Economy

More tools needed to combat wage theft

More tools needed to combat wage theft

Problem costs state workers $700m a year

MASSACHUSETTS HAS AN epidemic of wage theft. An estimated $700 million in wage theft occurs annually in our state, robbing workers and their families of essential income and the ability to stay afloat financially. That’s also bad news for good employers. It creates an uneven playing field for companies that follow the law and that(...)

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Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

A study of high-speed rail service to Boston should be in the mix

FORGIVE US  FOR opening old wounds, but it was just two years ago this spring that our state was crippled with foot after foot of snow. There was perhaps no more striking example of how dependent our economy is on reliable transportation. One economic analysis reported that Massachusetts lost $1 billion in wages and profits(...)

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Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

State subsidies -- an expensive mistake -- have marginal economic impact

This opinion piece has been corrected in several spots (headline and story) to reflect the fact that $1 billion has not been spent by the Massachusetts Life Science Center. Only $650 million has been spent so far, which would significantly reduce the estimated cost per job HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit(...)

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Round three on renewable energy

Round three on renewable energy

Supporters’ own data disproves their case

A RECENT OPINION PIECE in Commonwealth (“The Upside of Renewables” by Peter Rothstein and Michael Behrmann) attempts to rebut an earlier piece by me which pointed out the high cost and lack of reliability of renewable energy. However, any objective analysis of their data undercuts their arguments that renewables are economically productive. First, in response(...)

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Taxes don’t make millionaires move

Taxes don’t make millionaires move

National study shows very little migration driven by levy hikes

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATORS APPROVED the so-called Fair Share Amendment last week, setting the stage for it to appear on the 2018 statewide ballot, where voters will decide whether to impose a “millionaire’s tax” on top income-earners to fund transportation and education. Critics will undoubtedly raise one important question: If the state passes this tax, will large(...)

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Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Few firms are familiar with worker ownership models

SMALL BUSINESSES IN MASSACHUSETTS will soon face a generational impasse. As baby boomers begin to retire, the businesses they have built will need new owners, but who these owners will be is still unclear. While baby boomers collectively own more than 50 percent of businesses with employees in America, only 28 percent of them have a(...)

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Sources: Higher tax, new opt-out in pot bill

Sources: Higher tax, new opt-out in pot bill

House measure would keep treasurer in charge but expand oversight board

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE RETAIL MARIJUANA SALES would be taxed at a maximum rate of 18.75 percent under legislation being developed by the House in preparation for a Thursday vote that would also alter the oversight and local control of an industry legalized by voters last November, according to sources within the Legislature or close(...)

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House to roll out rewrite of legal pot bill

House to roll out rewrite of legal pot bill

Reps set to vote on changing ballot question on Thursday; Senate plans unclear

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE HOUSE LEADERSHIP WILL unveil its proposal to overhaul the voter-backed law legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts on Wednesday, setting up an expected debate and vote before the full membership on Thursday. The bill’s details have been held tightly by those writing the legislation, but it is widely expected to address the tax(...)

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State bond rating drops one notch

State bond rating drops one notch

Agency cites failure to build up rainy day fund

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH SLUGGISH REVENUES testing Gov. Charlie Baker’s ability to balance investment needs with fiscal prudence, one of the country’s largest credit rating agencies on Friday downgraded the state’s bond rating with an admonishment for its approach to savings. S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating for Massachusetts bonds to AA from AA+(...)

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Baker replaces another authority chief

Baker replaces another authority chief

Commonwealth Corp post filled quickly; 4 board members abstained

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER has engineered the appointment of a new president at Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public authority engaged in workforce training efforts. J.D. LaRock, a Northeastern University executive, was voted in as president of the authority last month, with his appointment effective July 1. He is replacing Nancy Snyder, whose contract is up at the(...)

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