The Commonwealth must continue to stimulate employment opportunities
for individuals and economic expansion for businesses. The state Legislature
can do very little to prevent a synchronized global recession, but
the Legislature can hold firm in its resolve to do no harm to the
local economy and thereby avoid exacerbating the situation.
|"One of the priorities of government should
be to foster economic growth for all of the Commonwealth's citizens."
-Speaker Tom Finneran
In the last ten years, the regional economy has swung from recession
to prosperity and back again to recession. In the 1990s, the Massachusetts
House of Representatives undertook a major effort to restore faith
in the business climate, to attract new and emerging companies to
the state, and to restore the economy. During the current economic
contraction, the House is focused on trying to sustain the growth
that we achieved over the past ten years and maintaining the safety
net for displaced workers and their families.
As part of rebuilding the state after the difficult economic times
of the early 1990s, Speaker Finneran and the Legislature worked
to diversify the economy to create more jobs and business opportunities.
In doing this, they also invested in the workforce by increasing
support for education and health care throughout the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts is currently seen as a national leader in financial
services, high technology, information systems, biotechnology, and
health care research and innovation.
In response to the state's surging economy and as a catalyst for
competitive gain, the Legislature also cut a significant number
of taxes, with $360 million in tax relief resulting from the Fiscal
Year 2000 budget alone. The tax cuts came in the form of additional
allowable deductions, tax credits, exemptions, and outright cuts.
They included additional child care deductions, student interest
deductions, a local option personal property tax exemption, a circuit
breaker property tax program for seniors, a freeze on the gasoline
tax, cuts in the personal income tax rate, an investment tax credit
extension through 2004, a charitable tax deduction, and property
exemptions for surviving spouses of disabled veterans, among other
In addition, the prosperity of the 1990s allowed the House of Representatives
to help build Massachusetts' Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to
assist out-of-work individuals and their families through unemployment
Massachusetts does not have a wealth of natural resources. Speaker
Finneran and the House of Representatives have invested the state's
resources into strengthening the qualifications and skills of its
workforce. Massachusetts is in the midst of a very tough economic
cycle. Speaker Finneran is committed to working to strengthen the
economy by creating individual employment opportunities and assisting
businesses in their efforts at economic expansion.