Saturday, May 11, 2013
Results from a recent executive survey ranked Massachusetts 47th for business.
A CEO magazine ranks Massachusetts as one of the worst states in the nation for business. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Massachusetts 47th based on a survey of corporate leaders. Survey respondents reported the Bay State is one of the worst for taxation and regulation. The state Republican Party is pointing to the survey and saying that Gov. Deval Patrick and the Democratic-led Legislature are bad for the economy and business. What do you think about Massachusetts’ business climate? Is this a good state in which to do business?
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
Friday, March 22, 2013
Without additional funding, MBTA officials are forced to make difficult choices.
MBTA riders could see fares go up in the not-so-distant future if legislators don’t accept Gov. Deval Patrick’s ambitious funding plan. T General Manager Beverley Scott said Tuesday the T will likely hold off on spending $45 million for preventative maintenance and hike fares to close a projected budget gap of $117 million, factoring in increased ridership and advertising this year, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday. Director of Strategic Initiatives for the MBTA Charles Planck said at a March 5 MBTA finance committee meeting that fare increases could go up 33 percent under the proposal, which means subway fares would move up from $2 to $2.60. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey testified before …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
At the hearing, State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey outlined some aspects of Gov. Deval Patrick’s 10-year transportation budget plan, and included the need for new revenues.
The state transportation secretary answered legislator’s questions regarding the Green Line Extension and South Coast Rail projects, MBTA infrastructure and maintenance issues and how an ambitious 10-year budget plan will handle all of it. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey testified before the Joint Committee on Transportation Tuesday morning. He was there to more formally present Gov. Deval Patrick’s 21st Century Transportation Plan which calls for a $13 billion investment over the next decade. The hearing focused on finding new revenue that could be put toward ailing infrastructure, and sought after rail projects. “People want more, not less, of our product,” Davey began, “but the current system…
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The governor is optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Gov. Deval Patrick is still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution and outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new Web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
While specific deductions would end, personal exemptions would double under the Patrick budget.
A recent analysis of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed budget finds that it eliminates 44 tax breaks that benefit a large slice of Massachusetts taxpayers. Patrick's $34.8 billion FY2014 budget includes not only a 1 percentage point hike in the income tax – from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent – but the end of such deductions such as the capital gains from the sale of a person's primary home, college tuition, and contributions to a health savings account. The analysis, by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, found that the eliminations would raise an additional $1 billion for the commonwealth. But Patrick's assistant secretary for fiscal policy, Gregory R. Mennis, told The Republican that that amount would be offset by the doubling of personal…
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The plan does not address teenagers currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Some juveniles convicted of first-degree murder would no longer automatically be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility parole under a bill Gov. Deval Patrick plans to propose, according to the Boston Globe. Under the proposal, some offenders would be eligible for parole hearings 15 years into their sentence, according to the Globe. Others who participated in murders but did not perform the actual murder could get hearings sooner. Parole boards, however, would still be able to keep the offender behind bars for life. Patrick planned to formally announce his proposal on Monday, Jan. 28. The proposal comes in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled juveniles convicted of murder could not be automatically …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The governor's budget proposal for fiscal 2014 would raise $1.9 billion in new revenues through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. Is the state's economy ready for this?
After years of treading water in the state budget, Gov. Deval Patrick has put forth an ambitious $34.8 billion proposal for the coming fiscal year that would make significant investments in education and transportation by raising $1.9 billion in revenue, through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. The question: Is the state's economy ready for this? To raise that funding, Patrick's proposal would increase the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling personal exemptions. It'd also lower the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. Several tax breaks for both personal income and businesses would be eliminated. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation, ensuring gradual increases in what …
Friday, December 7, 2012
City's state legislators chime in on Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed aid cuts.
Gov. Deval Patrick announced plans to close a $540 million state budget deficit this week through a combination of cuts and transfers from the state's "rainy day" fund. The proposed cuts, some of which require the approval of the legislature, would reduce the state's planned aid to Woburn in the current fiscal year, FY2013, by nearly $50,000. City officials rarely cut a single position to make up for a lump sum state aid cut. Normally, officials will take from several accounts or make up the funding by using a "savings" account. Woburn's state legislators react... "Sen. [Ken] Donnelly would not approve these cuts. The senator understands there is a revenue problem in the commonwealth, but would need to see the whole package of cuts in…