What We Do
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces non-partisan policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
Our work addresses how our Commonwealth can achieve these objectives while also maintaining fiscal stability through an adequate, fair, and efficient tax system. We recognize that accomplishing these goals depends on an effective government in which everyone is empowered to participate. Toward this end, MassBudget works towards government transparency and makes our research as accessible as possible, particularly to those who have been left on the sidelines of past policy debates.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is an independent nonprofit organization that provides non-partisan research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, that affect low- and moderate-income people in Massachusetts.
At MassBudget we believe that our democracy and our economy work best when everyone can participate.
To participate effectively in our democracy, people need reliable information and clear analysis of policy choices facing the Commonwealth. That’s what MassBudget provides to everyone — including those often left on the sidelines in policy debates.
Our Budget Monitors offer clear and very timely analysis of each version of the state budget: the Governor’s proposal and those of the Legislature. So that people don’t have to sift through hundreds of line items to understand what the budget funds, these Budget Monitors provide clear information on the policy initiatives and funding levels each budget proposes for each area of government, and how those proposals compare to each other and to the past.
MassBudget also produces reports on specific topics that look at longer term trends in areas such as education, health care funding, human services, and tax policy. These reports both look at the effects of previous decisions and look forward to opportunities for improving state policies.
Governmental institutions should make information freely available to everyone. To this end, MassBudget, working with other budget experts, has focused attention on the issue of budget transparency. Many of the recommendations in our reports on this topic have now become state policy, and there is far more information provided online by state government than ever before. As there is still more progress to be made, MassBudget will continue to examine opportunities for improving the transparency of the state budget process.
Like our democracy, our economy works best when everyone can participate effectively. More than ever, what employers look for, and what drives economic growth, is people with the education and skills that the modern economy demands. A central challenge in building long term economic strength is making sure that all of our people have the skills and education that will allow them to participate effectively in a high-skill, high-wage economy.
But providing education isn’t our government’s only role in helping people to participate effectively in our economy. We also need quality infrastructure and public transportation that allow people in every part of the state to get to where the jobs are. People who have disabilities may need additional supports to contribute up to their full potential. Working parents often need other supports, such as child care and, when it is not provided by an employer, health care for their families.
To participate in budget debates, people need to consider not just what we want to accomplish through government, but also how to pay for it. MassBudget works extensively on tax policy, looking at the tax system from a number of perspectives: is it fair; does it provide adequate revenue; what has changed over time; what could be improved.
MassBudget’s non-partisan research is relied on by active citizens, the media, grassroots and issue organizations, and policy makers. It helps those with limited resources to join critical debates with the information they need to make their voices heard. On important issues ranging from tax policy to the minimum wage, people using MassBudget’s research have transformed public debates and have achieved outcomes that are directly improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across our Commonwealth.