As focus starts shifting to the end of the year holiday season, election results may still have you down in the dumps. You may even feel alone and wondering what you are still doing here. Massachusetts wasn’t alone – in most of New England, it appears Republican candidates lost seats in state legislatures. Even our friends in New Hampshire saw their House Republican majority go from 213 – 187 in 2020 to now a slim majority of 201-198 after Election Day. These disappointing results could get the most eager optimist down.
Don’t let that happen. These type of election results are cyclical and sometimes take longer to come around than we’d like. The good news is Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal) is still here and ready to fight for you, the taxpayers. MassFiscal started 10 years ago when Democrat Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Bob DeLeo wielded unified control over our state government. One party rule made all the decisions, but groups like us, as well as several outspoken lawmakers held our government accountable. MassFiscal advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth. The MassFiscal team is more determined than ever, and over the next several weeks we will be preparing to engage on the important policy and political fights that will start in January.
Some priorities on the horizon include:
-Hold Gov. Elect Maura Healey accountable to her tax cut pledge.
-Carry on the good done by Barbara Anderson, Chip Ford, Chip Faulkner, and Citizens for Limited Taxation to protect the voter approved laws known as Chapter 62F and Proposition 2 ½.
-Hold the Speaker and Senate President accountable to their promise to revisit reforming the estate tax. Given the recent increase in top income rate to 9%-- a strong disincentive for many to stay in MA—the elimination of the estate tax is essential to stay competitive with other states. Even California, which has been shedding population, has no estate tax.
Reform minded lawmakers need to be ready; they will have to fight for:
-A greater focus on transparency while setting rules on how they will conduct business for the new two-year session. This should include making all committee votes available to the public, term limits for leadership positions, a 2/3 majority needed in order to raise taxes, no new taxes or tax hikes during informal session, and giving the public adequate time to read a bill before a vote.
By the midpoint of next year, the fallout of the passage of ballot Questions 1 and 4 will become more tangible. Heading into 2022, it will be critical to address these consequences, such as:
-More small businesses, retirees, and high-income earners fleeing our state for Florida and New Hampshire.
-The Registry of Motor Vehicle unable to handle the nearly 150,000 to 250,000 illegal immigrants seeking to obtain a driver’s license over the summer.
In addition, State House leaders mandated lofty arbitrary deadlines and thresholds to reduce state carbon emissions in different sectors like transportation and home heating and cooling. Now the implementation of these hasty decisions is approaching. Construction will begin on the industrialization of our ocean with offshore wind projects, plagued with potential problems, and the forced move to full electrification of our economy. Our state’s fishing communities will surely suffer, along with our tourism and endangered marine animals that once mattered. More vehicles and buildings will be converted to electric power, despite the state having virtually no plan to accommodate the capacity needed for this switch. Does the state think that its citizens will not be incentivized to move given our already high energy costs moving inexorably higher-- - plus with greater potential of blackout?
State House leaders will have to figure out ways to generate more baseload electricity--the reliance on offshore wind is not the practical answer. With these arbitrary mandates and quickly approaching deadlines, there is a very likely scenario of a ratepayer revolution on the horizon. State House leaders were falling over themselves to make Massachusetts first in the country for cutting emissions and converting to alternative energy sources, sacrificing the potential consequences that could leave their constituents facing third world problems.
We fully expect to be engaged in these battles over the next few months and years ahead. You still have a voice and an experienced fighter in your corner. MassFiscal is ready for the challenge.
Please consider supporting MassFiscal with a financial contribution. Its only through the generosity of our members, that allow us to be a successful organization. You may donate with the form enclosed or make an immediate contribution at: www.MassFiscal.org/donate.
Corporate and personal contributions are gladly accepted and our members along with their generosity are never made public. Thank you for all your dedication over the years, MassFiscal is ready to fight for you.
Paul Diego Craney
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance
P.S. Thank you for supporting the excellent work of CLT. Please consider supporting the work of MassFiscal as we carry on the good done by Barbara Anderson, Chip Ford, Chip Faulkner, and CLT to protect the voter approved laws known as Chapter 62F and Proposition 2 ½. You may donate with the form enclosed or make an immediate contribution at: www.MassFiscal.org/donate.