Pioneer Research

This study illustrates why issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) to refinance $360 million of the MBTA Retirement Fund’s (MBTARF’s) $1.3 billion unfunded pension liability would only compound the T’s already serious financial risks.
The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, or METCO program, has successfully educated thousands of students for 56 years, but several minor changes could make it even better, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.
If adopted, a constitutional amendment to hike state taxes that will appear on the ballot in November could erase the hard-earned progress Massachusetts has achieved toward economic competitiveness over the last 25 years and may not result in any additional education and transportation funding, according to a new book from Pioneer Institute, entitled Back to Taxachusetts?: How the proposed tax amendment would upend one of the nation’s best economies, which is a distillation of two dozen academic studies.
This new study unearths previously unseen communications between the MBTA and its contractors, showing that the MBTA’s efforts to modernize its fare collection system, including allowing payments with credit cards and bringing “tap and go” technology to Commuter Rail and ferry lines, was riddled with technological challenges and difficulties overseeing contractors as early as 2019, culminating in a 3-year delay to the project’s full implementation. The report also highlights key insights regarding the MBTA’s administrative capacity and hiring efforts needed to oversee the project’s implementation.
In this public comment, Pioneer Institute examines the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development's guidelines on how localities can comply with new zoning mandates around MBTA stations. While some of the compliance criteria and goal-setting language need further clarification and adjustment, overall Pioneer Institute is supportive of the vision for sustainable, transit-oriented development which, if properly implemented, will expand economic opportunity to a new generation of the state's residents.
Pioneer Institute Senior Fellows William Smith and Robert Popovian submitted public comments about PBM business practices to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Pioneer recommended that PBM discounts be passed along to patients when they are meeting their deductible or coinsurance requirements.
This report shows that education tax credits grew increasingly popular in 2021, with four more states enacting programs. There are now 28 tax-credit scholarship (TCS) programs in 23 states, and they serve more than 325,000 students.
This report reviews the federal 340B drug discount program, showing that, over the past decade, the revenue for hospitals generated by the program, initially intended to serve low-income, uninsured populations, has exploded even while a number of important Massachusetts hospitals have reduced the level of charity care they provide. The study notes that nationwide, 340B drug sales rose from $9 billion in 2014 to $38 billion in 2020.
This report shows that the plaintiffs in Anderson v. Healey have good reason to demand a more accurate description of the graduated income tax amendment. Experience from other states and the actions of the Massachusetts Legislature demonstrate that voters should be given a more realistic picture of how the revenue is likely to be spent before going to the polls in November.
This report summarizes the findings of MA DESE’s 2020 review of the Boston Public Schools, highlighting key findings around the teaching and learning, operational, financial, and enrollment challenges the state identified. It also describes why, according to the report, BPS persistently struggles in these areas and how its struggles negatively impact students. The paper describes several options the district and the state have for rectifying the problems and helping BPS meet its constitutional and moral obligations to the students and families it serves.