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Publications from before 2018
Children have a greater opportunity to thrive and succeed in Massachusetts than in any other state, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book. Specifically, they lead the nation in educational achievement and are less likely to be without health insurance than children in any other state. Nonetheless, one in seven Massachusetts children lives in poverty.
While the Governor, House, and Senate had some different priorities for the FY 2015 budget, there was significantly more agreement throughout this year’s process than last year. This Budget Monitor describes funding levels and initiatives throughout the state budget and compares them to years past.
Last week the Legislature voted to increase the minimum wage to $11 by 2017. This is projected to raise the wages of approximately 605,000 workers. This Facts At A Glance provides estimates of the number of workers affected in specific cities and regions of the state.
Comparison of the FY 2015 House and Senate Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs
This budget brief describes differences between the FY 2015 House and Senate Budget proposals for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs. A legislative conference committee will meet to reconcile differences between the two proposals and send a consensus budget to the Governor, who then has ten days to review and sign the budget.
In conjunction with our new online resource, the Jobs & Workforce Budget (http://workforce.massbudget.org/), this brief analyzes state support for workforce development over the past decade, finding that these programs have been cut by about a third since FY 2001 (adjusted for inflation).
This Facts At A Glance analyzes the declining value of the tipped minimum wage in Massachusetts and compares current proposals for reform.
Last week, the Senate finalized its budget proposal for FY 2015. Our “Conference Preview” describes the major differences between the Senate budget and the House version, in order to highlight the decisions that the upcoming House-Senate Conference Committee will face.
On May 14, 2014, the Senate Ways and Means Committee presented its budget proposal for FY 2015. This Budget Monitor details how this proposal would affect programs across state government, from health care and education to human services and the environment.
This budget brief describes the House’s FY 2015 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform Programs. The House budget includes $14.7 billion in funding for the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) and other publicly subsidized and related health care programs. The House budget does not differ dramatically from the Governor’s proposal, which included $14.6 billion for health care spending.
Restoring the value of the minimum wage can be an effective way to reward work and help low wage workers support themselves and their families. This Facts At A Glance examines several proposals that have been made to restore the value of the minimum wage.
Last week, the House finalized its budget proposal for FY 2015. The final House budget, like the Governor’s proposal, makes incremental efforts to address major challenges, but does not make the type of substantial progress in expanding opportunity in all of our communities that could be achieved with new revenue invested effectively. This Budget Monitor describes the most significant changes between the Ways and Means budget proposal and the final House version.
On April 9, 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee (HWM) presented its budget proposal for FY 2015. This Budget Monitor details how this proposal would affect programs across state government, from health care and education to human services and the environment.
Early education and care has wide ranging benefits for children, parents and the economy. This report examines options for investing in early education that range from covering all lower income children through our existing early education and care system to educating all three and four year olds in our public schools.
Shelter and Housing for Homeless Families: Historical Funding and the Governor’s FY 2015 Budget Proposal
Providing access to stable, safe, affordable housing is an important way the state helps low income families avoid homelessness. Funding for the state program that provides vouchers to help low income renters pay for housing has decreased by more than 60 percent over the past 20 years.
Unlocking Potential: Examining the Funding of Juvenile Detention and Effective Alternatives in Massachusetts
Over the past decade, the number of teenagers involved with the juvenile justice system has declined significantly. Among other things, this has meant fewer arrests, fewer arraignments in juvenile court, and fewer kids detained by the Department of Youth Services (DYS) in a juvenile facility. At the same time, funding for DYS has remained roughly level, allowing DYS to provide better services to kids in detention and to provide an increasing array of alternatives to secure detention–which has the long-term effect of further reducing juvenile arrests, detentions and convictions.
Both the minimum wage and income enhancement programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are important tools for reducing poverty and boosting incomes among low-income working families. Because these two tools operate in different ways, however – and therefore, in part, have differing effects on different groups of low-income workers – it is important that each remains strong. EITC increases are most effective as a supplement to and not a substitute for a strong minimum wage.
On January 22, the Governor released his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2015, which begins on July 1, 2014. The Governor’s budget totals approximately $39.4 billion in spending, $14.6 billion of which is designated for the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) and other publicly subsidized and related health care programs.
Tax rates are only one among many factors that businesses weigh when deciding where to locate or expand. In Massachusetts, state and local business taxes are lower than in most other states.
A review of employment data for the restaurant industry shows little connection between a state’s tipped minimum wage level and its rate of job growth. High tipped minimum wage levels do not produce slow job growth in the relevant industry.
This brief, produced by MMPI in partnership with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, will supplement the MMPI budget analyses by providing information on trust funds that support health coverage programs in Massachusetts.
Some cities and towns have higher concentrations of the labor force employed in low-wage work than others. Raising the minimum wage would tend to have a greater impact in these areas, particularly since workers who receive wage increases are likely to spend a portion of those increases locally.
Massachusetts has a separate minimum wage for workers who regularly earn tips, like waiters and hairdressers. We find that in states where the “tipped minimum wage” is well below the regular minimum wage, the poverty rate for tipped workers tends to be higher.
Over the past several years, Massachusetts has expanded its efforts to improve the emotional well-being of our youngest children. Massachusetts is way ahead of other states in developmental screenings for young low-income children, according to a newly-released report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Higher education is vital to economic prosperity, and it serves as the critical final step for students advancing through our state education system. Massachusetts is one of the states that has cut funding most severely, allowing out-of-pocket student costs to rise.
In Massachusetts we invest a below-average share of our state’s economic resources in public education. K-12 education spending as a percent of state personal income is 3.97 percent in Massachusetts compared to 4.12 percent nationwide.
The FY 2014 budget included new investments in transportation, education, and elsewhere. Part of the funding came from a “tech tax” that has since been repealed. Looking ahead, there are a variety of other ways to fund future investments in our economy and our communities.
Workers across the Commonwealth—and the U.S—still confront a relatively weak labor market, and low-wage workers have been particularly affected by growing inequality and the declining value of the minimum wage.