We Must Provide Robust Economic Relief and Recovery for Vulnerable Populations and Children in Massachusetts
Policy is the lever that we can pull to bring collective well-being and economic security to the Commonwealth.
We are in an unprecedented moment, one which is bringing our interconnectedness into stark focus. A moment in which our public goods are being put to the ultimate test. A moment which is asking each of us to answer the following questions:
How do we best take care of one another? And how do we ensure that no one is left behind?
Government exists for this very moment. It is imperative we lead on the state level to support all of our 351 cities and towns, particularly hard-to-reach communities and our most vulnerable populations. Policy is the lever that we can pull to bring collective well-being and economic security to the Commonwealth. Our policy responses to this public health and economic crisis must be swift, well-informed, equitable and at-scale. So what should they be?
Income Boosts for our Massachusetts neighbors
- Our researchers are providing real-time information to policymakers and advocates on the best ways to provide direct cash assistance to everyone in need, regardless of immigration status. These supports can, and should, come from both the state and federal level.
It’s Raining: the Rainy Day/Stabilization Fund is a viable policy tool
- This crisis will substantially impact revenue collections for the remainder of Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021. Luckily, Massachusetts has a healthy Rainy Day/Stabilization Fund balance (approximately $3.5 billion) to help us get through these uncertain times.
Our children need support
- With school and childcare closures, we must ensure that children are safe, fed and do not fall behind. The 1.4 million children in Massachusetts account for 20% of our population. We must work now to ensure that all schools and childcare providers have enough resources to fully support each and every child when they reopen their doors.
Our state budget is a moral document
- The economic impacts of COVID-19 will continue to be very significant. And, our rainy day funds won’t meet all of the pressing needs we’ll face in the coming days and months. Progressive revenues will be needed to ensure we have the resources to meet our rapidly growing, emergent public health and economic needs. And, in the years ahead to address the mid- to long-term needs of our children, elders, immigrants, low-income families and people out of work.
While we face an uncertain economic recovery, investment in the public good has never been of greater importance.
Over the coming days and weeks, I look forward to working in partnership with you as we insist that decision-makers keep racial and economic equity at the center of our responses to this crisis. Sign up for updates on our website, and join the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter.