Entries by Charles Chieppo

Does Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Expansion Really Pay for Itself?

With the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) claiming that no new taxes or fees would be needed to expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), it came as no surprise that a $1 billion convention center expansion bill sailed through a November Joint Committee on State Administration hearing without opposition. But when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, and a closer look at the convention center legislation reveals that the “no new taxes or fees” claim isn’t quite as airtight as they’ve led us to believe.

Massachusetts’ Technology Tax an Unnecessary Detour

Governor Patrick now concedes it was a bad idea and it appears that the so-called tech tax will be repealed. Repeal will leave a $160 million hole in state transportation funding. But that hole need not be filled exclusively by new revenue. It can be filled by savings, revenue, or a combination of the two, and Pioneer Institute research shows there are plenty of savings to be had from a series of reforms.

Accountability Overboard

Special interest groups opposed to charter schools and highstakes testing have hijacked the state’s once-independent board of education and stand poised to water down the MCAS tests and the accountability system they support.

Equal Treatment for All!

Just returned from a packed State House hearing on charter schools, which included enough material to fuel the blogosphere for the foreseeable future.   Due to the number of people wishing to testify, the education committee was unusually strict about enforcing a three-minute limit on individual testimony — which led to my personal favorite moment of the afternoon.  Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton),  the most unquestioning of public employee union supporters, railed against inequality, claiming charter schools call themselves public but are more like privates in their entrance requirements.  The alarm marking the end of his three minutes sounded.  Undaunted, he continued — this time accusing charters of busing people to the hearing and feeding them with public funds.  After all, the same rules should apply to everyone. The […]

Massachusetts’ Privatization Law: Necessary Guardrail or Roadblock to Competition?

Massachusetts is home to the most restrictive state privatization law in the nation. Since the so-called Pacheco law was enacted in 1993, only six state services have been contracted out to private service providers, while similar efforts have dramatically expanded in other jurisdictions. A Pioneer Forum on competitive contracting was held to mark the release of a new White Paper “Competition and Goverment Services: Can Massachusetts Still Afford the Pacheco Law?” Speakers included two co-authors of the paper, Geoffrey Segal and Adrian Moore of the Reason Public Policy Institute, Senator Marc Pacheco, author of the law, John Parsons, general counsel and director of privatization for the state auditor’s office, and Charles Chieppo of Pioneer’s Shamie Center for Restructuring Government. The remarks of each are excerpted below.

MBTA Capital Spending: Derailed by Expansion?

Pioneer Institute partnered with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on a study finding the MBTA cannot afford any of its planned expansion projects without additional state funding. Speaking at a forum on the study’s release were Michael Widmer, MTF president; Charles Chieppo, director of the Shamie Center for Restructuring Government at Pioneer; Thomas Finneran, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives; James Scanlon, the Commonwealth’s acting secretary of transportation; and David Luberoff, associate director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The remarks of each are excerpted below.