This Week at Pioneer


 Pioneer extends condolences to the victims and families of the marathon tragedy. The survivors' struggle to recover will continue long after the rest of us are done celebrating the capture of the terrorists. We want to thank all of the law enforcement officials and Boston media for their tireless efforts to keep the public safe and informed every day. We are inspired by our great city's efforts to rebuild. #BostonStrong

In case you missed it, we released a report on the latest impact of ObamaCare on Massachusetts' economy: Bay State businesses face a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, an estimated tax liability this year of more than $422 million for the 19 largest companies in the state. Read the full report and our cool infographic, here. 

Opposition to the Common Core national education standards and federally-funded tests is growing by the day, with Michigan's state legislature voting just yesterday to de-fund it and so many other states withdrawing. At the Heritage Resource Bank in Orlando this Friday at 8 am, our own Jim Stergios will partake in a forum on Common Core, with the country's leading experts. 

Greg Sullivan, Pioneer's new Research Director, kicked off his new role with a report on MBTA employees' salaries, including info on 13% pay raises, $1000 signing bonuses, $30,000 salary differences between MBTA and state government jobs, that was featured in the Boston HeraldFox 25CBS LocalWCVB, and more. Greg's just getting started here – stay tuned for more! 

We hope you'll visit our website, keep up with us on FacebookTwitterYouTube, (follow Jim Stergios and Josh Archambault on Twitter if you aren't already!), and join our email list today. 

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This Week at Pioneer

Driving Reform: Pioneer released a report last week calling for tying any new transportation funding to MassDOT's performance, and implementation of key reforms to improve service. Read our press release here. Pioneer Senior Fellow Charles Chieppo (co-author with Executive Director Jim Stergios) of our proposal, talked about the problems with the Governor's plan, on RadioBoston this week. He also appeared on Greater Boston, we'll post the video as soon as we can. You can also read some feedback on our plan in the Boston Herald and on WWLP22 News.

Mary Connaughton blogged last week asking what the Governor has done with $500 million in gas tax revenue that is supposed to go toward reimbursing costs related to underground storage tank removal. $750 million has been collected over the last 10 years – but only $200 million actually went to clean-up costs – so, what happened to the rest?

We recently announced that Greg Sullivan, former state Inspector General, is our new Research Director. Greg played a role in the DiMasi conviction, and many other high-profile investigations. We're thrilled to have him on board. You can also read coverage in the Boston Business Journal and the Associated Press.

Above the Law: Check out this Boston Herald op-ed by Pioneer's Mary Z. Connaughton & Adam Campbell: “Why would the Legislature spend $525 on a tailor, $1,050 on limousine service and $59,000 at WGBH last year? And the numbers get even bigger.”

Only three days left to enter the Better Government Competition – your chance to win $10,000! 

Pioneer is making an impact on public policy here in the Bay State – and some folks over at Blue Mass Group don't like it. They prefer to vilify us rather than actually engage in substantive debate about issues. But our Executive Director Jim Stergios ably fired back on everything from ALEC and transportation funding to charter schools, and that's why the entire exchange is well worth a read.

Hat tip to roarkarchitect for jumping to our defense: “Beside the occasional Globe Spotlight story they are the only organization looking at Massachusetts Government in a critical way.” Please help ensure Pioneer can continue playing that vital role – making an impact and adding an alternative perspective to public policy debates about our state and local governments' priorities. Click here to send us your tax-deductible gift today.

You can also show your support by following us on Facebook and Twitterjoining our email list for the latest updates on new research and upcoming events. Check our website frequently for some great blog commentary and news about our events.

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