Transparency

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.
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.
With as new animated video, Pioneer Institute aims to inform the public about barriers to accessing Massachusetts elected officials’ financial information.
Despite recent good news about declines in alcohol, traditional cigarette, and hard drug use among young people, it seems that retailers of these heavily regulated (or just plain illegal) substances aren’t going away any time soon. The number of Massachusetts bars and nightclubs - or, in the words of the Census Bureau, “places primarily engaged...
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to MassOpenBooks, the average annual pay for UMass Medical School Employees is $57,746. But as highlighted in the chart below, Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins makes $1,069,752.  According to USA Today, the income that qualifies a Massachusetts resident to be included in the top 1% is $582,774.  When looking at MassOpenBooks 2018 Highest Paid...
According to MassOpenBooks 2018 statistics, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is the 18th highest department by average pay of all employees from 126 departments listed (excluding authorities) in the state. It has 1,135 employees who earn a total of $85,059,220.  While the total number of employees decreased from 1,138 in 2012 to 1,135 in 2018,...