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
Springfield Republican, May 20, 2015
Public News Service, May 19, 2015
Noah Berger, president with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says there is significant room for improvement when it comes to kinship care. "When a child needs to be taken out of their home, it can often be an advantage for that child to be placed with a grandparent or an aunt," says Berger. "Massachusetts is doing more of that but we still lag behind the national average in terms of how many kids get to those kin placements."
Springfield Republican, May 19, 2015
A new report released Tuesday finds that Massachusetts trails the national average when it comes to placing foster children with families.
Boston Globe, May 19, 2015
An analysis by the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows the mix of tax changes approved by the state Senate — freezing the income tax, increasing the earned income tax credit, and bumping up the personal exemptions — would have a relatively modest impact on most taxpayers when compared with the alternative: allowing the state income tax rate to decline, as expected, from 5.15 to 5.1 percent next year under a formula designed to eventually bring the rate down to 5 percent.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 16, 2015
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the problem is not just the number of qualified people leaving, but the fact they're all leaving at once creating a jolt to the system. "There is a danger of brain drain," Berger said. "If we have four or five thousand people leave rapidly there's a danger that a lot of those people may have skills and expertise that are difficult to replace."
Brockton Enterprise, May 10, 2015
“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”
Melrose Free Press, May 10, 2015
“If you think of how much income is created in Massachusetts, we have to think about how much of that we’ll spend on state services,” Berger said. “Taxes comes out to about 10 percent of our income. That’s pretty close to the national average. It’s a bit surprising because people think of us as ‘Taxachusetts.’”
WBUR Learning Lab, May 6, 2015
“What we see in looking at states that have reduced class sizes is that if you do it right — that is if you can get class sizes in the early grades down to about 15 students with well qualified teachers — it can have very significant effect in improving student learning,” Noah Berger, president of MassBudget, said.
Boston Globe, May 5, 2015
Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said early retirement backers hope the state will be able to deliver the same quality of services with fewer people. But, “the question is whether the personnel loss will lead to things like shorter hours at our state pools and longer lines at the Registry” of Motor Vehicles.
Springfield Republican, May 1, 2015
Typically, between 415,000 and 430,000 Massachusetts residents claim the credit each year. The state credit gives a maximum of $936 a year. It applies to families earning up to $52,400 annually for a married couple with three children, with lower income levels for smaller household sizes.
Springfield Republican, April 27, 2015
It has been estimated by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research group, that 40 percent of workers in Springfield have no earned paid sick leave, with some 54 percent of workers earning less than $35,000 statewide having no earned paid sick leave.
South Coast Today, April 26, 2015
“The House Ways and Means budget proposal has some good news for young children and their families: it provides a small increase for early education and care and it rejects the governor’s proposal to eliminate kindergarten expansion grants,” Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center executive director Noah Berger said in a statement. “Like the governor’s proposal, however, it provides mostly short-term solutions to long-term problems.”
The Berkshire Eagle, April 15, 2015
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he was similarly pleased to see increases in education funding, especially to help move over 800 children off the waiting list for early education programs. Berger, however, said the bill provides only "short-term solutions to long-term problems" by diverting some capital gains taxes away from reserves to support spending and by pushing off major MassHealth expenses into fiscal 2017.
Springfield Republican, April 15, 2015
Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the proposal "has some good news for young children and their families" through the restoration of money to fund kindergarten expansion grants. But Berger criticized the House committee for adopting a proposal that Baker made to use capital gains tax revenue that would otherwise have gone into the rainy day fund.
WWLP News Channel 20, April 14, 2015
TV segment on the minimum wage in Massachusetts, citing MassBudget data.
Commonwealth Magazine, April 14, 2015
Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit that examines how budget and tax policies affect low and moderate income people, says state officials need to either boost the state’s revenues or cut spending.
Boston Globe, April 3, 2015
"Lawmakers say there is no organized opposition to the film tax credit to serve as a counterweight to the industry. But they note that Massachusetts think tanks across the ideological spectrum, from the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center to the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have been critical of the program."
The Salem News, March 31, 2015
"There is no evidence the tax credit can develop a permanent film production industry in the state, one that is not dependent on large tax subsidies to survive,” the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Budget Center, a think tank, said in recent report on the tax subsidy. “What is certain is that the high cost of the tax credit limits our ability to invest in other programs with proven track records to build more broadly-shared prosperity in the state.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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."
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?”
Boston Globe, March 4, 2015
NECN, March 4, 2015
Quote from Noah Berger on NECN
WCVB Channel 5, March 4, 2015
Quote from Noah Berger on WCVB Channel 5
Boston Globe, March 3, 2015
Boston Globe, March 3, 2015
Boston Globe, March 3, 2015
Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
Commonwealth Magazine, February 25, 2015
Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
Springfield Republican, February 25, 2015
WGBH, February 25, 2015
Public News Service, February 25, 2015
Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 24, 2015
The Daily Free Press, February 20, 2015
WGBH online, February 18, 2015
Springfield Republican, February 5, 2015
WBUR Morning Edition, February 4, 2015
WBUR Radio Boston, February 4, 2015
Boston Globe, February 3, 2015
Boston Globe, January 24, 2015
Boston Globe, January 23, 2015
Boston Globe, January 22, 2015
Lowell Sun, January 22, 2015
Boston Herald, January 22, 2015
WBUR Radio Boston, January 21, 2015
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, January 20, 2015
Boston Globe, January 20, 2015
WBUR Learning Lab, January 20, 2015
Springfield Republican, January 20, 2015
WBUR Learning Lab, January 16, 2015
Boston Globe, January 14, 2015
Woburn Advocate, January 11, 2015
Boston Globe, January 8, 2015
Boston Business Journal, January 2, 2015
WWLP News Channel 20, January 1, 2015
Boston Globe, January 1, 2015
Springfield Republican, January 1, 2015
Springfield Republican, December 31, 2014
WBUR Learning Lab, December 30, 2014
South Coast Today, December 20, 2014
WWLP News Channel 20, December 19, 2014
Boston Globe, December 17, 2014
Boston Globe, December 11, 2014
WWLP News Channel 20, November 13, 2014
Springfield Republican, November 11, 2014
Springfield Republican, November 11, 2014
Boston Globe, November 10, 2014
WBUR, November 10, 2014
Boston Globe, November 5, 2014
Huffington Post, November 4, 2014
Cape Cod Times, November 2, 2014
Dorchester Reporter, October 22, 2014
Boston Herald, October 22, 2014
WBUR, October 16, 2014
Springfield Republican, October 15, 2014
Commonwealth Magazine, October 10, 2014
WGBH, October 1, 2014
Lowell Sun, September 30, 2014
Boston Globe, September 30, 2014
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 30, 2014
Springfield Republican, September 29, 2014
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."
Boston Neighborhood Network News, September 25, 2014
Boston Globe, September 25, 2014
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 24, 2014
Go Local Worcester, September 24, 2014
Boston Globe, September 22, 2014
Boston Globe, September 19, 2014
Boston Globe, September 17, 2014
Boston.com, September 16, 2014
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."
Standard & Poors, September 15, 2014
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 14, 2014
Huffington Post, September 9, 2014
Boston Globe, September 1, 2014
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."
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.
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."
Boston Globe, August 3, 2014
Bay State Banner, August 2, 2014
Jamaica Plain Gazette, August 1, 2014
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.”
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
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."
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network appoints Brockton resident Michael Curry to board of directors: Michael Curry will continue as legislative affairs director and senior counsel from the Massachuwetts League of Community Health Centers.
Brockton Enterprise, July 18, 2014
Michael Curry is a member of MassBudget's Board of Directors
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 - 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.