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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports 

State highway funding in New England: the road to greater fiscal sustainability

Many of the region's roads and bridges are in need of significant repair and improvement. There is concern that current revenue sources are inadequate relative to the projected expense of maintaining and keeping New England's roads, bridges, and other transportation assets in good condition. How to address the projected gap in transportation revenues and expenditures is largely a policy choice. Most states rely on the motor fuel excise tax or "gas tax" but this revenue source is widely recognized as not fiscally sustainable. The tax does not automatically grow with inflation, whereas the ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 15-1

The supply of permanent supportive housing in Massachusetts: comparing availability to the chronic homeless population

Permanent supportive housing (PSH) has become an important resource for Massachusetts service providers working to address chronic homelessness in the state. Nationally, and in the Commonwealth, the number of PSH beds available for homeless individuals and families now exceeds the amount of emergency shelter beds and other, non-permanent, housing options. While PSH is acknowledged as an important tool, there has been little research into the inventory level needed to effectively house the state?s current chronic homeless population, and what, if any, local shortages exist. This report uses ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 18-2

The criminal population in New England: records, convictions, and barriers to employment

The portion of the U.S. population with a criminal record has been receiving mounting attention in recent years. While there is a significant amount of data about the criminal population under supervision, there is very limited linked data identifying how most individuals move through the criminal justice system. By analyzing multiple national and state data sources, this report aims to identify the size of the New England population with a criminal record and to describe the broad demographic characteristics of this population. The report illustrates that the size of the population in the ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 17-1

Why is state and local government capital spending lower in the New England states than in other U.S. states?

This report explores several hypotheses as to why state and local governments in New England have been spending less on capital investment than the national average, on a normalized basis. Census data show that state and local capital spending in all six New England states was well below the national average between 2000 and 2012, whether measured on a per capita basis, as a share of personal income, or as a share of state and local government spending. To explore why this is so, this report considers how capital spending has changed over time, how capital spending differs by state and across ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 16-1

Demand for H-1B visas in New England: an analysis of employer requests for highly-skilled guest workers

This report finds that New England has some of the highest levels of demand for H-1B workers nationwide, relative to employment, due to significant demand from a few metropolitan labor markets in Connecticut and Massachusetts. This analysis also shows that there are various intended uses of the H-1B visa: it is not solely used to address a STEM-skills shortage nor is it used principally to outsource work to less costly locations. Finally, the report recommends developing a clearer policy goal for the H-1B visa program, which would support more coherent criterion for admitting highly skilled ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 14-1

The fiscal impact of the opioid epidemic in the New England states

The rise in the abuse of?and addiction to?opioids and the rapid increase in the number of fatal overdoses in recent years have made the opioid epidemic a priority for local, state, and federal policymakers. Understanding the epidemic?s direct fiscal impact is key to acknowledging its scope and magnitude. While opioid abuse has many direct and indirect fiscal costs, few studies quantify them. This report assembles available data on the impact of opioid epidemic on criminal justice, treatment, and related health expenditures in the New England states. The research finds that state governments ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 18-1

Exploring causes of and responses to the opioid epidemic in New England

The opioid epidemic remains rampant in New England, where, from 2015 through 2017, more than 10,000 people died from opioid overdoses. In 2017, each of the six states experienced an overdose-death rate that was greater than the national average. Beyond causing a high number of deaths, the opioid epidemic is costing New England productive workers. People with the most severe problems stemming from opioid-use disorder tend to be in the 25?44 age group, but no one is immune. The epidemic affects people of every type?all ages and all races, men and women, residents of rural areas and of urban ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 19-2

The growing shortage of affordable housing for the extremely low income in Massachusetts

This report identifies ways that the state?s policymakers and housing agencies and providers can more efficiently use limited resources to address the affordable housing needs of extremely low-income households. The first is to prioritize rental assistance in areas of the state where rents are low and the inventory of market-supplied housing is high. Doing so will take advantage of local market conditions that are favorable to rental-assistance subsidies while addressing these areas? high rates of rent burden. Tax-credit and other supply-oriented subsidies can be targeted more heavily to ...
New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports , Paper 19-1




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