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
Public News Service, July 24, 2014
Lawrence Eagle Tribune, July 23, 2014
Springfield Republican, July 22, 2014
Boston.com, July 22, 2014
Boston Globe, July 22, 2014
Cape Cod Times, July 22, 2014
WBZ, July 22, 2014
Radio interview with Noah Berger and print article.
wcvb.com, July 22, 2014
Boston Neighborhood Network News, July 22, 2014
Boston Globe, July 22, 2014
Norton Patch, July 22, 2014
Boston.com, July 22, 2014
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.
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.
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).
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."
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
WorcesterTelegram.com, 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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Boston Globe, May 4, 2014
Georgia and Oklahoma are the only two states that offer free preschool to every 4-year-old.
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."
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.”
MSNBC.com, 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.
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.
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
Boston Globe, April 22, 2014
Federal taxes are more progressive than most state taxes: a discussion.
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 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.”
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
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.
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
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."
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.
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
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
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 .
Taunton Daily Gazette, April 7, 2014
WBUR, April 1, 2014
Answers various questions about the minimum wage in Massachusetts, and features information from MassBudget.
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.
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.
The Enterprise, March 29, 2014
A new analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says the state ranks 40th for overall business taxes, and is second lowest in New England
Boston Globe, March 28, 2014
Massachusetts is not, in fact, “Taxachusetts.” Rather, the Bay State is right in the middle, neither high nor low, imposing less of a burden on its citizens than certain other states filled with anti-tax braggadocio (ahem, that would be you, New Hampshire). But “Taxachusetts” is also less about reality than it is a state of mind. We may not tax heavily now, but we used to — and if certain folks had their druthers, we would once again. The financial website WalletHub just released its ranking of the best and worst states to be a taxpayer. On top was Wyoming (with average annual taxes of $2,365) while Massachusetts ($6,884) came in at 21. Some states with greater tax burdens defy stereotypes. South Carolina, for example, was 23rd, Georgia 26th, and the aforementioned Granite State was 28th ($7,419). That seems a puzzle. With no sales or income taxes, how can New Hampshire be worse off than Massachusetts? Continue reading below ▼ Because politicians are crafty people. New Hampshire crows about the taxes it doesn’t have even as it finds other ways to reach into pocketbooks; its property taxes, for example, are among the highest in the nation. In fact, the myth of Taxachusetts has been widely reported. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center observes the Bay State takes 10.4 percent of its citizens’ incomes as taxes, less than the US average of 10.6 percent. The nonpartisan StateMaster looked at taxes as a percent of GDP and ranked Massachusetts right in the middle, at 25. The Tax Foundation notes that, when it comes to taxes, Massachusetts is a “beacon of moderation.”
NECN, March 23, 2014
Noah Berger, President of Massachusetts Budget and Policy, and Jon Hurst, President of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, debate about raising the minimum wage.
Berkshire Eagle, March 10, 2014
For a hundred years Massachusetts has been setting minimum wage rates. Today, however, that wage, at $8 an hour, is worth 25 percent less than it was in 1968. Adjusting for inflation, a full-time minimum wage worker made $21,000 a year in 1968. Today that worker makes just $16,000. That decline has contributed to growing inequality and to a declining standard of living for lower wage working people - even as our economy continues to grow.
Patriot Ledger, March 8, 2014
State economic policy should aim to make life better for regular people. That means everyone who works for a living should be able to make a living – not just scraping by, but a living with security and the ability to raise children and save for the future. For the past several decades, our national economy and policy-makers have not achieved these goals. Workers did their part. American productivity has doubled. But the resulting prosperity has not been broadly shared. Incomes have increased dramatically for the very wealthy, while wages for folks in the middle have barely budged – and our lowest-wage workers have seen the value of their wages decline. For a hundred years, Massachusetts has been setting minimum-wage rates. Today, however, that wage, at $8 an hour, is worth 25 percent less than it was in 1968. Adjusting for inflation, a full-time minimum-wage worker made $21,000 a year in 1968. Today that worker makes just $16,000. That decline has contributed to growing inequality and to a declining standard of living for lower-wage working people – even as our economy continues to grow.
Boston Globe, February 18, 2014
Because the value of the minimum wage hasn't kept pace with inflation, a full-time minimum wage worker now makes the equivalent of $5,400 a year less than in 1968, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
Boston Globe, February 17, 2014
Massachusetts, which often prides itself on its progressive values, is a laggard in protecting restaurant workers. Its current tipped minimum wage is worth just one-third of the regular minimum wage, and is lower than the tipped wage in 27 other states, including all other New England states, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
The Enterprise, February 11, 2014
The increase in wages would give the workers more spending power, stimulate the economy and create more jobs, the budget and policy center argued in a 2012 report.
Wicked Local Arlington, February 11, 2014
The main critique of a minimum wage increase is that it has a negative effect on job growth. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, however, notes that increasing the minimum wage has historically had negligible effects on job growth.
Boston Globe, February 10, 2014
Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois listened as Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget Policy Center, spoke during a minimum wage roundtable discussion at a Boloco location on Congress Street.
22WWLP.com (via State House News), February 10, 2014
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said 500,000 Massachusetts workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage.
The Recorder, February 1, 2014
Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said that there is a direct correlation between having a well-educated state and having a higher median wage. He said that Massachusetts has the highest percentage of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree (about 45 percent) and the third-highest median salary (about $19 an hour). There’s still room for growth, he said. "If we can make sure all our kids are getting the support they need, from their earliest days, to be successful, we’ll have a dramatically different economy 20 years from now," he said.
GoLocalWorcester.com, January 30, 2014
"Both proposals would raise the wages of about half a million minimum-wage workers," said Noah Berger, president of the Boston-based Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. He said the increase would also restore the real value of the minimum wage to about what it was in 1968. "That decline in the minimum wage has contributed to increasing income inequality and a decline in quality of life."
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 24, 2014
Pointing to Mass Budget & Policy Center data, children's advocates noted that adjusting for inflation, the state budgeted approximately $336 million for children and family services in fiscal 2009, while the 2015 budget provides $310 million for comparable services.
The Rainbow Times, January 23, 2014
Noah Berger, President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, also responded to the Governor’s budget proposal for FY 2015..."This budget sets smart priorities—including targeted investments in education, some innovative reforms in criminal justice, and a commitment to fiscal responsibility—but there is a lot of work still to be done to create an economy that can deliver broadly shared prosperity. Without significant new tax revenue the Governor is not able to make the kinds of investments that could really strengthen our economy in the long run by ensuring that all of our young people get the support they need to reach their full potential."
22 WWLP.Com, January 23, 2014
"Without significant new tax revenue, you really can't make the kinds of investments that would strengthen our economy in the long term," said Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center President Noah Berger.
Boston Globe, January 22, 2014
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center...said Patrick's focus on education and transit is commendable but his ability to make a lasting impact in those areas is limited since he chose not to push for larger tax increases in this budget..."The governor called it a sensible budget, which I think is somewhat accurate," Berger said. "But without significant new tax revenue, you really can't make the kind of investments that would strengthen our economy in the long-term..."
MassLive (Springfield Republican), January 22, 2014
Meanwhile, Noah Berger, president of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research group focusing on policies affecting low and middle income individuals, criticized Patrick for the lack of new revenue. "Without significant new revenue, it's not able to make the kind of investments that in the long term could really strengthen the economy by making sure all of our kids get the quality of education they need and the support that will enable people to develop into the most effective workers and to contribute to a really strong economy in the Commonwealth in the long term," Berger said.
Boston Business Journal, January 15, 2014
Massachusetts is expected to face a $514 million structural budget gap in the upcoming fiscal year, the sixth-consecutive year in which the cost of maintaining current services will exceed ongoing revenue collections, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
Wicked Local, January 14, 2014
Coakley said raising the minimum wage would help families and the overall economy, citing a report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center that $1.5 billion in new wages generated by a $3 increase in the minimum wage would be spent in the local economy.
Sentinal & Enterprise (via State House News), January 13, 2014
Coakley said raising the $8 an hour minimum wage would not only help families but the overall economy, citing a report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center that $1.5 billion in new wages generated by a $3 increase in the minimum wage would be spent in the local economy.
GoLocalWorcester.com, January 10, 2014
"While it is important to keep debt at a reasonable level, state policy should also reflect the fact that a state can strengthen its economy by borrowing to make smart investments in, for example, high quality transportation infrastructure – just as it is important for state budgets to invest in the education and skills of people to increase the productivity of the state economy...The importance of long-term economic strength should always be considered as part of any discussion about debt," Noah Berger concluded.
GoLocalWorcester.com, January 9, 2014
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center calculated last year that had the state indexed the gas tax for inflation in 1991 (the last year the excise tax changed), the rate would be 36 cents per gallon today...That center acknowledged a greater impact on low and moderate income households by indexing the tax, but cited other beneficial effects, including curbing consumption.
Boston Neighborhood News, January 9, 2014
A new report shows a widening gap in earnings for Massachusetts, despite a relatively high median income. Interview for BNN News with Noah Berger, Executive Director of the Mass. Budget and Policy Center.
Bay State Banner, January 8, 2014
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said that it is important that people distinguish between the actions of certain elected officials and the government in general and he worries that the numbers that show low trust in the government are impacted by those not making this distinction. "I think when you think about government it is important to keep in mind that government is not just those politicians in Washington, it is how we work together to do important things," Berger said.
Sun Chronicle, January 5, 2014
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said it remains to be seen whether improved business and economic conditions will filter down to workers. "The challenge is whether those improvements will turn into the hiring of local people," Berger said. "Since World War II up to the 1970s, we saw conditions where every time the economy improved, wages and employment improved as well. But over the past 30 years, the economy has kept on expanding but wage growth has remained slow."
Wicked Local Chatham, December 27, 2013
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center projected raising the state minimum wage by that amount would directly or indirectly benefit 18,700 workers on the Cape and Islands. That's 22 percent of the Mid Cape work force, and 16 percent of workers in the rest of the Cape and Island.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, December 15, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center...the value of the state's minimum wage rate, based on increases in the cost of living, has declined by 25 percent since its peak in 1968, when it was at $10.72 in today's dollars...A minimum-wage worker in Massachusetts today earns $16,000 per year, which is right on the poverty line for a family of two, and $5,400 less than he or she would earn at the 1968 value.
Wicked Local Waltham, December 10, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 485,000 workers would directly benefit from a bump to $11 per hour by 2016.
Huffington Post, December 9, 2013
According to The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, "incomes for the highest income families in Massachusetts have grown almost five times as fast as those for low-income families and nearly twice as fast as those for middle-income families," over the past two decades. According to the organization, the inequality gap has increased more during this time in Massachusetts than in 47 of the other states.
Lowell Sun, December 8, 2013
"In a way, it's a shift from one tax to another," said Noah Berger, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center...According to the center, state local aid has fallen by 46 percent from fiscal 2001 to 2012. Early-education funding has dropped 28 percent, and general education aid known as Chapter 70 funds is down by 8 percent
Enterprise, December 5, 2013
In Brockton, one of four workers makes $10 or less per hour, compared to one in five statewide, according to the Brockton Interfaith Community, according to according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group...In the greater Brockton workforce, 22 percent or 11,500 people, would be directly or indirectly affected by the proposed change to the state minimum wage. Only greater Lowell, Springfield and greater New Bedford would have a higher percentage of workers who would be affected according to their analysis.
Wicked Local Lexington, December 2, 2013
According to an October 2013 report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the state reduced higher education spending by $366.1 million, 25 percent, between fiscal 2001 and 2013. However in fiscal 2014, the state increased spending by $86.6 million.
Wicked Local Lincoln, December 1, 2013
According to a study by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, about 8,600 workers in the Framingham and Natick area would be affected if the minimum wage increased to $10.50 by 2016, a figure based on a proposed ballot initiative. That is 17 percent of the total number of workers in the area.
Sun Chronicle, November 29, 2013
Noah Berger, director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said paying workers more will pump up the local economy because the workers will have more money to spend..."It puts more money in the pockets of consumers," he said.
Wicked Local Chelmsford, November 27, 2013
According to an October 2013 report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the state reduced higher education spending by $366.1 million, 25 percent, between fiscal 2001 and 2013. However in fiscal 2014, the state increased spending by $86.6 million.
Boston Globe, November 25, 2013
Six years after the state launched an unprecedented effort to address the mental and developmental needs of young children, doctors in Massachusetts are screening more children for behavioral health concerns than any other state...Nearly 7 in 10 Massachusetts children under age 6 in low-income families were screened in 2011 and 2012 — more than twice the rate in the United States as a whole, according to data released this month by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center as part of the national Kids Count report.
Lowell Sun, November 25, 2013
Funding to Massachusetts state colleges and universities has plunged over the past decade, but this year, the Legislature appropriated $1.1 billion in funding, allowing state universities to freeze tuition and fees. The funding saw an increase of 8.3 percent from fiscal 2013, adjusted for inflation, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
Boston.com, November 24, 2013
Nearly 7 in 10 Massachusetts children under age 6 in low-income families were screened in 2011 and 2012--more than twice the rate of screening in the United States as a whole, according to data released this month by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center as part of the national Kids Count report.
Martha's Vineyard Patch, November 24, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), the majority of funding for public schools in the Bay State--53.8 percent in 2010--comes from local property taxes, making us seventh in the nation for local funding of schools. (Connecticut is #1, with taxpayers furnishing 57.5 percent of the money for public schools.) The state chipped in 38.8 percent of Massachusetts public school funding in 2010 and the federal government pitched 7.4 percent into the budget pot, according to MassBudget.
Boston Globe, November 22, 2013
Because the value of the minimum wage hasn’t kept pace with inflation, a full-time minimum wage worker now makes $5,000 a year less than in 1968, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. The Senate bill would restore the minimum wage to the purchasing power it would have if inflation were factored in...As the center also points out, many people wrongly associate minimum-wage work primarily with teenage workers. In fact, about 73 percent are age 20 or older.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 22, 2013
Although median household income grew from $35,623 to $45,846 during Mr. O'Brien's tenure, the median value of a house went from about $119,600 to $234,400. Meanwhile, the number of Worcester residents living below the poverty level went from 17.9 percent in 1999 to 19 percent today.
Boston Globe, November 20, 2013
Supporters say the Senate bill would boost the pay for 485,000 workers who currently earn between $8 and $11 an hour. Another 104,000 workers who earn between $11 and $12 an hour would see their pay rise as a result of a ripple effect from the higher minimum..."While our economy has become increasingly productive, wages for middle- and low-income workers have been stagnant and the value of the minimum wage has declined,” Noah Berger, president of the center, said in a statement. “When too many of our working people don’t make enough to pay for basic necessities, it hurts those workers and their familiesand the reduced demand for goods and services harms local businesses, as well."
MassLive (Springfield Republican), November 20, 2013
According to a study by the nonpartisan Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in Boston, 17,800 workers in Springfield would be affected if the minimum wage goes to $10.50 an hour, with 14,600 workers currently receiving less than $10.50 an hour and 3,200 earning just above that...Statewide, if the wage rises to $10.50, 495,000 workers would be affected, including 440,000 because they earn less than that.
South Coast Today, November 20, 2013
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which supports the increase, said several states pay tipped workers 100 percent of the regular minimum wage..."We hear these horror stories about (raising the minimum wage), but in California tipped workers get full minimum wage, and restaurants still do well in California," he said...Poverty also goes down when the minimum wage of tip workers is raised, Berger added, claiming 16 percent of tip workers in the states with the lowest minimum wages are under the poverty line, while that drops to 12 percent in states that pay tip workers the regular minimum wage.
WGBH, Greater Boston, November 20, 2013
Sentinel & Enterprise, November 20, 2013
According to its data, 9,400 workers in Fitchburg and Leominster would benefit directly by a minimum wage increase to $10.50 per hour. "What citizens need most right now are consumers to spend money in their stores, that can help their local businesses," said Noah Berger, the center's president.
Boston Business Journal, November 20, 2013
According to a study by the nonpartisan Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in Boston, 17,800 workers in Springfield would be affected if the minimum wage goes to $10.50 an hour, with 14,600 workers currently receiving less than $10.50 an hour and 3,200 earning just above that. Statewide, if the wage rises to $10.50, 495,000 workers would be affected, including 440,000 because they earn less than that.
BostInno, November 20, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center 589,000 Bay Staters would see an increase in their pay come 2016 and those in the retail industry would be most affected. In that same respect, the retail industry is the bill's largest opponent.
Sun Chronicle, November 20, 2013
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates that 589,000 workers in Massachusetts would get a pay raise from a higher minimum wage, including 10,600 in Attleboro. About 88 percent of those affected are age 20 or older and are mostly concentrated in poorer cities, according to the center.
Boston Herald, November 19, 2013
About 94,000 Massachusetts workers make the minimum, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. It lists 27 percent of minimum-wage earners as teens and 73 percent as older than 20. Women make up 60 percent of minimum-wage earners, and only 20 percent overall are parents. Proponents say the pay hike is necessary to pay families a living wage. Opponents say it will lead to job cuts, hitting teens hard.
itemlive.com, November 18, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MBPC), a full-time minimum wage worker today earns $16,000 per year. When adjusted for inflation, that is $5,000 less than what the same worker would have earned in 1968..."The minimum wage hasn't kept pace with inflation," said MBPC President Noah Berger. "When too many of our working people don't make enough to pay for basic necessities, it hurts those workers and their families - and the reduced demand for goods and services harms local businesses as well."
Bay State Banner, October 30, 2013
Recently, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center released a paper entitled "Higher Learning, Lower Funding: The Decline in Support for Higher Education in Massachusetts." The paper analyzes trends in state funding for higher education over time, compares public higher education spending to other states, and identifies where Massachusetts students come from and where they go after graduation.
Bill Newman Show - WHMP-AM, October 30, 2013
MassBudget president Noah Berger discusses public higher education funding in Massachusetts and the value of a well-educated workforce.
The Greenfield Recorder (via State House News), October 29, 2013
In Massachusetts, there are nearly half a million workers who earn the $8 an hour minimum wage or very close to it. Approximately 94,000 people earn the minimum wage and around 398,000 earn between $8.25 to $11 per hour, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which estimated 73 percent of minimum wage earners are 20 years old or older.
Sun Chronicle, October 26, 2013
The recession played havoc with states' job training and youth employment programs that have only recently begun to return pre-2007 funding levels, said Luc Schuster, deputy director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center...State support for higher education remains about 25 percent lower than 2001 when adjusted for inflation, Schuster said.
Boston Globe, October 22, 2013
Since 2001, state leaders have reduced the state mental health care budget by nearly $100 million, or more than 12 percent, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that adjusted the figures for inflation.
Boston Globe, October 20, 2013
After the tech tax repeal, Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, issued a report warning about its long-term consequences...The report also points out that while increases in gas and cigarette taxes "may be good for public health and for the environment, they are also taxes that generally require lower-income people to pay a larger share of their income than higher-income people."
Sentinal & Enterprise (via State House News), October 18, 2013
Luc Schuster, deputy director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said during the first decade of Education Reform, the state followed through on its commitment to Chapter 70 funding. It doubled from approximately $2.5 billion in 1993 to nearly $5 billion by 2003. It was a different story during the second decade, he said, with Chapter 70 funds cut $600 million since 2002.
Boston Globe, October 5, 2013
Despite a slight increase in 2012, median family income in Massachusetts remains 5.4 percent below what it was before the downturn, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center reports.
Wicked Local Wareham (via State House News), September 17, 2013
In a statement following the release of the data, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center President Noah Berger said government should work to address the income and poverty numbers by rebuilding infrastructure, investing in schools, and raising the minimum wage.
Orlando Sentinel, September 15, 2013
For example, in 22 states where fewer than 30 percent of workers hold bachelor's degrees, median pay is typically about $15 an hour. But in the three states where 40 percent or more of residents have at least a bachelor's degree, median wages are about $20 an hour...That $5 an hour bump is a big deal, say authors Noah Berger and Peter Fisher. It's the difference between making $41,000 a year and $31,000 a year.
Boston.com, September 12, 2013
Liberal watchdog groups said diverting surplus money to plug the gap created by the repeal of the tax will only paper over the problem...Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, called it “a temporary solution to a permanent problem.” “We have long-term needs in transportation and education, and to try to patch over those needs with one-time solutions doesn’t solve the problem,” Berger said.
Boston Herald, September 11, 2013
Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday that he was open to repealing an unpopular new tax on computer and software services...Noah Berger, president of the independent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the state could consider abolishing some of the hundreds of millions in annual tax breaks offered to private companies as one means for recouping any lost revenue.
Op-Ed MetroWest Daily News, September 8, 2013
Better educated states have higher wage economies—and the wage differences between better educated states and less well educated states are substantial.
CommonWealth Magazine, September 4, 2013
When we look at data from across the country, two clear conclusions emerge: there is no correlation between the overall level of taxation in a state and the ability of the economy to support high-wage jobs; There is a very strong correlation between how well-educated a state workforce is and the ability of the economy to support high wage jobs.
BU Daily Free Press, September 4, 2013
"Back in post-war years when productivity went up, wages went up right along with it, but that changed in the 1980s," said MassBudget President Noah Berger. "There has been wage growth, but it’s been mostly among the people at the very high end of the income distribution. It's gone up pretty dramatically, but those in the middle have seen very little growth."
Wicked Local Avon, September 2, 2013
Even as the Massachusetts economy grows more productive, workers continue to find that their wages don't reflect these productivity gains....The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group, offers a snapshot of the economic situation for workers on this Labor Day, including information on wages, job growth and inequality.
MetroWest Daily News, August 31, 2013
As the day to honor those who labor approaches, a research center has released a report showing that productivity is increasing but wages are not keeping pace. "Even as the Massachusetts economy grows more productive, workers continue to find that their wages don't reflect these productivity gains," the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center report says.
Patriot Ledger, August 31, 2013
In Massachusetts, 21 percent of all leisure and hospitality workers and one-quarter of all education workers earn less than $11 an hour, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a non-profit research center funded by foundations, unions and private donations.
Cognoscenti, August 29, 2013
A year ago, an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center came to the same conclusion, arguing that the assumptions underlying tax incentives for businesses are "long overdue for a careful analysis of their costs and benefits."
Boston Business Journal, August 29, 2013
Over the past three decades, the Bay State's economy has more than doubled its output. During that same span, wage growth has more or less stagnated. That's according to a new analysis — appropriately timed four days before Labor Day — by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
American City and County, August 26, 2013
"It becomes very clear, when you look at the higher-wage states, they have one thing in common: They have a well-educated work force," Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and one of the study's lead authors, told The Washington Post. "The states that have poorly educated workforces have low median wages."
Washington Post, GovBeat, August 22, 2013
"It becomes very clear, when you look at the higher-wage states, they have one thing in common: They have a well-educated work force," said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and one of the study's lead authors. "The states that have poorly educated workforces have low median wages."
The Skanner, August 22, 2013
Authors Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project, found what they called a striking consistency in the findings...."Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce. There is a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state's workforce and median wages in the state."
Paramus Post, August 22, 2013
In A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity, Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project, find a strong link between the educational attainment of a state’s workforce and both productivity and median wages in the state. Expanding access to high quality education will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen a state's overall economy than anything else a state government can do.
WGBH, August 22, 2013
"We lead the country with about 46 percent of our workers with a college degree but that means over half of them don't have a college degree and looking into the future--in 20 or 30 years, I think it's important to ask what would our economy look like if instead of 46 percent with a college degree, it became 56, or 66 or 70 percent," Berger said.
Boston Globe, August 18, 2013
Any increase in the reliance on the sales tax is of concern because of its regressive nature, said Noah Berger, president of the liberal Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. At the same time, he said, the state needs to increase revenues to support services...."But what's the option?" he asked, noting that lawmakers and voters have consistently either beaten back efforts to raise or even maintain income tax rate levels. "Short of raising [the income tax], it becomes a difficult and complicated question."
Union Leader, August 18, 2013
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, told the Globe that the tax break to film companies equals 25 percent of their payroll and production costs, as well as a sales tax exemption. "Even if the movie does make any money, we don’t get back any of those profits," Berger said. "The way the law works, you can make a movie and it can be great, terrible, popular, not popular . . . and we will simply pay 25 percent of the cost of making it."
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 15, 2013
According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center an increase would directly affect 332,500 workers who now earn between $8 and $10 an hour and have a ripple effect of pushing up wages for another 248,400 who now earn between $10 and $12 an hour....That group estimated that if the minimum wage goes up to $10 an hour those making the minimum would see an annual pay increase of about $1,760 per year. The average increase for indirectly affected workers currently making between $10 and $12 an hour would be about $528 per year according to their estimates.
Boston Globe, August 14, 2013
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a Boston think tank that has studied Massachusetts’ incentive programs, said the state provides a very generous tax break to film companies--a credit equal to 25 percent of their payroll and production costs, as well as a sales tax exemption--but gets relatively little in return...."Even if the movie does make any money, we don’t get back any of those profits," Berger added. "The way the law works, you can make a movie and it can be great, terrible, popular, not popular...and we will simply pay 25 percent of the cost of making it."
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.
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.