This afternoon the Senate rejected a fundamentally flawed proposal which was mislabeled "Economic Development, Transparency and Fiscal Accountability."
Amendment #69 was one of several amendments under consideration during today's deliberations of the Senate plan for economic development outlined in S.2345. AIM appreciates the expressed action of the Senate leadership and members who rejected this harmful amendment.
Yesterday, AIM's Eileen McAnneny, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, sent a letter to Senate President Murray expressing our members' strong opposition and outlined multiple negative impacts of this amendment. McAnneny argued that "the proposal would ultimately eviscerate the long-held and fundamental policy of Massachusetts to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information."
AIM argued that the amendment conflicts with the intent of S.2345 to make the government more business friendly and efficient so that it does not impede job creation in any way.
Strangely, a handful of Senators voted in support of Amendment #69 which would add enormous new administrative costs to employers in addition to creating another unfunded mandate for the municipalities in the Commonwealth at a time when both are struggling. Those legislators, who voted in support of the amendment, simply ignored the fact that no other state in the nation has taxpayer-specific information disclosed on a website for any and all business expenditures.
Prior to the Senate's debate of S.2345 and the 95 amendments, AIM's John Regan, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, sent a letter to Senate President Murray and every member of the Senate to express the association's overall position relative to specific amendments that would harm the Massachusetts business climate or would provide relief and improve the business climate.
AIM supported amendments that would change the negative impacts of the harmful "treble damages" and "independent contractor" statutes in addition to an amendment to curb the Patrick Administration's "solar carve-out" regulations, which will now retroactively add millions of unnecessary dollars to electricity bills across the commonwealth. Following the Senate's rejection of the amendment, Regan noted that the proponents pushing this legislation have again advocated for another "Massachusetts only cost of doing business."
Watch the formal Senate debate live as members continue to debate the economic development legislation and a supplemental budget this afternoon. AIM will continue to monitor the ongoing Senate debate and will provide more thorough analysis.