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

FISCAL FALLOUT: The Great Recession, Policy Choices, & State Budget Cuts, Fiscal Years 2009-2012 (updated)

This updated report examines state budget cuts since the onset of the current economic downturn. It builds on our prior edition published in April (which included cuts up through the Governor’s FY 2012 budget proposal) and compares changes in major categories of state spending between FY 2009 and FY 2012. It documents deep cuts in early education, public health, and other programs that directly affect the lives of children and adults across the commonwealth.

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Budget Brief: The Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for MassHealth and Related Programs

This Budget Brief describing the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) budget for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other related health care programs is the last in a series of fact sheets published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute(MMPI) and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets have been published at each stage in the FY 2012 budget process; this fact sheet summarizes the enacted budget for FY 2012.

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Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2012 General Appropriations Act

The FY 2012 budget includes deep cuts in a number of areas including $24 million from the Judiciary (including probation) and over $60 million in public higher education. The final version of the budget also includes $460 million less in local aid in FY 2012 than in the original FY 2009 budget, after accounting for inflation.

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MassHealth Budget Brief: Fiscal Year 2012: House and Senate Budget Proposals

This Budget Brief on the House and Senate proposals for MassHealth and related health care programs is the fifth in a new series published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets will be published at each stage of the budget process, examining and explaining the proposals put forth by the Governor, the House, and the Senate.

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Budget Monitor: The Senate Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and Conference Differences

With House and Senate budget debate complete, conferees from the two branches are now meeting to resolve differences. The Conference Committee is expected to craft a budget that both branches can approve in time for the Governor to sign it, and veto those sections he disapproves of, before Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 begins on July 1st. This Budget Monitor describes the final Senate budget, including floor amendments, and describes the major differences between the House and Senate in each area of the budget.

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Budget Brief: The Senate Ways & Means FY 2012 Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Related Programs

This Budget Brief on the Senate Ways and Means proposals for MassHealth and related health care programs is the fourth in a new series published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets will be published at each stage of the budget process, examining and explaining the proposals put forth by the Governor, the House, and the Senate

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Budget Monitor: The Senate Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Senate Ways and Means (SWM) budget proposal shares a basic structure with the proposals from the Governor and House. All three rely primarily on budget cuts and reform initiatives to close the $1.9 billion gap between the revenues expected to be available and the cost of providing current services.

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Editorial: “Zero-based” budgeting

Still, residents should not let their hopes soar. Eliminating waste is unlikely to be enough. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, since the recession began, Massachusetts has cut about $3 billion in spending. The reductions hit cities and towns especially hard. Comparing fiscal 2009 with Governor Patrick’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal, the center projected a drop in unrestricted local aid of $528 million, or almost 40 percent. Education has suffered big losses as well.

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Budget Brief: The House FY 2012 Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Related Programs

This Budget Brief on the House proposals for MassHealth and related health care programs is the third in a new series published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets will be published at each stage of the budget process, examining and explaining the proposals put forth by the Governor, the House, and the Senate.

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Budget Monitor: The House Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

The final budget approved by the House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2012 includes modestly more funding than recommended by the House Ways & Means Committee in several areas, but largely follows the HWM proposal in implanting deep cuts across state government.

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Budget Brief: The House Ways & Means FY 2012 Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Related Programs

This Budget Brief on the House Ways & Means proposals for MassHealth and related health care programs is the second in a new series being published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets will be published at each stage of the budget process, examining and explaining the proposals put forth by the Governor, the House, and the Senate.

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Budget Monitor: The House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

The House Ways & Means (HWM) budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, like the Governor’s proposal, relies primarily on budget cuts and savings to close a $1.9 billion gap between the cost for maintaining current services and the revenue expected to be available in FY 2012. The HWM budget cuts somewhat more deeply than the Governor’s proposal in health care accounts, most significantly by eliminating the Commonwealth Care Bridge program that provides health insurance to close to 20,000 legal immigrants.

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Impact of Proposed Federal Budget Cuts on Massachusetts’ Residents

Proposed legislation (H.R. 1) that funds the federal government through the final six months of Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) cuts funding for non-security discretionary programs by $66 billion, or an average of 14.3 percent. Economists warn that these reductions in federal spending, including grants to states, could increase unemployment and weaken the national economy in the short-term. They will also significantly decrease funding for programs that invest in our state’s long-term economic health and in the well-being of our residents.

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Demystifying the State Pension System

The Massachusetts State Board of Retirement, which administers the Massachusetts State Employees’ Retirement System (MERS), was established in 1911 as the second-oldest public pension system in the country. It began first as a pension plan for the state’s teachers and over time, it grew to include other state public sector employees.

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Workforce Characteristics and Wages in the Public and Private Sectors

Across the country there has recently been extensive attention focused on issues relating to public employee compensation. This report examines Massachusetts wage and benefits data from the U.S. Census and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in detail to show and compare the actual wages and benefits for public and private sector workers with the same level of education.

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Budget Brief: The Governor’s FY 2012 Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Related Programs

This Budget Brief on the Governor’s proposals for MassHealth and related health care programs is the first in a new series being published by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and produced by MassBudget in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These fact sheets will be published at each stage of the budget process, examining and explaining the proposals put forth by the Governor, the House, and the Senate.

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Budget Monitor: The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

In the coming fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2012) the state is facing a budget gap of approximately $1.9 billion between the cost of providing current services and the revenue projected to be available. The Governor’s budget (House 1) proposes closing this gap with a combination of deep cuts, significant reforms, limited use of reserve funds and other temporary revenues, and modest revenue initiatives.

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Quality, Cost, and Purpose: Comparisons of Government and Private Sector Payments for Similar Services

We count on government to do many important things–things we can’t do alone–like provide good schools, protect our environment, promote public safety, and offer a safety net for those facing misfortune. In fact, we frequently take these essential functions for granted. Furthermore, we hope and expect that our investments in these shared priorities will be made as efficiently as possible. But are they? Occasional gross misuses of tax dollars often make the news–as they should. We need to hold government to a high standard and demand that waste is attacked and eliminated. But how can we really know whether our government is spending money wisely in general? (Click here to read the report.) And Read the related op-ed in the Boston Globe, “Look at what the state is doing right.”

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Mass. budget builders agree on $20.5B in revenues

Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan budget watchdog, said the estimate was “reasonable and cautious.” The total of $20.525 billion in tax revenue estimate reflects growth from the revised estimate of $19.784 billion for the current year.

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Better By Degrees

All that good news comes from a report released earlier this month by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. The State of Working Massachusetts 2010 examines the state’s rise since 1979 from the middle of the pack nationally in terms of wages and incomes to a sixth-place ranking (behind Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Alaska and Hawaii) in median household income.

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MassBudget Brief: Fiscal Year 2012 Chapter 70 Education Aid Preview

While projecting Chapter 70 state education aid ahead of the formal budget process is always an inexact science, the precarious economic recovery and the termination of most federal recovery aid make predicting the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget particularly challenging. Of the $4.07 billion in Chapter 70 aid distributed in FY 2011 $221 million is federal recovery money–$21 million from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and $200 million from the Education Jobs Fund–none of which will be available for FY 2012. In addition to this uncertain revenue picture, a set of other variables further complicates projecting Chapter 70 funding, leading us to run a few separate projections, outlined in four sections of this paper.

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MassBudget Brief: Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Preview

This Budget Brief examines the condition of state finances as the budget process begins for the fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2011. Walking readers through the steps involved in calculating a state budget gap, the brief projects a $1.78 billion preliminary budget gap facing the Commonwealth in FY 2012.

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State capitol briefs, Tues. Jan 4

The gap between projected state spending needed to maintain state services and available revenues next fiscal year is just shy of $1.8 billion, according to a preliminary analysis released Tuesday morning by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

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Higher Education Attainment Helps Weather Downturn

MASSACHUSETTS (WAMC) – Massachusetts is weathering the economic downturn better than most states, that’s according to a new report released by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Charlie Deitz reports that the reason for the state’s performance is its’ commitment to higher education over the last three decades.

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The State of Working Massachusetts 2010

Like the rest of the nation, the Commonwealth is struggling to emerge from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Nationally the economy has lost a larger share of its jobs than in any downturn since the Depression, and it is taking longer to regain the lost jobs than in any of our recent economic recoveries. Massachusetts has not escaped this national crisis. But we have weathered it better than most states.

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Bay State survives jobs crisis better than most

During the recent crisis, Massachusetts lost fewer jobs than most states and maintained higher wages, all while avoiding a significant increase in poverty, according to “The State of Working Massachusetts,” a report prepared by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank that studies economic issues.

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Wages rise for all, but a gap widens

Thanks to its colleges and universities, Massachusetts has one of the best-educated, best-paid workforces in the nation, but a new study shows the gap between the haves and have-nots has widened–especially during the recent recession.

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The Income Tax

Massachusetts has an income tax rate of 5.3 percent. The income tax is the single-largest source of revenue for the state, with collections totaling $10.1 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Forty-three states have an income tax, several with rates as high as 11 percent. Of the states with an income tax, Massachusetts is one of only seven states that do not have a higher income tax rate for those with higher incomes.

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