AIMBlog_Logo_Resized

Interplay of State, Federal Budget Issues Places Premium on Reform

Posted by Andre Mayer on Mar 28, 2013 1:23:00 PM

What does the ongoing fiscal crisis in Washington have to do with the debate over taxation and spending on Beacon Hill? More than we've been hearing. And that's a problem.

SequestrationCongress's acquiescence in sequestration represents an inflection point in federal fiscal policy. Spending is getting tighter. Someday there will be a new, real federal budget in place of the series of continuing resolutions that basically roll forward existing accounts, and that budget is likely to make significant changes not just in levels of expenditure, but also in spending patterns.

Transportation and education, the twin foci of the governor's plan on the program side, are both areas where the future federal role is very much in doubt, and there are major implications of a somewhat different kind for health care, the largest component of the state budget.

Some observers believe that the federal government is essentially getting out of the land surface transportation business (as opposed to air and sea).  Federal highway funds come primarily from a gas tax that has not risen in 20 years, and the military considerations that justified the creation of the interstate highway system have dissipated. Railroads and mass transit are regional issues that do not command majority support in Congress. 

Education likewise faces budget cuts, immediately and in the longer run. Dollars from Washington play a major part in student aid and research support in higher education (and Massachusetts institutions have done well in capturing these funds). They provide the backbone of public funding for early education, and make a lesser but still significant contribution to K12 public education.  The workforce development system is largely structured around federal funding streams.

Health care is in a different situation, but is also in play. The federal role was already immense, in dollars and through the basic framework created through Medicaid, ERISA and reams of detailed regulations. Now with the Affordable Care Act, as well as burgeoning Medicare population, it becomes even greater. Here too there are strong pressures to control spending; and through its role as by far the largest purchaser of services, the federal government has the power to substantially reshape the health care system through market power.

Massachusetts can survive all this – in only a few fields are we clearly getting "more than our share" back from the feds – but different federal roles will require that the commonwealth rethink its own structures and priorities, which means hard and controversial decisions. Ultimately state spending is may well increase in the areas the governor cites; but we do not know now what the funding needs will be, or what the receiving programs will look like if the federal funding streams around which they are currently structured disappear.

In this situation, AIM's insistence on "reform first" carries an extra level of meaning.

Topics: Sequestration, Budget, Issues

Dear President Obama: Seek Consensus on Fiscal Crisis

Posted by Rick Lord on Nov 6, 2012 11:55:00 PM

Dear President Obama,

PresidentObamaSmallCongratulations on winning re-election.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts and its thousands of member employers are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with you and members of Congress to accomplish the most important task facing our nation – solving the debt crisis and avoiding the automatic budget cuts and tax increases due to take effect January 2 if the government cannot come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan.

Employers pledge to support efforts by you and the Congress to demonstrate that government can move beyond petty and dyspeptic partisanship to solve complex problems that threaten the very foundations of economic stability and opportunity. That means exerting the leadership necessary to forge consensus among a divided nation, a divided government and a sometimes divided vision of the American future.

The subtext of the election in virtually every exit poll is that Americans want their leaders to work together in a manner that generates confidence in a world and an economy rife with uncertainty.  The pervasive scale of that uncertainty has already depressed business spending for much of 2012 - fixed investment fell 1.3 percent during the third quarter, and more than 40 percent of companies surveyed by Morgan Stanley this summer cited the fiscal cliff as a major reason for spending restraint.

The unmistakable message – negotiate, legislate, educate and articulate.

Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress must act by January 2, 2013 to reduce the federal deficit, or automatic budget cuts (“sequestration”) will impose immediate, drastic reductions on both defense and non-defense spending, amounting to $1.2 trillion over 10 years.  The first-year cuts are $54.7 billion on each side of the ledger - a 10 percent reduction in non-exempt defense spending and an average 8 percent reduction in most other discretionary non-defense accounts.

Sequestration, put in place in a failed attempt to force resolution of budget issues last year, is just part of the “fiscal cliff” before us in 2013 – we also face the expiration of extensive tax reductions initially enacted under President Bush, and of the employee payroll tax cuts included in your stimulus package.  All of these will take effect automatically if Congress does not act.

The budget cuts and tax increases will go a long way towards eliminating the budget deficit.  But they will also bring an end to the already weak economic expansion we have been experiencing. Economic forecasts suggest that sequestration alone would push the nation into recession and raise unemployment by two percentage points.

Sequestration would also represent a catastrophic failure of the political process. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker maintains that the federal debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product is worse in the United States than in any country in Europe except Greece. Walker argues that the nation needs at least $5 trillion in deficit reduction during the next decade and that federal debt as a percentage of GDP must fall from 103 percent to 60 percent. 

Failure to reach agreement on reducing the federal deficit will cost Massachusetts thousands of high-skill jobs in key industries such as health, education, research and defense.

AIM’s perspective on the federal fiscal crisis is a product of its non-partisan position and of the breadth of its membership, which includes employers in every sector of the economy. The key components of our view may be summarized as follows:

  • The ongoing political deadlock over federal finances is having a serious impact on business confidence, evident in AIM’s own Business Confidence Index and in national studies. Inaction in Washington, and the impending crisis created in a failed attempt to force action, is a principal source of the uncertainty that is depressing job creation and investment in the private-sector economy.
  • Everything needs to be on the table in the search for a solution – budget controls, Social Security reforms, spending reductions and comprehensive tax reform that would generate more revenue.
  • To frame the choices before us as basically between defense spending on the one hand and expenditures on domestic programs on the other is to continue to evade decisions that are difficult, complex, and ultimately unavoidable.
  • Attaining long-term federal fiscal balance will require discipline with regard to spending and revenues, and economic growth that will make manageable for our children and grandchildren the massive public debt accumulated over the past generation.
  • A primary component of any long-term program to achieve fiscal balance must be control of health care costs, which push up the price tag of all federal programs and pose the principal threat to the viability of entitlement programs (notably Medicare). The fact that all businesses, as well as state and local governments, bear similar burdens makes this the number-one issue for AIM and its members.

The member employers of AIM respectfully urge you and members of Congress to work towards timely action on this most pressing matter. We do so in full understanding that the issues are complex, the decisions hard, and any solution to some degree necessarily painful.

In your own words, Mr. President, it’s time to move Forward.

Best wishes for success.

Topics: Budget, Issues, President Barack Obama

Congress, President Must Act to Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Posted by Rick Lord on Aug 8, 2012 11:10:00 AM

If you’re wondering what the looming “fiscal cliff” will mean to Massachusetts, think the ending of the 1991 Ridley Scott movie Thelma and Louise - with Congress taking Massachusetts along for the ride it as it drives into the economic abyss.

Fiscal CliffFailure by Congress and President Barack Obama to reach agreement on reducing the federal deficit will cost Massachusetts thousands of high-skill jobs in key industries such as health, education, research and defense. Associated Industries of Massachusetts and its thousands of member employers wish to tell federal policymakers in the strongest possible terms that such a scenario cannot be allowed to happen.

Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress must act by January 2, 2013 to reduce the federal deficit, or automatic budget cuts (“sequestration”) will impose immediate, drastic reductions on both defense and non-defense spending, amounting to $1.2 trillion over 10 years.  The first-year cuts are $54.7 billion on each side of the ledger - a 10 percent reduction on defense spending and an average 8 percent reduction on most other discretionary accounts, including Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.  

Sequestration, put in place in a failed attempt to force resolution of budget issues last year, is just part of the “fiscal cliff” before us in 2013 – we also face the expiration of extensive tax reductions initially enacted under President Bush, and of the employee payroll tax cuts included in President Obama’s stimulus package.  All of these will take effect automatically if Congress does not act.

The budget cuts and tax increases will go a long way towards eliminating the budget deficit.  But they will also bring an end to the already weak economic expansion we have been experiencing. Economic forecasts suggest that sequestration alone would push the nation into recession and raise unemployment by two percentage points. 

Massachusetts sits about in the middle among the states in terms of the projected impact of sequestration – but important sectors of our economy would suffer extreme disruption from the federal budget cuts, on both the defense and the non-defense sides.

Our state ranks fifth in Defense/Homeland Security contracts, with almost $14 billion in contracts, 2,500 contractors, and 130,000 jobs.  Our largest employment sector is health and education - we rank third in National Science Foundation funding and second in National Institutes of Health grants. The hardest-hit employment sector nationally would be research and development, which is the core of our economy on both sides of the defense/non-defense line.

AIM’s perspective on the federal fiscal crisis is a product of its non-partisan position and of the breadth of its membership, which includes employers in every sector of the economy. The key components of our view may be summarized as follows:

  • The ongoing political deadlock over federal finances is itself having a serious impact on business confidence, evident in AIM’s own Business Confidence Index and in national studies. Inaction in Washington, and the impending crisis created in a failed attempt to force action, is a principal source of the uncertainty that is depressing job creation and investment in the private-sector economy.
  • Whatever resolution is eventually achieved will have enormous implications for the business climate across all industries nationally, and perhaps especially for economic activity in Massachusetts.
  • To frame the choices before us as basically between defense spending on the one hand and expenditures on domestic programs on the other is to continue to evade decisions that are difficult, complex, and ultimately unavoidable.
  • Attaining long-term federal fiscal balance will require discipline with regard to spending and revenues, and economic growth that will make manageable for our children and grandchildren the massive public debt accumulated over the past generation.
  • A primary component of any long-term program to achieve fiscal balance must be control of health care costs, which push up the pricetag of all federal programs and pose the principal threat to the viability of entitlement programs (notably Medicare). The fact that all businesses, as well as state and local governments, bear similar burdens makes this the number-one issue for AIM and its members.
  • Our state should be treated fairly in this process, bearing in mind that we depend heavily on both defense and non-defense expenditures – and that (unlike many states) we nevertheless pay significantly more into the federal treasury than we receive back in federal spending.

Accordingly, we call upon national political leaders of both parties, including members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, to get to work towards timely action on this most pressing matter. We do so in full understanding that the issues are complex, the decisions hard, and any solution to some degree necessarily painful.

But Massachusetts does not want to be in the passenger seat as the car accelerates over the cliff.
 

Topics: Budget, Issues, U.S. Congress

State Budget Balances Books without New Taxes; Treble Fix Omitted

Posted by Brad MacDougall on Jul 1, 2011 11:06:00 AM

First the good news: The $30.6 billion budget that lawmakers are expected to send to Governor Deval Patrick today closes a $1.9 billion fiscal gap without raising taxes, gives cities and towns the ability to control soaring health insurance costs and insulates the employer-funded Workforce Training Fund from the uncertainty of annual budgets.

Massachusetts State BudgetNow the disappointing news: The spending blueprint omits both a proposal to narrow the onerous treble damages provision for violations of wage and hour laws and a second initiative to repeal the pharmaceutical gift ban that threatens job growth in one of the economy’s most important sectors.

“The Legislature deserves high marks for balancing the budget without raising taxes and impeding an already shaky economic recovery. Members of the House and Senate clearly share our belief that the only way to solve the commonwealth’s long-term budgetary issues is through economic expansion and job growth,” said John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM.

“We look forward to continuing the debate over modifying the treble damages law and pharmaceutical gift ban, both of which raise red flags for companies evaluating whether or not to do business in Massachusetts.”

The budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins today emerged from a six-member House and Senate conference committee yesterday morning. The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to vote on the budget today and send it to the governor, who has 10 days to sign it.

Lawmakers passed a $1.25 billion stopgap budget on Monday to keep the commonwealth running for 10 days while the full Fiscal Year 2012 spending plan is finalized.

The municipal health plan provision has drawn strong support from employers concerned that spiraling health costs threaten the ability of cities and towns to provide the educational, safety and public works services that businesses need.

The compromise contained in the budget would give cities and towns the option to change the design of employee health coverage after an expedited 30-day bargaining window.  Municipal employees would receive 25 percent of any savings generated from changes that could include increases in co-payments and deductibles, or the transfer of employees into the state’s Group Insurance Commission.

“We believe the compromise we have reached will provide for a very fair and balanced approach that will allow for folks to have a voice but will also allow for us to achieve the savings that I think we all want to achieve,” House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey told State House News Service.

Analysts estimate that cities and towns could save approximately $100 million. Governor Patrick has expressed general support for the concept of plan design.

“The bottom line is that municipalities will save millions of dollars and maintain essential services,” Regan said.

The budget also creates a trust for the Workforce Training Program, the flagship program through which Massachusetts improves the skills of workers. It has provided $193.2 million in grants since its inception to some 2,500 Massachusetts employers to train 277,351 workers.

The trust will remove the program from the ups and downs of annual budget deliberations, which resulted in the program operating with less than full funding in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010.

Topics: Massachusetts Legislature, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Budget

Massachusetts Senate Approves Budget with No Tax Increases

Posted by Brad MacDougall on May 27, 2011 1:40:00 PM

The Massachusetts Senate yesterday finalized a Fiscal Year 2012 budget that includes no tax increases and provides cities and towns the authority to manage their health insurance costs.  The Senate and House of Representatives will now negotiate the final budget proposal through a conference committee.

AIM commends Senate President Therese Murray and Steven Brewer, Senate Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, for taking steps to encourage job creation by passing a fiscally responsible budget.  Brewer indicated that lawmakers faced significant challenges as the economy continues its sluggish recovery.

“The absence of $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds and growth in non-discretionary costs leave us with a budget gap of $1.9 billion. Once again, we will utilize a balanced approach to address this shortfall, but deep cuts to services and programs cannot be avoided. We must continue to do more with less,” Brewer said.”

Broad budget agreement between the Senate and House virtually assures that the commonwealth will navigate its fourth year of fiscal crisis without a tax increase. The two chambers also agree on creating a trust for the state’s flagship worker training program, a signal that lawmakers agree with AIM and employers that the program should be removed from the uncertainty of annual budget deliberations.

“Placing the Workforce Training Fund into a trust will create the kind of predictability that employers need to improve the skills of Massachusetts workers. We are gratified that the Senate included this provision in its budget proposal,””said Richard C. Lord, President of AIM and chair of the WTF Advisory Board. 

Other key employer issues for the conference committee include:

  • Municipal plan design: Both House and Senate versions would leave cities and towns to continue negotiating with unions over the percentage of premiums paid by employees. Ultimately, the lawmakers estimate that both reform plans would save approximately $100 million per year.

  • The Senate budget does not include a provision of the House plan that would limit the onerous 2008 treble damages law to willful violations of the state wage and hour statute. AIM looks forward to continued discussions with the Legislature on modifying treble damages.

Lord said AIM will continue to review the House and Senate budget proposals and begin work with the members of the conference committee and leadership of both branches regarding the issue that impact employers.

 

Topics: Municipal Reform, Budget, Massachusetts senate

Senate Budget Includes Municipal Health Reform, No Tax Increases

Posted by John Regan on May 18, 2011 1:51:00 PM

The Massachusetts Senate unveiled a proposed Fiscal Year 2012 state budget this morning that includes no tax increases; moves the Workforce Training Fund into a trust; and makes modest changes to a House of Representatives plan to give cities and towns the authority to manage their health insurance costs.

Senate budgetThe $30.3 billion spending blueprint seeks to close an estimated $1.9 billion budget deficit through $1.5 billion in spending reductions - including a $65 million reduction in aid to cities and towns – coupled with $440 million in one-time revenues. The document eliminates 277 budget items and level-funds 221 others.

Amendments to the budget were due on Friday and AIM continues to review them. The association will communicate with members this week about any major issues contained in the amendments.

“As difficult as the recent budgets have been, the fiscal year 2012 budget presents a new set of challenges,” said Senator Steven M. Brewer, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

“The absence of $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds and growth in non-discretionary costs leave us with a budget gap of $1.9 billion. Once again, we will utilize a balanced approach to address this shortfall, but deep cuts to services and programs cannot be avoided. We must continue to do more with less.”

Broad agreement between the Senate budget proposal and the House blueprint approved two weeks ago virtually assures that the commonwealth will navigate its fourth year of fiscal crisis without a tax increase. The agreement on creating a trust for the state’s flagship worker training program also signals that lawmakers agree with AIM and employers that the program should be removed from the uncertainty of annual budget deliberations.

“Placing the Workforce Training Fund into a trust will create the kind of predictability that employers need to improve the skills of Massachusetts workers. We are gratified that the Senate included this provision in its budget proposal,” said Richard C. Lord, President of AIM and chair of the WTF Advisory Board.

The Senate plan for municipal health reform differs from the House version, which would allow municipal officials to set health-insurance co-pays and deductibles unilaterally after a 30-day negotiating period. The Senate proposes that if managers and employees cannot negotiate an agreement during that window, the health plan changes would be handed over to a three-person review panel made up of one labor representative, one management representative and a third mutually selected person from a list provided by the Secretary of Administration and Finance of professionals with expertise in dispute resolution, municipal finance, or municipal health insurance.

The review board would be required to approve any health insurance plan changes proposed by management that do not exceed the benefits received by state employees.

The Senate plan would also require more of any premium savings generated by health plan changes to go to municipal workers – one-third of savings in the first year versus 20 percent under unilaterally imposed changes in the House bill.

Both versions would leave cities and towns to continue negotiating with unions over the percentage of premiums paid by employees. They would also force all eligible retirees to enroll in Medicare.

Lawmakers estimate that both reform plans would save approximately $100 million per year.

AIM and Massachusetts employers generally support municipal health reform because the spiraling cost of health insurance is eroding the ability of city and town governments to deliver educational, public safety and other services upon which the economy depends. A recent report by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education found that virtually all of the increased state funding for schools during the past decade has been diverted from classrooms to pay for soaring health benefits.

Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns spent $3.297 billion more on health insurance from 2001 to 2010 than they would have spent had they purchased coverage through the Group Insurance Commission, which buys insurance for state employees. The Commission limited annual premium increases to a modest 6.4 percent during that time because it is able to make plan design changes outside of collective bargaining.

The Senate budget does not include a provision of the House plan that would limit the onerous 2008 treble damages law to willful violations of the state wage and hour statute. AIM looks forward to continued discussions with the Legislature on modifying treble damages.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Municipal Reform, Budget, Massachusetts senate, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

Fiscally Sound House Budget Proposal Benefits Massachusetts Economy

Posted by John Regan on Apr 13, 2011 1:08:00 PM

The Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee proposed a Fiscal Year 2012 budget today that would narrow the onerous treble-damages law, ensure consistent funding for the Workforce Training Fund by placing it in a trust, and allow cities and towns to save money by designing health insurance plans outside of collective bargaining.

Massachusetts House BudgetAssociated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and its 6,500 employer members welcomed the $30.45 billion spending blueprint, which includes no tax increases. AIM commended the Ways and Means Committee for taking steps to encourage job creation in a still-uncertain state economy.

“In the face of challenging fiscal times, Chairman Brian Dempsey and the committee have balanced the budget while addressing the economic growth that is the only long-term solution to the commonwealth’s financial picture,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

In his introduction to the budget document, Dempsey told colleagues, “Our budget also includes several provisions designed to foster job growth and improve the business climate in the commonwealth.  In this spirit, we have adhered to Speaker (Robert) DeLeo’s commitment to no new taxes or gimmicks that would place any additional burden on Massachusetts taxpayers.”

The proposed budget would limit the imposition of mandatory treble damages to “willful” violations of the commonwealth’s complex Wage and Hour law. The change would update a controversial 2008 law that currently imposes punitive treble damages even in cases where an inexperienced employee of a Massachusetts business makes a clerical error.

“Limiting treble damages to willful violations will draw cheers from Massachusetts employers who have seen their administrative burdens increase on issues ranging from exempt/nonexempt classifications to holiday pay,” said Sandra Reynolds, Executive Vice President of the AIM Employers Resource Group.

The provisions governing workforce training and municipal plan design appear in both the House Ways and Means Budget and in Governor Deval Patrick’s spending plan submitted in January. The agreement signals a growing consensus around two issues that AIM has aggressively supported for years on behalf of employers.

The House budget plan would place the commonwealth’s flagship Workforce Training Fund Program into a trust to guarantee that employer contributions to the program are used to train new and incumbent workers. Employers contribute approximately $21 million the WTFP each year, but the program was cut in half during Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 as the commonwealth entered a prolonged fiscal crisis.

WTFP has provided $193.2 million in grants since its inception to some 2,500 Massachusetts employers to train 277,351 workers.

“The trust will ensure that the full $21 million contributed by employers through a surcharge on Unemployment Insurance bills is used efficiently to expand the skills of Massachusetts workers,” said Lord, who also chairs the Workforce Training Fund Advisory Council.

AIM supports so-called municipal plan design because cities and towns find themselves swallowed by accelerating health care premiums that are already diverting scarce money from the schools, police, fire, roads and bridges upon which business depends. Rising health premiums consumed two-thirds of all increases in state spending between FY 2000 to FY 2010 and are also diverting desperately needed state education funding from the classrooms where the future of the economy now sits.

A recent report found that Massachusetts municipalities spend 37 percent more to provide health insurance to their employees than the amount spent by private companies as measured by the AIM Benefits Survey.

AIM applauded the work of Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Steven Kulik and Assistant Vice Chair Martha Walz on the proposed House budget.

Lord said AIM will continue to review the House budget proposal and inform employers about any additional business-related provisions.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Budget, Massachusetts House of Representatives

Fiscal 2011 Budget Addresses Training, Health Costs, Manufacturing

Posted by John Regan on Jul 1, 2010 2:40:00 PM

Several issues affecting Massachusetts employers were part of the $27.6 billion Fiscal Year 2011 budget signed Wednesday by Governor Deval M. Patrick:

  • Early intervention - The governor signed off on the Legislature's decision to prohibit health plans from charging co-payments or deductibles for early intervention services. AIM opposed the measure because it will increase the cost of health insurance at a time when policymakers are seeking ways to reduce the burden of soaring insurance premiums on employers and workers.

  • Workforce Training - The governor reduced the proposed $24 million appropriation for the commonwealth's flagship worker training program to $11.5 million, but also proposed carrying over $9 million in unexpended WTF money from FY 2010 to the new fiscal year. The result is that $20.5 million will be available during the next year to train new and incumbent workers.

  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership - The governor removed $125,000 from the MEP appropriation, leaving the organization level funded at $325,000. The reduction came as the commonwealth cut hundreds of millions of dollars it initially anticipated receiving from the federal government.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Budget, Deval Patrick

Legislature Addresses Fiscal Crisis Honestly with Budget

Posted by John Regan on Jun 24, 2010 11:14:00 PM

The Massachusetts Legislature approved a Fiscal Year 2011 budget tonight that responsibly addresses the commonwealth's serious fiscal issues while improving the business climate.

The $27.6 billion spending blueprint provides full appropriations to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, both key initiatives as Massachusetts looks to rebuild its employment base during the economic recovery. Lawmakers also defeated a proposal to create a redundant energy procurement office.

AIM remains disappointed that the budget denies municipalities the ability to design health plans outside of collective bargaining and calls for public disclosure of tax information by companies that receive economic development incentives. We remain committed to resolving those issues, but nevertheless commend the House and Senate for a disciplined budget process carried out under the most difficult imaginable conditions.

The budget for the Fiscal Year starting July 1 does not increase taxes and draws $100 million from the reserve account. Lawmakers scrambled to balance the budget proposal this week after Congress balked at providing $687 million in extended Medicaid funds upon which state officials had built their fiscal assumptions.

Full appropriation for the Workforce Training Fund and Manufacturing Extension Partnership is good news for Massachusetts employers and workers. The Workforce Training Fund (WTF) has provided $174 million in grants since its inception to some 2,500 Massachusetts employers to train 243,000 workers.

Paid for by employers through an Unemployment Insurance surcharge, WTF has fallen victim to the commonwealth's fiscal crisis during the past two years. Governor Deval Patrick reduced funding for WTF in Fiscal Year 2009 by $9 million. The Legislature then cut funding in half for FY 2010.

AIM President Richard C. Lord, who also chairs the Workforce Training Fund Advisory Panel, said WTF is a program that improves productivity and creates economic opportunity for workers.

"We realize the enormous budgetary pressure facing the Legislature this year and appreciate the fact the members recognized the importance of WTF to the economic recovery," Lord said.

Topics: Massachusetts Legislature, AIM, Budget

Subscribe to our blog

Posts by popularity

Browse by Tag