My testimony at the public hearing before the Joint Committee on Revenue, in Gardner Auditorium at the State House on April 11, in support of S.16 and H.86 (Fair Share)
Honorable Co-Chairs and Members of the Committee:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of the Fair Share Constitutional Amendment. I’m Mary Ann Stewart of Lexington, one of the ten original signers of the Citizen’s proposal of this initiative, before it was knocked out of the hands of voters last year.
Decisions made beginning 20 years ago eliminated ~$4billion from our state budget and we have never recovered. I support the Fair Share Amendment because we badly need revenue for education and transportation.
I’m a parent and I’ve been deeply involved in education from a number of local, statewide, and national perspectives, including:
- School Site Council Member
- Town Meeting Member
- State President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
- National PTA Achievement Gap Working Group; and their Council of States
- Northeast Area Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education Board of Directors
- School Committee Chair and Member, and
- current Member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education; and the Board’s Budget Committee
To provide a sound future for our children and our Commonwealth, we must ensure that all children receive a high quality education, especially those who face the greatest challenges. We need a deeper investment in foundation funding for school districts, for early childhood education, for extended day & wrap-around services, and post-secondary education and vocational education.
Improving the quality of the education our children receive requires up-front investments for long term pay-offs to individual students, society, and to the workforce.
Determining how to raise revenue for these long term investments is a critical challenge.
One way that we can make those investments is by asking our highest income residents (who, as you know, currently pay less of their income in state and local taxes than the rest of us) to pay a little more on their income over $1 million.
Thank you for your consideration.
Image credit: Portion of the actual thing ~ mas