Friday, January 21, 2000
Cellucci wants math teachers tested,
e-commerce protected from taxes
By Martin Finucane
LOWELL, Mass. (AP) Gov. Paul Cellucci added some new twists to old favorities tax
cuts and teacher testing in his State of the State address.
While using the opportunity to get in another plug for his proposed rollback of
the state income tax to 5 percent, Cellucci said Thursday he would continue to work to
protect online businesses from being burdened with taxes. ...
Reaction to Cellucci's speech included criticism from Democratic Statehouse
leaders, who called it short on substance....
Senate President Thomas Birmingham, D-Chelsea, said Cellucci talked about
improving education, but offered no financial support.
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said Cellucci's desire to pass the proposed tax
cut doesn't leave any money to deal with such concerns as daycare and affordable housing.
"There won't be any money left to do anything, so if you go through the
speech, you'll see there's virtually no new spending, no new programs," Rosenberg
of Human Service Providers, Inc.
Contact: Michael Weekes 617-428-3637
January 20, 2000
HUMAN SERVICES STILL STRUGGLING
The report just issued by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation: State Budget
'00: Expectations Soar, But Hard Landing Ahead, points to the continued pressures on human
service budgets despite the robust Massachusetts economy.
"While the rising tide could raise all the ships," stated Michael
Weekes, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers,
"we see a steady stream of reports on the hard times faced by many people in the
Commonwealth and the organizations that help them."
"The Taxpayer's study, as it forecasts the problems with a tax roll-back,
points to the problems of rising caseloads, years of frozen reimbursement rates to
contract providers, inadequate salaries for direct care workers, and the expense of caring
for people with multiple disabilities," continues Weekes. "This report clearly
presents that spending on human services has lagged overall state spending, and at a rate
of only less than 1/2 percent per year between 1994 and 1997. Other state programs grew 14
times as fast as human services in the middle of the decade. The Foundation study also
stated that while spending on human services increased by 4.0 percent per year between
1997 to 2000 -- the periods when overall state spending began to accelerate -- spending on
all other programs rose almost twice as fast -- by 6.7 percent annually. This is yet
another definitive and objective study quantifying the lack of funding for the people
government has pledged to serve....
State House News Service
Thursday, January 20, 2000
BALLOT QUESTIONS: House refers nine initiative petitions signed by voters to
committees on Judiciary, Government Regulations, House and Senate Science and Technology,
Health Care, Natural Resources and Taxation depending on subject matter.
for Limited Taxation
January 20, 2000
RE: BIRMINGHAM'S PROPOSED ROAD SHOW
As a Massachusetts citizen who gets to vote for statewide officers but does not
get to vote for Senate President, I would be appalled to see a governor of Massachusetts,
elected by the majority of voters statewide, stoop to "forumally" debate a state
senator elected by a few of his colleagues (who owe their extra-pay chairmanships to his
goodwill) to preside over their sessions. It just ain't seemly.
I mean, a governor is heir to the position occupied by John Carver, William
Bradford, John Hancock, Sam Adams, Elbridge Gerry, Calvin Coolidge, John Volpe, Edward
King, Bill Weld! Okay, Sam Adams and Calvin Coolidge were senate leaders too, but only on
their way to becoming governor.
I didn't know taxpayer activist Sam Adams or fiscal conservative Calvin Coolidge,
but I still can tell you Tom Birmingham is no Sam Adams or Calvin Coolidge!
No, a state senator should not be debating on an equal footing with a governor.
Not that I wouldn't enjoy such a debate -- Sen. Birmingham is no match for Gov. Cellucci
-- but I'm sure when they are equalized in the role of candidates for governor in a few
years, we will all get to enjoy it.
In the meantime, since Sen. Birmingham has no apparent concern about a governor
debating a senator, perhaps he'd have no problem seeing a senate leader debate a taxpayer
activist! I volunteer for a public "forum" with him to discuss the legislative
promise that the income tax rate would be restored to 5 percent.
Hey, let's all debate! Rep. Finneran can debate Bob Kraft. Lt. Gov. Swift can
debate N.O.W. Charitable groups can auction off debates: television and radio can have
contests: "the third caller will debate Sen. Birmingham tomorrow for one hour on this
If Sen. Birmingham is so fond of debate, let's have this year's balcony budget
meetings with Rep. Finneran in public. A lot of us would pay to see that.