Partnership in Peril: Federal Funding at Risk for State Programs Relied on by Massachusetts Residents
This paper examines the major federal funding sources that the state uses to provide access to affordable health care, help children thrive, assist low-income families, and care for veterans. In addition to describing the sources of federal funding, we examine the policy changes Congress is likely to consider that could threaten this funding and the services the funding supports. This fiscal year, one of every four dollars that supports the state's budget comes from the federal government 2–close to $11 billion in federal funds.
Had earnings for people at all income levels continued to grow in line with overall income growth as occurred during the three decades before the 1980s, 90 percent of Massachusetts households would have substantially higher incomes today. This fact sheet describes how much lower incomes are as a result of growing disparities, how much larger an income share is held by the top 1 percent of income earners, and how the top 1 percent pay the smallest share of their income in state and local taxes.
This fact sheet examines information from the Department of Transportation that suggests current levels of investment are not enough to keep our roads, bridges and public transit system in good working order.
This report examines progress and obstacles on the path to creating a Commonwealth where all people of every race and background have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
To help workers balance work and family obligations, three states have enacted Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) laws in recent years. This factsheet explains what PFML is, how it works, how it affects families and businesses, and how it relates to other policies like Earned Paid Sick Time.
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.
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.
Ultimately the goal of state economic policy is to raise the living standards of the people of the state. This generally requires jobs that pay good wages and provide decent benefits. The crucial questions of economic policy are about how to create an environment in which businesses that create such jobs can prosper. What levels of education and what skills do such employers need their employees to have? What type of transportation infrastructure do these businesses need for their employees to get to work and for their distribution networks to operate efficiently? What help do these businesses need gaining access to capital? Are there types of technical assistance that can help them to operate more effectively, and how important are special tax breaks that the state might offer? What is the appropriate role of government in each of these areas?
The money that the state provides to cities and towns for core local services is called General Local Aid. Our new factsheet describes the history of general local aid, the dramatic cuts of the last four years (amounting to roughly 1/3 of all funds), and various options for reform.