AIMBlog_Logo_Resized

House Development Bill Takes Steps to Boost Massachusetts Economy

Posted by Brad MacDougall on Jul 8, 2010 9:11:00 AM

The Massachusetts House of Representatives took steps to improve the economy last night by passing an economic development bill that limits the scope of combined tax reporting, creates a 3 percent capital gains tax rate for individual investors in Massachusetts-based start-ups, and provides all industries with the ability to extend a net operating-loss (NOL) from five to 20 years.

describe the imageThe bill also does away with the so-called “gift ban” that regulates interactions among physicians, and pharmaceutical and medical-device companies. At the same time, House members did not include several provisions that were counterproductive to economic growth, including changes to the law governing non-compete agreements in Massachusetts and a proposal to allow association health plans.

The final House vote was 145 to 4. A legislative conference committee must now reconcile elements of the House bill to the version passed by the state Senate in April.

Approval of the “water’s edge” provision for combined reporting has been a key objective for AIM and many of the commonwealth’s largest employers since the Legislature passed combined reporting in 2008. The House bill falls short of the changes sought by the business community, but still represents a step forward in efforts to preserve the jobs created by multi-state and multinational employers in Massachusetts.

The House water’s edge measure says that income earned by Massachusetts companies through foreign affiliates or subsidiaries does not have to be included in the company’s state taxable income as long as the income from the foreign affiliate is exempt from United States federal income tax by virtue of a federal income tax treaty. AIM originally sought a full water’s edge provision that would exclude all income from foreign affiliates, whether or not subject to federal tax treaties.

“Water’s edge may seem like dry tax policy, but it has significant implications for jobs here in Massachusetts,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

“The water’s edge, capital gains and net operating-loss provisions passed by the House are all meaningful steps in the battle to jump-start the job market. We urge the conference committee to maintain those provisions in the final legislation.”

House members declined to include proposals to reform the Unemployment Insurance system and to shift the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund into a trust that would remove the program from the uncertainties of yearly budget deliberations. AIM is disappointed that the two measures were left out, but remains committed to finding solutions to the issues surrounding UI and the commonwealth’s flagship worker training fund.

AIM looks forward to working with House and Senate leadership and the conference committee to address the differences between the two branches, including:

• a provision to require state officials to issue small-business impact statements for all proposed new regulations;

• a provision to extend permits granted for projects now stalled for financing reasons; and

• a provision calling for a "sunset commission" to review and eliminate agencies, functions and rules of state government that are no longer necessary.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance, Economic Development, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, Massachusetts House of Representatives

Lawmakers Seek to Add $9.5 Million to Worker Training Program

Posted by John Regan on May 17, 2010 8:57:00 AM

Lawmakers sent to Governor Patrick Friday a measure that would restore $9.5 million to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund (WTF) for the current fiscal year. The supplemental appropriation is intended to put back some of the $11 million lawmakers cut from the employer-funded program at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2010.

AIM commends the Legislature for taking action on WTF and urges Governor Patrick to sign the measure.

"Training is one of the key ingredients in maintaining the economic recovery in Massachusetts and giving employees the opportunity to prosper in a constantly changing workplace," said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM and Chair of the Workforce Training Fund Advisory Panel.

The Workforce Training Fund is the primary program through which the Commonwealth funds initiatives to train and educate workers. It 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, the program has fallen victim to the commonwealth's fiscal crisis during the past two years. Governor Patrick reduced funding for WTF in Fiscal Year 2009 by $9 million and the Legislature then cut funding in half for FY 2010.

There is no word yet on when employers could apply for additional workforce training money if Governor Patrick signs the supplemental appropriation. AIM will pass along information about new rounds of funding as soon as we know about them.

Approval of the additional $9.5 million for Fiscal Year 2010 comes less than a month after the House of Representatives provided a full appropriation of $21 million to WTF for Fiscal Year 2011. AIM has urged the Massachusetts Senate to follow suit when it debates its version of the FY 2011 budget this week.

AIM also supports a proposal to move WTF into a trust fund that would prevent the use of training money to close future budget deficits.  Neither the House nor the Senate has yet voted on that provision.

Lawmakers say that each dollar expended through the training fund should generate at least $5 in private investment.

Topics: Massachusetts Legislature, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

Supplemental Budget Leaves Out Workforce Training Funds

Posted by Brad MacDougall on Apr 23, 2010 2:31:00 PM

Massachusetts employers expressed disappointment yesterday that a $234 million supplemental budget sent by lawmakers to Governor Deval Patrick did not restore money to the Workforce Training Fund (WTF) for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The House of Representatives initially approved $9.5 million and the Senate $5 million for the program that funds workplace training for thousands of employees throughout the commonwealth. The supplemental appropriations were intended to restore some of the $11 million lawmakers cut from the employer-funded program at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2010.

"We certainly had hoped that the supplemental budget would include Workforce Training Fund money, but we look forward to continuing our discussions with the Legislature to ensure the WTF becomes a cornerstone of the economic recovery," said John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM.

The Workforce Training Fund (WTF) is paid for by employers through an Unemployment Insurance surcharge, but has fallen victim to the commonwealth's fiscal crisis during the past two years. Governor Patrick reduced funding for WTF in Fiscal Year 2009 by $9 million, and the Legislature cut funding in half for FY 2010.

WTF has provided $174 million in grants since its inception to some 2,500 Massachusetts employers to train 243,000 workers.

AIM remains encouraged that lawmakers intend to restore full funding to WTF in Fiscal Year 2011 and beyond.  The proposed Fiscal Year 2011 House budget provides a full appropriation of $21 million to the commonwealth's flagship training program.

The House will also debate a budget amendment, supported by AIM, this week that would move WTF into a trust fund to prevent the use of training money to close future budget deficits.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance, Economic Development, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

House Panel Backs Full Appropriation for Workforce Training Fund

Posted by John Regan on Apr 15, 2010 1:50:00 PM

The proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget approved yesterday by the House Ways and Means Committee provides a full appropriation of $21 million to the commonwealth's flagship program for training and educating workers.

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund (WTF) is paid for by employers through an Unemployment Insurance surcharge, but the program 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, though lawmakers are currently seeking to restore between $5 million and $9.5 million through a supplemental budget.

WTF has provided $174 million in grants since its inception to some 2,500 Massachusetts employers to train 243,000 workers.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts President Richard C. Lord, who also chairs the Workforce Training Fund Advisory Panel, commended the Ways and Means Committee for funding an initiative that improves productivity and creates economic opportunity for workers.

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

The $27.8 billion Ways and Means budget proposal would require state officials to report back to the Legislature on the results of grants made under WTF. The report would measure whether grant recipients were able to increase job growth, retention rates and productivity as a result of the grants; and whether training participants received promotions and increased incomes as a result of training.

Lawmakers say that each dollar expended through the training fund should generate at least $5 in private investment.

The budget blueprint would increase state spending by 3.2 percent for the Fiscal Year beginning on July 1.  The Ways and Means Committee document contains no tax increases, draws no money from the dwindling rainy day fund, and proposes $400 million more in spending reductions than Governor Patrick's budget.

Meanwhile, legislators are ironing out differences between a House plan to add $9.5 million to this year's WTF and a Senate bill to add $5 million.  AIM looks forward to working with the House and Senate leadership to support funding of the program and to transition the employer fund into a "trust" , a move that will ensure that the money provided by Massachusetts employers is available for its statutory purpose

Topics: Massachusetts Legislature, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

Massachusetts Senate: Investing in Workers Pays Dividends

Posted by John Regan on Apr 6, 2010 4:48:00 PM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts and our thousands of members and their employees across the state respectfully ask the Senate to fully fund the Workforce Training Fund during the coming debate on the supplemental budget, S. 2360.

As members of the Senate know, the Workforce Training Fund is entirely funded through a tax on employers. This revenue is collected and dedicated to a critical public purpose - incumbent worker training.

Over the last few years, as a result of both 9C cuts and legislative action on the state's budget, the Workforce Training Fund has experienced significant diversions from this critical program.

We ask that the Senate follow the House in restoring funding for this fiscal year by adding an appropriation to the pending supplemental budget which you will debate later this week.

The Massachusetts and global economy are in a period of significant transition - now is a critical time for employers making decisions about upcoming investments and the best locations for their future. By offering grant assistance to companies to retrain incumbent workers, we make Massachusetts more attractive as an investment choice while respecting the public purpose for which the trust fund revenue was collected in the first place.

Please restore funding for the Workforce Training Fund - investing in our workforce will pay significant dividends for employers, their employees and the Commonwealth.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

House Restores Full Appropriation to Workforce Training Fund

Posted by Brad MacDougall on Mar 25, 2010 2:04:00 PM

The Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday approved a $9.5 million appropriation to the Workforce Training Fund (WTF) for fiscal year 2010 as a part of a supplemental budget.

The action reflects a public commitment by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo to provide full funding the WTF, which supports training and education initiatives for Massachusetts workers.  AIM also appreciates the leadership of House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charles A. Murphy and support expressed by the members of the House of Representatives for their continued support of the program.

The supplemental budget now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Employers are encouraged to call and write to their senators or to express support for the WTF appropriation.

Find your senator.

Massachusetts employers provide money for the WTF through a surcharge on unemployment insurance taxes. The program is designed to raise approximately $21 million per year, but has fallen victim to the commonwealth's fiscal crisis during the past two years.

Governor Deval Patrick unilaterally reduced funding for WTF in Fiscal Year 2009 by $9 million. While that funding was never restored, the governor proposed full funding in the subsequent fiscal year 2010 budget. The final appropriation for this year for the program was less than half - at $10 million.

During the budget debate, AIM supported amendments that would fund the program at $21 million or, in the alternative, reduce the employer assessment to the amount appropriated. Instead, the Legislature and the governor appropriated only $10 million to the WTF and diverted $11 million, thereby reducing the opportunity for training by more than half.

AIM remains committed to working with the Legislature to ensure that the Workforce Training Fund is funded for 2010 and fiscal year 2011. We also support transitioning the employer fund into a "trust" to ensure that the money provided by Massachusetts employers is available for its statutory purpose to "provide grants to employers, employer groups, labor organizations and training providers for projects to provide education and training to existing employees and newly hired workers."

AIM will continue to monitor and update members regarding the progress and implications of this legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund

Subscribe to our blog

Posts by popularity

Browse by Tag