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 Economic Opportunities - click to print page icon
"One of the priorities of government should be to foster economic growth for all of the Commonwealth's citizens."
 image of  houses in the 12 Suffolk District
-Speaker Tom Finneran
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.

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 cuts.

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 benefits.

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.

Voter Record: Economic Opportunities
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   H. 4531. This bill proposed lowering the unemployment insurance rate that employers are mandated to pay. House passed. (Y 153 N 1) 10/03/01
 #   S. 2195. This bill established civil citations for violations of item pricing laws and weights and measures laws as part of the Consumer and Merchant Protection Act. House passed. (Y 150 N 0) 7/31/98
 #   H. 5709. This bill reduced income taxes, reduced unemployment insurance rates, and provided for workforce training. House passed. (Y 150 N 0) 7/15/98