In The News: Budget

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Editorial: To stabilize state finances, cut costs at local level

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Jan 29 2010

The Boston Globe

So far, only a handful of communities have made the change. But the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Boston Municipal Research bureau credibly estimated in 2007 that moving all communities into the commission would save more than $200 million in fiscal year 2011 alone.
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Gov. Patrick’s $28B budget slashes services, taxes sweets

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Jan 28 2010

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the budget is savvy because it doesn't touch local aid in what looks to be a competitive election year. Cities and towns depend on the $5.2 billion in local aid, which funds everything from schools to city government.
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Patrick unveils $28.2B budget proposal

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Jan 28 2010

South Coast Today / AP

Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the biggest unknown in Patrick's budget is the reliance on $600 million in federal aid that Congress has yet to approve. Patrick said he's confident the money will be there, but Widmer said if the extra money isn't approved, more cuts will be needed.
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Patrick Budget Relies Heavily On Uncertain Federal Funding

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Jan 28 2010

By Steve Brown, WBUR

"If we don't get that second round of money it would be a $600 million hole," Widmer said. "Then we clearly have to have major cuts in local aid and other parts of the budget. That additional money is what allows this budget to minimize the cuts that all of us expected would take place."
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Gov. proposes spending hike

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Jan 28 2010

By John J. Monahan, The Worcester Telegram

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that federal funding will be the key to the governor's plan to level-fund local aid. Without that additional $600 million in federal aid to the state, he said, "There is absolutely no way," aid to cities and towns could be maintained at current levels.
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Speaker betting casinos would swell state coffers

Jan 22 2010

By Ethan Forman, The Salem News

"Right now we are in an unprecedented fiscal position. As a matter of fact, Michael Widmer (director) of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reported that state revenues for fiscal year 2010, will be $18 billion, a drop-off of $3.8 billion from 2008. Year to date ... this is the biggest two-year decline since World War II ..."
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Marquis touts achievements, looks to future

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Jan 22 2010

By Ethan Forman, The Salem News

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation predicts there is a $3 billion "structural deficiency in this year's state budget," he said.
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Massachusetts Governor Patrick Vows Jobs Amid Republican Gains

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Jan 22 2010

By Michael McDonald, Bloomberg News

Lawmakers face a state budget gap of more than $2 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1 as federal recovery aid runs out, according to Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a Boston-based policy group. The first- term governor, who last year signed a $30 billion budget that raised the sales tax to 6.25 percent from 5 percent, will propose a spending plan for the new fiscal year next week.
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Editorial: As election looms, Patrick must double down on reform

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Jan 21 2010

The Boston Globe

Meanwhile, valuable discretionary initiatives are suffering; outlays for higher ed, local government, and economic development shrank from $3 billion in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2010, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. In contrast, health and pension benefits for state employees and retirees grew by $1.1 billion.
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I-Team: Lawmakers Getting Paid Something Extra

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Jan 18 2010

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ TV

Mike Widmer of the Massachusetts Tax Payers Association says he never knew about it. "I was surprised, I usually know about these things. I was taken back that there was $7,200 in compensation that was out of the public lime light."
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