Friday, April 25, 2003
State House task force reports explore fiscal issues
Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord) is making available a number of reports by various Task Forces, established by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, that analyzed the current administration's proposed budget. The task forces were established to increase the transparency of the budget process, to assist the House Committee on Ways and Means in conducting an honest appraisal of the Governor's proposals, and to help the Committee develop its budget proposal. Each one tackled some of the major issues that the House will address in putting together its budget for FY04.
The Education Task Force conducted two public hearings and recommended increasing support for scholarships as well as incentives for endowment gifts at the college level, while reaffirming commitments to special education and maintaining Chapter 70 funding for public schools.
Health and human servuces
The Health and Human Services Task Force held four public hearings around the Commonwealth, in Holyoke, Boston, North Andover and New Bedford, during which it heard from hundreds of citizens as well as providers.
The House Task Force on Medicaid conducted three public hearings. Their plan included a number of measures such as re-evaluating standards, spending reductions and use of reserves.
The Task Force on Credit Rating sought input as it sought to analyze the complex issue of credit rating.
The Task Force on Economic Development focused on the means to grow and develop our economy and workforce investment in anticipation of a revitalization of the economy.
The House Task Force on Local Government reviewed and compiled recommendations for a range of areas from education funding other than chapter 70 municipal mandates, to construction reform. These suggestions are designed to provide local government with the opportunities to address their fiscal and operational concerns.
The Task Force on Federal, State, and Local Revenues held hearings seeking input on ways to generate and maximize revenues. It also conducted a critical analysis of the administration's proposals in this area.
The Task Force on Courts deliberated the Governor's proposals extensively and reviewed valuable testimony gathered from individual submissions and public hearings. While it feels a more in-depth analysis should be conducted by the Special Commission on Judicial Management, it engaged in a number of inquiries to provide additional information to House members for deliberation on this issue.
If you would like a copy of any of these reports, please contact the Office of Representative Atkins by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (617) 722-2040. Please do not send e-mails using the form on Rep. Atkins' website, www.coryatkins.com. It is currently unavailable, due to technical difficulties during her recent move to her new office at the State House.
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