Pioneer Accomplishments 2006-2012

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20 Years of Common Sense and Uncommon Results

Pioneer Institute uses academic-quality research and professional marketing strategies to improve the quality of debate and change minds on critical public policy issues.  We garner over 2,400 media appearances (TV, radio, print) annually, including stories in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Economist, the BBC, MSNBC, as well as in local and regional media outlets.

Boston cityscape2006 – 2012

The winning entry of Pioneer’s 2012 Better Government Competition details a widely praised blueprint for state-based health reforms that improve care for 110,000 Massachusetts residents and save tens of millions of dollars by integrating Medicaid and Medicare.

Pioneer’s development of high-traffic web tools that provide broad access to public information on state spending and state pensions leads the Commonwealth’s Treasurer to develop his own parallel public access web application.

Through research that began in 2005 and media efforts, Pioneer frames the public debate surrounding collective bargaining agreements, leading to a 2011 municipal reform package that saves localities over $100 million annually.

With research starting in 2009, Pioneer evaluates the development of national academic standards for K-12 public schools, gaining nationwide coverage and building a network of opposition.  As a result, several states have rejected the national standards and others that adopted the standards are re-evaluating their decisions.

Pioneer Institute research and media campaigns lead the way in gaining repeated legislative commitments to freeze unemployment insurance rates, saving Massachusetts businesses $600 million annually.

Numerous reports form the basis of reforms to address the most egregious abuses of the state pension system and to increase the retirement age for several employee groups, saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Pioneer leads the effort to lift the cap on public charter schools in failing school districts, giving 15,000 more students access to high-quality educational alternatives.

A Pioneer media campaign opposing a $500 million tax credit handout to biotechnology companies leads to a reduction to $250 million.

Pioneer leads the public conversation on the need to invest in the maintenance and repair of public infrastructure, working with the state administration to develop the Accelerated Bridge Program.

Pioneer advocates for the abolition of mandatory police details in favor of less costly civilian flaggers at road construction sites, leading to Governor Patrick’s plan to curb the use of police details.

Pioneer articulates strategies to revitalize older industrialized cities, leading to the creation of a state position to coordinate tens of millions of dollars in grants to these cities.

Reforms proposed in Pioneer’s study Housing Programs in Weak Market Neighborhoods to emphasize market-rate housing in the state’s affordable housing programs are incorporated into the 2007 Housing Bond Bill.

Pioneer reports and media efforts highlight the poor management and performance of Massachusetts’ 106 locally managed pension systems, leading the governor and legislature to invest the funds of 30 local systems in the state’s Pension Reserve Investment Trust, which generated tens of millions of dollars in additional returns.

Pioneer’s research and media work highlight the looming cost of health care benefits for retired public employees, leading to action tying benefits to an irrevocable fund in 2007 (though not in subsequent years).

Through tailored research projects, Pioneer generates a number of key reforms to support the efforts of the Springfield Finance Control Board, saving the City of Homes money and improving service quality.