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No Significant Rise in Poverty in MA in 2009

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of state-level poverty rates from the American Community Survey (ACS). It indicates no statistically significant change in the overall poverty rate in Massachusetts from 2008 to 2009.

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No Significant Change in Massachusetts Median Household Income in 2009

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of state-level data on household income from the American Community Survey (ACS).

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Massachusetts Still Leads in Health Care Coverage

Health insurance coverage in Massachusetts far surpasses coverage nationally and in all other states, detailed statistics released by the Census Bureau today confirm.

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Massachusetts Still a Leader in Health Coverage

Thanks to the apparent success of Massachusetts’ health reform, Census Bureau estimates released today suggest that Massachusetts health care coverage still leads the nation.

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Poverty Rises Nationally in 2009, New Census Bureau Data Show

As a result of the Great Recession, the year 2009 saw a significant increase in the national poverty rate. The poverty rate rose to 14.3 percent in 2009 from 13.2 percent in 2008, new Census Bureau data show.

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How Will New Tax on Alcohol Affect Revenues?

As part of a package of sales tax changes that went into effect in 2009, Massachusetts’ general sales tax rate was raised from 5 percent to 6.25 percent and alcoholic beverages were made newly subject to the general sales tax.

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Examining Tax Fairness

Determining who is affected most by the state’s tax system, as well as individual taxes, is important in considering the fairness of tax policy changes. While most taxes in Massachusetts have a fixed rate — for example, the state has a flat 5.3 percent income tax — different income groups are affected differently by each tax. These differences can be explained in terms of regressivity and progressivity–how taxes vary by income level.

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Jobs and the Massachusetts Economy on Labor Day 2010

Labor Day 2010 will be a challenging day for working people across America. The nation is in the third year of a terrible economic crisis, one that has claimed a larger percentage of US jobs than any other recession since the Great Depression. Adding to the pain, at 31 months since the latest recession officially began, the US now has regained a far smaller share of those jobs than in past recessions.

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The Education Jobs Fund and its Impact on Massachusetts Schools

The Education Jobs Fund, a $10 billion federal grant fund to be spent during the FY 2011 school year for the retention and creation of education jobs in elementary and secondary schools, will provide approximately $204 million to Massachusetts and fund an estimated 2,900 jobs in the state.

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FMAP and an Education Jobs Fund: State Fiscal Relief To Strengthen the National Economy, Reduce State Budget Cuts, and Create Jobs

Last week the US Senate passed a bill that would approve extended state fiscal relief from the federal government, and the US House is reconvening today to vote on the extension. The legislation would provide approximately $655 million to Massachusetts — $450 million in enhanced Medicaid (FMAP) reimbursements, which is $250 million less than the $700 million originally anticipated, and another $205 million in funding for education through a new Education Jobs Fund.

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