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The High Tech Agenda

October 16, 2023

State Government News & Public Policy Updates

Tax “Relief” Package Signed into Law

The tax relief package that has been discussed on Beacon Hill for years was approved by the Legislature and signed into law on October 4 by the Governor. The law’s best feature, however, won’t become effective until 2025 for multi-state employers headquartered in Massachusetts. The balance of the proposals aimed at addressing Massachusetts’ tax outlier status are unfortunately marginal reforms that the Legislature combined with both an expansion of taxes and a substantial new income redistribution method for returning over-collected state tax revenue in the future.

The High Tech Council issued a statement calling for stronger reforms and expressing our concerns that this legislation will not do enough to improve Massachusetts’ competitive position. Those concerns were cited and echoed in several news articles.

High Tech Agenda October 2023

Key features of the new law are:

Adopts a single sales factor apportionment for multi-state businesses

Increases the estate tax exemption from $1M to $2M

Cuts the short-term capital gains rate from 12% to 8.5%

Requires married tax filers to file jointly at the state level if they file jointly at the federal level (designed to expand the new income surtax to apply to married filers with joint income exceeding $1M)

Changes the formula by which over-collected state tax revenue will be returned to the taxpayers so that all taxpayers receive an equal rebate, regardless of how much they paid in taxes. Our analysis shows this income redistribution policy is likely unconstitutional, arguments picked up by The Boston Globe Editorial dated September 30, 2023.

Various measures designed to address the high cost of living, particularly for housing and child care

As the chart below illustrates, the tax “relief” measures intended to improve Massachusetts’ competitive position will only marginally improve the state’s position:

MHTC Continues to Oppose Efforts to Eliminate Statewide HS Graduation Standard

Massachusetts’ commitment to maintaining rigorous education standards faces a critical juncture. In September, the Attorney General approved two questions for the 2024 ballot that would eliminate the use of the MCAS exam as a graduation requirement for Massachusetts high school students. The High Tech Council has joined with other business and education organizations to oppose this effort to walk away from the standards that have made Massachusetts a national leader in education.

Just last week, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education conducted a hearing on a bill with a similar aim—abolishing the MCAS graduation requirement. Citing data that illustrates the tremendous value of the current statewide graduation standard, the High Tech Council testified at the hearing in opposition to this legislation, expressing that the elimination of a statewide graduation requirement would worsen existing workforce challenges and threaten the state’s economic competitiveness.

MCAS Ballot Question

Explore the Data

Historical Overview of MCAS

Where it started, where we have been, and where we are going.

Competency Determination

Overview and impact.

Massachusetts Awarded CHIPS Act Funding

Exciting developments are in store for Massachusetts, as the Healey-Driscoll Administration recently announced a significant boost for the state’s technology and manufacturing sectors. With $19.7 million in CHIPS Act funding secured from the federal government, the state is gearing up to establish a Northeast Microelectronics Coalition Hub. This hub will play a pivotal role in advancing the microelectronics requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) while simultaneously driving job creation, workforce training opportunities, and investments in the region’s advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.

Notably, several High Tech Council members, including MITRE, Analog Devices, and Onto Innovation, were integral in crafting and submitting the funding application, and the High Tech Council contributed a letter of support to the application package.

Massachusetts Awarded CHIPS Act Funding

MHTC News & Updates

MEMBER-ONLY OFFERING: Unlock Your Potential with Leaders for the Future

We are thrilled to announce the return of McKinsey & Company’s highly acclaimed Leaders for the Future program—a unique virtual training opportunity exclusively available to senior women leaders within High Tech Council member organizations at no cost.

Designed specifically for senior-level women (VP or above) with major functional (strategy, sales, marketing, finance) responsibilities and P&L oversight within large organizations, Leaders for the Future is a transformative two-part series that equips you with the skills to future-proof your leadership and shape the future of your business.

High Tech Agenda October 2023

Session Details

Session #1: The Art of the Possible

  • Date: November 14, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET
  • Topics: Evaluating trends, challenging the status quo, and anticipating the future.

Session #2: Leading Innovation

  • Date: February 8, 2024
  • Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET
  • Topics: Business model innovation, creating a new discipline for innovation.

Following the resounding success of our inaugural program in 2021, where 100% of participants found the content highly relevant, and all stated that they would recommend the program to colleagues, we anticipate high demand for this opportunity.

Members are invited to refer up to two (2) female executives per company. Nominees can learn more and apply on our registration pageSpace is limited, so we encourage you to submit your nominations by Monday, October 30, 2023.

Owned and operated by McKinsey and generously supported by PTC and MilliporeSigma, Leaders for the Future is a signature offering under the High Tech Council’s broader Women in Leadership Initiative that underscores our ongoing commitments to gender equity across the region.

For questions regarding eligibility and attendance, please reach out to Anita Alden or Jenny Enfield at MHTC. For questions about the program, contact Alec Westcott at McKinsey & Company. 

NEW: McKinsey & Company’s 2023 Women in the Workplace Report

The results from McKinsey & Company’s 2023 Women in the Workplace report cast a spotlight on the challenges and opportunities faced by women in today’s corporate landscape. Now in its ninth year, the recently released report serves as a bird’s-eye view of women’s representation, revealing that while there have been significant advancements in senior leadership positions, the middle of the corporate pipeline still poses challenges, particularly for women of color.

This year’s findings also debunk four persistent myths surrounding women’s careers. It’s revealed that women are not becoming less ambitious; in fact, they are more ambitious than ever, with workplace flexibility fueling their drive.

High Tech Agenda October 2023

The report emphasizes that the so-called “glass ceiling” is not the primary hurdle for women’s advancement; it’s the “broken rung” at the first step up to manager. Furthermore, microaggressions have a significant and lasting impact on women’s careers and well-being, especially for those with traditionally marginalized identities. The report also highlights that flexibility and remote work are not just women’s preferences; both men and women view flexibility as a top employee benefit.

As organizations navigate the evolving landscape of work, this report provides a roadmap for the future, offering data-driven best practices for advancing women in the workplace. It tackles the critical areas of addressing microaggressions, rectifying the “broken rung,” and ensuring a level playing field across different work arrangements.

Based on data from over 270 companies, including over a dozen High Tech Council member organizations, this insightful report brings to light the ongoing challenges and opportunities in promoting gender equality and diversity in corporate America and Canada. It’s a valuable resource for senior leaders and organizations committed to fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Click the links below to explore the full report and gain a deeper understanding of these critical issues.

MHTC in the Media

Stay up to date with the following selection of recent media coverage.

THRIVE Act: What’s in the bill that impacts MCAS for students & schools, WWLP, October 6, 2023

Dems drag Biden over migrants, POLITICO, October 5, 2023

Healey, Not Baker, Gets To Sign Tax Relief Law, State House News Service, October 4, 2023

Tax rebate changes could draw lawsuit, The Eagle-Tribune, September 28, 2023

Lawmakers come in from the cold, POLITICO, September 28, 2023

Mass. Senate approves $1B tax relief bill, moving it closer to Gov. Healey, Mass Live, September 28, 2023

Mass. tax relief package has a little something for everyone (to hate), The Boston Globe, September 27, 2023

Tech trade group ‘evaluating’ legal challenge to Legislature’s tax cap law reforms, Boston Herald, September 27, 2023

Massachusetts lawmakers unveil $1 billion tax relief deal, with vote this week, The Boston Globe, September 26, 2023

MassINC Adds 5 New Members to Board of Directors, MassINC, September 25, 2023

MCAS Critics Ready To “Sprint” Toward 2024 Ballot, State House News Service, September 6, 2023

Member Corner

Please Join Us in Welcoming Our New Member!

Join us at PTC’s Leaders 4 Disability Workshop

Are you ready to be a driving force for change in the realm of disability inclusion? Join us on Thursday, December 7 for High Tech Council member PTC’s Leaders 4 Disability workshop, a half-day session that delves into the pressing issues, opportunities, and best practices surrounding the outreach, recruitment, employment, and retention of individuals with disabilities. Hosted in collaboration with disability inclusion expert Springboard Consulting, this workshop is tailored for DEI champions, accessibility experts, influential leaders, and corporate decision-makers.

Taking place at PTC’s Seaport headquarters from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM ET, this three-hour, in-person workshop is a unique opportunity for corporate DEI leaders, HR professionals, talent acquisition experts, and compliance specialists to come together, gain deep insights, and acquire the tools needed to make a lasting impact in the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Facilitated by Nadine Vogel, CEO of Springboard Consulting, Leaders 4 Disability combines lectures, cross-company interactive dialogues, and practical handouts, ensuring attendees leave with a concrete roadmap for implementation. This event is a must for corporate decision-makers and practitioners alike. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of the change – register today for Leaders 4 Disability!