In The News: Economy

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Patrick’s reform record scrutinized from all sides

Sep 19 2010

By Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

"Reform has not been the administration's first instinct,'' said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed watchdog often consulted by lawmakers and the administration. "He does deserve some credit for doing some reforms, though in some cases he's been dragged kicking and screaming, and others have been untouched.''
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Tyngsboro employee contracts -- now just a click away

Sep 17 2010

By John Collins, The Lowell Sun

"Tyngsboro certainly is among the first to do this, and it's terrific, a major step forward," said Widmer. "The public has a right to see these contracts without having to go through bureaucratic hoops. It's a sign of good faith on the part of the town."
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State used no public funds to help Baker

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Sep 9 2010

By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe

"There wasn't any direct dollars going to Harvard Pilgrim,'' said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog. "The state jumped in because it didn't want Harvard Pilgrim to fail, and they worked on a turnaround. So, yes, there was a state role, but not state aid. And that is, I think, an important distinction.''
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MASS. MARKET: Lawmakers keep tax holiday in limbo

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Jun 12 2010

By Jon Chesto, The Enterprise

Even if that happens, Widmer still thinks it would be a bad idea to hold the holiday. Sure, state revenues have stabilized: Tax collections for the first five months of the year essentially matched the total for the same time in 2009. But Widmer argues that the Legislature needs to wait until revenues are climbing at a steady pace again.
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State: Lockheed failed to field most appliance calls

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Apr 27 2010

By Renee Dudley , The Boston Herald

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said spending the $800,000 might have been necessary. "But it is unfortunate that it was so costly for such a limited program," he said.
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Undocumented Students Seek Meeting With Sen. Brown

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Apr 8 2010

By Russell Contreras, WBZ / AP

It's unclear how many undocumented students in Massachusetts and other states would benefit from any federal changes. For example, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates that 400 to 600 students might enter Massachusetts schools as a result of an in-state-tuition reform bill and that it likely would result in $2.5 million of extra revenue.
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New hack panel would target...old hacks

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Apr 1 2010

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

"I don't really see the need for this commission, especially in this fiscal climate," said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Panagiotakos won't seek re-election

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Mar 26 2010

By Matt Murphy, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called Panagiotakos "a realist who showed a steady hand in a thankless position."
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Rivalry heats up for Cahill and Baker

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Mar 25 2010

By Brain C. Mooney, The Boston Globe

Earlier this week, however, Michael Widmer, president of the business-funded Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said Cahill has exaggerated the issue by confusing Medicaid costs with those actually attributable to the 2006 law. The watchdog group last fall issued a report stating the increased annual costs of the program were in line with projections at the time it was passed.
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Easing way for munis may not lead to lower rates

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Mar 19 2010

By Michael J. Widmer, The Boston Globe

Finally, the report found that existing munis and investor-owned utilities provide comparable levels of service. Municipalities are under enormous financial pressures, and a careful reading of the commission's report illustrates the perils for customers and taxpayers of creating new municipal light companies.
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