Tax and Cost-Competitiveness
- Oppose 40% increase in 2011 state Unemployment Insurance rates by working to freeze rates at 2010 level and reform the state’s UI system to create 10,000 new jobs and $3.9 billion in new wages. Provide benefits for 26 weeks like the other 49 states, strengthen eligibility requirements (20 weeks), increase the time period for computing payroll taxes like 47 other states, and create a new rate-setting mechanism.
- Support legislation to grant cities and towns the authority to design their own health insurance plans free from collective bargaining to help them curb runaway health care costs, and advocate for ongoing health care reform at the state and federal level that enables affordable and accessible health care without unduly burdening businesses and taxpayers (estimated savings to cities and towns: more than $100 million).
- Update and expand the state’s first Research & Development tax credit, originally drafted by the Council in 1992, and federally fund expanded R&D programs in energy, science, and other applied research as outlined in the 2011 America COMPETES Act to spur the regional economy.
- Promote a competitive, predictable, and stable tax structure at the state and federal level.
Education and Talent Development
- Support increased state funding via the FY12 state budget to the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative—in collaboration with MassInsight—which in two years has increased enrollment in Advanced Placement courses in 46 districts from about 4,000 to nearly 9,000, and in 2010 helped to double the number of passing scores on college-level AP exams in 21 schools, narrowing achievement gaps along the way.
- Help implement the Achievement Gap of 2010, on whose passage the Council played a leadership role, by lending ongoing support to the expansion of charter, Innovation and turnaround schools, such as matching Council member executives as mentors for turnaround school principals in Boston.
- Provide tactical support to the Put Students First Coalition—in collaboration with the Boston Foundation—advocating for a more streamlined and innovative teachers contract in the Boston Public Schools, as well as to the STEM Business Leaders Group, Early Education for All, and related efforts promoting talent development.
- Launch the Council’s Innovation Access Network (IAN), a web-based collaboration portal fostering technology commercialization across New England and beyond. IAN will provide industry, small businesses, universities and research centers with the opportunity to identify business opportunities, market goods and services, and collaborate.
- Develop a suite of annotations to common technology licensing contractual terms and promote them on a web-based portal to help streamline and accelerate technology commercialization at area research universities and institutions.
- Organize and elevate the New England region’s defense sector in preparation for the next round of the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, building on the Council’s successful 2005 defense of Hanscom Air Force Base and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center.
Clean Energy and Sustainability
- Follow up as opportunities present on advocacy for federal energy policy that sets a national price on carbon, eliminates oil, gas, and coal “preference” subsidies, and increases investments in clean energy R&D and infrastructure. Lend targeted support for the extension of select federal tax credits and incentives, and federal funding for ARPA-E and clean energy consortium.
- Strategically support efforts to retain the definition of renewable energy in the Commonwealth's renewal energy credit regime and support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (REGGI).
- Consider additional public policy positions as informed by a planned convening of Chief Sustainability Officers across technology companies.