In The News: Budget

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Pension and a paycheck: State may loosen ‘double dipping’ rules

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May 31 2018

By Matt Stout, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group, said lawmakers have to beware of unintended consequences but added the proposal could help. She pointed to an “approaching retirement tsunami” in the public sector, in which cities, towns, and the state could use the new limit to tap “a talent pool that they wouldn't have otherwise in this low unemployment environment.”
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Beacon Hill moves to raise $50 million in fees on rental cars, real estate transactions

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May 31 2018

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

Doug Howgate of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said the group estimates the total new annual revenue from the car rental fee and community preservation surcharge alone would be in the range of $35 million to $50 million. “That’s a lot of money,” he said. “Any time you are generating multiple tens of millions in new revenue, you need to make sure people are comfortable with how it’s being spent and how it’s being tracked over time.”
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Senate approves $41.5B state budget for upcoming fiscal year

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May 25 2018

AP / The Boston Herald

Senators added $75.5 million in spending during the three days of debate, much of it in earmarks for local projects, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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Senate unveils $41 billion state budget proposal

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May 10 2018

By Joshua Miller and Matt Stout, The Boston Globe

“This year, the similarities among the proposals outnumber the differences, which could be due in part to the small amount of discretionary dollars available,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Sanchez: MassHealth state's 'largest economic development initiative'

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Apr 24 2018

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / The Daily News

State spending has roughly doubled in the past 20 years. MassHealth, at $16.5 billion, accounts for 41 percent of spending, with much of that money flowing to health care providers. According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, MassHealth spending grows by $518 million, the largest increase in any area of state spending, in the House budget proposal.
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Education activists plan to jam State House phone lines in noon hour

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Apr 23 2018

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service / WWLP

House lawmakers have filed 1,400 amendments to the spending plan, of which 1,049 have a quantifiable fiscal impact that would total $3.1 billion if all are adopted, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Last year, the House adopted amendments adding $77.7 million in spending to the budget.
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House bumps local aid; seeks new audit of State Police in $41B budget proposal

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Apr 11 2018

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Boston Herald

While House leaders touted areas of investment, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently cautioned that a growing portion of state revenues are being consumed by a few priorities, leaving a lot less money for lawmakers to invest in programs important to their constituents. Fixed obligations to non-discretionary spending in areas like MassHealth, debt service and pensions accounted for 55 percent of tax revenues in fiscal 2007, but accounted for 73 percent in fiscal 2017, the foundation said.
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Massachusetts state budget faces uncertainty over 2018 ballot questions

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Apr 11 2018

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has said lawmakers should establish a contingency plan in case the income tax question is not passed and the sales tax question passes. The foundation said one important step would be to commit a large amount of money to the state's rainy day fund and put any surplus money from this year into the rainy day fund. That way the fund could be used to patch any major budget shortfalls.
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Expert: MassHealth funding means a tight state budget

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Mar 15 2018

By Ethan Forman, The Salem News

Health care spending is the leading culprit as to why the state budget has been so tight despite good economic times, according to Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny. “If there’s one takeaway I would like all of you to leave with, it’s this: That everyone has to keep their eye on the MassHealth ball, and everyone should care about the amount of money that we are spending on it, because the amount eclipses every other spending area in the budget by a very wide margin,” McAnneny told a ballroom full of business leaders Wednesday.
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245 State Police troopers earned more than $200,000 last year

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Mar 12 2018

By Michael Levenson and Matt Rocheleau, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group, said State Police overtime pay partly reflects the increased demands on law enforcement in an era of heightened concern about terrorism.
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