Kids Count Data Center
Interested in learning what American Rescue Plan Act funds mean for the Commonwealth’s K-12 public schools? Watch the full briefing and Q&A discussing how these federal programs can support our schools through the pandemic and into recovery.
It’s been a mixed budget season for Massachusetts in terms of state tax policy, unless the Legislature chooses to override the Governor’s veto. With the …
The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the availability of significant new federal revenue gives Massachusetts a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create building …
ALL BUDGET RESOURCES REPORTS
The Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget proposal provides modest increases in funding for public education, human services, and several other important investments. This new funding does not, in many cases, reverse deep cuts imposed across the state budget after the tax cuts of the late 1990s and early 2000s — despite a decade of expansion in the economy. Lost revenue from tax cuts has limited the Commonwealth’s ability to adequately fund education, infrastructure, and other building blocks of healthy communities and a strong economy.
Anyone who has set foot in a public school, driven on a road, or gone to a public park has been touched by the state budget. What we fund in our state budget reflects what we deem important.
None of these essential services would be possible without the revenue to pay for it. Further, it is important to consider whether the state is raising revenue fairly.
As the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget debates kick off this week, here are five questions to consider.
How to collect enough revenue to pay for the things we accomplish together as a Commonwealth and how to collect that revenue fairly are questions that every community and every state need to examine. This paper describes 14 ways the Commonwealth could generate substantial new revenue in a manner that makes our tax system more progressive and would not require changing the state constitution.
The House and Senate Budgets reflect similar values: expanding access to education, helping working families to make ends meet (with an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit), and helping families to find housing. Both budgets are also constrained by limited revenue and are not able to make progress in a number of important areas including making higher education more affordable and significantly improving our transportation systems. The list below highlights several of the substantial differences between the House and Senate budgets, and the rest of this Monitor provides more detail on differences that the Legislature’s budget Conference Committee will have to reconcile.
The Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal level funds much of state government, includes some targeted initiatives – including an expanded earned income tax credit (EITC) and new services for people struggling with and recovering from mental illness – and proposes small reductions in funding, after accounting for inflation, for higher education and other areas.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget year could be the most eventful in decades, with major changes in federal policy looming and ballot questions that could reshape state tax policy likely to appear on the November ballot. This year’s budget will be written in a climate of uncertainty, and against a backdrop of ongoing fiscal challenges.