Massachusetts Needs a Comprehensive Performance Management Framework

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Massachusetts tried making a performance structure, but in 2014 it was discontinued. Today, the state lacks a comprehensive structure to track progress.

School-Age Population Remains Steady, but Boston Struggles With Declining Enrollment

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Hopefully, new leadership will ensure that the system makes the changes necessary to improve public education in Boston. Otherwise, enrollment declines will continue. 

Law Enforcement Dividend: Who Benefits When Crime Is Prevented?

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Rafael Mangual, Manhattan Institute senior fellow, about his newly released book, Criminal (In)Justice, examining where crime is occurring in the U.S., what types of crimes those in the prison systems have committed, and the tradeoffs faced by society when considering defunding the police and reducing prison populations. 

New Hampshire Tax Burden Dramatically Less than Massachusetts

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New Hampshire collects less than half the amount of taxes per capita as Massachusetts. How do they do it, and which strategy produces better outcomes?

A Decade of Police Spending on Cape Cod

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Police spending is often the subject of debate in town halls…
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Healthcare Employs More on Cape Cod Than Any Other Sector

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Despite being a major tourist destination, the largest employment sector on Cape Cod is not related to tourism: it is healthcare!

Sunshine Week 2022 – Government Transparency Has a Great New Ally

While government transparency is a year-round pursuit, Sunshine Week marks a unique opportunity to reflect on our past work and plan for our future work to weave this most necessary fabric of a free and healthy democracy.

Pioneer Institute Applauds Secretary Galvin’s Legislation to Subject Governor’s Office to Public Records Law, Calls for End to Legislative Exemption

Pioneer Institute applauds Secretary of State William Galvin for filing legislation that would subject the governor’s office to the Commonwealth’s public records law.  Since 1997, Massachusetts governors have broadly interpreted the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Lambert v. Judicial Nominating Council to shield themselves from releasing certain documents.  Secretary Galvin’s legislation would prohibit future governors from doing so.

Building Budgets Bigger: Unpacking Who Pays the Trillion Dollar Plus Tax Bill

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Kyle Pomerleau, senior fellow on federal tax policy at American Enterprise Institute about the Build Back Better Act now in Congress, to understand how those new taxes will affect individuals, business, and the economy.

Mayor Christenson on How Immigrants Enrich His City

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Gary Christenson, Mayor of Malden, the second most diverse city in Massachusetts, with almost 43 percent of its residents born outside of the United States. It’s also home to The Immigrant Learning Center, the co-producer of this podcast. It’s always been a gateway city for immigrants and refugees, and it is this diversity that gives Malden its strength. Mayor Christenson looks to the revitalization of downtown with its disproportionate number of immigrant-owned businesses, and talks with us about managing the relationships between long-time residents and new immigrants, the reaction of the city to hate crimes after the Boston Marathon bombing, how much immigrants have given back to their new home, and his stance on sanctuary cities, in this week’s JobMakers.

Study: Pandemic Pension Bonus Bills Would Cost Billions and Unfairly Favor Highly Compensated Public Employees

Two identical bills to reward public employees with a retirement credit bonus for working during the COVID-19 emergency are currently pending in each chamber of the Massachusetts Legislature.  The bills would add billions of dollars in liabilities to public pension funds and reward workers based on their compensation, years of service and age rather than the type or duration of the work performed during the emergency, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Pioneer Applauds MassDOT for Allston Project All At-Grade Plan

Pioneer Institute applauds the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT) for its decision to move forward with an all at-grade design for the “throat” area as part of the massive $1.7 billion Allston I-90 Interchange project announced yesterday by State Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler. Pioneer had proposed that MassDOT should revise its Scoping Report on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project and recommend an additional option - a modified at-grade option for the throat area - to the Federal Highway Administration.

NEW: MassWatch IRS Data Discovery Tool

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If you want a window into taxation, to learn where Massachusetts residents move to and where new residents are coming from, Pioneer Institute has an innovative research tool for you. With Pioneer’s new Mass IRS Data Discovery Tool, you can now compare state-to-state or year-to-year tax data without downloading up to 2,000 IRS files in many different, cumbersome formats.

A Conversation about Massachusetts Charter Schools: Retention Rate and Age Trends Among Public Educators

Massachusetts was home to 400 school districts in the 2020-2021…

Public Statement on the MA Legislature’s Blanket Pension Giveaway

Beacon Hill just put on full display what happens when it is awash in money. House Bill 2808 is entitled, “An Act relative to providing a COVID-19 retirement credit to essential public workers.”  It calls for adding three years of additional retirement credit to state “employees who have volunteered to work or have been required to work at their respective worksites or any other worksite outside of their personal residences during the COVID-19 state of emergency…” But upon reading the brief bill, it quickly becomes clear that this legislation is irresponsible in the extreme.

The COVID-19 Impact on Massachusetts Community College Enrollment & Success Trends

Enrollment at Massachusetts community colleges has dropped 32.61…

Massachusetts Is Losing Adjusted Gross Income to No-Income Tax State Migration

In light of a proposed tax increase on million-dollar annual…

Massachusetts Residents Are Opting to File for Residential Energy Tax Credits

In 2018, 14,230 Massachusetts taxpayers received a total of $65,868,000…

Shepherding Infrastructure Spending: Project Labor Agreements’ Effects on Community Public Construction Projects

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Suffolk University Economics Prof. Jonathan Haughton about his research into the effects and costs attending the adoption of Project Labor Agreements in large construction projects. The discussion focuses on Prof. Haughton’s two research pieces, The Effects of Project Labor Agreements in Massachusetts, and Do Project Labor Agreements Raise Construction Costs?, and the implications of PLAs on future projects in Massachusetts.

Struggling For Sunshine: Transparency’s Power To Keep Leaders Accountable

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Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute's Mary Z. Connaughton about the value of transparency and Pioneer’s extensive work to provide greater access to legislative and policy information to hold elected officials accountable and build trust in our state government. Read Pioneer Institute's Sunshine Week Transparency Resolutions.

Pioneer Institute’s 2021 Government Transparency Resolutions: Sunshine Week Edition

As it does each year, Pioneer shares the resolutions it hopes state leaders will adopt to bring government actions into better focus and invigorate our democracy with heightened public engagement. As the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis noted, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

Police Reform Law: Finding Balance While Seeking Justice

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Join Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis who shares his views on the features and controversies of the police reform bill on Beacon Hill.

MBTA Cuts Ahead: COVID Causes Commuters To Consider Comprehensive Changes

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Host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Charlie Chieppo discuss the reasons for the recently proposed cuts to MBTA service, and offer suggestions as to how the agency’s leadership could use this crisis to improve the service’s long-term health.

Pioneer Institute Statement on MBTA Service Cuts

Even as MBTA ridership and revenue have been gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the system remains a lifeline for so many residents in the Greater Boston area, especially those working in essential services like health care or in industries most impacted by the pandemic such as the restaurant sector.  Facing a crisis of this magnitude, T leadership must first do its all to rethink how it delivers services before reflexively making cuts.

Public Comment on I-90 Allston Multimodal Project

Last year, Pioneer Institute proposed that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)  revise its Scoping Report on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project and recommend an additional option - a modified at-grade option for the throat area - to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  The Institute believed then and continues to believe that an all at-grade design will shorten construction time, lower costs, create fewer negative economic and congestion impacts, and improve neighborhood access to parkland along the Charles River.

Pioneer Institute Statement on Governor Baker’s New COVID Restrictions

Read Pioneer Institute's public statement about Gov. Charlie Baker's new executive orders related to the state’s reopening plan that will go into effect on Nov. 6, issued in response to a significant uptick in COVID infections in Massachusetts,

Clearing Boston’s Throat: What the I-90 Allston Project Portends for Metro West Commuters

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Join hosts Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s Mary Connaughton, and guest, former Mass. Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi, as they discuss the I90 Allston Multimodal Project, its long-term benefits, and their concerns for the metro west commuters and communities during the project’s decade-long construction.

COVID-19 Transparency – A Step Backwards

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Massachusetts has unfortunately taken the backwards step of ending its longstanding daily reporting of something basic and important: the virus’s cumulative impact on various age groups.

Lockdowns – Lawless or Laudable? Grading Gov. Baker’s COVID-19 Emergency Orders 6 Months On

Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s executive director Jim Stergios for a conversation with Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby about the lawsuit against the Massachusetts Governor’s executive orders. They will explore what can be learned from the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what must be considered when devising a new way forward.