Over the past two years I have worked with my colleagues on many important initiatives that will help the business community recover from the recession more quickly.Â My main goal has been to focus on areas that keep people working or help them to get back to work.Â To achieve that goal I supported the following:
The Economic Development and Jobs Bill:Â
This bill targets and strengthens the innovation economy, supports critical infrastructure investments, fosters a more business friendly environment for new and existing business through streamlined permitting,Â increases funding for grant programs that help businesses with job training, and recapitalizes the work force competiveness trust fund that focuses on middle skill jobs.
Strengthening the Economy:
- I helped save small business $391 million dollars by voting to freeze the unemployment insurance rate schedule
- I voted to lower the Capital Gains tax from 5.3% to 3% for long term investments.
- I supported the creation of over 10,000 new jobs and hundreds of millions of new revenue dollars for the Commonwealth when I voted to support Casino Gaming.
- I supported the sales tax holiday which spurs economic action by consumers and supports local businesses.
Raising the Minimum Wage
This legislation will increase the Massachusetts minimum wage for the first time since 2008 and increase the tipped minimum wage for the first time since 1999. By supporting this economic reform, I believe all workers in the Commonwealth will benefit from both a decreased financial burden and an increased sense of dignified labor.
- By 2016, the minimum wage will be increased to $11.00/hour, representing a total increase of 37.5%
- By 2016, the tipped minimum wage will be increased to $3.75/hour, representing an increase of 43%
- Over 600,000 low-wage workers across Massachusetts will benefit from these new reforms
Throughout my first two terms I have worked to give our economy the tools needed to recover quicker and stronger from the recession and help Massachusetts remain a model for the rest of the country.