In The News: Pensions

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Charles Baker cooks up plan to cut pension abuse

Nov 20 2009

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

"This is just the kind of pension reform that is long overdue," Michael Widmer, executive director of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said of Baker's plan. "The proposals would go a long way toward giving the pension system long-term fiscal health."
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Taxpayer foundation president sees 'Big hole' in state budget

Oct 1 2009

By John Hilliard, MetroWest Daily News

"If we don't take advantage of this incredible structural (budget) meltdown to make changes to protect public education, then we will never make those changes," said Michael Widmer, the foundation's president.
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Panel says pension tweaks to save $1B

Sep 30 2009

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

"Taxpayer savings each year would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and then over time it would be billions," said Michael Widmer, executive director of the fiscal watchdog group the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Editorial: Proposals put bite in pension reform

Sep 4 2009

The Republican

Unfortunately, some observers don't think that will happen, and it's not certain if the commission's current proposals will be in the Oct. 1 report. Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, doubts legislators will pass another bill.
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Massachusetts pension system overhaul proposed by special state commission

Sep 2 2009

By Dan Ring, The Republican

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the commission is offering "a strong package" that could lower costs to taxpayers if approved by legislators.
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OUR OPINION: Fractured pension system is unacceptably wasteful

Aug 29 2009

The Patriot Ledger

"They are very heavily tilted toward those with self-interest, and I think that's problematic," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a government-spending watchdog group.
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Public pension boards are loaded with public employees

Aug 17 2009

By Nancy Reardon, The Patriot Ledger

"They are very heavily tilted toward those with self-interest, and I think that's problematic," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a government-spending watchdog group. "These boards have a lot of power," Widmer said. "It's not like they are just advisory bodies."
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Firefighter on paid leave shows little sign of injury

Jul 30 2009

By Matt Carroll, The Boston Globe

"The obvious question is, why can't he fulfill his public function if he can run a private business?'' said Michael J. Widmer, president of the nonprofit Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "He's surely capable of doing light duty for the Fire Department. This may be a unique case, but it is another example of the double standard in which public employees are not held accountable.''
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Off on the public’s dime

Jul 19 2009

By Matt Carroll, The Boston Globe

"There is no justification for travel expenses of this amount,'' said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "Limited travel is justified, but this is a perfect example why we don't need 106 [pension] systems in the state.''
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Briefing: Pension Reform

Jun 21 2009

Worcester Business Journal Online

The new legislation calls for the establishment of a commission to review broader changes and issue a report by Sept. 1. According to Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, future changes might include limiting the maximum amount for state pensions or increasing the number of years used to determine an employee's pension, which could result in substantial savings.
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