In The News: Pensions

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OUR OPINION: Pension rules for police, firefighters invite abuse

Jun 20 2009

The Brockton Enterprise

"I'd say the numbers are shockingly high," said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a watchdog group on public spending. "Does it pass the straight-face test that there is this number of individuals legitimately qualified to get these? The short answer is no."
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Taxpayers paying millions for questionable disability pensions

Jun 18 2009

By Elizabeth Crowley, The Patriot Ledger

"I'd say the numbers are shockingly high," said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a watchdog group on public spending. "Does it pass the straight-face test that there is this number of individuals legitimately qualified to get these? The short answer is no."
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State pension overhaul pleases Lynn's McGee

Jun 16 2009

By David Liscio, The Lynn Item

Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the changes are a good first step, but are too targeted to generate the big savings local communities are looking for.
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Editorial: Pension reform bill important first step

Jun 14 2009

The Republican

The bill calls for the creation of a commission to review broader changes to the pension system. Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he's skeptical the commission's work will result in significant changes, partly because the commission is dominated by public employees who have a vested interest in issue.
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Pension reform OK'd: 'Abuses aren't justifiable'

Jun 12 2009

By Rita Savard, The Lowell Sun

"The public has been justifiably angry," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "This reform is a step in the right direction, but it's not the answer to the state's pension problem."
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Legislature restricts goodies in pensions

Jun 12 2009

By John J. Monahan, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

State budget and tax watchdog Michael J. Widmer, president of the Boston-based business group the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the changes did not include many that could produce major savings. He said among those would be a maximum in the range of $100,000 for all state pensions. Such a cap, he said, would save the state millions of dollars each year.
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What More Needs To Be Done To Pension Reform?

Jun 11 2009

By Karen Anderson, WBZ TV

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer says while these changes are important, they are more symbolic and don't do enough to cut costs. "It's not a landmark in reigning in the costs to the state and local pension systems," Widmer explained.
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Mass. nears state worker pension reform

Jun 11 2009

Providence Business News

"The needs to be a phase two," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Senate, House adopt pension reform bill

Jun 11 2009

By John Monahan, Telegeam & Gazette

State budget and tax watchdog Michael J. Widmer, president of the Boston-based business group the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the changes did not include many that could produce major savings for taxpayers. He said among those is a proposed maximum cap in the range of $100,000 for all state pensions. Such a cap, he said, would save the state millions of dollars each year.
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Lawmakers agree on pension bill

Jun 11 2009

By Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

"There needs to be a phase two, clearly," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. But, he added, "In this building, to close these abuses is no small feat. . . . There's this endless stream of people playing inside games, and this closes a lot of those loopholes."
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