SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1307        FILED ON: 1/17/2019

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1659

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Paul R. Feeney

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to establish a commission to report on the people's budget.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

 

Paul R. Feeney

Bristol and Norfolk

 

Jack Patrick Lewis

7th Middlesex

1/22/2019

Brian W. Murray

10th Worcester

1/23/2019

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

1/23/2019

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

1/28/2019

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

1/30/2019

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

2/1/2019

James K. Hawkins

2nd Bristol

2/11/2019

 



SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1307        FILED ON: 1/17/2019

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1659

By Mr. Feeney, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1659) of Paul R. Feeney, Jack Patrick Lewis, Brian W. Murray, William N. Brownsberger and other members of the General Court for legislation to establish a commission to report on the people's budget.  Revenue.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
(2019-2020)

_______________

 

An Act to establish a commission to report on the people's budget.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

People’s Budget Resolution

SECTION 1

Whereas 28% of the Massachusetts budget is derived from Federal Government funds and;

Whereas the largest expenditure in the Massachusetts budget is healthcare, and 379,000 people are still uninsured, the People’s Budget contributes funding for states to transition to single payer health care;

Whereas 43% of people in Massachusetts are poor or low-income, and 1 million workers are making under $15 an hour, the People’s Budget supports minimum wage increases and collective bargaining rights, increases support for small businesses, prioritizes “Made in America” policies across government agencies;

Whereas Massachusetts is underfunding education by an estimate of $1-2 billion dollars, the People’s Budget invests in early learning, K-12 education, debt-free public college and the refinancing of student loans and;

Whereas almost 3,000 black adults in Massachusetts cannot vote due to felony voting restrictions, the People’s Budget increases funding for voter protection and legal assistance programs and funds public financing of campaigns and;

Whereas in Massachusetts 8,457 people were deported between 2003 and 2017, the People’s Budget provides continued funding for sanctuary cities, adds funding for refugee resettlement programs, ends family detention and prohibits funding for construction of a border wall and;

Whereas 21% of veterans in Massachusetts are living on less than $35,000 a year and one in five are living in poverty, the People’s Budget eliminates veteran’s homelessness, expands access to mental health care and expands job training for veterans and;

Whereas the richest 1% of Massachusetts residents are expected to receive 31% of the benefits of the new federal tax law and the expected tax cut in 2027 will be $12,230 while the poorest 20% will be paying $50 more, the People’s Budget instead increases the tax rate on the richest Americans, closes corporate tax loopholes, ends offshore tax havens and;

Whereas the UN Panel on Climate Change has estimated we have twelve years before the level of CO2 in the atmosphere will make the United States uninhabitable and;

Whereas in Massachusetts 10,452 tons of NOx are emitted yearly, a leading cause of respiratory problems, the People’s Budget invests 2 trillion in transitioning to clean renewable energy, crumbling roads, bridges, and a Green New Deal to build a fully modernized electric grid and create high-quality jobs and;

Whereas Massachusetts residents have contributed $181 billion to wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond since 2001, wars we have not “won,” or made us safer but instead have seriously damaged our international reputation and have diverted funds from sectors that will make us more resilient and safer such as healthcare, education and the transition to renewable energy, increased protection of vital natural resources in Massachusetts and;

Whereas 12.2 billion dollars were spent in Massachusetts on defense in 2015, the tenth highest in the United States , with 11.2 billion in defense contracts, the fifth highest in the country, the People’s Budget will reduce the military budget below pre-Trump administration levels and end emergency funding for Overseas Contingency Operations and;

Whereas we live in the richest country in the history of the world and have abundant resources to ensure dignity and health of people and the country and we must dramatically change our priorities and reallocate funding to preserve the future of the people of this Commonwealth and the country as a whole;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of the legislature of Massachusetts call upon the entire congressional delegation and the President to support the People’s Budget.

SECTION 2

(a)There shall be a People’s Budget commission established pursuant to section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws, referred to in this section as the commission. The commission shall evaluate and report on the impact that passage of the People’s Budget would have on Massachusetts, including currently underfunded sectors such as environment, education, health care, transportation, and the arts.

(b)The commission shall consist of 15 members: 2 of whom shall be members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the hour of representatives; 1 of whom shall be a member of the house of representatives appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 2 of whom shall be members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate; 1 of whom shall be a member of the senate appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 2 of whom shall be appointed by the governor of which one shall be a member of the executive office of Administration and Finance; 1 of whom shall be a member of Massachusetts Peace Action; 1 of whom shall be a member of the Mass Taxpayers Association; 1 of whom shall be a member of Mass Budget and Policy Center; 1 of whom shall be a board member of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts; 1 of whom shall be a member of the SEIU Executive Council; 1 of whom shall be a board member of the Alliance of Business Leadership; 1 appointed by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth

(c)The commission shall submit its final report to the governor, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee Revenue not later than six months after enactment which shall include: (i) an evaluation of the potential impacts of the resolution