In The News

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’Everyone deserves to be counted’: Massachusetts advocates push back against president’s memo excluding undocumented immigrants from census count

MassLive, July 21, 2020

It’s unclear exactly how many immigrants without legal status live in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated last year that 185,000 undocumented immigrants call the Bay State home.

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Massachusetts immigration bill’s biggest hurdle may be timing as it advances at end of legislative session, lawmakers say

MassLive, July 20, 2020

Massachusetts is home to an estimated 185,000 undocumented immigrants, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal think tank. More than one-third have lived in the U.S. for five years or more.

The number of immigrants without legal status could be higher, but an exact count does not exist.

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Immigrant rights groups push for driver’s license amendment to Massachusetts Senate police reform bill

MassLive, July 18, 2020

It is unclear how many immigrants without legal status live in Massachusetts, nor is it known how many of them are of legal driving age. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates 185,000 undocumented immigrants would benefit if the bill became law.

Such a law would also benefit immigrants with temporary permission to live in the U.S., such as those with Temporary Protected Status. TPS offers some foreign-born residents work permits for two years due to natural disasters, civil strife or other crises in their home countries.

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Groups seek to add immigrant driver’s license authorization to police bill

Commonwealth Magazine, July 17, 2020

Estimates from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center put the number of undocumented immigrants that reside in Massachusetts at 185,000, though the number could be far higher. Advocates say that 41,000 to 78,000 drivers could obtain licenses within the first three years of a change in state law to permit that. About 16,000 undocumented immigrants are estimated to be currently driving without licenses, including to health care and grocery store jobs deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Guest columnist Jeremy Gantz: The end of child care as we know it

Daily Hampshire Gazette, July 17, 2020

Exactly how many preschools and child care facilities will close absent adequate federal support is hard to say exactly. But the best estimates to understand what’s at risk are very depressing. In late April, a Center for American Progress analysis found that about half of all child care slots in the country — 4.5 million — could disappear after being closed for more than two weeks without government aid. In late June, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated that $690 million in aid is needed just to help early education centers in the state successfully reopen over the next five months.

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Burlington day care owner says strict rules a challenge; state discusses funding

Wicked Local Burlington, July 16, 2020

The left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated that early education and family day care homes will need $690 million over the next five months to successfully reopen, cautioning that child care is a key foundation for virtually all other economic sectors because it enables parents to work.

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Districts expecting less state education money

Bay State Banner, July 1, 2020

“We shouldn’t keep passing the buck,” said Colin Jones, senior policy analyst at Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “It makes no sense for individual districts and child care providers to be going into a completely out-of-control market for PPE and equipment individually.”

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Commissioner: Fed aid won’t solve child care system woes

Daily Hampshire Gazette, July 1, 2020

Last week, the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated that early education and family day care homes will need $690 million over the next five months to successfully reopen, cautioning that child care is a key foundation for virtually all other economic sectors because it enables parents to work.

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Task force: Child care constraints threaten Cape recovery

via Cape Cod Times, June 25, 2020

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Report: Early education system needs $690 million to safely reopen

The Enterprise Matt Murphy, SHNS As the state this week begins to review child care center safety plans and green light re-openings, the study from …

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Rep. Barber files bill to close corporate loopholes, raise progressive revenue, and fill budget gaps

The Somerville Times by Office of Representative Christine P. Barber "Raising new revenue responsibly is a critical tool to support and sustain our recovery," said …

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At ‘financial risk,’ child care system needs $690M, says report

In its new report, the nonprofit MassBudget estimated early education providers lost up to $250 million in private tuition each month of the shutdown. Now, providers may also face a 20% increase in the cost of operations due to new safety protocols and disruptions of enrollment.

“Families with options, such as keeping kids home with family or private caregivers, may choose to move away from group child care entirely, further financially destabilizing the system,” the report said.

The report noted low-income families and families of color are “more likely” to be hurt by child care center closures during the pandemic. “Accessible early education and care for young kids and their families is vital to the recovery of our economy from the Covid-19 crisis,” the report said.

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Education funding shortfall could spur new lawsuit

This year was supposed to be the first year of funding under the new formula. In his January budget proposal, Baker proposed adding $303.8 million in new state aid to school districts, compared to the amount distributed in fiscal 2020. Because of the way Baker wanted to phase in changes related to low-income students, that represented slightly less than one-seventh of the total implementation cost, which the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center pegged at $375 million a year. But with the coronavirus pandemic tanking state revenues, Baker’s budget proposal is essentially meaningless. In the absence of an annual budget, the state plans to base its aid distributions to districts for July and August on the amounts they received this year.

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COVID Tax Woes Delay Funding For $1.4 Billion Student Opportunity Act

“Not having this additional funding is a recipe for disaster at this point,” Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, told WGBH News.

“It’s essentially $300 million that districts across the commonwealth” will lose, Rivera said, referring to the amount of money in the governor’s pre-COVID budget for the Student Opportunity Act in fiscal 2021. That will affect mainly gateway cities who serve the most kids of color and low income kids and English language learners, she added.

“Those districts were expecting this infusion of cash, which they’re not going to get,” said Rivera.

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Undocumented employees at greatest risk in economic downturn, says report

Almost half of the employed undocumented people in Massachusetts are at high risk of losing their jobs or income because of the coronavirus, according to a new report by MassBudget.

As a result of businesses having to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19, 55,000 out of the 122,000 employed undocumented people could lose their jobs, the nonprofit MassBudget said in its report. The estimates are likely low, as finding accurate numbers of undocumented people is difficult, the report notes.

MassBudget is urging lawmakers to support these workers through financial relief for those with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, a move that could benefit about 57,000 adults and children, some of whom are likely undocumented, according to MassBudget. Similar to the Federal CARES Act, this bill would provide stimulus checks to those who cannot get a social security number.

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