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Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward for the Children and Families of Massachusetts

Data describing our communities document that opportunity is not equally available to children and families across the Commonwealth. While effective public policy removes obstacles along the road to opportunity, good jobs play a central role in paving that road. Yet economic policies have allowed wages to stagnate, and important work support programs and other essential benefits that allow children and families to thrive are at risk, especially as a result of recent federal policy.
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Massachusetts Poverty Rate and Median Income Improved in 2018, but Not by Enough

The United States is in the midst of the longest economic expansion in its history, following the Great Recession with sustained recovery. Massachusetts' economy today exemplifies this, highlighted by continued job growth and a very low unemployment rate that is consistently below the national level. If a rising tide lifts all boats, we should see all Massachusetts residents benefiting, but this isn't the case.
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Credit Where Credit is Due: The EITC and CTC – two proven tools to keep low-paid workers out of poverty

One of the most successful ways to lift people out of poverty is through tax credits targeted to low- and moderate-income families. Families use these credits to reduce their income taxes or receive a refund check. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are two widely successful tax credit programs for improving family economic security and well-being — combined, the credits lift more people out of poverty than any other federal program except Social Security. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to make these programs even better.
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Wrong on Schedule: How Unstable Scheduling Hurts Massachusetts Workers and their Families

Over the next several years, Massachusetts will see more job openings in hourly retail and food service positions (salespersons, cashiers, fast food workers, and wait staff) than in almost any other occupation. For workers paid by the hour, time, as the saying goes, is money -- literally. That means they need to count on stable, sufficient, and predictable schedules, which allow them to earn a decent living, and have time to take care of themselves and their families.
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Shifting the Balance: How a Massachusetts “Fair Workweek” Law Can Protect Workers and their Families from Unstable Schedules

As laid out in a companion report, Wrong on Schedule: How Unstable Scheduling Hurts Massachusetts Workers and their Families, employers in low-wage service industries like food service and retail often change or cancel hourly workers’ shifts at the last minute, and these schedules can fluctuate wildly from one period to another. Many employers force their staff to work consecutive shifts with little time for rest in between, including so-called “clopening” shifts — in which someone closes a store or restaurant at night and has to open it the next morning. And most workers have no say in their schedules. All ...
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Testimony before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight on H.2681, “An Act Ensuring Equitable Representation in the Commonwealth”

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The Pros and Cons of Higher Gas Taxes, and How They Could be Offset for Lower-Income Families

As the Commonwealth seeks to improve our aging transportation system, policy makers have considered raising the gas tax. This paper assesses the gas tax along several well-established criteria for evaluating taxes: efficiency, fairness, and reliability. Based on these criteria, the gas tax receives mixed grades. Offsetting the tax with low-income tax credits could help.
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Making Every Student Count

Accurately counting low-income and English Language Learner students, who are more likely to require a diverse array of academic and social resources to succeed in school, is important to ensure that school districts receive the funding necessary to support all of their students. Communities with large numbers of immigrants are often disproportionately affected by the challenges of obtaining an accurate count of low-income students.
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Infographic: Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, also known as #LatinxHeritageMonth (running Sept. 15-Oct. 15), our infographics analyze the number of eligible Hispanic tax filers per county that could or already benefitting from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
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Concentrated Poverty Snapshot

Nearly 90,000 children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are living in concentrated-poverty. What is the long-term effect on our children and our communities? Read the full snapshot, and stay tuned for our upcoming analysis on the issue.
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Corporate Minimum Taxes in Massachusetts Could Be Better Targeted as in Other States [Corp. Tax Series Pt. 3]

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How Do Business Taxes in MA Compare to Other States? [Corp. Tax Series Pt. 1]

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Single Sales Factor: a Tax Break with a Poor Record of Performance [Corp. Tax Series Pt. 2]

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Testimony before the Joint Committee on Transportation on H.3012/S.2061, “An act relative to work and family mobility”

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Sharing the Road: Licensing all drivers, regardless of immigration status, boosts safety and the economy

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