In The News: Economy

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Murray offers plan to monitor overhaul of state services

Apr 7 2011

By Kyle Cheney and Michael Norton, Enterprise News / State House News Service

Widmer called the state’s film industry tax policies the “classic bad bet,” adding that he equates movie-making in Massachusetts, and the attendant outflow of tax benefits, with laying off teachers and cutting services, practices that have become common during the ongoing four-year crisis in state budgeting.
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Mass. credit strategy gets nod

Mar 30 2011

By Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed group, said the latest credit reports amount to a validation that state government is not burying its head in the sand; it is dealing with the budget, and may well save $10 million to $15 million a year.
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House leaders to powwow privately

Mar 29 2011

By Dan Ring, The Republican

So far this year, the House is off to a slow start, typical for the beginning of a two-year legislative session, said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Unconventional thinking: More hotel rooms in South Boston? Really?

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Mar 21 2011

By Craig M. Douglas, Boston Business Journal

Nevermind that the wisdom of the plan and its likelihood of moving forward seem far from settled. According to Michael Widmer, the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the panel in question, the new hotel proposal is in draft form, at best. He said costs, occupancy projections, even a solid understanding of other nearby hotel projects in the works, are still unknowns to the panel’s participants.
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Patrick ends Israel trip

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Mar 18 2011

The Berkshire Eagle / AP

Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said Patrick has taken fewer trade missions than many governors. He also said the trips tend to be "more theater than reality." "I don't fault this governor for doing what every other governor has done; in fact, he has done less than most," Widmer said. "In the end, job creation is at home building on the companies that are here rather than trying to attract companies from across the globe."
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Despite law change, ‘hack holiday’ endures

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Mar 18 2011

By Peter Schworm and Andrew Ryan, The Boston Globe

Andy Bagley, research director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, noted that while the Legislature mandated that government offices stay open on the two holidays, they did not formally eliminate them, although even careful State House observers assumed they had. “So now you’ve added costs,’’ he said. “It’s reform gone awry.’’
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Editorial: Wasting time, money on 'trade missions'

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Mar 18 2011

The Daily News

"I've thought trade missions have always had more theater and less reality. I don't fault this governor for doing what every other governor has done. In fact, he's done less than most, so perhaps there's some benefits, but I think in the end, job creation is at home, building on the companies that are here rather than trying to attract companies from across the globe," Widmer said.
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Evacuation Day controversy in Mass.

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Mar 17 2011

By Alison King, NECN

Michael Widmer says, "So now we have union workers getting time and a half so its actually costing more money instead of just saying look, let's just abolish these holidays and not have any exception for Suffolk county."
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State offices open on obscure holiday

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Mar 17 2011

By Christine Lee, 22 News WWLP

But the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says we’re paying time and a half to union workers who fill the positions of anyone who does take the day off. “The 5 million dollar cost of giving this holiday to public employees in Suffolk County is actually then, not only not saved, but there’s an additional cost,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Mass. government open on disputed holiday

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Mar 17 2011

The Boston Globe / AP

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan taxpayers foundation, said the new approach to the holidays could be more expensive than the old one. "It actually costs money because union workers are paid overtime for coming into work," he said. "The Legislature should simply have abolished the holidays."
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