As the initial economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, a new study from Pioneer Institute finds that governments must continue to provide short-term relief to stabilize small businesses as they simultaneously consider longer-term reforms to hasten and bolster recovery – all while facing a need to shore up public sector revenues.
About Greg Sullivan
Gregory W. Sullivan is Pioneer’s Research Director, and oversees the Centers for Better Government and Economic Opportunity. Prior to joining Pioneer, Greg served two five-year terms as Inspector General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As Inspector General, Greg directed many significant cases, including an investigation that led to the conviction of House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a forensic audit that uncovered substantial over-billing by health-care providers to the state uncompensated care pool, a study that identified irregularities in the approval process of the state charter school program, and a review that identified systemic inefficiencies in the state public construction bidding system.
Prior to serving as Inspector General, Greg held several positions within the state Office of Inspector General. He was a 17-year member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving on the committees of Ways and Means, Human Services, and Post-Audit and Oversight. As a legislator, Greg was a fiscal conservative. Working with the Pioneer Institute, he introduced legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives and State Senate to institute a workfare requirement in Massachusetts. He also sponsored legislation that resulted in the establishment of the Massachusetts research and development tax credit.
Greg is a Certified Fraud Investigator, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a master’s degree in public administration from The Kennedy School of Public Administration at Harvard, and a master’s degree from the Sloan School at M.I.T., with a concentration in finance. Greg and his wife Marion live in Norwood and have four children and one grandchild.
Entries by Greg Sullivan
This new guide to economic recovery in the retail and hospitality industries published by Pioneer Institute calls for the federal and state governments to consider consumption-based refundable tax credits for brick and mortar businesses; the federal government to conduct a detailed study of the costs and benefits of suspending employer-side payroll taxes; businesses to pay special attention to developing and marketing their cleanliness, hygiene and contactless procedures; and third-party customer review sites to include comments about the implementation of COVID safety measures to provide options and reassurance to safety-minded consumers.
At a time when state tax revenues are plummeting, a plan to modernize sales tax collection could get money into state coffers more quickly. This report analyzes the merits of a two-part proposal Governor Baker included in his January state budget submission to streamline state sales tax collections. Sullivan and Mikula find that the first part of Baker’s plan makes sense and is entirely feasible because advances in electronic data processing and electronic funds transfer have eliminated the need for protracted remittance timetables.
Data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 38.8 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 28.3 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began ten weeks ago.
Data released today by the U.S. Department of the shows that 33.0 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began nine weeks ago.
This study shows that standards enforced at the federal and state levels are insufficient to address chronic staffing issues reported by staff and residents’ families at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, making that facility particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Workforce Development show that 28.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 24.1 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past eight weeks.
The U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly report on jobless claims Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., reporting that Massachusetts received 55,448 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the week ended May 2. This brings the total of regular UI claims filed in Massachusetts since March 14, the beginning of the unemployment surge, to 781,110.
The U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly report on jobless claims this morning at 8:30 a.m., reporting that Massachusetts received 70,714 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the week ended April 25. This brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Massachusetts since March 14, the beginning of the unemployment surge, to 725,018.
Based on today’s jobless claims report, Pioneer Institute projects that the current unemployment rate in Massachusetts is at least 20.4 percent, with a minimum of 762,299 currently unemployed individuals.
A new report using recent data provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development shows that hospitality, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and construction are the industries that have suffered the most unemployment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that in the week ended April 4, the advance number of seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims was 6,606,000. This follows 6,867,000 initial claims filed in the week ended March 28 and 3,307,000 in the week ended March 21.
The COVID-19 recession could cause Massachusetts’ unemployment rate to skyrocket to 25.4 percent by this June, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute. The Commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in February.
The unprecedented surge of COVID-19- related unemployment claims that began two weeks ago is on pace to wipe out the MA unemployment Reserve Fund within three months, which will force state leaders to turn to the federal government for a bailout loan.
Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, providing $2.2 trillion in financial relief to laid-off workers, hospitals, and distressed industries. The bill provides an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits to each recipient for up to four months and extends benefits to previously ineligible categories of workers, including independent contractors, those with limited work history, and self-employed persons.
This op-ed by Greg Sullivan and Charlie Chieppo appeared in the Boston Business Journal on March 27, 2020. While passage of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Actis surely good news, it will come nowhere near fully addressing the pandemic’s impact on the commonwealth’s finances. Large block grants would be the best way to provide states with much needed relief. Thanks to the virus, state revenue sources from sales taxes to pension fund receipts are plummeting. At the same time, expenses connected to the outbreak are rising sharply. Just look at unemployment insurance. Weekly state unemployment claims rose from 4,712to 147,995in just two weeks. And while the new stimulus bill will add $600 to each unemployment check for up to four months and […]
Co-authored by Andrew Mikula and Greg Sullivan Everett’s Encore Boston Harbor has entered its third quarter of business with two pieces of good news. First, there has been renewed interest in the construction of a footbridge connecting the Orange Line to the shimmering resort casino, a major step towards improving accessibility and reducing traffic congestion in the vicinity. Second, USA Today named Encore as one of the best casinos outside of Las Vegas. But there is also some bad news. The most recent Massachusetts Gaming Commission revenue report indicates that state revenue from Encore Boston Harbor will fall far short of the $201 million that the casino owner projected for fiscal year 2020 when it was vying for a […]
Going from much larger capital budgets to delivering the actual projects needed to repair and modernize the MBTA will require a “Marshall Plan” that includes improving T hiring practices and internal organization, as well as the strategic use of external resources.
The Massachusetts Legislature must free the MBTA from overly restrictive procurement methods and the T must dramatically increase its project and contract management capacity if it is to reach aggressive capital spending targets aimed at upgrading the system and accommodating more riders.
Efforts to update the Commonwealth’s K-12 education funding formula should focus on narrowing the gap between affluent and low-income school districts and be accompanied by reforms designed to improve student outcomes and enhance accountability.
While the blame fell on former UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley, the UMass Board of Trustees and President bear the bulk of the responsibility for the recent budget crisis at UMass Boston due to a lack of oversight of the campus’s capital expenditures.
The Baker administration and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) should slow down a fast-tracked proposal to protect students from sudden, unexpected college closings such as what occurred at Mt. Ida College, and use the time to rethink its proposal from top to bottom.
In a new brief, Pioneer shows that whistleblowers’ 2015 claims that the MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) has been underreporting its unfunded pension liabilities was correct. In their study, Boston University Professor Mark T. Williams and Bernie Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos outlined three specific ways in which the T pension fund was misrepresenting its liability, by a total of $280 million. At the time, MBTARF vigorously refuted the validity of the findings, but a new Pioneer brief presents in-depth analysis vindicating Williams and Markopolos.
A recent Boston Globe column by Northeastern University Professor Joseph M. Giglio and our own Charlie Chieppo has drawn the ire of some transit advocates. In it, Giglio and Chieppo argue that commuter rail trains that provide station-to-station service are poorly positioned to compete with shared, electric, self-driving cars, when they become dominant several decades from now. The advocates seem to have seized on the fact that the authors wrote that MBTA commuter rail ridership is down, and they assert that it has actually spiked in recent years. But that claim seems to be based more on wishful thinking than fact. The official standard for ridership statistics is the National Transit Database (NTD), which contains data reported by transit agencies […]
Despite several reform bills targeted at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s public pension system in recent years, the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) has continued to rise and is drawing closer to a crisis level.
Only a small share of annual union dues paid by faculty at the University of Massachusetts, state colleges and universities and community college campuses that make dues data publicly available remain with local union affiliates to cover the costs of collective bargaining and grievance procedures.
The unusual way in which Massachusetts determines prevailing wages and the fact that civilian flaggers are subject to state prevailing wage law explain why a 2008 law that ended the Commonwealth’s status as the only state to require police at road construction projects has failed to generate substantial savings.
The University of Massachusetts claims admissions policies that favor out-of-state students over in-state residents are required as a result of insufficient state funding growth, but the data tell a different story.
Pioneer’s Greg Sullivan offers a rebuttal to Professor Cristobal Young’s criticism of his recent report, “Eight Reasons to Question Professor Cristobal Young’s Conclusions about Millionaire’s”.
The work of a Stanford University Professor whose research has formed the foundation of efforts, such as one scheduled to appear on the Massachusetts ballot in November, to impose surtaxes on high earners is flawed because it excludes the vast majority of millionaires, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.