Envisioning Equity

Envisioning Equity is MassBudget’s emergent policy framework
designed to advance policy solutions to create an inclusive, thriving Commonwealth.

An antiracist
state budget

Economic security
for all

Inclusive
Democracy

Tax justice =
Racial Justice

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We have important work to do:

Our state and local tax system remains “upside-down”.
The highest-income households in Massachusetts, those in the top 1 percent, pay a smaller percent of their income in state and local taxes than all other income groups.

Early education and care are critical, but unaffordable for too many.
Massachusetts ranked last among the 50 states in the affordability of infant care, with costs reaching nearly $21,000 per year. At this price, infant care consumes over 80% of a minimum wage salary.

Student debt is crushing our younger generation.
Decades of state disinvestment in public higher education has shifted the cost burden to students and families, especially harming low-income and students of color.

Massachusetts is in a housing crisis.
Someone earning a minimum wage must work 105 hours per week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. And, because of the legacy of historically racist housing policies, Black and Latinx families are even less likely to have access to affordable, stable housing.

What does equity look like?

Accessible Cradle to Career Education

High-quality early education, fully funded K-12 programs, and debt-free public higher education for all
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Safe, Healthy, and Affordable Housing for All Communities

Ensuring rental and home ownership opportunities that solve the affordability and equity crisis
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A Redesigned Revenue System

Rewriting our tax code to ensure everyone contributes their fair share to pay for our public goods
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Transit Pathways to Economic Empowerment

A fare-free public transit system that's efficient, faster, and convenient for riders
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Supports for Our Workforce

Direct cash supports and state aid to low-income workers and families regardless of immigration status
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Building a Participatory Democracy

A state budget process that is transparent, antiracist, and inclusive to meet the needs of our communities
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Opportunities of the Moment

“They shouldn’t be sitting on money. People in cities and towns across Massachusetts are waiting and hoping that in some way, shape, or form, they’ll be seeing these investments. . . . People desperately need these funds.”

- Marie-Frances Rivera, President of MassBudget Tweet

The March 2021 passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the availability of significant new federal revenue gives Massachusetts a once-in-a-generation opportunity. With thoughtful choices, these dollars can be the building blocks for an antiracist state budget. Using this federal revenue as a foundation, Massachusetts can build supports so our communities emerge from the  pandemic and recession healthier, stronger and thriving. The $1.9 trillion ARP package will bring as much as $8.67 billion to Massachusetts state and local governments.

The federal funds flowing into our state are an important down payment for undoing the generational wrongs and deep racial and economic inequities that the pandemic compounded. Yet, to build a sustainable, antiracist budget Massachusetts policymakers need to identify progressive state revenue that is both equitably collected and sustains vital investments. The 2022 Midterm Elections are one opportunity for us to build towards our recovery.

The 2022 November Election

The Fair Share Amendment - a proposal to create an additional tax of 4% on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million – will be on the ballot in November 2022 and offers us the chance to ensure tax justice for millions of Massachusetts residents. This historic opportunity to move toward economic and racial justice is in the hands of voters across the Bay State.

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Stay Informed!

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