In The News: Budget

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Projects may get $4.6m from US

Mar 8 2009

By Connie Paige, The Boston Globe

Still, an official from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which often criticizes profligate spending, said he supports federal funding for certain priorities, since the state's resources are limited. "Earmarks may have a bad name, but in most cases they support important projects related to transportation, healthcare, or other areas of importance to the Massachusetts economy," said foundation president Michael J. Widmer.
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Gov. Patrick's staffers earning good money

Mar 4 2009

By Matt Murphy, The Berkshire Eagle

Michael Widmer, who ran the communications shop under the last Democratic governor, said the numbers didn't strike him as something out of the ordinary from past administrations, including that of Michael Dukakis.
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Slots Plan Reopens Gambling Debate

Mar 4 2009

By Steve Brown, WBUR

WIDMER: It's going to be very hard for any private entity or fund to bid two to three billion dollars given the massive economic uncertainties. Consumers are retrenching by the day. These kind of slots are having trouble across the country. Businesses are having trouble. The recession is hitting them in a major way.
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State treasurer bets on slot parlors

Mar 4 2009

The Patriot Ledger

Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, was skeptical that Cahill's plan could generate those revenue levels during a recession. "I'd be surprised if we got anything close to that," Widmer said. "If we were in the middle of a booming economy, those numbers might stand up. In this kind of recession, and what's happening to the industry, I'm dubious that we'd see that kind of betting and these kinds of revenues."
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Patrick skeptical of plan to license three slot parlors

Mar 4 2009

By Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

"I'm doubtful in this economic climate, when the industry is feeling the impacts of the recession, whether these estimates can be realized," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "It's one thing to look at these numbers in a growing economy, quite another when we're in this global economic meltdown."
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Woes ‘offer opportunities’

Mar 4 2009

By Lee Hammel, The Worcester Telegram

Mr. Widmer suggested reforming public employee benefits, such as those at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, that he said the state cannot afford.
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Drop in state tax revenue threatens more city jobs

Mar 4 2009

By Nick Kotsopoulos, The Worcester Telegram

During that presentation, Mr. Widmer said revised state tax revenues for this fiscal year are running about $1.95 billion less than original estimates.
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As legislature guards its own funds, communities reel

Feb 28 2009

By Brian Mooney, The Boston Globe

But Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that because of the economy's collapse and the resulting budget crisis, the rules of engagement have changed. "The key issue is transparency and a full explanation as to the purpose of these funds," he said. "It's common practice to carry funds over from year to year, but with this kind of fiscal crisis, everything needs to be looked at. . . . It's important that all bodies share the pain."
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Rising fixed obligations, falling tax revenues create $3.5 billion gap

Feb 20 2009

By James Kinsella, Cape Cod Today

To observers such as Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonprofit group that follows and analyzes taxation in Massachusetts, the federal stimulus money couldn't come at a better time. "Without the federal dollars, it would be an utter bloodbath," Widmer said.
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How much good will the stimulus do you - or the economy?

Feb 19 2009

By Dan McDonald, The Daily News Transcript

Michael Widmer, executive director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, also acknowledged the individual tax breaks will go to relieving personal debt. With major municipal layoffs on the horizon, Widmer keyed in on the Medicaid reimbursement portion of the bill, which could significantly reduce the cuts in state and local programs.

Injecting the state with between $2 billion and $3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements will "prevent what otherwise will be an utter bloodbath," he said.

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