In light of COVID-19, Massachusetts should rethink its convention center bureaucracy

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Right before commercial real estate values in the U.S. started…

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.

Study: Shift from Highest-Priced Healthcare Providers Would Generate Tremendous Savings

Consumers in just one Massachusetts county could have saved nearly $22 million in a single year and $116.6 million adjusted for inflation over four years if they switched from using the most expensive providers for 16 shoppable healthcare services to those whose prices were closer to average, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

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.

Open Letter: COVID-19 Study and Recommendations Task Force Established Pursuant to Massachusetts Bill H.4672

Pioneer hopes the members of this important task force will be appointed as soon as possible and that they will look into recommendations to address Covid-19 among the aged and in the state’s nursing homes. Read our Open Letter.

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 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.

National Study Finds Most States Lack Healthcare Price Transparency Laws

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has caused massive shifts in state policies on telehealth and scope of practice in healthcare, a new Pioneer Institute study underscores that most of the 50 states continue to suffer from weak laws regarding price transparency.  The study identified states that have laws that require carriers, providers or both to provide personalized cost information to consumers before obtaining healthcare services.  Fully 33 states placed in the lowest of the three broad analytic tiers on the strength of their state healthcare transparency laws. 

Financial Disclosures - As Important Now as Ever

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News sources report that certain senators sold stocks just before the market crashed when the economic impact of Coronavirus came to light. Now more than ever, financial disclosures must be accessible to the media and to the public.

Sunshine Week 2020 – When Government Transparency Is More Important Than Ever

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COVID-19 has overshadowed what was supposed to be Sunshine Week, but vigilance on behalf of open government is even more crucial during times like these, when the public has limited access. But government transparency is important at all times. Each year during Sunshine Week, Pioneer reviews some of its recent work to increase public accountability in Massachusetts government.

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.

Pioneer Institute’s Government Transparency Resolutions 2020

As we do each January, 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.

Survey: MA Least Transparent State at Making State Official Financial Disclosures Public

New rankings from Pioneer Institute show that among the states that require financial disclosures of elected officials and other significant policy makers, Massachusetts is the least transparent.

Pioneer Institute Announces New Economics Data Tool: MassEconomix

A new addition to Pioneer Institute’s Mass Watch data tool suite, MassEconomix, provides time-series data on job and business growth for all of Massachusetts. Pioneer has partnered with the Business Dynamics Research Consortium (BDRC), which is housed at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, to acquire an employment database known as “Your-economy Time Series”, or YTS. This database provides a year-by-year look at companies and jobs that have existed in the Commonwealth since 1997.

Study Finds Revived Merit Rating Board Taking Steps to Carry Out Statutorily Mandated Duties

The Merit Rating Board’s recent adoption of a regular meeting schedule, and related resolutions, are important steps in light of that Board’s 1976 governing statute.

MassAnalysis: Understanding local debts

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Although they must maintain balanced budgets, Massachusetts municipalities…

Making Healthcare Prices Accessible

Today, Pioneer Institute filed a Public Comment with the federal…

The Connection Between Property Taxes and Pension Funding

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A recent study from economist Evgenia Gorina, published in the…

Prepare for Town Budget Season with MassWatch

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Online tools to understand your community's financial condition…

MassOpenBooks: A look inside MassPort

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Every day, thousands of passengers pass through Logan Airport,…

MBTAAnalysis: A look inside the MBTA

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The MBTA shuttles over a million passengers a day around Greater…

Pioneer Institute Celebrates Sunshine Week 2019

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Sunshine Week is dedicated to bringing greater awareness to the…

Study Finds Patient Cost for MRI Largely Unrelated to Overall Price or Insurer Contribution at 14 MA Hospitals

Read coverage of this report in WCVB-TV, Boston Herald, the Boston…

Guess What Massachusetts Public Employee Earns Over $1 Million

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The State Comptroller’s Office makes available annual salary…

Our Government Transparency Resolutions for 2019

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Government transparency…

Saluting a Fine Public Servant

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State comptroller isn’t a job that’s very familiar to the…