The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is regularly featured in newspapers, on the radio, on blogs, and anywhere reliable information is needed.

For media inquiries, contact Reginauld Williams at 617-426-1228, x102 or rwilliams@massbudget.org

In The News

Revenue Advocates Disappointed by House Leaders' Caution on New Taxes

State House News Service, August 10, 2019

"Moving the needle on current priorities -- from education and transportation, to affordable housing and other services -- means giving serious consideration to sustainable, adequate, and progressive revenue options," Rivera said in a statement. "The House Ways and Means Committee budget proposal would make it nearly impossible for lawmakers to support our Commonwealth's priorities in any meaningful way in the coming fiscal year."

Mass. Schools Get More Money In The Latest Budget. A Lot More Is Likely On The Way

WBUR, July 25, 2019

Colin Jones, a senior analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), which tends to advocate for higher taxes and more state spending, agreed, calling the budget "a pretty significant agreement" on education but saying it needed to be fairly distributed. Jones said that will depend on reform of the "foundation budget" formula. The state uses that formula to calculate the costs of schooling in districts based on their demographics — and as a result, how much aid each district gets. The formula could be seen as state leaders' agreement on who deserves what in education. Without updating it, Jones said, "we’d be repeating that same argument year after year: How much do we do, and what are our goals?"

Lawmakers Send $43 Billion Budget to Governor 3 Weeks Late

New Haven Register, July 23, 2019

"Though these additional investments are welcome, it is possible that this revenue growth will not last forever," the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said in a statement. "A few, unexpected 'boom years' do not change the underlying fact that Massachusetts has a long-term problem with inadequate revenues."

Before the T Derailed, Its Funding Got on the Wrong Track

Commonwealth Magazine, July 16, 2019

Distressed about the recent MBTA delays and derailments? Learn about the history of the flawed funding formula and the regressive tax policies responsible for the bind Bay State commuters are facing.

Lawmakers Must Do Right by Low-Income Students

Commonwealth Magazine, July 15, 2019

We know well that money alone doesn’t fix problems. We’re going to be here fighting to make sure that money gets used effectively for our kids long after this bill is passed. But we also know that, ​as an independent report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center noted recently​, we can’t reasonably expect success for our kids’ schools — with all the additional load they carry — for less than what wealthy communities are paying for their students.

Chang-Diaz Seeks Breakthrough for Funding of Education Reform

Dorchester Reporter, June 27, 2019

"The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which did not make recommendations in its report, offered a clear metric for the difference between bills. Schools would receive boosts in their funding relative to the proportion to the number of low-income students they serve."

Report Ranks Commonwealth Tops in Education, But Not for All

Public News Service, June 18, 2019

"One of the biggest inequities that the Kids Count Data Book really illuminates is the fact that, while Massachusetts is a leader nationally in education, that education isn't necessarily equitable for low- to moderate-income children, individuals from communities of color and then also, immigrant populations,” Williams said.

One in 7 Children in State Live in Poverty

Boston Herald, June 17, 2019

"No single program or service can ensure that our kids do well," said Nancy Wagman, director of KIDS COUNT in Massachusetts. "...(but) a wealthy state like ours can do more to invest in equitable public education for our children."

New Report Sizes Up Increase in School Aid Funding

Salem News, June 17, 2019

As of this school year, MassBudget said, the Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommendations around English language learner funding increases have been nearly two-thirds completed, and the increase of health and benefit rates to match Group Insurance Commission levels has been 30 percent phased in. The report said extra support for low-income students "accounts for much of the variation in the costs of leading plans for school funding reform." For low-income students, according to MassBudget, the FBRC "proposed a range of reforms encompassing minor changes all the way to doubling the amount in the formula for each low-income student."

Report: Lawmakers Offer Nearly $1B More Than Governor for School Districts

Worcester Telegram, June 17, 2019

MassBudget’s calculations solidify an argument many school districts have been making since Mr. Baker and lawmakers revealed their respective bills earlier this year: that the governor’s proposal simply doesn’t go far enough to correct the state’s insufficient school funding formula, known as the foundation budget. While the organization isn’t formally taking a stance on those competing measures, MassBudget senior policy analyst Colin Jones said the intent of its new report was to show the contrast between the plans on a district-by-district level. “That’s what we’re hoping to do here,” he said, adding the final numbers speak for themselves: “that’s a pretty big gap we’re talking about,” between the governor’s plan and the Promise Act.

Biz Groups Split on Millionaire’s Tax

Lowell Sun, May 29, 2019

For Marie-Francis Rivera, the President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the tax initiative, if executed fairly, would be an excellent way to redistribute resources across poorer areas in the commonwealth. “We believe education and transportation are important to improving the lives of people,” Rivera said in an interview. “Many districts around the commonwealth are underfunded, and our own research has found that there are close to a billion dollars a year in school aid that is needed to make sure we have equitable funding for our kids.” Phineas Baxandall, a senior analyst at MassBudget, testified before the Legislature’s Committee on Revenue at a public hearing on April 11 in support of the proposal. “If the Fair Share Amendment were currently in place … the top one percent of tax filers would pay about the same percentage of their income as the rest of the top 5 percent of incomes,” Baxandall said.

5 Ways The US Census Dispute Could Affect Massachusetts

WGBH, April 26, 2019

Nancy Wagman, of the left-leaning group Massbudget, says it’s difficult to know how many people could be affected by the addition of the proposed citizenship question. However, she adds, any under-counting of immigrant populations — especially immigrant populations that are growing — could have a significant effect on the billions of dollars in federal funds that are largely assisting those groups.

The Wealthy In Massachusetts Don't Pay Enough In Taxes. We Can Change That

WBUR, April 18, 2019

According to a recent report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the top 1 percent of local taxpayers pay about 6.8 percent of their income. The bottom 20 percent of earners, by contrast, pay 10 percent. This is largely thanks to property and sales taxes, which are regressive taxes that disproportionately impact lower-income taxpayers.

Capital gains eyed by state rep. as way to boost revenue

Lowell Sun, April 18, 2019

"I think what's so appealing about it as a progressive is that 80 percent of capital gains goes to the top 1 percent of Massachusetts households, according to the Mass. Budget and Policy Center, so I would say it's unassailably progressive to want to raise revenue from capital gains," Connolly said.

Massachusetts begins round two in its fight to tax millionaires

Inequality.org, April 12, 2019

“At stake is fundamental fairness,” Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center told the committee. The funds could be used, Rivera said, to fix the to be structurally deficient or to fund public transit. Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center senior analyst Phineas Baxandall explained that the millionaire tax could help “right-side” the state’s unfair tax structure. The current top 1 percent of income earners pay only 6.8 percent of their income in taxes, according to research from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. The Fair Share Amendment would increase their tax burden to about 8 to 8.5 percent, bringing them level with the current range of the top 5 percent of income earners.

Massachusetts Legislators All Ears for Millionaires' Tax

New Boston Post, April 11, 2019

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which supports the Millionaires’ Tax, says that when you combine state income taxes, state sales tax, and local property taxes, households with the lowest incomes tend to pay a larger percentage of their incomes in taxes than households with higher incomes.

The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools

The Atlantic, April 11, 2019

Massachusetts schools are already underfunded by about $1 billion, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, and the state hasn’t been able to figure out a way to bring in more cash. It has a flat income tax, and five previous efforts to get voters to amend the state constitution and change this have failed.

Revenue advocates disappointed by House leaders' caution on new taxes

State House News Service, April 10, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said that her organization appreciates the "thoughtful approach" the House plans to take on revenue but panned the budget plan itself, with no associated revenue boosters, as unhelpful. "Moving the needle on current priorities -- from education and transportation, to affordable housing and other services -- means giving serious consideration to sustainable, adequate, and progressive revenue options," Rivera said in a statement. "The House Ways and Means Committee budget proposal would make it nearly impossible for lawmakers to support our Commonwealth's priorities in any meaningful way in the coming fiscal year."

6 Things To Know About The Proposed State Budget

WGBH, April 10, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the tax-inclined budget watch group MassBudget, said the by-the-books Michlewitz budget "would make it nearly impossible for lawmakers to support our Commonwealth's priorities in any meaningful way in the coming fiscal year." "But moving the needle on current priorities — from education and transportation, to affordable housing and other services — means giving serious consideration to sustainable, adequate, and progressive revenue options," Rivera said.

Even with 'free tuition' equity can be elusive

Boston Globe, April 4, 2019

We support this position wholeheartedly, and see this as an important first step in addressing the inequity evidenced in the report by Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. MassBudget also deserves praise for its valuable research and equity lens.

Tax Cuts in Massachusetts Have Led To $4 Billion-Plus in ‘Lost Revenue,’ Liberal Group Says

New Boston Post, March 28, 2019

A report issued by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center highlights decreases in personal income tax (from 5.95 percent to 5.05 percent), long-term capital gains tax (from 6 percent to 5.05 percent), and dividend and interest income from stocks and savings accounts (12 percent to 5.05 percent); and an increase in the personal exemption for state income tax (from $2,200 to $4,400 for single filers and from $4,400 to $8,800 for married couples).

Tuition-free college still has its caveats, report says

Boston Globe, March 28, 2019

Programs that cover the cost of college tuition for low-income families provide students with a leg-up on a better future, but more needs to be done to make them more accessible, according to a new report. Minority, adult, and immigrant students could end up being excluded, the report by Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says.

House, Senate Differ on Approach to Tax Policy

State House News Service, March 27, 2019

He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but he told the Globe that membership will likely include representatives from Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, chambers of commerce, think tanks like the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and Raise Up Massachusetts, which was behind last year's "millionaires tax" proposal.

Lawmakers will examine state's taxes — including new revenue

Boston Globe, March 26, 2019

About a dozen participants have signed on to the group so far, Hinds said. Members include representatives from Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest employer group, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and chambers of commerce from the cities of Worcester and Springfield; left-leaning groups such as the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a think tank, and Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community, religious, and labor organizations.

MassBudget has new president

Berkshire Eagle, March 21, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera has been named president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a non-partisan public policy research organization known for its analyses of the state budget and other policies. Rivera was named interim president in October following the departure of longtime president Noah Berger, but assumed the permanent role after a unanimous vote of the MassBudget Board of Directors earlier this month

Guest Opinion: Now is the time for education funding reform in Massachusetts

Fall River Herald News, March 20, 2019

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the lowest wealth districts spend 32 percent less on classroom teachers than the foundation budget requires. Additionally, the lowest-income 20 percent of districts spend 52 percent below what is recommended on materials and technology. In other words, the districts educating students with the greatest needs are able to provide the least.

A Big Week Ahead for Education in Massachusetts

Public News Service, March 15, 2019

"We have a report out from the New England Board of Higher Education that Massachusetts has the fastest-growing tuition and fees in the whole country for public colleges," he said. "There's a report from the Mass. Budget and Policy Center that we have the second-fastest-growing student debt burden in the country."

Teachers union lobbies for school aid at Cape forum

Cape Cod Times, March 15, 2019

The additional funds are overdue, said Colin Jones, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “We think of ourselves as an education state,” but the funding formula established by the Education Reform Act of 1993 is hopelessly out of date, Jones said. The first decade after the act was established, local Chapter 70 aid to schools doubled, he said.

Study: Women And People Of Color Are Underrepresented In Mass. Business Groups

WBUR, March 13, 2019

The Eos Foundation study does note some bright spots. A few organizations like the Boston Bar Association and MassBudget have achieved gender parity on their boards, according to the study. And other organizations like The Boston Foundation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston have at least 30 percent of people of color on their boards, the study noted.

Women underrepresented at Mass. business groups

Commonwealth Magazine, March 13, 2019

The two organizations with the highest percentage of female board members were the Boston Bar Association, at 56 percent, and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, at 50 percent. The bar association had a male CEO and board chair, while the budget and policy center had a female CEO and board chair.

Eos, BBJ study shows lack of women CEOs, board members in advocacy groups

Boston Business Journal, March 12, 2019

There are some bright spots, Silbert noted. The Boston Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and MassBudget each have more than 30 percent people of color on their boards, and MassInc and the MA Medical society have both a female president and a person of color as board chair.

Immigrant group director to chair key Census committee

State House News Service, March 5, 2019

One in eight households statewide in Massachusetts do not have access to the internet, including cellphone access through a data plan, said Nancy Wagman, KIDS COUNT director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. In Hampden County, one in five households do not have access to the internet, she said. Wagman said there are strict privacy protections on information provided as part of the Census, with violators subject to a five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000. "There are very clear and explicit protections for your data, my data, all of our data, in Census law," she said.

Immigrant group director to chair key census committee

Greenfield Recorder, March 5, 2019

One in eight households statewide in Massachusetts do not have access to the internet, including cellphone access through a data plan, said Nancy Wagman, KIDS COUNT director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. In Hampden County, one in five households do not have access to the internet, she said. Wagman said there are strict privacy protections on information provided as part of the Census, with violators subject to a five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000. “There are very clear and explicit protections for your data, my data, all of our data, in Census law,” she said.

Lawmakers eye revenue issues at forum

Wicked Local Concord, February 27, 2019

Baxandall also urged revisiting about $1 billion in business tax breaks. These include breaks for manufacturing, the film industry or the mutual fund industry that Baxandall said may not be leading to desired job production.

Reduction in state funding for Massachusetts public colleges has increased tuition costs and student loan debt, study finds

MassLive, February 21, 2019

In Massachusetts, state funding allocated $12,500 per public college student in fiscal 2001. By 2018, that figure dropped significantly to $8,500 per student, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Lawmakers want to make film tax credits permanent

Gloucester Daily Times, February 18, 2019

Fiscal policy groups like the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the right-leaning Pioneer Institute argue Massachusetts' film tax credit is one of the most generous in the country and should be scaled back and allowed to expire to provide more funding for education, transportation and other needs. "There is no evidence the tax credit can develop a permanent film production industry in the state, one that is not dependent on large tax subsidies to survive," the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said in a recent report on the tax subsidy. "What is certain is that the high cost of the tax credit limits our ability to invest in other programs with proven track records to build more broadly-shared prosperity in the state."

Charter school's mailings stir some pushback

Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 14, 2019

And, historically, the state has not fully funded reimbursements that aim to help close that gap, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education data show that the state reimbursed, on average, 66 percent of the cost in 2019.

Letter: No to lower wage for teens

Milford Daily News, February 14, 2019

According to a 2017 report by the Mass Budget and Policy Center, average teen wages have contributed 7 percent of the total income of the average family in Massachusetts. For families considered low-income, or in the lowest 20th percentile, that number increases substantially, with teens contributing to 17.7 percent of the total family income. Teenagers are increasingly relied upon to provide income for their families, and reducing the wage that teenagers get will make things much more difficult for families around the state.

Chairs announced to Ways and Means Committee

WGBH, February 14, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera, the interim president at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the new chairs need to look to higher taxes in order to find money to fund education, affordable housing and climate change preparations. "Without a bold plan to generate substantial new revenue, it'll be difficult for state lawmakers to fully support all the people in the Commonwealth," Rivera said.

At UMass, We Need the Kind of Leadership Money Can't Buy

WBUR, February 11, 2019

Currently, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Massachusetts ranks a paltry 36th in the nation in terms of per-student state funding for public higher ed. And when it comes to our support of public higher ed as a percentage of total taxable income — ours being a wealthy state and all — Massachusetts ranks an abysmal 45th. So much for our liberal self-image as a pro-education state.

A few districts would benefit greatly from Baker's school funding proposal

Boston Globe, February 10, 2019

“The fanfare and attention [around Baker’s bill] has been high compared to the actual increase in funding,” said Colin Jones, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan research nonprofit. “It’s not as ambitious as other proposals out there.”

Forum held to discuss underfunded school budgets in Springfield

Western Mass News, February 7, 2019

Coverage of Springfield education forum at which Colin Jones presented findings from his report.

Springfield Education Association forum targets underfunding of public schools

MassLive, February 6, 2019

An independent study conducted by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found the state is underfunding Springfield Public Schools by $94 million.

How to Make Mass. Taxes More Progressive

Boston Neighborhood Network News, February 6, 2019

Kurt Wise and Phineas Baxandall, of the Mass. Budget and Policy Center, talk about their new report on how to make the tax burden in Massachusetts more progressive--at a time of growing economic inequality and calls for higher spending in areas such as education. Interview for BNN News. Aired February 6, 2019.

Community groups seek larger role in fighting poverty

Lowell Sun, February 6, 2019

Nancy Wagman, the Kids Count Director at the Massachusetts and Budget Policy Center, gave a presentation on MASSCAP's report "Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward." The May 2018 report found that anti-poverty policies have long-lasting impacts, and that Massachusetts' public policies have effectively cut poverty in half in the state. However, federal funding cuts impact many state-provided services and recently approved federal tax cuts could put a large dent into funding for services. "This can affect, will affect, might affect Massachusetts," Wagman said. "One out of every four dollars in our state budget is a federal dollar."

Housing crisis fuels homelessness in Massachusetts

South Cost Today, February 2, 2019

Meanwhile, between 1979 and 2014, the median wage for a Massachusetts worker — adjusted for inflation — increased 0.5 percent, according to Mass Budget. And the disparity between wage growth and housing costs keeps some out of the housing market altogether because of upfront costs.

Baker abandons 'no tax' pledge in budget proposal

Gloucester Daily Times, January 25, 2019

Some groups, including the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, say the money generated from expanding sales and use taxes under Baker's plan won't be enough to support essential programs. Marie-Frances Rivera, the group's interim director, said while Baker's budget proposal "acknowledges the need for additional resources, it will be difficult for state lawmakers to make important investments without significant new revenue."

Advocates give governor mixed grades on school funding plan

Sun Chronicle, January 25, 2019

“The governor’s proposal on K-12 education funding takes a positive step, but these reforms are gradual and will not go far enough to ensure all our children receive the high quality education they deserve,” the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said in a statement.

Baker budget calls for education funding overhaul

Sentinel & Enterprise, January 24, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera, interim President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said more revenue was needed than the amount proposed by Baker and said changes to the formula should be implemented within five years rather than seven.

Critics call Gov. Charlie Baker's $1.1 billion education funding plan inadequate

MassLive, January 24, 2019

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank, said Baker’s proposal is too “gradual.”

Pressure Points in Baker Ed Bill: $$$, Timeframe, Reforms

State House News Service, January 23, 2019

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center described Baker's reforms as "a positive step" but said they are "gradual and will not go far enough to ensure all our children receive the high quality education they deserve." Interim MassBudget President Marie-Frances Rivera said full implementation would require a funding level of about $316 million a year, and that her group has recommended a five-year timeline.

Editorial: Time to call curtains on the film tax credit

Boston Business Journal, January 23, 2019

Meanwhile, study after study has found fault with the economic impact of the state’s film credit. A 2015 report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that the state pays significantly more for every job created by the credit than the wages earned by those jobs, and gets just 13 cents in revenue back from every dollar spent.

Globe series exposes dismal reality about Boston schools

Commonwealth Magazine, January 23, 2019

The Baker administration will unveil its proposal today to revamp the state’s education funding formula in conjunction with rolling out its fiscal 2020 spending plan. (Boston Globe) The Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center releases a video explainer on the state of education funding.

Baker’s budget proposal will include changes to education funding formula

Boston Globe, January 22, 2019

Marie-Frances Rivera, interim president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said she is watching closely to see whether policy makers pursue “new, progressive sources of revenue” to meet the state’s needs and fill expected revenue gaps. That Baker is embracing a tax hike is promising, she said. “I think we’re hopeful. I think it’s a great suggestion that he is more open than he has been in the past,” Rivera said.

Could Massachusetts Add Over $500m a year to Higher Ed Funding?

Academic Courses, January 21, 2019

Based on information from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Massachusetts spent $12,500 per public college student in fiscal year 2001. In 2018, that figure plummeted to about $8,500 per student.

Ed funding problem most acute in low-income communities

Commonwealth Magazine, January 19, 2019

IT’S A PROMISING SIGN that fixing how Massachusetts funds our K-12 schools has moved to the top of the agenda on Beacon Hill. The governor and Legislature acknowledge that the time has come to address the outdated Chapter 70 formula, which has shortchanged students across the Commonwealth, particularly those in middle- and low-income school districts that lack the resources to make up for funding gaps. At stake in this debate is fundamental fairness. If we are committed to giving every kid in the Commonwealth equal opportunity for a world-class public education, then bold action — a real commitment to investing more dollars in public education — is required.

State Rundown 1/18: Governors’ Speeches Kick Off State Fiscal Debates

ITEP, January 18, 2019

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center released a report that lays out 14 options for raising progressive revenue. You can view their innovative ideas here.

Advocates aim to add over $500 million a year to Massachusetts public higher education funding

MassLive, January 16, 2019

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Massachusetts was spending $12,500 per public college student in fiscal 2001. That figure dropped by fiscal 2018 to around $8,500 per student. Overall, the state in fiscal 2001 spent $969 million on public higher education. In fiscal 2019, it spent $1.23 billion. But adjusted for inflation, that actually represents a decrease in funding – from the equivalent of $1.4 billion to $1.23 billion, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Accuracy, citizenship and politics to play role in 2020 Census in Massachusetts

The Fall River Herald News, January 12, 2019

In Massachusetts, federal funding directly affected by census data in fiscal 2019 includes $290 million for special-education grants, $244.4 million for Title 1 grants to local education agencies and $79 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, along with many other programs, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “The Census affects countless business and government decisions, including the distribution of significant amounts of federal funds to states and localities every year,” wrote Nancy Wagman, Kids Count director at MassBudget in July. “These federal funds help educate our children, they address health and well-being and they help ensure Massachusetts’ children can grow up in well-resourced communities.”

Poverty cycle topic of forum

The Berkshire Eagle, January 11, 2019

Statewide, the average household income is around $96,000 a year. In North Adams and Pittsfield, it's in the mid-$40,000s, according to Nancy Wagman, of the Massachusetts Policy and Budget Center. Wagman explained that the country faced an economic boom after World War II with a steady increase in both economic growth and employee wages through the mid-1970s. Today, however, the economy continues to grow, but middle and lower-earning employees are not seeing the growth in their salaries, she said.

Another Push To Revamp School Funding: Will It Pass This Time?

WBUR, January 9, 2019

The new version of the bill introduces a concept of a "district student aid floor," one that city officials said was informed by projections conducted by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. In effect, it would put the state on the hook to help districts like Boston that are seeing their promised aid gobbled up by the cost of charter school tuition.

Our View: The benefits of a teen minimum wage

The Milford Daily News, January 7, 2019

“Higher-wage jobs are better jobs, so there’s reduced turnover,” said Jeremy Thompson, a senior policy analyst at Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Higher wages lead to increases in productivity. And then, of course, there’s also the increased consumer demand. One thing we know about low-wage workers is they tend to spend their raises in the local economy.”

Our Opinion: New Senate leader may shake up Beacon Hill

The Berkshire Eagle, January 4, 2019

Ms. Spilka's primary fight may come on education funding. The state underfunds education by roughly $1 billion a year, according to a study released last summer by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which asserted that the root of the problem is the state's failure to update its 25-year-old foundation budget. For the most, part Beacon Hill accepts these findings, but only the Senate appears to have the will to raise taxes to address a problem that undermines Massachusetts' claims to be at the forefront of education among the nation's states.

'That's What We Fight For': Mass. Minimum Wage Begins Climb To $15

WBUR, January 1, 2019

"For one thing, higher-wage jobs are better jobs, so there's reduced turnover," said senior policy analyst Jeremy Thompson. "[The] second piece is that higher wages lead to increases in productivity. And then, of course, there's also the increased consumer demand. One thing we know about low-wage workers is they tend to spend their raises in the local economy."

Workers to see higher pay from minimum wage hike

Gloucester Daily Times, December 31, 2018

The wage hikes will cost employers more than $817 million in 2019 but will benefit an estimated 662,000 workers, or about 20 percent of the state's workforce, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. The left-leaning research group says the additional money will help support local economies while putting more revenue into the pockets of working-class families.

5 New MA Laws In 2019 That Could Change Your Life

Patch Beacon Hill, December 31, 2018

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said the total wage increase beginning Tuesday will be $817.5 million for more than 662,000 workers. It will benefit 15 percent of working parents and 79 percent of working teenagers in the state, the report said.

Minimum wage in Massachusetts to rise to $12 an hour starting Jan. 1

Boston Herald, December 30, 2018

An estimated 662,000 workers in Massachusetts will benefit from the wage hike in the new year, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, but business advocacy groups said the pay hike will hamstring small businesses from hiring more workers. Proponents of the higher wages say it means more-efficient workers and less employee turnover, making it easier to recruit and retain workers. Thompson said families “will be better able to support themselves more easily, put food the table, as well as supporting their local economies as a result of the wage increase.”

Minimum wage hike, statewide age for tobacco among new laws

The News Tribune, December 29, 2018

An estimated 662,000 Massachusetts workers will get a pay raise in the new ... senior policy analyst for the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

‘Everybody deserves a living wage’: $12 is the new minimum

Daily Hampshire Gazette, December 29, 2018

New year, better pay. 2019 will bring higher wages for Massachusetts workers. On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 an hour. Twenty percent of the state’s workforce will see a boost in their wages in 2019, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Minimum wage hike, statewide age for tobacco among new Mass. laws

Worcester Telegram, December 29, 2018

An estimated 662,000 Massachusetts workers will get a pay raise in the new year as the state takes the first step toward an eventual $15 minimum wage. The hourly minimum wage increases from $11 to $12 an hour. It will continue to go up in 75-cent annual increments until it reaches $15 in 2023. The subminimum wage for tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, goes up from $3.75 to $4.35 an hour, eventually reaching $6.75 by 2023. “If not for periodic minimum wage increases, hundreds of thousands of the lowest-wage workers in the state would have seen the real value of their wages fall over the past couple of decades,” said Jeremy Thompson, senior policy analyst for the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

How did local legislators vote during the 2017-18 session?

Taunton Daily Gazette, December 29, 2018

According to a new study released by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the hike will benefit an estimated 662,000 workers, with a total wage increase of $817.5 million. The study says the hike will give a raise to 68 percent of food service workers and about a third of workers in human services - including human service workers in the fields of child welfare, disability services and elder services. “Minimum wage increases are essential to helping people put food on the table, and they help support the local economies in which workers spend their money,” said Jeremy Thompson, Senior Policy Analyst at MassBudget. “Moreover, if not for periodic minimum wage increases, hundreds of thousands of the lowest-wage workers in the state would have seen the real value of their wages fall over the past couple of decades.”

Greater Newburyport businesses gird for impact of minimum wage hike

The Daily News of Newburyport, December 28, 2018

The hike from $11 to $12 hourly is part of a multiyear, phased-in increase to $15 an hour. It has been predicted that the pay raise would benefit 662,000 workers, for a total wage increase of $817.5 million, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. It has been predicted that 15 percent of working parents in Massachusetts and 19 percent of children in the state will be affected by the $1 minimum wage increase next week. About a third of workers in the human services sector, two-thirds of food service workers, and 40 percent of retail workers will receive raises under the new law, according to the MassBudget analysis.

Will $1 minimum wage jump make a difference for Mass. workers, employers?

Worcester Telegram, December 28, 2018

About 662,000 workers - 40 percent of retail workers, two thirds of food service workers, and a third of workers in the human services industry - are expected to benefit from the $1 wage hike that totals about $817.5 million, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. Massachusetts is among 19 states and 21 cities that will have minimum wage increases Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, according to a National Employment Law Project report just released.

Minimum wage will rise to $12 an hour in Massachusetts on Jan. 1

MassLive, December 27, 2018

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank, 662,000 Massachusetts workers will see their wages increase this year. That includes workers earning less than $12 an hour, but also some additional workers earning higher wages, because if an entry level worker earns $12 an hour, a more senior employee already making $12 would expect to earn more and will likely get a raise. “It means that people are going to be able to put food on the table more easily, support their families,” said Jeremy Thompson, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. He added that it will also help the economy. “Low wage workers spend the majority of their earnings, and so they’ll spend the majority of their increased earnings on goods and services in their local economies and in Massachusetts,” Thompson said.

Experts weigh-in on minimum wage raise impact

WBZ 1030 News Radio, December 27, 2018

In less than a week, the minimum wage in Massachusetts will go up by a dollar an hour. WBZ NewsRadio's Ben Parker reports on the impact the wage is expected to have

Mass. prepares for minimum wage to rise

MetroWest Daily News, December 27, 2018

As the new year begins, the minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour, followed by 75-cent increases each year, with the state slowly moving to $15 by 2023. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center predicts that a quarter of the state’s workforce — 840,000 workers — will ultimately see their wages increase as a result.

Next week’s minimum wage hike to benefit 662,000 Massachusetts workers

Worcester Telegram, December 26, 2018

The Jan. 1, 2019, hike from $11 hourly to $12, part of a multi-year phased-in increase to $15 an hour, will benefit 662,000 workers, for a total wage increase of $817.5 million, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. About a third of workers in the human services sector, two-thirds of food service workers, and 40 percent of retail workers will get raises under the new law, according to the MassBudget analysis.

MA. minimum wage hike takes effect Jan. 1

South Coast Today, December 26, 2018

Fifteen percent of working parents in Massachusetts and 19 percent of children in the state will be affected by the $1 minimum wage increase that takes effect next week, according to a new analysis. The Jan. 1, 2019 hike from $11 hourly to $12, part of a multi-year phased-in increase to $15 an hour, will benefit 662,000 workers, for a total wage increase of $817.5 million, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Massachusetts prepares for minimum wage to rise

Boston University News Service, December 19, 2018

As the new year begins, the minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour, followed by 75-cent increases each year, with the state slowly moving to $15 by 2024. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center predicts that a quarter of the state’s workforce — 840,000 workers — will ultimately see their wages increase as a result.

UMass President Marty Meehan to work with alums and state to lower tuition

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, December 13, 2018

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, since 2001, Massachusetts has cut funding toward higher education by 14 percent. Furthermore, as funding decreases and enrollment increases, per student enrollment has decreased by 31 percent.

Gap cited in after-school programs

Boston Neighborhood Network News, December 10, 2018

Colin Jones of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and Patrick Stanton of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership talk about a new report on a gap in access to after-school programs, especially for students with higher needs.

Trump’s ‘public charge’ anti-immigrant proposal is cruel and unusual

Boston Globe, December 10, 2018

More than 500,000 legal immigrants live in the state and could be affected by the new rule, including close to 20,000 in Boston.

Immigration proposal goes against spirit of Thanksgiving

Wicked Local Provincetown, November 30, 2018

The new rule would require immigrants applying for legal permanent residence (a “green card”) to demonstrate that they have not, do not, and will not likely receive any of a list of publicly funded benefits, including MassHealth (Medicaid) and SNAP (“food stamps”). Analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute and a recent report by Nancy Wagman at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center have found that as many as 500,000 people in Massachusetts could withdraw from needed benefits out of fear or confusion about this rule, which has not yet gone into effect. Of these, 160,000 are children, most of whom are U.S. citizens and not even directly subject to this proposed rule.

Beacon Hill Roll Call - November 30, 2018

The Enterprise, November 30, 2018

“Massachusetts state and local taxes, as a share of personal income, are lower than 17 other states and lower than most states in the Northeast.” —Kurt Wise, senior policy analyst at The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Fair workweek proposal panned as bad for customers, taxpayers

Boston Herald, November 29, 2018

Jeremy Thompson, a senior policy analyst with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said at the hearing that “fair-workweek laws seem to

Disability rights advocates oppose rule

The Daily News of Newburyport, November 28, 2018

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said that as many as 500,000 people in Massachusetts could withdraw from federal benefit programs “out of fear or confusion about this rule” and said about 160,000 of the potentially affected individuals are children.

Beacon Hill Roll Call for the week of Nov. 19

Taunton Daily Gazette, November 25, 2018

“Massachusetts state and local taxes, as a share of personal income, are lower than 17 other states and lower than most states in the Northeast.” said Kurt Wise, Senior Policy Analyst at The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Is It Time For The State To Shed Its Taxachusetts Nickname?

Patch Woburn, November 20, 2018

Massachusetts taxes are in line with those levied by other states, according to a new report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. For decades the state has had a reputation for high taxes, so much so that it earned the nickname "Taxachusetts." But the policy briefs released by MassBudget Tuesday show that the Massachusetts has cut taxes by 26.2 percent since 1977, more than any other state. "In recent decades, Massachusetts has cut taxes by an extraordinary amount - limiting our collective ability to invest in a range of public programs and services," said Marie-Frances Rivera, Interim President of MassBudget. "We have an opportunity in the coming legislative session to consider how our state can generate, in a fair way, the revenue needed to support state and local services that affect us all."

Baker faces big challenges on education, transportation

Commonwealth Magazine, November 9, 2018

What will be fascinating over the next year is to see how Baker and the Legislature find the money to make those changes. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says the cost for the Senate education bill could reach $2 billion, and even the more conservative House version would be close to $1 billion.

Massachusetts’ upside-down tax system

Commonwealth Magazine, November 7, 2018

AT A TIME when people across the state seem to agree that our Commonwealth needs additional resources for public investments, asking those with the highest incomes to contribute a similar share of their incomes in taxes as the rest of us could support major investments to boost prosperity and economic opportunity for all.

Lynn educators and staff to undergo safe and inclusive schools training

Item Live, November 5, 2018

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center’s report, “Excellence for All,” identifies professional development for all staff on how to effectively support English language learners (ELL) as the most important strategy to improve the success of ELL students.

Dempsey and Baxandall: Coming up short on transportation

MetroWest Daily News, October 28, 2018

Want a peek at Massachusetts’ transportation system five years from now? The state’s recently approved capital investment plan (CIP) provides that blueprint, spelling out how much money is set aside through 2023 for specific bridges, roads, public transit, and airports. The $17.3 billion plan says a lot about where we will be improving Massachusetts transportation - and also what will be missing.

Beacon Hill Roll Call takes a closer look at Question 3

Taunton Daily Gazette, October 27, 2018

“Unlike the federal government, Massachusetts relies on a flat income tax and sales taxes. Those with the least income end up paying the greatest portion of it in state and local taxes. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse," said Phineas Baxandall, Senior Policy Analyst of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and author of the report “Who Pays.”

Boston-based group stops in Springfield on statewide tour to kick around ideas on ways to end poverty

MassLive, October 26, 2018

About 100 people from human service agencies, education, health care and political realms gathered to hear Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, present findings from her report "Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together."

Taxes Mark A Key Dividing Line Between Gonzalez And Baker

WBUR, October 25, 2018

"One way would be by asking our highest-income households to contribute their fair share," said Marie-Frances Rivera, with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. "Right now our state tax system is upside down, so our lowest-income people pay the greatest share of their income in taxes. And as you know the very wealthy households have benefited enormously from economic growth over the past four decades."

Lower Earners In Mass. Carry Bigger Tax Burden: Think Tank

Law360, October 25, 2018

Households in Massachusetts with the lowest incomes contribute a larger percentage of their incomes in state and local taxes than households in the top 20 percent of incomes, according to an analysis from a think tank released Thursday. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said the state's overall tax system is regressive, primarily due to sales tax and property tax.

Editorial: The real cost of student loans

Daily Hampshire Gazette, October 17, 2018

The cost of a four-year college education at a public institution has tripled over the past three decades, even when adjusted for inflation, according to The College Board. Meanwhile, U.S. Census data shows that mean family income has increased just under 17 percent in the same timeframe. And public funding at public universities has dropped 14.5 percent in Massachusetts since 2001, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. This is a perfect storm for a crisis.

Poverty topic of community action council forum at Mechanics Hall

Worcester Telegram, October 5, 2018

The forum, “Finding a Way Forward: Greater Worcester,” was co-sponsored by the WCAC and the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, which commissioned a new report called, “Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together.” Report author Nancy Wagman, the “Kids Count Director” of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center spoke to the group. Her report notes that programs that help families make ends meet, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, fuel assistance, school lunches, Head Start, and Social Security reduced the number of people in Massachusetts living in poverty by almost half, and reduced the number of children living in poverty by more than half. The programs provided resources for approximately 920,000 people in Massachusetts. But public programs alone can’t eliminate poverty, she said. People need jobs with good wages that increase over time.

Forum on Poverty - October 5th, 2018

Worcester News Tonight, October 5, 2018

Mass. total health coverage stalled

Boston Herald, September 25, 2018

About 19,000 fewer Massachusetts residents had health insurance in 2017 than 2016, according to a new report that found the Bay State still leads the nation in health insurance rates but its progress toward total coverage has stalled. The report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center called the 0.3 percent increase in uninsured residents “statistically significant,” and said the number of uninsured Americans rose 0.2 percent over the same time period.

New data shows shifts in income, poverty, insurance levels

WWLP-22 News, September 13, 2018

Median household income in Massachusetts rose by less than 1 percent in 2017, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, while the state's poverty rate was flat and there was an uptick in people without health insurance. The slight growth in median income "continues a pattern of stagnating wages and incomes among the middle class," said Jeremy Thompson, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget).

At Pittsfield’s urging, Berkshire Hills challenges state school funding formula in strong terms

The Berkshire Edge, September 11, 2018

Advocates for overhauling the foundation budget say the funding gap statewide is between $1 billion and $2 billion. Yon said the faulty foundation budget hits poorer districts like Pittsfield especially hard since they do not typically spend much higher than the minimum budget required by the state.

Tax cuts that continue to haunt Mass

Boston Globe - Op-Ed, February 12, 2013

Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone...About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since...The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million.

Look at what the state is doing right

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011

WITH THE governor scheduled to file his budget proposal for the coming year on Wednesday, and the Commonwealth facing a budget gap of close to $2 billion, knowing that our government provides services as efficiently as possible will be more important than ever.