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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
FISCAL FALLOUT: The Great Recession, Policy Choices, and State Budget Cuts
A series of facts sheets on state budget cuts during the fiscal crisis in the following areas: Overview.
Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2011 Post-Veto Budget
This Budget Monitor examines each category of the budget, describing the FY 2011 post-veto spending levels, and comparing them to the FY 2010 budget and to recommendations from earlier in the budget process.
Budget Monitor: The Senate Fiscal Year 2011 Budget
During its budget debate, the Senate added about two-tenths of 1 percent to the budget’s bottom line. The Senate did not adopt any new taxes or appropriate money from the stabilization fund. The modest increases approved were paid for by identifying revenues that are expected to be available but were not counted on in the Senate Ways & Means proposal (for example, the final Senate budget, relying on recent trends, assumes that revenue from the lottery will be approximately $21 million higher in FY 2011 than had been anticipated).
Budget Monitor: The Senate Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2011 Budget
The Senate Ways & Means (SWM) budget proposal addresses a budget gap of close to $3 billion by recommending significant budget cuts and relying heavily on assistance from the federal government. It does not include the Governor’s tax reform proposals, or other new taxes. Also unlike the Governor’s proposal, it does not draw on the state “Rainy Day” fund. It does, however, rely on some other temporary state revenue sources and some one-time savings.
Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2011 House Budget
The most significant theme from the House budget debate is how little happened. Facing a budget gap of approximately $3 billion, it would have been irresponsible for the House to adopt significant spending amendments without offsetting revenue — and it did not. The House could have reduced the severity of budget cuts by adopting revenue measures, but it chose not to do so.