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 House Budget for FY 2016

In a quiet three days of debate, the House made few changes to the budget drafted by the House Ways and Means Committee. Many of the funding increases approved just restored funding that the HWM Committee had proposed cutting. This Monitor describes the amendments adopted in each area of the budget and discusses how proposed funding levels compare to the Governor’s proposals and to historic levels.

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The Reach of the MA State EITC, Town-by-Town

The state earned income tax credit (EITC) helps providing a meaningful boost to the after-tax earnings of thousands of low-income working families. This Facts-At-A-Glance provides town-by-town estimates of tax filers who received the state EITC in 2013.

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The Right Size for Learning: Class Sizes in Massachusetts

Children have a better chance to succeed in school when they receive individualized support and attention. Smaller class sizes are one way to help our teachers meet the needs of each child. This paper examines the evidence on how class size reductions can improve outcomes and expand opportunity for all of our children, particularly those who face the greatest obstacles.

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Analyzing the House Ways & Means Budget for FY 2016

The HWM budget for FY 2016 recommends targeted investments in some important areas including early education and care, affordable housing, and opiate abuse prevention and treatment. The proposal also includes new cuts to some important programs including workforce training for low income parents and youth jobs and violence prevention efforts. Read this Budget Monitor for more detail.

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The Massachusetts Film Tax Credit

This factsheet describes the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, one of the state’s most generous tax breaks, which provides movie producers with a tax credit of 25% of the cost of making a movie in Massachusetts.

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Analyzing the Governor’s Budget for FY 2016

In releasing his budget proposal on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 the Governor identified important priorities: “creating better communities, better schools, and better jobs for all of Massachusetts.” This budget does not, however, propose the types of significant investments in these areas that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of working people across the state. The Governor did file a tax reform proposal along with the budget that would significantly help lower-wage working people across the state: a doubling of the state earned income tax credit.

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Declines in Work Supports for Low-Income Parents

This report provides an overview of what the state has and has not been doing to provide the support low income parents need to succeed in the workforce. While Massachusetts increased some investments after the welfare reforms of the mid-1990s, there have been deep cuts and chronic underfunding since then.

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Economic Opportunity & Child Poverty in MA

The number of children living in poverty in Massachusetts would be twice as high as it is if low income families did not receive help from effective anti-poverty programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps), WIC nutrition programs, and the Child Tax Credit.

For an overview of what’s working, what’s holding back progress, and how to fix what’s broken, check out this infographic.

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Examining Tax Fairness

Taxes are the primary way we pay for the things that we do together through government. As this Facts-At-A-Glance details, overall, the Massachusetts tax system is regressive, collecting a larger share of household income from lower-income households than it does from upper-income households.

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Opening the Process: Releasing Maintenance Budgets to the Public

Maintenance budgets are estimates of what it would take for the state to maintain services at the same level as prior years. These budgets are also often called current services baselines, as they allow comparison of budget proposals to the baseline of what is currently provided. Maintenance budgets are the first step in our state’s budget process, but they are rarely made public in a standard way.

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A Preview of the FY 2016 Budget

As the FY 2016 budget season begins, the Commonwealth continues to suffer from the effects of the three billion dollars of income tax cuts enacted over a decade ago. As a result of those tax cuts, the state has been forced to make deep cuts to important public services. Even with those budget cuts, the state continues to face budget gaps at the start of each year’s budget process. This preview describes the state’s fiscal condition as the budget season begins.

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Where Does the Taxachusetts Label Come From?

Overall, the level of taxation in Massachusetts is in the middle of the pack when compared to the rest of the country. The Taxachusetts label is a legacy of the 1970s – and at that time the label had a basis in reality. Since the late 1970s, tax policy in the Commonwealth has changed dramatically, as described in this Facts-At-A-Glance.

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Automatic Income Tax Rate Cuts: Frequently Asked Questions

The Governor recently announced the need to cut funding for school transportation, job training, health care, and other investments that protect the health of our people and our economy. One of the reasons for these cuts is the triggering of an automatic tax cut caused by a twelve year old law. This tax cut, which primarily benefits the highest income taxpayers, will cost the Commonwealth $140 million a year. It is part of a series of automatic income tax rate cuts that together will cost the Commonwealth $350 million this year.

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Beyond the Bell: Options for Increased Learning Time

Increased learning time can be an effective tool for providing more of our young people with improved, more well-rounded education – but only if it’s done right. This paper examines which strategies have proven most effective in implementing longer school days, quality after school services, and summer learning opportunities. The report also estimates what it costs to provide a few model programs.

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Family Ties: Exploring Massachusetts’ use of Kinship Foster Care for Children in the Child Welfare System

When we don’t give children the best opportunity for healthy growth and development, we put their future – and our future as a Commonwealth – at risk. Fortunately, we know that children are most likely to thrive if they live in stable and loving homes; and that their outcomes will be even better if these homes are familiar to them. Research has shown that placing children with “kin” – other family members or close friends – is often better than putting them in a stranger’s foster home or a group home.

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Earned Paid Sick Time and Safe Time Provisions

To protect their physical and economic security, survivors of domestic and sexual violence sometimes need to take time off from work to address health and safety issues. Many employers provide “safe time” leave for such employees and Earned Paid Sick Time laws in several cities and states give employees the right to take safe time when needed. This fact sheet examines these policies and also provides a description of state programs that assist these survivors.

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U.S. & MA Households See Few Gains during Recovery, New Census Data Show

The economic security of working families depends on reliable access to opportunities that offer good incomes and that allow workers to share in the benefits of economic growth. Unfortunately, data made available today by the U.S. Census Bureau show that four years into an economic recovery many working families across the nation and in Massachusetts have seen only very modest gains.

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Balancing Work and Family: The Economic Effects of Earned Paid Sick Time

Many workers are responsible for caring for a family. They face daily challenges of being both good parents and hard-working, effective employees. In recent decades, more and more children are growing up in families where all the adults work. Yet, some of our employment policies do not reflect this modern reality. This brief examines challenges faced by working families and the role that earned paid sick time can play in helping families meet those challenges. It also describes the effect of such laws on businesses and the broader economy.

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Uplifting the Whole Child: Using Wraparound Services to Overcome Social Barriers to Learning

To help children overcome non-academic barriers to success, a number of districts across the country have implemented wraparound services in their schools. Recent research shows that these programs can improve both the academic and life success of the students who are served. This report examines evidence on the effectiveness of these programs, describes progress being made in Massachusetts, and estimates costs for implementing evidence-based practices more widely.

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Earned Paid Sick Time – Frequently Asked Questions

At some point in their lives, all workers experience a personal health issue or family illness. Yet in Massachusetts, as in most states, if you are sick and have to miss work, not only can you miss a day's worth of pay, but you can also get fired. In order to better address these issues, a growing number of cities and one state have passed earned paid sick time laws. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about this important issue.

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