Category Archives: Budget

Budget GIC Insurance Patronage Jobs Walz Marston

Brad Marston: We can afford state services but not a "bloated dysfunctional state bureaucracy"

Brad Marston, a candidate for State Representative in the 8th Suffolk District, succinctly explains the choice facing voters in November.

Most voters agree that the state should be taxing citizens in order to pay for critical state services: education, roads, public safety etc. In recent years, due to the economic crisis, the state has come to voters again and again with tax hikes that they say are necessary to pay for these services.

Voters have patiently accepted these tax hikes because we don’t want to see cuts to critical services.

But over and over the state has diverted this money toward other priorities.

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Budget Naughton Gettens

James Gettens, 12th Worcester Representative Candidate – Position of State Budget

Jim Gettens

BLOATED STATE PAYROLLS, PERKS, PENSIONS, AND PROGRAMS

In 2008-2009, while approximately 109,000 Massachusetts private sector workers lost their jobs, and many thousands more suffered pay and benefit cuts, our reckless and irresponsible INCUMBENT legislators and governor added a net 2000 ‘on-budget’ state employees, bringing the total to 98,000, as reported by the Boston Globe. The ‘on-budget’ state payroll now totals approximately $4.5 billion annually. These figures do not include the many thousands of ‘off-budget’ state employees in the various so-called ‘independent state authorities,’ such as the MBTA, MWRA, and new Transportation Authority, we taxpayers also bail out. All of these so-called ‘public servants’ enjoy perks and pension benefits unheard of in ‘the dreaded private sector.’ It is time to end this legislatively constructed, taxpayer funded, class system. Wasteful state payrolls, perks, pensions and programs must be gutted and eliminated to free up more money for local aid and education and to reduce the taxes and fees extracted from ordinary, hard-working, Massachusetts citizens and taxpayers.

Budget Patronage Jobs Tax Cuts Walz Marston

Brad Marston: Budget realities – The $6 billion solution.

Brad Marston

One of the great things about having so many candidates contesting seats in the legislature this year is that we are finally having an open, honest conversation about the direction of our state government. I believe one of the most important questions we face is the direction of government directed spending of taxpayer’s money. Our current course is simply unsustainable.

We don’t have a revenue crisis. State government has a spending crisis. The legislature created this crisis over a number of years and we won’t be able to solve it overnight. Both the House and Senate GOP Caucus have offered plans for at least the last two sessions which would have reduced state spending by at least $1 billion a year. Unfortunately even that isn’t enough. Last year the legislature raised taxes by nearly $2 billion but we are still facing a $2.5 billion deficit next year.

As a fiscal conservative and one of the original 10 signers of the the citizen’s petition to roll back the sales tax to 3%, I am often challenged by defenders of the status quo with the question, “What would you cut?” The question is disingenuous. It is nearly impossible to say exactly what I would cut as our state government doesn’t tell us exactly what they spend our money on. However, I can tell you precisely the process I would use to determine what spending should be cut.

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Budget Charlie Baker Deval Patrick Governor Tax Cuts

Charlie Baker Unveils Massachusetts Tax Cut Plan

Charlie Baker

Baker unveiled a sweeping tax cut proposal at the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Friday June 10th, reducing corporate sales and income taxes all to 5%.

Corporate Tax Rate at 5%: The proposal is fairly comprehensive, but it would have the effect of greatly simplifying the corporate tax code. The current corporate tax code is complex and taxes businesses in different industries differently with a tax rate in most industries at 8.75%. Baker proposes to reduce the corporate tax rate on all industries to 5% within 4 years.

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Budget Patronage Jobs Rush Williams Walsh

Rep. Mike Rush Gets Political Payback on Justice Robert Mulligan – May Force JCAM Move to Charlestown

Charlestown District Court

Legislative Payback to Judges is Part of Long Standing Tradition

Rep. Mike Rush sponsored a budget amendment that was adopted into the House budget that directs Justice Robert Mulligan to move the offices of the Chief Justice for Administation and Management (CJAM) from prime downtown office space to a dingy 3rd floor office space at the Charlestown District Court. The amendment was inserted by Robert DeLeo in a closed door session, without public debate.

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Budget

Rep. Driscoll and Rep. Lewis Try to Sneak the 'Transgender Rights' Bill into the Budget

Jason Lewis

Rep. Joseph R. Driscoll of Braintree and Rep. Jason M. Lewis of Winchester have submitted an amendment to the budget to add the controversial ‘Transgender Rights‘ (H1728/S1687) Bill to the House Budget.

The amendment is written in an abbreviated form to make it less conspicuous, and the amendment proposes that the language be added as section 20, in a large budget bill, with 51 sections.

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Budget

Rep. Bradley Jones Files Budget Amendment to Restore Local Aid

Bradley Jones

On Wednesday, Representative Bradley Jones filed an amendment to the FY11 budget to level fund local aid. This amendment would restore $200m which is currently slated to be cut from Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Local Aid. Representative Jones proposes raising the Chapter 70 appropriation to $4.05 billion and the Unrestricted Local Aid appropriation to $936 billion. The current appropriations are $3.85 billion and $899 billion respectively.

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Budget

MLAC Responds to our Article on Legal Aid

Brianne Myers, Communications Director of Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), emailed today to clarify some of the things we said yesterday in our article about legislators receiving awards from EqualJustice.org for protecting a state program which pays for attorneys to represent indigent clients in civil court proceedings.

Good afternoon,

I came across yesterday’s post, “O’Flaherty and Creem Get Another Award from the Lawyer’s Lobby,” and I just wanted to offer clarification on some of your points.

First, the Equal Justice Coalition is not a “lawyer’s lobby.” It’s a joint initiative by the Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (line item 0321-1600) that advocates on behalf of the system of civil legal aid in the Commonwealth. Private attorneys do not benefit in any way from civil legal aid funding. read more »

Budget Creem Rudnick Cynthia Creem Eugene O'Flaherty

O'Flaherty and Creem get Another Award from the Lawyer's Lobby

Reps. Murphy, DeLeo and O'Flaherty rewarded for their service to the lawyer's lobby

The Equal Justice Coalition has recognized a number of legislators for their service to the legal community. They are:

  • House Speaker Rep. Robert DeLeo
  • Rep. Charles Murphy
  • Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty
  • Sen. Steven Panagiotakos
  • Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem
  • Sen. Patricia Jehlen

The Equal Justice Coalition is a lawyer’s lobby group which advocates for state funding for legal aid for civil actions by poor clients, to pay for representation in domestic violence actions, divorce actions, child custody etc.

EJC successfully lobbied for $10 million dollars of state funding for the legal community. According to their own press release, when it looked like legal aid would suffer the same budget cuts as our schools:

In published letters, 38 managing partners of law firms, and 107 general counsel attorneys went to bat for legal services. Lawmakers have listened, apparently rescuing MLAC from disaster. Lobbying for legal-aid is no easy task…

And today those lawmakers were rewarded.

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Budget

Who Signed on to the Resolution to Fund Local Aid?

Rep. Robert DeLeo puts the State ahead of your town.

Last week a group of legislators lead by House Minority Leader Rep. Bradley Jones drafted a resolution to level fund local aid. Passage of this resolution would have gone a long way toward protecting cities and town from more budget cuts. Our towns have already taken a disproportionate share of budget cuts last year.

As we reported earlier, this resolution was not even allowed to  be heard on the floor of the legislature. By avoiding a vote the leadership provided political cover for Senators and Representatives who are willing to balance the state’s budget mess on the back of our schools, police and fire departments again this year.

Because there was no vote, we will never know for sure everyone who was against this resolution. We can be certain that at the very least Rep. Robert DeLeo, Sen. Therese Murray, and Sen. Steve Panagiotakos had to be against it because they have wide discretion in what makes it to the house floor and on all budget matters. read more »