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

Report
State foreclosure prevention efforts: mediation and financial assistance

Housing foreclosure activity in the United States and New England increased dramatically at the beginning of the housing crisis in 2006 and remains elevated. Given their economic and social costs, policymakers have developed a number of policies designed to prevent foreclosures. In recent years, state and local policymakers in New England have implemented two major foreclosure prevention policies: foreclosure mediation programs and financial assistance programs. This report reviews these two foreclosure prevention programs in the New England region. It explores how they are funded, weighs ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 11-3

Report
Water, water everywhere: dare I drink a drop? (with apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Given New England?s ample rainfall, green forests, and extensive wetlands, many of the region?s inhabitants might question the notion that it faces potentially severe water shortages. Yet, parts of the region already confront such shortages. These shortages are likely to spread, absent corrective action. This paper describes the characteristics of New England responsible for its looming water problems, identifies areas within the region most vulnerable to such problems, and analyzes alternative strategies for alleviating them. Small, shallow, porous aquifers are the region?s primary ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 05-1

Report
Reforming Connecticut’s Education Aid Formula to Achieve Equity and Adequacy across School Districts

Connecticut’s public K–12 education system relies heavily on local funding, resulting in substantial disparities between affluent districts and low-income districts with a large proportion of socioeconomically disadvantaged students whoare more costly to educate. Despite recent improvements, the existing state aid formula has been criticized for failing to provide sufficient funding to districts with the fewest resources and the highest education costs. To help improve state aiddistribution, this report estimates a “cost-capacity gap,” which measures the difference between a ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 21-1

Report
How does New Hampshire do it?: an analysis of spending and revenues in the absence of a broad-based income or sales tax

This report seeks to understand how New Hampshire has avoided a broad-based income or sales tax by examining the factors that drive the state?s lower-than-average per capita spending and the revenue sources the state relies on to pay for that spending in lieu of an income or sales tax. It presents comparative data for the six New England states and discusses some of the impediments faced by other states in the region interested in emulating New Hampshire's fiscal model. ; The author finds that New Hampshire's below-average spending is due to a combination of policy choices and favorable ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 11-1

Report
The quest for cost-efficient local government in New England: what role for regional consolidation?

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many local governments have experienced significant financial strain. Local governments? financial challenges are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, as federal deficit-reducing measures trigger cuts in state and local aid and as all levels of government struggle to fund their medical and retirement obligations. In an effort to maintain service provision without significant tax increases, many cities and towns will be forced to consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities. ; This ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 13-1

Report
Reintegrating the ex-offender population in the U.S. labor market: lessons from the CORI Reform in Massachusetts

Policymakers have proposed and enacted policies that seek to limit the negative consequences that a criminal record imposes on ex-offenders, their families, and society at large. Some states have changed how criminal records are accessed and governed in the interest of removing unduly burdensome barriers to employment for some ex-offenders. Between 2010 and 2012, Massachusetts enacted the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform, changing access guidelines for criminal records and preventing employers from inquiring about criminal history on an initial application for employment. ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 17-1

Report
Mismatch in the labor market: measuring the supply of and demand for skilled labor in New England

Over the past decade, policymakers and business leaders across New England have been concerned that the region?s slower population growth and loss of residents to other parts of the U.S. will lead to a shortage of skilled labor?particularly when the baby boom generation retires. Even with the current economic downturn, there is a recognized need to ensure that there is a sufficient pipeline of skilled workers to fill their region?s high-growth, high-demand jobs when the economy recovers. This means not only having a sufficient number of skilled workers, but also a workforce with the right mix ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 10-2

Report
Reading the fine print: how details matter in tax and expenditure limitations

At least 30 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, operate under ?tax and expenditure limitations? (TELs): formula-based budgeting requirements that apply specific limits to expenditures, appropriations, or revenue collections by state or local government. More than a dozen states considered TELs in 2006. Legislation proposing a new TEL to further limit General Fund appropriations in Rhode Island was introduced; Maine citizens will vote on a more restrictive TEL this November. ; Several factors, including a desire for lower taxes and a belief that additional ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 06-3

Report
When the tide goes out: unemployment insurance trust funds and the Great Recession, lessons for and from New England

The unemployment insurance (UI) program is a federal-state program aiming to: (1) provide temporary, partial compensation for the lost earnings of individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own and (2) serve as a stabilizer during economic downturns by injecting additional resources into the economy in the form of benefit payments. Each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, operates its own UI program within federal guidelines. ; Since the onset of the Great Recession in late 2007, two-thirds of state UI programs depleted their trust funds ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 12-1

Report
Consequences of state disinvestment in public higher education: lessons for the New England states

Public higher education produces many benefits that are vital to the New England economy, but it is increasingly at risk following years of state budget cuts. States have reduced funding for higher education to address short-term budget gaps caused by recessions and long-term budget gaps attributed to the growing costs of Medicaid and public pensions. Research in this report shows that reductions in state appropriations have resulted in higher tuition and fees, greater student loan debt, decreased resources for education and research, and fewer graduates and approved patent applications from ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 19-1

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