Advocacy Priorities

To advance racial and economic justice, MassBudget researches and advocates for state-level policies that will create an inclusive, thriving Commonwealth.

Legislative Priorities (2023-2024 Session)

Invest in affordable and accessible high-quality child care

An Act providing affordable and accessible high-quality early education and care to promote child development and well-being and support the economy (H489/S301)
Rep. Madaro, Rep. Gordon, Sen. Lewis, Sen. Moran

Establishes permanent operational grants for providers, better pay for early educators, and affordable care for low-income families.

Provide tuition-free and debt-free options for high-quality public higher education

An Act committing to higher education the resources to insure a strong and healthy public higher education system (CHERISH) (H1260/S816)
Rep. Garballey, Rep. Duffy, Sen. Comerford

Improves affordability via robust scholarships for students, including for living costs. Invests in the system overall, including student support services, campus buildings, and expanded benefits for adjunct faculty.

An Act relative to debt-free public higher education (H1265/S823)
Rep. Higgins, Sen. Eldridge

Boosts affordability via grants for students to cover all tuition and fees, with additional cost of living support for low-income students at public colleges and universities.

Ensure equitable access to housing assistance and fund affordable housing

An Act relative to the Massachusetts rental voucher program (H1351/S888)
Rep. Madaro, Sen. Lovely

Codifies MRVP, a critical housing tool, into law. Improves the collection and distribution of data based on income, race and ethnicity, and metrics to ensure equitable voucher distribution.

An Act granting a local option for a real estate transfer fee to fund affordable housing (H2747/S1771)
Rep. Connolly, Sen. Comerford

Allows cities and towns to choose to levy a local fee on high-end real estate transactions, with revenue placed into the municipality’s affordable housing trust fund.

Expand tax credits, especially for low-income residents, regardless of immigration status

An Act establishing a child and family tax credit (H2761/S1792)
Rep. Decker, Rep Vargas, Sen. DiDomenico

An Act to increase family stabilization through the earned income tax credit (H2762/S1793)
Rep. Decker, Rep. Vargas, Sen. DiDomenico

An Act to reduce poverty by expanding the EITC and the child and family tax credit (S1798)
Sen. Eldridge

Expands access to the state EITC to taxpayers using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), addressing an inequity that prevents otherwise eligible families from receiving this critical support. Maintains the value of the new Child and Family Tax Credit (CFTC) by adding inflation indexing to keep pace with rising costs of living.

Budget Priorities (Fiscal Year 2025)

State budget spending supports our communities by bringing resources together to invest in our common goals. MassBudget is elevating four critical areas for new and continued investments.

$510 million for Operational Grants to Child Care Providers (3000-1045)

Support early educator salaries and ensure child care programs can continue serving families at current levels. Fully fund operational grants and create a pathway to build upon this essential support in the future. As we seek to increase child care supply and accessibility, maintaining, and eventually expanding this bedrock funding is critical.

Increase funding for Financial Aid Expansion (1596-2414) and Free Community College Implementation (1596-2432)

Expand these new Fair Share surtax supported line items that cover tuition and fees for low-income students and lay the groundwork for free community college. Expand financial aid to include additional support for middle-income students, building towards covering all tuition and fees in higher education. Implement free community college for all students in FY25. Work to defray living costs for low-income students, starting at community colleges.

$300 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024) and codify the program into statute (through an outside section)

Increase the number of vouchers available while maintaining the 9,500+ vouchers in use to provide individuals and families safe and affordable housing. Codify MRVP to show a long-term commitment to this vital housing tool, ensure voucher holders’ rights are explicitly defined in law, and create a statutory framework to assess and report on outcomes and make data-driven decisions to improve the program over time.

$1.5 million for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) earmark (1201-0100), extend the state EITC to Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filers (through an outside section), and index the new Child and Family Tax Credit (CFTC) to inflation (through an outside section)

VITA, which offers free tax preparation, helps people who generally make $64,000 or less access vital credits. Increase support to help maximize uptake and impact of the new CFTC. Extend the state EITC to as many as 26,000 working immigrant households who are currently excluded because they pay taxes through an ITIN. Index the new CFTC to inflation to preserve its value.

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