In The News

Patrick seeks more power to cut budget

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Jul 11 2014

By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe

Widmer said if the governor is worried that the $36.5 billion annual budget he signed on Friday may need to be trimmed, he should have vetoed more than $16.1 million in spending. “But the combination of minuscule vetoes and asking for emergency powers is peculiar and, I think, unprecedented,” Widmer said. “There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable explanation for this.”
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No money set aside for shift in Medicaid

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Jul 1 2014

By Felice J. Freyer, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-funded policy organization, said the group remains “a bit concerned” about this approach. “It strikes me there is going to be some exposure, and it could be significant,” he said.
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Budget boosts pay for sheriffs, district attorneys

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Jul 1 2014

By Michael Levenson and Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

Lawmakers were able to boost spending in the $36.5 billion budget after they used rosier revenue projections to find an additional $120 million, said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a private group that tracks state finances. But he pointed out that the state is facing potentially costly fixes to its troubled Health Connector website and is paying about $10 million a month to keep people in temporary health plans while officials scramble to put them into permanent plans that comply with the federal health care law. Given these costs, “it would have been better to hold the money in reserve,” Bagley said.
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State’s taxpayer advocate sums up without division

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Jun 14 2014

By Renée Loth, The Boston Globe

For Widmer the win is not just for a town’s bottom line. “I see that as preserving teachers in the classroom and good benefits for public employees,” he said. The money saved could cut taxes, sure, but it could also be plowed back into hiring more police, firefighters, and teachers. “It actually preserves public sector jobs,” he said.
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Say no to Convention Center expansion

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Jun 12 2014

By Derrick Z. Jackson, The Boston Globe

“What’s of concern to me,” Widmer said, “is that there has not been a broader public discussion about the best use of limited dollars.”
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Editorial: Michael Widmer leaves substantial void on Beacon Hill

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Jun 1 2014

The Boston Globe

Last year, his warnings about an ill-conceived “tech tax” on computer services paved the way for a remarkably swift repeal. Widmer’s influence only grew over time, and he earned it in the best possible way: through solid facts, sharp analysis, and a palpable concern for the future of the Commonwealth. He will be sorely missed.
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Convention center expansion wins in House

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May 29 2014

By Donna Goodison and Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“Even with hotel expansions, we won’t have an adequate number of hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity (of the BCEC), so we’ll still be behind many cities in that respect,” Widmer said. “And some of the projections about future conventions that would come to Boston are un­certain.”
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Sales tax holiday likely to return to Massachusetts for 2014, despite Senate vote

May 28 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he does not think this year will be any different. "They do it every year. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't come to pass," Widmer said.
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Mass. Taxpayers Foundation President Widmer to retire

May 28 2014

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Worcester Business Journal Online

Beacon Hill politicians for years have touted Michael Widmer's stamp of approval as proof that their fiscal or policy proposals are meritorious. Now Widmer is poised to exit a stage where he has loomed large since the early 1990s.
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Michael Widmer to retire as Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president

May 28 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Michael Widmer plans to retire at the end of the year, after 25 years leading the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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