The following is a media release from Senate President Karen Spilka’s office submitted to SOURCE.
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate announced the members of its Revenue Working Group during a press conference Tuesday, in the newly renovated Reading Room, adjacent to the historic Senate Chamber in the State House. Immediately after the press event the Revenue Working Group convened its first meeting.
Chaired by State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield), who serves as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue, the establishment of the Senate Revenue Working Group fulfills a vision first outlined by Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D- Ashland) during her inaugural address to Senate members on January 2, 2019.
“I am excited to be working with Senator Adam Hinds and the many distinguished members of the Revenue Working Group to take a close and comprehensive look at how our tax code is structured in Massachusetts,” said Senate President Spilka. “With all of the changes to how we live and work these days, it is important to see what is working, what is outdated, where we can improve, and how we can create a revenue system for the Commonwealth that is fair and functional for all of us. I am confident that we will find a way to continue to provide for the economic vibrancy of Massachusetts while allowing us to care for each other and fund our priorities.”
The Revenue Working Group is charged with assessing the existing Massachusetts revenue system and exploring ways to update and improve it, with the primary goal of ensuring the Commonwealth’s system of revenue collection generates sufficient funds in a predictable, sustainable and fair manner while contributing to a vibrant and competitive economy and ensuring taxpayer accountability.
As outlined by the Senate President, the Revenue Working Group is a part of the existing robust dialogue on the state’s current revenue system and tax policy on Beacon Hill, and will operate as a parallel effort with the Joint Committee on Revenue. Information gathered by the Working Group will help inform decisions made by Senator Hinds in his capacity as co-chair of the Committee during this legislative session, and will be available to Revenue Committee members and staff.
The Working Group will meet throughout the 2019-2020 legislative session, convene public forums in various locations across the state and recommend policy changes for future consideration by the Massachusetts Legislature. Legislative recommendations are not expected to be filed for consideration until 2021. The ongoing efforts of the Working Group throughout 2019-2020 is not expected to hinder legislative and policy decisions that may come before the House of Representatives and Senate during this legislative session.
“The members announced today are a deliberately inclusive, bipartisan and talented group representing business leaders and workers, non-governmental leaders and grassroots advocates, professors and tax attorneys,” said Senator Hinds. “Each brings a unique perspective and a lot of experience to the Working Group that I believe will ensure any recommendations that result from our efforts will be capable of gaining wide acceptance. My hope is that at the conclusion of our review of the tax code, the Working Group will make recommendations that are positive for working families and small businesses, and support economic growth and vital government investments in Massachusetts.”
The 21 members of the Senate Revenue Working Group announced were:
- Senator Adam G. Hinds, Chair, Senate Revenue Working Group
- Senator William Brownsberger (D- Belmont), Senate Vice Chair of the Committee on Revenue
- Frank Callahan, President, Massachusetts Building Trades Council AFL-CIO
- JD Chesloff, Executive Director, Mass Business Roundtable
- Nancy Creed, President, Springfield Regional Chamber
- Peter Enrich, Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law
- Deb Fastino, Executive Director, Coalition for Social Justice
- Senator Ryan Fattman (R- Sutton), Member, Joint Committee on Revenue
- Christina Fisher, Executive Director for Massachusetts and the Northeast, TechNet
- Hilary Bacon Gabrieli, Tax Policy Attorney
- Harris Gruman, Executive Director of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council
- Beth Huang, Director, Massachusetts Voter Table
- Eileen McAnneny, President, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation
- Tim Murray, President & CEO, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Amy Pitter, President & CEO, Massachusetts Society of CPAs
- John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
- Mayor Dan Rivera, City of Lawrence
- Marie-Frances Rivera, President, Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center
- James E. Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
- David E. Sullivan, Attorney
- Steven A. Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO
It is the tradition of the Massachusetts Senate to, at times, establish working groups, independent of the Joint Committee process, to conduct robust assessments of key policy areas.
This session, at the direction of President Spilka, the Senate is also convening working groups on Transportation and Mental Health.