Testimony on the Fair Share Amendment
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Thank you, Chairs Cusack and Hinds, for the opportunity to provide testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue.
Today I speak in support of bills H86 and S16, commonly known as the Fair Share Amendment. Like many of our colleagues and constituents, I was disappointed in the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision striking down the ballot initiative. I feel it is the responsibility of the Legislature to ensure adequate funding for education, transportation, and other major priorities for the Commonwealth.
Framingham is home to blue-collar and middle-class workers and Latinx immigrants that are all struggling to make ends meet. By providing this much-needed revenue stream, we can improve our public school system, improve the public transit (both the MBTA and the MWRTA) our workers rely on, and improve the economy of the region and the Commonwealth. Our schools are struggling to provide adequate resources to its students, while our commuters are frustrated with a decrease in reliability and service on the Worcester-Framingham line, which has seen ridership growth of 50% since 2012.
Importantly, the amount of revenue the Commonwealth is taking in is $4B less than it was in the early 2000s, in large part due to a reduction in income taxes for the highest 20% of earners in the state. Our communities are suffering due to this regressive tax structure, and opting to increase the contributions made by the wealthiest earners will turn around this ship. Our increasing reliance on fees and regressive taxes hurt our most vulnerable communities while hurting those of us not in the highest economic brackets. The Fair Share Amendment will, in part, help us to get back to our revenue levels to fund education and transportation, two areas that require significant investment across the Commonwealth.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.
All the best,
Maria Duaime Robinson
6th Middlesex, Framingham