Appeals Court; Trial Courts; Superior Courts; District Courts; Boston Municipal Courts; Land Courts; Housing Courts; Juvenile Courts; and Probate and Family Courts. The administrative courts are the Appellate Tax Board and the Division of Labor Relations.

Massachusetts Executive Branch

  • Department of Agricultural Resources

    The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' mission is to support, promote and enhance the long-term viability of Massachusetts agriculture with the aim of helping this state’s agricultural businesses become as economically and environmentally sound as possible.

  • Department of Business Development

    Department of Business Development (DBD) is committed through its agencies and other resources to assisting domestic and foreign companies which want to locate, expand, grow, or maintain a presence in Massachusetts.

  • Department of Business Development

    Department of Business Development (DBD) is committed through its agencies and other resources to assisting domestic and foreign companies which want to locate, expand, grow, or maintain a presence in Massachusetts.

  • Department of Conservation and Recreation

    The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is steward of one of the largest state parks systems in the country. Its 450,000 acres is made up of forests, parks, greenways, historic sites and landscapes, seashores, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and watersheds.

  • Department of Correction

    The Department of Correction's vision is to effect positive behavioral change in order to eliminate violence, victimization and recidivism. The Department's mission is to promote public safety by managing offenders while providing care and appropriate programming in preparation for successful reentry into the community.

  • Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

    The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (ESE) sometimes referred to as the Massachusetts Department of Education, is the state education agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is responsible for public education at the elementary and secondary levels.

  • Department of Energy Resources

    DOER's mission is to create a Greener Energy Future for the Commonwealth - economically and environmentally, including: achieving all cost-effective energy efficiencies; maximizing development of greener energy resources; creating and leading implementation of energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve relative cost; and supporting clean tech companies and spurring clean energy employment.

  • Department of Environmental Protection

    The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water, the safe management of toxics and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

  • Department of Housing and Community Development

    DHCD's mission is to strengthen cities, towns and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents. The Department provides leadership, professional assistance and financial resources to promote safe, decent affordable housing opportunities, economic vitality of communities and sound municipal management.

  • Department of Public Utilities

    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is responsible for oversight of investor-owned electric power, natural gas, and water industries in the Commonwealth; developing alternatives to traditional regulation; monitoring service quality; regulating safety in the transportation and gas pipeline areas; and for the siting of energy facilities.

  • Department of Revenue

    The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) is to achieve maximum compliance with the tax, child support and municipal finance laws of the Commonwealth. In meeting its mission, the Department is dedicated to enforcing these laws in a fair, impartial and consistent manner by providing professional and courteous service to all its customers.

  • Department of Transportation

    The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is composed of four divisions: Highway; Mass Transit; Aeronautics; and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), in addition to an Office of Planning and Programming.

  • Division of State Parks and Recreation

    The Division of State Parks and Recreation maintains nearly 300,000 acres of the state’s forests, beaches, mountains, ponds, riverbanks, trails, and parks outside of the Greater Boston area. The Division protects land and resources on privately and municipally held land through technical assistance, grant and planning programs, policy development, and other services.

  • Emergency Management Agency

    The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made.

  • Executive Office for Administration and Finance

    The Executive Office for Administration and Finance (ANF) plans and executes fiscal and administrative policies that serve to ensure the financial stability, efficiency, and effectiveness of state government. ANF is comprised of 16 agencies, each with a unique and critical mission. The agencies that comprise ANF span all areas of state government and those it serves.

  • Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

    The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education. The Division of Banks, Division of Insurance, Division of Professional Licensure, Division of Standards, State Racing Commission, and the Department of Telecommunication and Cable all fall under the OCABR umbrella and help to fulfill OCABR's critical mission of building better businesses and smarter consumers.

  • Executive Office of Elder Affairs

    Through the statewide elder network, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs provides services locally via Aging Services Access Points (ASAP), Councils on Aging (COA) and senior centers in communities across the Commonwealth. This network reaches out to elders in need of services that include home care and caregiver support, nutrition programs, protective services, health and wellness services, housing options, SHINE counseling (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders), or counseling services for elders with limited English proficiency.

  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

    The Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs consists of the Department of Agricultural Resources, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Energy Resources, the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Public Utilities, and several smaller offices.

  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is the largest Commonwealth secretariat and its work touches the lives of all Massachusetts residents. From ensuring safe drinking water to important health care research and from programs for children to services for the elderly, EOHHS makes Massachusetts a better place to live.

  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

    The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) is committed to working on behalf of job seekers, apprentices, union members, claimants, employers, attorneys and researchers. EOLWD provides a wide variety of programs and services to serve constituents across the Commonwealth. The cornerstone of EOLWD's services is their network of 37 One-Stop Career Centers and the field offices across the Commonwealth. Additionally, EOLWD's online services and call centers provide convenient ways for customers to access their services.

  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security

    The Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS) is made up of fifteen agencies which aid in crime prevention, homeland security preparedness and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth: Parole Board; Criminal History Systems Board; Department of Correction; Department of Fire Services; Department of Public Safety; Department of State Police; Mass Emergency Management Agency; Merit Rating Board; Municipal Police Training Committee; National Guard; Architectural Access Board; Office of Grants & Research; Sex Offender Registry Board; State 911 Department; and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

  • Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts

    The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is a unique and multifaceted investigative agency dedicated to the systematic elimination of fraudulent insurance transactions. The Bureau conducts criminal investigations and refers appropriate cases for criminal prosecution. IFB is funded by automobile and workers compensation insurers in Massachusetts. In addition to the investigative division, the IFB has legal, analytic and administrative divisions.

  • Massachusetts State Police

    The Massachusetts State Police, as the principal statewide law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth, is dedicated to providing quality policing directed at achieving safer roadways and reducing crime through investigations, education and patrol services and by providing leadership and resources during natural disasters, civil disorders and critical incidents.

  • Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

    The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is an initiative of the Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation (MTPC), an independent instrumentality of the Commonwealth created in 1982 to advance the growth of the technology sector of the Massachusetts economy through collaborative activities among industry, universities and state government.

  • MassDevelopment

    MassDevelopment works with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state, and federal officials and agencies to strengthen the Massachusetts economy. Through this collaboration they help create jobs, increase the number of housing units, eliminate blight, and address the overarching challenges that limit economic growth, such as transportation, energy, and other infrastructure deficiencies.

  • Office of Campaign and Political Finance

    The Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) is an independent state agency that administers Massachusetts' campaign finance law, and the limited public financing program for statewide candidates. Candidates who report to OCPF are those seeking statewide, legislative and county office, Governor's Council candidates and two groups of municipal candidates.

  • Office of Travel and Tourism

    Massvacation.com is the official site of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). MOTT is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a friendly, family-oriented destination set in the midst of rich historical and cultural tradition. MOTT's budget is derived from a portion of the state hotel room occupancy tax and is therefore responsible for encouraging overnight stays, as well as increasing tourism-related spending and payroll.

  • Registry of Motor Vehicles

    The Registry of Motor Vehicles is directly administered by MassDOT. It is the equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles in most states, and is responsible for vehicle operator licensing and vehicle and aircraft registration, available online and at branch offices across the Commonwealth. The Registry oversees commercial and non-commercial vehicle inspection stations.

  • State Library

    The State Library was established in 1826 to collect, deposit, and house the Commonwealth’s collections of maps, statute books, and government documents in a single central location. Since that time, the State Library has grown into a multifaceted and reliable resource for legislators, executive personnel, state employees, historians, genealogists, and users from all over the world.

Massachusetts Boards and Commissions

  • Appellate Tax Board

    The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board is a quasi-judicial state agency designed to conduct hearings and render decisions on appeals of all types of state and local taxes, including property tax (both real estate and personal property), corporate excise, individual income tax, sales and use tax, and automobile and other excises.

  • Board of Higher Education

    The Board of Higher Education is the statutorily created agency in Massachusetts responsible for defining the mission of and coordinating the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education and its institutions. The Board works to create and maintain a system of public higher education which provides Massachusetts citizens with the opportunity to participate in academic and educational programs for their personal betterment and growth; to contribute to the area’s existing base of research and knowledge; and to contribute to the Commonwealth’s future economic growth and development.

  • Board of Review

    The Board of Review is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal created by the state legislature. It has jurisdiction to hear appeals of unemployment insurance claims and other unemployment matters. The Board is the last step in the administrative appeals process before a case may be appealed to court.

  • Civil Service Commission

    The Civil Service Commission is a quasi-judicial agency whose mission is to hear and decide appeals of public employees under the protection of civil service laws by ensuring that employment decisions are based on the relative ability, knowledge and skills of the public employee, and to ensure that all individuals receive fair and impartial treatment.

  • Commission on Indian Affairs

    The fundamental role of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs (MCIA) is to assist Native American individuals, tribes and organizations in their relationship with state and local government agencies and to advise the Commonwealth in matters pertaining to Native Americans.

  • Commission on Judicial Conduct

    The Commission on Judicial Conduct ("CJC") is the state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct against state court judges and for recommending, when necessary, discipline of judges to the Supreme Judicial Court.

  • Commission on the Status of Women

    The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities.

  • Massachusetts Historical Commission

    The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) was established by the legislature in 1963 to identify, evaluate, and protect important historical and archaeological assets of the Commonwealth. The professional staff of the Commission includes historians, architects, archaeologists, geographers, and preservation planners. The state's preservation programs are administered through MHC's Preservation Planning, Grants, and Technical Services Divisions.

  • State Ethics Commission

    The mission of the Ethics Commission is to foster integrity in public service in state, county and local government, to promote the public’s trust and confidence in that service, and to prevent conflicts between private interests and public duties. The Ethics Commission administers and enforces the Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure laws.

  • State Racing Commission

    The State Racing Commission protects and upholds the integrity of the racing industry in Massachusetts. The Commission maintains fair and honest pari-mutuel racing by enforcing rules and regulations, proposing legislation and developing policies. Furthermore, it ensures the legitimate performance of all racing animals and the accountability of pari-mutuel wagering.