Charlie Baker on Welfare & Poverty
Make housing policy with transportation policy in mind
There's much to do in transportation. I want to highlight some of the recommendations of our Transportation Futures Commission.
Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State)
, Jan 3, 2019
- First, continue to invest in public transportation.
- Second, we must make the investments in public infrastructure
that will enable the next generation of zero emission & autonomous vehicles to thrive here in the Commonwealth.
- Third, reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation system.
- Finally, we need to more fully appreciate the relationship
between where people live and where they work and how state and local government policies affect their ability to get from one to the other. Our housing bill was a strong step in the right direction to deal with this. It respected the need for
communities to plan for themselves, but created incentives to tie development more closely to overarching strategies concerning transportation and land use generally. In the end, it failed because it was too much for some and not enough for others.
2-year limit & work requirement for welfare
Baker served as the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health & Human Services from October 1992 to November 1994.
Baker was a leading architect of the Weld welfare reform initiative, a top political issue of the day.
The reform included a work requirement (or an education requirement for teens), a two-year limit on benefits, a freeze on benefit increases, and the elimination of clothing allowances.
The Cellucci administration would later claim the changes helped to reduce the number of welfare recipients from 100,000 in 1995 to fewer than 50,000 in 1999. Touting this welfare success in 2010, Baker asserted that "there was a lot of research out at
that point that showed that if you didn't get real about creating some kind of nudge to get the people who just stayed on welfare to do something, they would sort of spin into really dark and difficult place and never actually get up and try."
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p. 41
, Sep 1, 2014
Raise both minimum wage & Earned Income Tax Credit
JIM BRAUDE: You came out with a proposal for a $10.50 minimum wage tied to a tax credit for small businesses and an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. The current bill before the governor does not include the tax modifications, and has a proposed minimum
wage of $11/hour. Would you sign or veto it?
BAKER: "I committed to an increase in the minimum wage and I meant it. But I really do believe that part of this package ultimately ought to include an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a
far better way to support low income families, people working 40 hours a week in low wage jobs who have children. There are a ton of people who are going to benefit from this minimum wage increase, who don't necessarily fall into that category."
BRAUDE: But would you sign it as is, if it was on your desk?
BAKER: "Well, it wouldn't come to my desk without the things I want, because I would work so hard with the legislature to get from here to there."
Source: Mass IEPAC p. 25, on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate
, Jun 19, 2014
Cut state retirement benefits to reduce $22B liability
The state's unfunded pension liability is a staggering $22B. Proposed changes would apply to the approximately 40,000 state employees that have been employed for less than 10 years.
Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website, charliebaker2010.com
, Nov 1, 2010
- Eliminate Outrageous Pension Payments; Cap Pensions at $90,000:
There are more than 400 state employees earning a pension of $90,000 or more.
- Stop Costly "Group Jumping" Abuse: It is the current practice to wait until retirement before assigning employees to a group which includes enhanced retirement benefits.
- "Hack High 3" History: Fair Calculations Based on Average Career Compensation: The current system calculates pensions based on the maximum salary over three years with no regard of the salary for the remaining years.
Raise the Bar for Benefit Sweetening: 2/3's Vote and Equivalent Spending Cut Required
- Modernize Retirement Age: increase the minimum retirement age to 60 from 55.
- Call For An Immediate Forensic Audit of the Group Assignments
Page last updated: Mar 15, 2020