This was a presentation to a coalition of policy advocates, social service providers, and academics, to give members an overview of the Baker Administration’s revised …
Testimony for the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, the Joint Committee on Revenue, and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance Economic Roundtable
We’re clearly in a budget crisis. Which is extremely troubling at this time, when we need real, comprehensive relief for families and individuals — so many of our neighbors, young and old, are struggling with accessing basic necessities and keeping healthy and well.
Our Commonwealth’s budget – how we raise revenue through taxes and fees, and how we spend that revenue – is the clearest picture of our shared values. Considering the revenue side picture is crucial, but the other side of the ledger is just, if not more important.
States rely on borrowing to manage their finances in good times and bad. Yet borrowing is not a substitute for raising the revenue needed for an economic recovery. Policymakers should look to raising progressive new revenues paired with limited borrowing to avoid cuts to critical public spending.
The decennial Census counts for much more than a tally of every resident of the country. The Census is the country's snapshot: it creates our most accurate picture of everyone who lives here and where they live.
The opportunity to live a healthy life begins long before a person shows up at the doctor's office or hospital; health begins where people live, learn, work, and play. There is growing recognition that greater attention to the social determinants of healthâ€”things like having stable housing, safe, walkable neighborhoods with accessible transportation, grocery stores with affordable, nutritious options, schools that are equipped to provide high-quality education, and incomes that enable families to make ends meet â€”is critical to making meaningful improvements to health. This paper briefly examines the health impact of one program that provides economic support for low-income working families: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
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.