THE PIONEER BLOG

Andover’s OPEB Lawsuit could have Implications for Towns Across the State

The Town of Andover has taken significant steps to decrease its future financial obligations. Like other towns across the Commonwealth, Andover faces a number of financial pressures, including the impact of municipal employee retirement obligations. Unlike many towns, Andover has made the tough decisions necessary to reduce the amount it […]

What can be learned from the Commonwealth’s new 9-1-1 system?

The State 9-1-1 Department recently finished building an enhanced 9-1-1 system that migrates state 9-1-1 call centers to the new Next Generation system, which features many improvements. For instance, the Next Generation 9-1-1 system lets people send more information to 9-1-1 operators, including GPS location data. This is a great leap forward for public safety […]

Gateway Cities Face Educational Spending Challenges

As the Boston Globe recently reported, Gateway Cities Brockton and Worcester are mulling a lawsuit against the Commonwealth. They cite the methodology the state uses to address funding aid inequity for public schools in poorer municipalities as insufficient to meet their students’ needs. The article also demonstrated the wide gap between public school resources available […]

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s end bigoted laws that block school choice

This St. Patrick’s Day, join us in calling for an end to bigoted, 19th-century anti-Irish and anti-Catholic legal barriers that block access to better schools for hundreds of thousands of underprivileged children. “Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws,” a Pioneer Institute documentary production, seeks to raise public awareness about these constitutional amendments […]

New entry deadline: March 30th! Enter the 2018 Better Government Competition: “Making Higher Education & Career Training Options Affordable & Effective”

Each year, the Better Government Competition focuses on one of the country’s greatest public policy challenges. Families today are struggling to afford college, young adults are saddled with crippling debt, and government workforce development programs and existing education models have not been reliable pipelines to stable employment. In recognition of these challenges, Pioneer Institute’s 2018 […]

Which Cape Cod Town has the Best Summertime Revenue Take?

The towns of the Cape and Islands have economies built around summer tourism. The allure of vast shorelines and beautiful public beaches swell the population in the warmer months; the result – beach sticker fee income abounds. Whether it’s from beach revenue, greens fees or shellfish permits, the seasonal revenue means fewer property taxes are […]

Public Works Expenditures Across All 26 Gateway Cities

Using MassAnalysis.com, a free government transparency tool provided by Pioneer Institute, with a few clicks, a report was generated to compare 2016 public works expenditures across all 26 Gateway Cities in Massachusetts. The results are demonstrated in the chart below: The findings were unexpected. Peabody is the 15th largest city, but had both the highest […]

What Janus Means for Massachusetts

In downtown Boston Monday there was a rally of a few hundred public union members, with a speaker roster that included U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, among many other elected officials.  The reason was that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) was hearing oral arguments on the Janus v. AFSCME case. The plaintiff in the case, […]

Celebrating Black History Month

In the month of February, the nation honors the achievements of African Americans; their stories and historical accomplishments are worthy of recognition year round. That’s why Pioneer Institute has sponsored events, produced videos, and published opinion pieces informing the public about important leaders and key milestones in the African-American experience, as well as the need […]

Where Does Your Community Stand: Using MassAnalysis to Compare Weston to Peer Towns

We can all learn a lot about our own behavior by watching the actions of our peers. The same concept can be applied to municipalities. Pioneer Institute’s MassAnalysis tools allows the public to do exactly that, compare their town or city to others like it across the Commonwealth. The free online tool allows up to […]

The Link Between Police Spending and Crime in Gateway Cities

Massachusetts “Gateway Cities” were defined in a 2007 Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) and Brookings Institution report as midsize cities throughout the Commonwealth that historically had strong economies centered around manufacturing, but have since struggled with unemployment, crime rates, educational performance, and property values as a result of shifting economic trends. The original […]

Top 10 Government Transparency Resolutions for 2018

We hear the word transparency a lot these days. Whether it’s the public demanding it or public figures claiming to embody it, transparency is rightly viewed as an admirable pursuit. When it comes to government, transparency fosters civic engagement and promotes public trust. Openness in government is the cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant democracy. In […]

Join Us on Catholic Schools Week for Special Film Screening Events

Join us as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, with special film screenings of our new documentary, “Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws,” at Boston College High School in Boston, MA on Monday, January 29th at 6:30pm; Marian High School in Framingham, MA on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30pm; and Bishop Connolly High […]

MBTA’s Green Line Extension is Getting Back on Track

According to Pioneer’s MBTAanalysis.com, the MBTA’s Green Line had over 64 million recorded passenger trips in 2016, the most of any light rail transit service in the US. Extending the Green Line’s service area into Somerville and Medford would vastly improve accessibility for two densely populated cities that are underserved by rail transit. Two key […]