Monday, December 12, 2011

State Holds Consensus Revenue Hearing

The House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, in conjunction with the Patrick Administration, held their consensus revenue hearing today, an annual event with brings together state legislators, economists and other state officials to discuss the Commonwealth’s projected revenue outlook for the upcoming year.

Today’s hearing marks the unofficial start of the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget process, and comes just a month before Governor Deval Patrick is scheduled to file his spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor, House and Senate all rely in part on the information provided at today’s hearing to determine what revenues will be available in the coming year as they craft their respective budget proposals.

Among those testifying at today’s hearing were:

• MA Department of Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter;
• Dr. Kazim Ozyurt of the MA Department of Revenue’s Office of Tax Policy Analysis;
• Treasurer Steven Grossman;
• Paul Sternberg of the MA State Lottery;
• Jim Lamenzo and Joe Martin of the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC);
• MA Taxpayers Foundation Executive Director Michael Widmer;
• Beacon Hill Institute Executive Director David Tuerck;
• Professor Alan Clayton Matthews of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University;
• Professor Christian Weller of the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at UMass Bostion;
• Professor Michael Goodman of the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at UMass Dartmouth; and
• Barry Bluestone of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

My statement on today’s hearing is posted below. Be sure to check back on Tarr Talk later this week for additional details on the testimony presented at today’s hearing.

“The testimony that we heard today proves that we must intensify our efforts to seek reforms, identify efficiencies and create a better business climate in Massachusetts. If anything, the economic forecast reinforces the need to continue focusing on achieving savings, setting spending priorities and creating jobs. The Senate Republican Caucus has heard this message loud and clear, and we intend to propose specific and decisive actions in January that will respond to the need to get people back to work in our state.”