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.

Executive branch overreach, blanket orders having harmful effects

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At the outset of the pandemic, limited knowledge and the need to mitigate risk understandably led to political overreach. At this point in the disaster response, though, we are far better at distinguishing fact from fiction and policies that have worked from those that have not.

HHS COVID Funding Tracker

As of July, the Feds have distributed $86.7 billion to medical providers, of which $2.3 billion came to Massachusetts. Pioneer’s new HHS COVID-19 Funding app shows who and how much, from the $1 sent to American Current Care of Massachusetts, to the $418,034,675 sent to the MA Department of Public Health. We also break down the distribution by city or town.

COVID-19 Silver Lining: MBTA Takes Advantage of Ridership Lull to Accelerate $8.5 Billion Modernization Program

Pioneer Institute congratulates the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and MBTA management for taking advantage of the precipitous ridership declines due to the COVID pandemic to dramatically accelerate ongoing construction projects.

Police Unions & the Public Trust: How public sector unions obstruct good policing

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Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s executive director Jim Stergios for a conversation with Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby about his recent opinion piece on the need to abolish police unions.

Open Letter to MassDOT Board Regarding I-90 Allston Multimodal Project

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Read Pioneer's Open Letter to MassDOT on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project, Boston, MA National Environmental Policy Act Review Scoping Report: All At-Grade Option and 8-lane Turnpike – Throat Area

Sensible police reform includes changing ‘qualified immunity’ laws

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Even in a time of painful divisions in our country, there is little doubt among people of good faith that what Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd was criminal. If they are indeed convicted of a felony, how is it that the former officers could very well be immune from civil liability?

New Pioneer Institute Hotline Allows Public to Report Violations of Open Meeting Law

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With most public meetings taking place remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pioneer Institute has unveiled an online hotline that allows members of the public to report potential violations of the Commonwealth’s and other states' Open Meeting Law.

Pioneer Institute Study Calls for Streamlining State Sales Tax Revenue Collection

At a time when state tax revenues are plummeting, a plan to modernize sales tax collection could get money into state coffers more quickly, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute.

Hubwonk Ep. 9: Elections in Epidemics: Keeping Voters Safe & Elections Fair during COVID-19

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Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Mary Connaughton as they talk with MIT Professor Charles Stewart on how states in general, and Massachusetts in particular, are adapting their voting process to keep elections safe, transparent, and fair during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We Must Work Together to End Racial Injustice

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Read Pioneer Institute's Public Statement from Executive Director Jim Stergios on the need to address police brutality, racism, and economic inequality.

Pioneer Institute Looks Ahead to the Protection of Civil Liberties

Challenges to Americans’ civil liberties have increased in recent years.  History teaches us that during national emergencies governments are even more likely to overstep and violate constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. To address this concern, Pioneer Institute has created “Respect My Rights,” a web-based hotline to which citizens can submit complaints and descriptions of violations they have experienced.

Survey Suggests Demand for Telecommuting After COVID-19 Crisis

Citing an avoidance of the commute and more flexible scheduling, nearly 63 percent of respondents to Pioneer Institute’s survey, “Will You Commute To Work When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over?” expressed a preference to work from home one day a week, and a plurality preferred two to three days a week, even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Respondents cite social isolation as the biggest drawback of remote work. The survey was conducted from April 22nd to May 15th, and received responses from over 700 individuals.

New Video Highlights Need for Greater Access to Public Officials’ Financial Ties

With as new animated video, Pioneer Institute aims to inform the public about barriers to accessing Massachusetts elected officials’ financial information.