Senate Budget Amendments

ACTION POSTED: 5/22/2017. EXPIRES: 5/28.

GO DIRECTLY TO SUGGESTED SCRIPT

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This week, the Senate will debate and vote on its budget for next year. Senators will have the opportunity to start to turn this around and to commit to the investments we need to make a Massachusetts that works for all.

Particularly, in the Age of Trump, where hostility to progressive values and policies is pervasive at the federal level, it’s more important than ever to reject the austerity status quo. Massachusetts needs to step up its game.

And legislators need convincing to change. We’re going to need YOUR help.


A budget is a statement of values.

Three weeks ago, the House passed a budget that, despite some targeted increases in funding, entrenches a pattern of underinvestment in vital public services.

Unfortunately, the Senate Ways & Means Budget, released last week, does the same.

Consider, for example, the state’s spending on education and environmental protection.

Although the Senate's budget included modest increases in early education and higher education levels from current levels, they are actually down 21% and 12%, respectively, from what they were at the start of the new millennium. Environment and recreation spending is down 35%.

This chronic underinvestment stems from the pervasive ideology on Beacon Hill, that taxes--our collective investment in our values and priorities--are always politically toxic. And out of political fear, our communities suffer. 

Instead of substantive conversations about how we invest in the infrastructure, services, and institutions that make Massachusetts a great place to live and work, our legislators instead year after year refuse to raise revenue -- and leave the people of the Commonwealth begging for revenue crumbs of an ever smaller pie.

Yet, every legislator on Beacon Hill knows that Massachusetts has a revenue problem: when we do not take in enough revenue, we must cut budgets. Because of ill-conceived tax cuts over a decade ago (to the benefit of the wealthiest in MA), revenue projections continue to fall short, leading to damaging cuts to vital services.

Those tax cuts have cost all of us over $3 billion each year. Each year!

Schools, the MBTA, roads, human services--think of what $3 billion a year could be doing to invest in job growth, education, public health, housing, transportation, and environmental protection.

We need to flip the script. 

Call/email your State Senator NOW to urge them to support the following thirteen budget amendments. We've included a sample script below; feel free to customize it around whichever issues you feel most passionate.

Voting begins today! Please send this message ASAP

SUGGESTED SCRIPT

“I’m ___ from ___ . I’m calling to urge Senator__ to support budget amendments that support a strong Commonwealth. While these amendments would make a difference in the short term, I also want to urge my rep to fight for MORE REVENUE in the long term, including taxes on the wealthiest in Massachusetts.

Please support:

    • Amendment 16, which expands the earned income tax credit
    • Amendment 23, which increase badly needed revenue by eliminating a tax break for the mutual fund industry
    • Amendment 75, which would put the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission into statute and pressure the Legislature into giving our schools the money they need
    • Amendment 286, which increases the state match for the Community Preservation Act, including affordable housing and open space protection
    • Amendment 389, which eliminates an outdated and punitive law that harms women with children who are receiving welfare assistance
    • Amendment 507, which supports women’s health by increasing funding for family planning
    • Amendments 641 and 645, which increase funding for housing vouchers and assistance for those experiencing homelessness
    • Amendment 790, which increases funding for environmental protection
    • Amendments 883, 896, and 906, which increase access to legal services and reentry services
    • Amendment 1025, which would help strengthen regional infrastructure

Please share my concerns with the Senator. I will be paying attention to how s/he votes on these issues. Thank you. 

Thank you for all that you do!

Issues Committee, Progressive Mass


PERMANENT LINK: progressivemass.com/2017_05takeaction

RELATED: House Budget Amendments, "What Does Beacon Hill Value?" /2017_04budget

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