This brief, produced by MMPI in partnership with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, will supplement the MMPI budget analyses by providing information on trust funds that support health coverage programs in Massachusetts.
Some cities and towns have higher concentrations of the labor force employed in low-wage work than others. Raising the minimum wage would tend to have a greater impact in these areas, particularly since workers who receive wage increases are likely to spend a portion of those increases locally.
Massachusetts has a separate minimum wage for workers who regularly earn tips, like waiters and hairdressers. We find that in states where the “tipped minimum wage” is well below the regular minimum wage, the poverty rate for tipped workers tends to be higher.
Over the past several years, Massachusetts has expanded its efforts to improve the emotional well-being of our youngest children. Massachusetts is way ahead of other states in developmental screenings for young low-income children, according to a newly-released report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Higher education is vital to economic prosperity, and it serves as the critical final step for students advancing through our state education system. Massachusetts is one of the states that has cut funding most severely, allowing out-of-pocket student costs to rise.
In Massachusetts we invest a below-average share of our state’s economic resources in public education. K-12 education spending as a percent of state personal income is 3.97 percent in Massachusetts compared to 4.12 percent nationwide.
The FY 2014 budget included new investments in transportation, education, and elsewhere. Part of the funding came from a “tech tax” that has since been repealed. Looking ahead, there are a variety of other ways to fund future investments in our economy and our communities.
Workers across the Commonwealth—and the U.S—still confront a relatively weak labor market, and low-wage workers have been particularly affected by growing inequality and the declining value of the minimum wage.
Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do.
All of the parts of the state’s FY 2014 budget are now in place. The budget includes new investments to fix and repair our state’s transportation system and to make higher education more affordable.