May 17, 2017

Editorial: Absent at the State House

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Wikimedia Commons/Hsin Ju HSU

Massachusetts State House

Boston, we have a problem.

Through 10 months, declining tax receipts have left a $462 million revenue gap that needs to be closed in the final two months of the fiscal year.

The March unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is tied for the 13th lowest in the nation. Despite that, the state’s real gross domestic product declined at an estimated annual rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the economic journal Mass Benchmarks. The U.S. economy, on the other hand, grew at a rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter.

This led state Rep. Paul Donato, D-Medford, to say: “It’s hard for us to really figure out what’s happening because our unemployment rate is low, the economy is very well in Massachusetts [and] the jobs are there. We’re sitting back saying, ‘What is stymieing our benchmark figures?’ ”

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