In The News: Budget

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House leaders propose "cautious" $36.2 billion state budget, a 5% increase

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Apr 9 2014

By Gerry Tuoti, The Herald News

“It’s a balanced, responsible budget,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “It’s a tight budget reflecting a small recovery.”

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State House Roundup: Rolling With The Punches

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Jan 24 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / WBUR

“This is largely a steady as you go, straight-forward, no-frills budget,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. And one likely to get a rewrite now that it’s in the hands of the Legislature.

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Patrick whiffs on anti-privatization law

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Jan 24 2014

By Scot Lehigh, The Boston Globe

No one has a hard estimate for how much could be saved by letting private companies compete for the right to deliver more state services, but Sullivan believes that, at a minimum, it would be $100 million a year. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, thinks that over time, those savings could grow to hundreds of millions annually.
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Patrick seeks 5% spending increase in final budget plan

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Jan 23 2014

By Matt Murphy and Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Daily News

“This is largely a steady as you go, straight-forward, no-frills budget,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer, who said the bulk of revenue increases for fiscal 2015 would go toward Medicaid, debt service and pensions. He said he was “pleased” to see the administration accelerate by four years the state pension funding schedule and reduce its reliance on one-time revenue.
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Patrick Unveils Budget Plan: A Boost for Education, Taxes for Soda and Candy

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Jan 22 2014

By Sarah Birnbaum, New England Public Radio

Overall, the governor’s budget would increase funding by about 5 percent over last year’s levels. Widmer says most of the increase will go to fixed costs like Medicaid, debt service and pensions. "There’s not a lot of money to play around with…maybe $400 or $500 million of discretionary dollars," he says. "So, not a lot in a $35 to $40 million budget."
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Patrick Unveils Less Ambitious $36.4 Billion Budget

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Jan 22 2014

By Sarah Birnbaum, WGBH

The proposal would not increase local aid for cities and towns. But Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer says legislators are unlikely to go along with that. “It’s an election year," he said. "I think you’ll see a little boost in municipal local aid."
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Governor boosts child welfare agency in proposed budget

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Jan 22 2014

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“It’s largely a maintenance, no-frills, steady-as-you-go budget,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “I think the problem is he didn’t have the revenues to do much else. On the tax increase, I think he made the correct judgment that it wouldn’t have any better chance this year, maybe even less chance in an election year. ... But it’s an interesting punctuation mark” to his two terms
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15 comments Gov. Deval Patrick's $36.4 billion budget increases education funding, level funds aid to cities and towns

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Jan 22 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called it a "straight-forward, steady-as-you-go, no frills budget."
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Patrick reveals FY2015 budget plan

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Jan 20 2014

By Sharman Sacchetti, Fox news

"There would be no real tax increase in the budget, in fact because of the formula that was instituted a decade ago, the income tax is going to go down slightly, from 5.25 to 5.2 percent, so no tax increases in this budget broad based," said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. On the proposal to revive a sales tax on candy and soda, Widmer said, "The legislature's not likely to go along with that."
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Major agreements reached before state budget debate

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Jan 15 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House New Service / The Enterprise

Though the recovery has been slower than after past recessions, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer urged budget writers in December to consider pushing up the date to fully fund the pension system as an overture to bond rating agencies, which control the cost of borrowing.
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