In The News: Budget

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Lawmakers pass taxes, reduce aid

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Jun 20 2009

By Katie Curley, The Daily News

President of the Massachusetts Taxpayer's Foundation Michael Widmer said yesterday he believes lawmakers acted responsibly in creating next fiscal year's budget. "This budget reflects the fiscal reality and collapse in tax revenues," Widmer said. "There are no shortcuts or shortage of pain to deal with when there are tax increases and major spending cuts."
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Tax hikes, aid cuts in $27.4B state budget

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Jun 19 2009

By Edward Mason, The Boston Herald

"This is clearly an austere and difficult budget with major cuts in virtually all state programs and reflecting the huge decline in state revenues," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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History repeats as states face looming budget deficits

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Jun 14 2009

By Ken Johnson, The Eagle Tribune

To balance the budget, legislators must also spend reserves and rely on federal stimulus money. But the state is plowing through those extra funds at an alarming rate, according to Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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State Burns Through Stimulus Money For Education

Jun 11 2009

By Fred Thys, WBUR

"Clearly," said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, "the state's situation has become so desperate this fiscal year, which is ending on June 30, that what the administration has done is to take this education stimulus money and advance it, instead of spending it in fiscal year 2010 or 11."
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Police training sites see little use

May 25 2009

By Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonprofit group that is funded by state businesses, said consolidating police training facilities makes sense, especially now. "We're not going to be hiring many police for a long time," he said. "At a time when programs are being cut across all of state government, this appears to be an opportunity for savings with minimal consequences."
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Senators eye sales, gas, booze tax in budget bind

May 12 2009

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

Fiscal watchdog Michael Widmer, executive director at the business-based Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, said the cuts even with a 25 percent increase in the sales tax would trigger, "a tsunami-like reaction" from those dependent on state funding. "It's sort of degrees of pain, here. If they want to mitigate some of this they'll have to raise more taxes, but I don't see any appetite to do that," Widmer said.
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State study: Long, slow road to recovery

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May 11 2009

By Nancy Reardon, The Enterprise

Michael Widmer, executive director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, estimates recovery will take until 2014 - and largely because the state has relied heavily on federal stimulus funding and its "rainy day" reserves fund, both of which will be just about spent by the end of 2010.
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Briefing: State Budget

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May 11 2009

Worcester Business Journal Online

The latest revenue estimate for FY 2010, which the Senate is using as it readies a proposal for release this month, is approximately $18 billion. In contrast, the original projection for 2009 was $21.5 billion, meaning revenues have declined 16 percent because of the recession. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, recently called the situation "the worst fiscal crisis in the state's history."
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Patrick wants union givebacks

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May 8 2009

By Andrea Estes and Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

"The administration deserves credit for holding the increase to 1 percent for the first two years," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "But the state will still be in the midst of a fiscal crisis when the 3 percent increases take effect. In the end, most state and local governments are facing a tradeoff of salary increases or laying off employees."
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Economists: State's financial crisis could last until 2014

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May 7 2009

By Matt Murphy, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said state tax collections could plummet to as little as $17.8 billion next year. "This is going to be the worst fiscal crisis in the state's history," Widmer said.
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