Like the proposals from the Governor and the House, the Senate Ways and Means Committee budget for Fiscal Year 2018 would generally maintain existing service levels while making small targeted new investments in several areas, particularly in education. The Budget Monitor examines proposals for major state programs in detail.
The House largely followed the recommendations of its Ways and Means Committee in crafting its budget proposal, adopting amendments to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget that increased funding by just under two tenths of one percent from the levels its budget committee proposed last month. This Budget Monitor describes the changes adopted by the House in each major section of the budget.
This Budget Monitor examines the House Ways and Means Committee’s state budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017. The proposal would generally maintain existing service levels while making small targeted new investments in several areas including housing, education, and substance abuse prevention and treatment.These relatively small investments to important programs will have significant benefits, but like the Governor's proposal and the budgets of recent years, it does not propose significant new funding to make progress on some of the big challenges our Commonwealth faces.
The Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget includes proposals that strengthen the capacity of the MassHealth program to meet the healthcare needs of people in Massachusetts and address fiscal challenges caused by a decline in employer-provided health insurance coverage for private sector employees. As with past budget proposals, the Governor’s FY 2018 budget does not propose significant new funding to make progress on some of the big challenges our Commonwealth faces. But as this detailed examination of the Governor’s budget proposals for major state programs shows, the health care strategies are the major reasons the Governor is able to propose a budget that significantly reduces reliance on temporary revenue and savings to achieve balance.
This preview examines both the challenges revenue gap facing the FY 2018 budget and two budget transparency reforms that could help avoid mid-year budget cuts and other unpleasant budget surprises in the future.
Massachusetts’ taxes rank in the middle of the pack, compared to other states. Where then does the label “Taxachusetts” come from? The answer has much more to do with history than reality.
With the release this week of new American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is clear that working families nationwide and here in Massachusetts made some important gains. While much of this is welcome news, the data also show that poverty rates remain well above pre-recession levels and median incomes remain below pre-recession peaks. Not everyone is sharing fully in the benefits of a growing economy. The ACS data also point the way toward other policy improvements that can lead to broadly shared prosperity.
This Budget Monitor describes the funding decisions in each major section of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2017. It compares proposed funding levels with current and, in some cases, historic funding. It identifies a few bright spots and examines policy changes incorporated in various budget provisions. While vetoes and overrides are noted, the focus is on important budget items and the bigger picture in another difficult year. Earlier versions of the Budget Monitor previewed the budget and tracked its progress at each stage.
The state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) aims to improve the economic security of lower income working families by increasing their after-tax earnings. A growing body of research has found that raising the incomes of lower-income families provides benefits through the life-cycle: improving the health of children and mothers; boosting school performance; and increasing long-term earnings. MassBudget’s updated fact sheet examines a proposal from the Senate Ways and Means Committee to reform and increase the state EITC.