The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is regularly featured in newspapers, on the radio, on blogs, and anywhere reliable information is needed.

In The News

State employee retirement incentive could cause exodus in revenue, welfare, transportation, mental health agencies

Springfield Republican, March 27, 2015

Berger said the loss of auditors at the Department of Revenue would make it harder to identify tax evasion and capture revenue.

Baker’s budget plan shifts Medicaid payments

Boston Globe, March 6, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he sees in Baker’s budget “a postponement of really addressing the long-term challenges. In Medicaid, we see significant shifting of costs from” the new fiscal year to the one that begins in July 2016. That, he said, “has the positive effect of avoiding painful cuts that could have long-term negative effects on the Commonwealth this year, but mean that we will continue to face real challenges in the years ahead.”

Working under the weather: Boston low-wage laborers beaten down by winter

Al Jazeera America, March 6, 2015

“Over a long period of time, the state has chronically underfunded our public transportation system so that trains get older and older and systems break down when we have bad weather,” said Noah Berger, the executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Proposal to end Massachusetts film tax credit provokes strong reactions

Boston Globe, March 5, 2015

“Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit is a very good use of those funds. That’s something that directly raises the wages of 400,000 people in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Paying a star’s salary isn’t a very good way of helping the Massachusetts economy.”

Charlie Baker: Massachusetts budget proposal 'right-sizes' government while investing in priorities like transportation

Springfield Republican/MassLive, March 4, 2015

"The budget doesn't make significant new investments in those areas," Berger said. "It doesn't do anything to expand early education and care. It doesn't do anything to make higher education more affordable. Spending on public transportation is way below what everyone knows it would take to fix our public transportation system."

Gov. Baker Proposes Eliminating Film Tax Credit

WBUR, March 4, 2015

“It strengthens the economy because the money that we provide to those low-wage working people they spend right in the local community,” Berger said. “And I think this is a good example of looking at how we’re spending our economic development resources and saying, is there a better way of spending $80 million than subsidizing Hollywood movie producers?”

Gov. Baker Unveils $38B Budget Plan for Mass.

NECN, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on NECN

Gov. Baker unveils $38B state budget plan

WCVB Channel 5, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on WCVB Channel 5

End Mass. film tax credit

Boston Globe, March 3, 2015

Mass. budget shortfall could hit $1.5 billion

Boston Globe, February 25, 2015

More Accurate Poverty Measure for MA and Nation

Public News Service, February 25, 2015

Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 24, 2015

It’s Time to Address Homelessness

The Daily Free Press, February 20, 2015

Lawmakers consider budget fixes

Boston Globe, February 3, 2015

The other deflategate: our state budget

Boston Globe, January 23, 2015

Analysts expect state budget woes to continue

Boston Herald, January 22, 2015

Baker cites $765 million budget shortfall

Boston Globe, January 20, 2015

Massachusetts feels impact of tax cut

Woburn Advocate, January 11, 2015

Many will benefit from the minimum wage hike

WWLP News Channel 20, January 1, 2015

Minimum wage rising in much of US

Boston Globe, January 1, 2015

Why Have A Longer School Day?

WBUR Learning Lab, December 30, 2014

Drop in income tax will cost state $70M

South Coast Today, December 20, 2014

Study: Mass. not among the worst for taxes

WWLP News Channel 20, December 19, 2014

Survey finds acute homelessness in Boston

Boston Globe, December 11, 2014

Poverty rate study reveals troubling numbers

WWLP News Channel 20, November 13, 2014

Poverty rate in Mass. highest since 1960

Boston Globe, November 10, 2014

Low-wage workers applaud sick-time victory

Boston Globe, November 5, 2014

Question 4: Healthy debate over sick leave

Cape Cod Times, November 2, 2014

A ‘yes’ on Question 4 will help Dorchester

Dorchester Reporter, October 22, 2014

Baker opposes sick-time ballot question

Lowell Sun, September 30, 2014

Many Lack Paid Sick Time

Boston Globe, September 30, 2014

GOP’s Baker proposes earned sick time alternative: 40% of workers in Springfield do not get time off

WWLP News Channel 20, September 29, 2014

TV news story cites findings from MassBudget paper "Earned Paid Sick Time by the Numbers: Regional and Local Access In Massachusetts."

Center Argues for Earned Paid Sick Time

Boston Neighborhood Network News, September 25, 2014

Kerrigan touts pre-K education at St. Agnes

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 24, 2014

Worcester’s Emerging Film Industry: Boon or Bust?

Go Local Worcester, September 24, 2014

Child poverty continues to climb in Mass.

Boston Globe, September 22, 2014

Cost of film tax credit: $108,000 per Mass. job

Boston Globe, September 19, 2014

Coakley, GOP exchange jabs on early ed costs, September 16, 2014

Graduated tax rates seen as one strategy for states like Mass.

Boston Globe, September 15, 2014

The article quotes Noah Berger as saying that tax changes over the last 15 years that have benefitted the wealthy, have meant that "the lowest income households — those on living less than $21,000 a year — are paying 9.5 percent of their income toward state and local taxes while those in the top 1 percent — those earning about $700,000 or more — are paying just 6 percent."

New study on 'income inequality' looks at Mass.

Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 14, 2014

Our Kids in MA Are Alright, But We Can Do Better

Huffington Post, September 9, 2014

State considers new charter schools

Wicked Local Bourne, August 22, 2014

The article says: "A recent panel discussion held in Boston to launch an educational research partnership between the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy focused on several topics, including alternative routes to a high school diploma."

Researchers explore diverse approaches to education

Taunton Daily Gazette, August 20, 2014

Noah Berger ... presented data showing that the higher the average level of education is in a state, the higher that state’s wages typically are.

Pricing out state university students

Boston Globe, August 5, 2014

"Even with the nation’s third-highest jump in higher-ed spending from FY 2012 to FY 2014, Massachusetts is still 21 percent below its spending levels of 2001: the $1.2 billion set aside in fiscal 2015 does not come close to the $1.5 billion in 2001 inflation-adjusted dollars."

Report: Mass leads US in child well-being

Bay State Banner, August 2, 2014

Patrick talks child poverty, Shattuck Center

Jamaica Plain Gazette, August 1, 2014

Minimum wage hike to impact one of five workers

Wicked Local Chelmsford, July 29, 2014

Noah Berger is quoted, saying “The largest impact will be in areas where there are more low wage workers, but there are lower-wage workers in most cities and towns in the commonwealth.”

Top Ranking for Massachusetts In Child Well-Being

Public News Service, July 24, 2014

Mass ranked first, N.H. fourth in Kids Count report

Lawrence Eagle Tribune, July 23, 2014

Massachusetts leads rankings in child welfare report

Springfield Republican, July 22, 2014

Study: Massachusetts Kids Better Off Than Most In U.S.

WBZ, July 22, 2014

Radio interview with Noah Berger and print article.

Massachusetts Gets Highest Rank for Children

Boston Neighborhood Network News, July 22, 2014

Central MA Battle Brewing Over Statewide Minimum Wage Increases

Worcester Go Local, July 22, 2014

"Two new studies – one by the Department of Labor and the other by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center – both have data points suggesting that the minimum wage increases will be beneficial to both Central Massachusetts and the Commonwealth as a whole, saying that increased jobs and sales will both occur as a result of increasing minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 an hour."

1 in 4 workers in Greater Brockton to be affected by minimum wage hike

Brockton Enterprise, July 16, 2014

The article covers MassBudget's report "The Regional Impact of an $11/Hour Minimum Wage" and describes the extent Brockton's workers will be helped by the increase in minimum wage.

Minimum wage increase will affect cities like Taunton more than others

Taunton Daily Gazette, July 13, 2014

State lawmakers voted last month to raise the minimum wage to U.S.-leading $11 an hour by Jan. 1, 2017, increasing it incrementally from the current $8 minimum wage in Massachusetts. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted: "The largest impact will be in areas where there are more low-wage workers, but there are lower-wage workers in most cities and towns in the commonwealth." The article summarizes a MassBudget report "The Regional Impact of an $11/Hour Minimum Wage." Among other findings in the report are that statewide, an estimated 605,000 workers, or 20 percent of the Massachusetts labor force, can expect to see their wages rise.

Massachusetts Becomes Latest State to Raise its Minimum Wage

National Law Review, July 2, 2014

Discusses some details of new Massachusetts minimum wage law. Refers to MassBudget findings that the provision applicable to non-tipped employees alone will affect more than 600,000 workers in Massachusetts (1 out of every 5 workers in the state).

Why A Repealed Casino Law Wouldn’t Affect The Mass. Budget Much

WBUR, July 1, 2014

This radio peice says that even if voters vote down casinos in Massachusetts, the projected loss in revenues that would otherwise be received from casinos may not make much of a dent in the budget. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted as saying there are plenty of unpredictable risks in calculating a budget. "You build the budget based on assumptions about economic growth and a number of other factors that affect tax revenue,” he said. “And, if the tax revenue numbers are off by 1 percent in either direction, that’s a significantly larger swing than the casino revenue money."

State lawmakers poised to vote on new budget: More state funds for DCF, antidrug effort in $36.5b plan

Boston Globe, June 30, 2014

State lawmakers are will vote today [Monday, June 30] on a budget that would boost spending on the troubled Department of Children and Families to lighten caseloads for social workers, put new money toward drug addiction treatment, and increase support to cities and towns that have felt the pinch in previous years. MassBudget's Noah Berger called the budget "modest" and said it “makes smart, targeted investments in areas like higher education, strengthening child welfare services and addressing substance abuse prevention and treatment. . . but "is “not a dramatic attempt to address some of our biggest challenges at the scale of those problems.”

Massachusetts Governor Signs Minimum Wage Hike Into Law: Minimum wage rate increases from $8 to $11 an hour by 2017

NACS online, June 30, 2014

Massachusetts is “on course to have the highest minimum wage of any state in the country,” reports the Boston Globe. Last week Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill raising the minimum wage incrementally by one dollar a year: $9 on Jan. 1, 2015; $10 on Jan. 1, 2016, and $11 on Jan. 1, 2017. The article quotes MassBudget from the Globe: "Furthermore, the new law isn’t tied to inflation, meaning that as prices for groceries, rent and electricity rise, “workers will fall further behind. … The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates that by 2017, $11 will be worth $10.32 in today’s dollars.”

State universities, community colleges sound funding alarm

Boston Globe, June 30, 2014

The state budget approved by legislators today will give the University of Massachusetts system enough funding to freeze tuition and fees for a second straight year, but leaders of the state’s nine other public universities and 15 community colleges said their funding allocation is likely to mean higher prices and cuts to programming and staff. The article quotes MasssBudget's Noah Berger as saying that maintaining the affordability that community colleges and state universities provide is important to building the state’s workforce. “Tuition and fee increases are dangerous potentially for the future of the state economy,” Berger is quoted. “More so than many other states, we depend on a well-educated workforce to drive the state economy.”

Local aid increases don’t offset years of cuts

Winchester Wicked local, June 29, 2014

While the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2015 call for increases to local aid, the additional funding doesn’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. "Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s," said Luc Schuster, deputy director of MassBudget.

New commission could rethink Mass. education funding, June 29, 2014

New scrutiny would come from the Foundation Budget Review Commission, which, if a proposed law is enacted, would mandate a far-reaching examination of the Chapter 70 law used to allocate aid to schools. Brian E. Allen, the Worcester school's chief financial and operations officer, provided the data. "The inflation factor does not accurately reflect the true costs of health insurance increases; and also the foundation budget has never accurately captured the true cost of paying for special education services," Mr. Allen said in an interview. He pointed to a 2011 study by the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center that concluded $2.1 billion more is needed statewide to close the gap "between what the foundation budget says districts need for certain cost categories — and what districts are actually spending."

OUR VIEW: Why college costs so much

Bristol (Conn.) Press, June 27, 2014

The article starts as follows:"Many of us were stunned, reading Thursday’s paper, to learn that the cost of attending the University of Connecticut next year will be $24,518. Here in the newsroom, we remember a time when people, including us, went to state schools because they were affordable. That’s not how we see the 6.5 percent tuition hike that the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees approved Wednesday. In fact, according to the New York Times, college tuition and fees today are 559 percent of their cost in 1985." The article quotes an article authored in part by Noah Berger: "States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but is also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do."

Minimum wage increase doesn’t add up to a living wage

Boston Globe, June 26, 2014

The article says that the new minimum wage law -- which pushes the hourly rate in Massachusetts from $8 to $11 dollars over the next few years — gives the state the highest base pay in the nation. But it will still not be enough for some workers to live on. The article notes that MassBudget estimates that by 2017, $11 will be worth $10.32 in today’s dollars.

Minimum Wage Hike Affects Thousands of Berkshire Workers

iBerkshires, June 26, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday, June 26 signed a bill making the state's minimum wage the highest in the nation, raising it from the current $8 to $11 over the next several years. MassBudget is quoted to the effect that the hike will directly affect some 11,000 workers in the greater Pittsfield area and indirectly another 2,600, or about 27 percent of wage earners. According to MassBudget: "According to MassBudget, more than 600,000 workers are at minimum wage, and more than 85 percent of those are age 20 and older. More than half are women and 140,000 are parents.

Massachusetts maxes out on minimum wage, but is $11 enough?

Commonwealth Magazine, June 24, 2014

The article concerns itself with the lack of indexing for inflation in the new law raising the minimum wage. It refers to a new policy brief in which MassBudget concludes that the increase will have a significant impact in regions of the state where there are large numbers of low-wage workers, such as outside Boston.

Massachusetts minimum wage raised to $11 by 2017

Wicked Local Chelmsford, June 23, 2014

The Massachusetts Legislature has voted to boost the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, increasing it by $1 dollar per year starting in 2015. The article says: "According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the increase to $11 per hour will benefit roughly 600,000 workers, over 85% of whom are above the age of twenty. Nearly one in four is a parent."

Vote to raise minimum wage 'a step forward,' Waltham legislator says

Wicked Local Waltham, June 23, 2014

The Massachusetts Legislature has voted to boost the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, increasing it by $1 dollar per year starting in 2015. According to MassBudget, the increase to $11 per hour will benefit roughly 600,000 workers, over 85 percent of whom are above the age of 20. Nearly one in four is a parent.

Local aid gets boost

Wicked Local Concord, June 20, 2014

The article says that while the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal 2015 call for increases to local aid, the additional funding doesn’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. In particlular, it quotes MassBudget's Deputy Director, Luc Schuster: "Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s."

Lawmakers, advocates focus on DCF improvements

Boston Globe, June 19, 2014

The article concerns the recent difficulties facing the Department of Children and Families. The article includes a MassBudget chart showing the decline over the last several years in funding for the Department.

State’s taxpayer advocate sums up without division

Boston Globe, June 14, 2014

The article extols Michael Widmer, retiring President of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and points out his support for educational programs in Massachusetts. MassBudget's Noah Berger, although often at odds with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, is quoted as saying that Widmer “consistently steers our public debates away from divisiveness and toward a spirit of working together toward a positive vision of the common good.”

Officials appeal to moral obligation in poverty fight

Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, June 14, 2014

The article discusses a conference about poverty in north central Massachusetts. It mentions that Noah Berger spoke about the benign effect of the recent raise in the minimum wage.

Mass. poised to be pacesetter for minimum wage

Boston Globe, June 13, 2014

The Massachusetts Senate has voted overwhelmingly to increase the minimum wage from $8 to $11 per hour by 2017. The House of Representatives is expected to approve the legislation next week, and Governor Deval Patrick has said he will sign it. The article quotes Noah Berger as saying; “Establishing an $11 per hour minimum wage will raise the wages of a half-million people in Massachusetts, which will be very important to those working people and their families and will also have a positive impact on the state economy.”

Local aid increases don't offset years of decreases

Wicked Local Fall River, June 11, 2014

The House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal 2015 call for increases to local aid, but the additional funds don’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. MassBudget's Luc Schuster is quoted as saying: “Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s.”

In school budget woes, state bears brunt of blame

Newburyport Daily News, June 2, 2014

Article deals with who is to blame for escalating costs in the public schools. The article says: "As the financial watchdog organization Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has pointed out, the state’s spending on local aid, which includes our public schools, is 46 percent below what it was in 2001, when adjusted for inflation. That is an enormous sum of money."

Bridgewater State Hospital slow to embrace change

Boston Globe, June 1, 2014

The article says that Bridgewater resisted trend to more humane ways and that harsh handling of mentally ill increased. MassBudget is cited for the proposition that Massachusetts has actually cut its mental health care budget by $100 million, or more than 12 percent, since 2001, adjusting the figure for inflation.

UMass funding could be a new beginning

Boston Globe, May 23, 2014

Senate votes to increase U.Mass funding. But according to MassBudget, spending for higher education dropped 31 percent between 2001 and 2013.

Senators focus on Health and Human Services in budget

Wicked Local Brookline, May 23, 2014

The Senate pass a $36.4 billion budget that calls for new investments in child welfare. Noah Berger was quoted saying: Health and Human Services is a large part of the state budget, so it’s not that surprising there would be lot of amendments in those areas, but I do think there is new attention now on the Department of Children and Families, which has one of the most difficult jobs in state government."

Senators focus on Health and Human Services; Pacheco focuses on Taunton State Hospital

Taunton Daily Gazette, May 22, 2014

Senators filed more than one quarter of budget amendments on the Office of Health and Human Services, which oversees the embattled Department of Children and families. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted as saying: "Health and Human Services is a large part of the state budget, so it’s not that surprising there would be lot of amendments in those areas, but I do think there is new attention now on the Department of Children and Families, which has one of the most difficult jobs in state government."

UMass budget plan could curb student debt

Boston Globe, May 19, 2014

Senate leaders' proposed budget would sharply increase U.Mass funding, freezing tuition for second year in a row. Figures from MassBudget are cited to the effect that state funding for U.Mass is $100 million less than in 2001, when adjusted for inflation.

Preschool pays off, but only for kids that go

Boston Globe, May 14, 2014

What it would cost to provide prekindergarten school for all kids in Massachusetts.


State House News Service, May 14, 2014

With additional money for pre-school, housing supports and child welfare, Senate leaders on 5/14 presented a $36.25 billion budget plan for next year that increases total state total spending by almost $1.7 billion from this year. The Senate budget goes further than the House in chipping away at the waiting list for early education programs and in increasing spending for the Department of Children and Families by about $25 million to reduce caseloads for social workers and equip the department with new technology to help track and manage families under its watch.

The article quotes Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, as saying that, given the lack of appetite for new taxes the budget makes “smart” and targeted investments to begin tackling large issues that will require attention for years to come.

Budget plan calls for more funds for child welfare

Boston Herald, May 14, 2014

A $36.25 billion state spending plan proposed 5/14 by Senate budget writers seeks increased funds for substance abuse prevention and for the state's child welfare agency. The proposal seeks an overall 4.8 percent increase in spending, but no new taxes.

MassBudget's Noah Berger was quoted as saying the Senate budget was "fiscally responsible" and focused on programs to help children, but does not call for significant new revenue, "limiting the investments we can make in expanding opportunity for our young people and strengthening our state economy over the long run."

No sure bet on casinos

Op ed Boston Globe, May 11, 2014

Whether proposed referendum on gambling reflects anti-business bias in Massachusettts. MassBudget's report cited that business taxes in Massachusetts are low.

Boston forms Universal Pre-K Advisory Committee

Allston Brighton Wicked Local, May 7, 2014

Mayor Walsh has formed a Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Committee to recommend a citywide plan to double the enrollment of four-year-olds in high quality, full-day pre-kindergarten programs by 2018. The Committee includes MassBudget's Noah Berger.

Fund early education, as Oklahoma does

Boston Globe, May 4, 2014

Georgia and Oklahoma are the only two states that offer free preschool to every 4-year-old.

Little complaint by Attleboro area legislators on $36.2B House budget

Sun Chronicle, May 2, 2014

The $36.2 billion House budget proposal for next fiscal year passed the House on a 148-2 vote. Some local legislators said of the plan that it "is balanced, avoids tax increases, and puts more money in neglected areas of state government such as treating substance abuse, mental illness and homelessness." MassBudget's Noah Berger was quoted as saying that while the Budget makes important incremental progress in restoring funding for higher education and the Department on Children and Families, "without new revenue, the House was unable to address the broader challenges of making sure that every child has access to a high-quality education, starting in the earliest years, and removing barriers to success by substantially expanding access to child care, job training, and other supports for working families struggling to make ends meet."

As Mass. DCF Moves Under New Leader, Lawmakers OK Funding Boost

New England Public Radio, May 1, 2014

The Massachusetts House is recommending a $38 million increase over last fiscal year for the Department of Children and Families, as it undergoes a change in leadership. MassBudget's Noah Berger points out that, as important a step as that may be, “DCF funding is still 10 percent below what it was back in 2008 and adjusted for inflation.”

Why Elizabeth Warren's home state needs help, April 30, 2014

Massachusetts—friendlier than most to an active and involved government—remains the site of some of the country’s starkest disparities, according to this article.

State’s $30 scratch tickets get a fast welcome

Boston Globe, April 29, 2014

Last week the Massachusetts State Lottery, following some other states, introduced $30 scratch lottery tickets, saying there is a market for more costly games with the chance of bigger winnings. The prizes include four $15 million dollar tickets and 36 $1 million dollar tickets.

Do Mass. taxpayers care enough about child welfare to pay up?

Boston Globe, April 29, 2014

The editorial says that more money is going to needed -- in the form of more tax revenue -- if the problems in the Department of Children and Families are to be cured

Who Pays More in Taxes?

Boston Globe, April 22, 2014

Federal taxes are more progressive than most state taxes: a discussion.

Universal pre-K in Massachusetts would cost $1.5 billion

WickedLocal - Acton, April 19, 2014

Discusses options for expanding early education and care in Massachusetts, and MassBudget's report on the issue. Quotes State Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, the House Chair of the Joint Committee of Education, about the need to expand early education access and quotes Noah Berger, MassBudget's President, about how pre-kindergarten education makes a difference in kids' ability to do well in school.

Taunton State Hospital budget amendment among 1,175 filed by Mass. House members

Taunton Daily Gazette, April 18, 2014

Discussion of amendments to April 9 $36.5 million House Ways and Means Committee budget. Quote from article: Noah Berger, director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, predicted there will be considerable debate on issues such as youth jobs funding when the House takes up the budget the week of April 28. He doesn’t anticipate much discussion on new revenues. “The broader context is we are still in very difficult budget times,” Berger said. “We don’t have budget surpluses. We actually have ongoing budget gaps. We are still crawling our of worst economic recession since the Great Depression.”

Interview with Noah Berger

980 WCAP , April 16, 2014

Discussion of business taxes in Massachusetts, which rank 30th or 40th in the country (depending how they are measured), and Massachusetts businesses' need for an educated workforce

Rallying tax rage

Cape Cod Times, April 13, 2014

"As much as we all love to complain about paying taxes, how many of us really know where and how tax money is spent? "For a little perspective (as my mother always said was important), the two nonpartisan organizations I like to refer to every year during tax filing season — the deadline for which is Tuesday — are the Massachusetts-based National Priorities Project and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget)." Quotes Noah Berger, MasssBudget's president, extensively on how high Massachusetts taxes, including business taxes, are, especially as compared to other states.

If Massachusetts were a country, how rich would it be?

Boston Globe, April 10, 2014

"What if Massachusetts were a country, rather than a state? How would this Imaginary Republic of Massachusetts stack up against the nations of the world? Would it be a rich country, or a poor one? A nation of great inequality or shared prosperity? A beacon of multicultural harmony or an especially segregated society?" The article finds, among other surprising facts, that Massachusetts is very rich, in fact fourth after Norway, Luxembourg, and Singapore and ahead of Switzerland, the US (as a whole), and Hong Kong

House leaders propose

Fall River Herald News, April 9, 2014

The House proposal calls for $25.5 million in additional unrestricted local aid for cities and towns and $100 million in additional Chapter 70 education funding. "Noah Berger, director of the Massachusetts Budget Policy Center, said the budget proposal “takes some small steps” forward, but could do more had the House chosen to introduce new revenue streams. “What this budget doesn't do is present a strong, long-term vision for expanding opportunity and strengthening our economy by providing significant new support for things like workforce training, early education and other investments in our people,” he said."

Mass. House unveils $36.2 billion budget

Boston Globe, April 9, 2014

House leaders released a proposed $36.2 billion budget Wednesday that increases funding for drug treatment, higher education, and local aid, but rejects Governor Deval Patrick’s push for new taxes and trims some of his priorities, including early education programs. Noah Berger, MassBudget's President, is quoted.

Affordable pre-K programs would cost state $1.5B

WWLP Channel 22 (Springfield) News, April 8, 2014

TV newsclip, covering Massbudget's new report Building a Foundation for Success, says that kids 3 & 4yrs old either receive no early education or pay full price for private schooling. The report found that expanding affordable access for all eligible children to pre-kindergarten education would cost the state $1.5 billion

What you need to know about tomorrow’s budget proposal

Boston Globe, April 8, 2014

Describes the rudiments of the budget process in Massachusetts, concentrating on the House Ways and Means Committee budget, to be issued April 9, 2014. Includes data from Massbudget

Many families get no help to pay for early education cost

Boston Globe, April 7, 2014

About 19,000 children age 3 and 4 from low-income Massachusetts families, who probably cannot afford early education programs, do not get public assistance for preschool or prekindergarten, according to a new report from a budget research group. These children come from families in poverty or whose incomes fall below most basic cost-of-living thresholds — about $40,000 for a family of three, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center study found, adding to the long-simmering debate about expanding school access for young children .

FAQ: The Minimum Wage In Mass.

WBUR, April 1, 2014

Answers various questions about the minimum wage in Massachusetts, and features information from MassBudget.

Businesses seek tax break to balance wage hike

Boston Globe, March 31, 2014

The article says that many Massachusetts businesses have backed off their longstanding opposition to raising the state’s minimum wage if, in return, lawmakers drop a planned increase in the unemployment insurance taxes that businesses pay. According to the article, business leaders say this “balanced approach” would probably win many employers’ tacit support for raising the pay of the lowest-paid workers. The article quotes John Regan, a lobbyist for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a trade group. According to the article, businesses have mounted an aggressive campaign to persuade legislators to stop an average 30 percent increase in the unemployment tax from taking effect at the end of May. If that increase is canceled, businesses would avoid paying an average of $240 a year more for every worker they employ. Several states are considering increases through legislation or voter initiatives, including Massachusetts, where a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour from $8 by 2016 appears headed to the November ballot. The Massachusetts House and Senate are each considering a minimum-wage increase, but differ on whether it should rise to $10.50 or $11 an hour over three years and whether to automatically increase it at the rate of inflation in subsequent years. The article mentions information provided by Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and quotes Representative Tom Conroy, a Wayland Democrat.

Report: ‘Taxachusetts’ has lower business tax burden than New Hampshire

New Hampshire Business Review, March 31, 2014

Report by MassBudget says that Massachusetts – often scornfully referred to as "Taxachusetts" – actually has a lower business tax burden than most other states, including New Hampshire.

Tax cuts that continue to haunt Mass

Boston Globe - Op-Ed, February 12, 2013

Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone...About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since...The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million.

Look at what the state is doing right

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011

WITH THE governor scheduled to file his budget proposal for the coming year on Wednesday, and the Commonwealth facing a budget gap of close to $2 billion, knowing that our government provides services as efficiently as possible will be more important than ever.