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‘Sobering’ estimates mean budgeting with billions less

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Apr 14 2020

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said unemployment in the second quarter of 2020 could push toward 18 percent, with 570,000 jobs lost and a $4.4 billion, or 14.1%, decline in projected revenue for the next fiscal year. McAnneny said Massachusetts could recover 410,000 jobs within a year, but employment won't reach pre-virus levels until 2022.
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Virus news: Police officer dies; daily death toll passes 100

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Apr 14 2020

By Steve LeBlanc & Alanna Durkin Richer, AP / The Times

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said the state could see a decline of billions of dollars in revenue and massive layoffs as high as 570,000 that could push the unemployment rate to nearly 18%.
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Dire economic picture sketched in series of reports

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Apr 2 2020

By Colin Young, State House News Service / The Herald News

“Simply stated, COVID-19 is a Cat 5 hurricane hitting global economies simultaneously,” MTF wrote in its analysis. “The initial impacts are staggering -- to people and families, first responders, health care professionals, employers and employees, and the world’s economy. The scale and duration of the pandemic are as yet unknown.”
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State budget writers are starting over

Apr 1 2020

By Shira Schoenberg, Commonwealth Magazine

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated the revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year will be between $300 million and $500 million, while the Center for State Policy Analysis pegged it at between $500 million and $750 million. Both organizations said the shortfall could exceed $2 billion in fiscal 2021.
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More Help Is Likely on the Way for States and Localities and the Coronavirus-caused Recession

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Mar 31 2020

By Paul W. Taylor & Girard Miller, Governing Magazine

Massachusetts is facing scrutiny on two fronts as public markets collapse and pressure on government pensions for its nearly 300,000 public employees and retirees and budgets rise. The commonwealth’s credit rating could take the real hit in all of this. The Boston Globe reports “the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said a prolonged market slump could make it tougher for the state to reach its goal of fully funding its pension obligations by 2037. If the state falls short, bond rating agencies such as S&P and Moody’s will pay attention.”
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State revenue shortfall could reach $3 billion

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Mar 30 2020

By Shira Schoenberg, Commonwealth Magazine

The analysis by the center is similar to a report released March 17 by the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The foundation analysis estimated a lower revenue falloff — $300 million to $500 million – in the current fiscal year. But it estimated a similar impact — $2 billion to $3 billion — for fiscal 2021.
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Delayed Tax Day Forces Beacon Hill Into Emergency Budget Hole

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Mar 30 2020

By Mike Deehan, WGBH

"The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency that is causing a public finance emergency in Massachusetts," said a new analysis of the state's fiscal outlook by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation published Monday. The analysis found that $3.6 billion of the estimated $30.3 billion the state expected to collect on or before the traditional April 15 deadline will be delayed, forcing lawmakers and the governor to either slash spending during a public health crisis, drain all of the $3.5 billion 'rainy day fund' or leverage the state's credit to borrow its way out of the hole for the time being.
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Coronavirus could cause Mass. lawmakers to rethink the state budget

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Mar 12 2020

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

The margin for error already seemed slim: The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation issued a report on Wednesday highlighting several uncertain aspects of Governor Charlie Baker’s spending plan for the next fiscal year. MTF said Baker’s plans to accelerate sales tax collections ($237 million in the budget), legalize sports betting ($35 million), and to impose high-cost drug penalties ($19 million) are just three of the items that remain up in the air, awaiting the Legislature’s approval.
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A role for employers in battling opioid scourge

Jan 22 2020

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is best known for the critical eye it casts on state finances. But the business-backed group is also using its data-crunching for another purpose: curbing opioid abuse. President Eileen McAnneny is spearheading an initiative called Mass. CARES in which participating employers agree to take at least four specific actions over the course of the year to become more “recovery friendly.”
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Massachusetts state pension, debt liability ‘at crisis level’

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Jan 16 2020

By Joe Dwinnel, The Boston Herald

“We’re talking about big increases and every year and the cost is expected to go up almost 10% a year,” said Heath Fahle, policy director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Health care, local aid, public safety, MBTA and road projects all get squeezed a little by these rapidly growing pension payments,” said Fahle. “Credit rating agencies are noticing.” Fahle was the author of a report out earlier this week saying Massachusetts could be facing an $880 million budget gap next year due to slowing tax revenue and bills due — including pensions.
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