Archive

Welcome to our collection of archived content published before 2018, back to 2010. If you have any issues finding specific content or would like older content not currently posted here, please contact info@massbudget.org.

Publications from before 2018

Analyzing the Governor’s FY 2017 Budget

The Governor’s budget proposal for FY 2017 is best described as an austerity budget. It contains small cuts and spending reductions across government and includes few new initiatives. This Budget Monitor analyzes the budget compared to current spending levels and in the context of longer-term trends.

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Incarceration Trends in Massachusetts: Long-Term Increases, Recent Progress

This paper analyzes incarceration trends in Massachusetts over the past four decades. We see progress, but also that we have a long way to go: incarceration rates are still much higher than they were before the 1980s, and a large share of those leaving prison and jail are not receiving the education and treatment programs that make their reentry into society more successful.

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A Preview of the FY 2017 Budget

This preview provides an overview of both the specific challenges facing the Commonwealth this year and troubling longer-term trends that state budget writers face in crafting a budget for FY 2017. We see that tax cuts of over $3 billion a year have undermined our capacity to make the investments in our people and communities that could make our economy more productive and our Commonwealth an even better place in which to live, work, and raise a family.

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Building a Strong Economy: The Roles of Education, Transportation, and Tax Policy

Effective economic policies can create a more highly productive state economy and make it possible to improve economic opportunity and security for working families. This paper examines the economic research on the relationship between effective investments in education and transportation and improved economic productivity. The paper also examines the economic effects of tax reforms that can fund those investments.

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Massachusetts’s Earned Income Tax Credit

The EITC improves the economic security of working families by increasing the after tax incomes of low and moderate wage workers. This factsheet explains how the tax credit works, describes how many families and individuals it helps in Massachusetts, and examines recent research on the long-term effects of the EITC on families and children.

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The Effects of a $10 Minimum Wage in 2016

On January 1st, 2016 the minimum wage will increase to $10 an hour. This is part of a scheduled set of increases that will bring the minimum wage up to $11 an hour in 2017. This factsheet provides information about who will benefit directly from this increase.

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How Do Business Taxes Here Compare to Other States?

This factsheet examines findings from the Council on State Taxation’s (COST) annual report examining the taxation of businesses in each state. The report accounts for all state and local taxes and finds that Massachusetts is a relatively low tax state for business.

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FAQ: Paid Family & Medical Leave

To help workers balance work and family obligations, three states have enacted Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) laws in recent years. This factsheet explains what PFML is, how it works, how it affects families and businesses, and how it relates to other policies like Earned Paid Sick Time.

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A $15 Minimum Wage – Effects and Historical Context

After several decades in which economic growth and productivity gains have not translated into wage growth for large segments of the labor force, policy makers are looking for strategies that can expand opportunity and raise wages for working people. This report looks at a proposal in Massachusetts that would set a minimum wage of $15 an hour for workers in fast food and big box retail businesses that have more than 200 employees.

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Funding Opportunities: Services that Help Prevent Kids in the Child Welfare System from Entering the Juvenile Justice System

This chart pack examines services that help children and families in the child welfare system. Funding for some of these services has recently increased, but even with increases, funding may not be sufficient to meet the needs of these vulnerable children. These services are also scattered across different agencies, pointing out both the need for and challenges of collaboration.

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Large gains in health coverage, some growth in incomes, big challenges remain

New Census data released this week shows that ACA implementation led to the largest single-year increase in health insurance coverage nationwide in 2014. Also, incomes in Massachusetts increased and child poverty declined for the first time since 2008. But we have a long way to go. Incomes are barely growing across the country and more than one in five children nationally (and more than one in seven in Massachusetts) lived in poverty in 2014.

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Licenses for Immigrant Drivers in Massachusetts

Aiming to improve public safety and allow more people to participate effectively in their economies, eleven states and D.C. currently provide drivers licenses for qualified residents regardless of immigration status. This new fact sheet examines fiscal, economic and safety implications of expanding access to driver's licenses for immigrants who are currently ineligible to be licensed to drive in Massachusetts.

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Labor Day 2015: Important Gains, Many Challenges for MA Workers

Labor Day will arrive again this Monday, offering all of us a chance to remember and to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. While Massachusetts workers have seen some improvements recently – including lower unemployment, a higher minimum wage and earned paid sick time – unfortunately, since the late 1970s, our national and state economies have not given workers much cause for celebration.

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Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2016

With the House and Senate having overridden a number of the Governor’s vetoes the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016) budget is now largely complete. This year’s budget makes few major changes in overall funding provided to educate our children, keep our communities safe, protect our most vulnerable, strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life in our communities. It does include an increase to the state’s earned income tax credit for lower wage workers and their families.

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2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book Report

Children in Massachusetts lead the nation in educational achievement, and are at or near the top in a number of measures of health, but one in six children live in poverty and an increasing number of our children are growing up in very high poverty neighborhoods. These findings and detailed data on a wide array of measures of child well-being are presented in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

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Debt-Free Public Higher Education: What Would It Take?

Expanding access to affordable higher education would directly help tens of thousands of students in Massachusetts, and their families. In addition to giving more of our young people the opportunity to go to college, over the long term expanding access to quality, affordable, higher education would increase the productivity of our workforce and the strength of our state economy. This paper examines options for making public higher education more affordable in Massachusetts, including making it possible for young people to graduate from college debt free.

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Analyzing the Legislature’s Budget for FY 2016

The Legislature’s FY 2016 budget, approved by the House and Senate, makes few major changes in overall support for the programs to educate our children, keep our communities safe, protect our most vulnerable, keep our air and water clean, strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life in our communities. It does include an increase to the state’s earned income tax credit for lower wage workers and their families.

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FAQ: Expanding School Meals and Implications for School Funding Formulas

Massachusetts schools are phasing-in a set of improvements to their school meals programs. These changes help ensure that more kids eat healthy meals every day they’re learning at school, and yet, for technical reasons, they have forced the state to consider some changes to how it distributes school funding. This FAQ explains these issues, with a focus on how they affect our Chapter 70 education aid formula.

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New Federal Revenue Affects State Spending Trends

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act affects the state’s fiscal condition in a number of ways. Most significantly, the law provides substantial new federal revenue to the state. It actually provides more in federal revenue than the state costs of implementing provisions of that law.

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Conference Preview: Differences Between the Senate and House Budgets for FY 2016

This Monitor describes major differences between the House and Senate final budgets that will need to be reconciled by the conference committee now meeting. The Legislature’s final budget will then be sent to the Governor, who has line item veto authority to eliminate or reduce funding or specific policy provisions. Those vetoes could be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both branches of the Legislature.

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Analyzing the Senate Ways and Means Budget for FY2016

The Senate Ways and Means proposal for FY 2016 modestly increases education programs above levels in the Governor’s and House budgets and it follows the Governor and the House in increasing funding to fight substance abuse and in modestly increasing local aid. Like proposals by the Governor and the House, the SWM budget relies heavily on temporary strategies.

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