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Massachusetts 2020 General Election Results
In what is likely to be a record-setting election turnout in Massachusetts, former Vice President Joe Biden captured over two million votes to President Donald Trump’s 1 million plus votes. For a results breakdown by city and town, click here.
Massachusetts voters decided to send Senator Markey and the rest of the Congressional delegation back to Washington D.C. for another term. Voters in the Fourth Congressional District elected Democrat Newton City Councilor, Jake Auchincloss, over Republican opponent Julie Hall. To read more about the Massachusetts Congressional elections, click here.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives maintained its supermajority as the Senate Democrats expanded their majority by one and now holds 37 of the 40 seats. To read more about the Massachusetts Legislature races, click here.
There were also a number of county races throughout the Commonwealth that haven’t garnered as much media attention as the other competitive races. For more information on those races, click here.
The well-funded ballot questions that commanded the airwaves for months were decided in convincing fashion. Voters overwhelmingly voted yes on Question 1, the “Right to Repair” campaign and voted no on Question 2, on Ranked Choice Voting.
The official results will be posted to the Secretary of State’s Office webpage once all towns and cities finish counting the ballots. Once that information is finalized, you'll be able to view it here.
Massachusetts October Tax Collections a 3.5% Increase from October 2019
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) collected $2.089 billion in October and reported that “collections are running 1% ahead of their fiscal year 2020 pace” as a total of $9.347 billion has been collected in the first four months of fiscal year 2021.
DOR Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder projects tax revenues will come in-between $25.918 billion and $28.387 billion by the end of June 2021, which represents a decline of $2.76 billion to $5.23 billion from fiscal year 2020 total collections of $29.596 billion.
House of Representatives Released $46 Billion State Budget Proposal Today
The Massachusetts House of Representatives released a $46 billion budget today, which proposes, among various other provisions, withdrawing nearly $200 million more from the state’s stabilization fund than what was proposed by Governor Baker last month.
Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said that the House budget also adopted many of the same “one-time revenue sources” that were outlined in the Governor’s budget, such as an accelerated sales tax collection from businesses that collect and remit more than $150,000 from sales taxes in a year that reportedly would collect $267 million.
The House budget puts additional funds into community day and work programs, food security programs, increases the school aid Chapter 70 by $108 million and other support programs for Massachusetts students and low-income residents.
Like the Governor’s budget proposal, the House budget also includes the language relative to partnership audits, which would enable the Department of Revenue (DOR) to collect tax from partnerships or from individual partners in cases where the partnership accounts for the federal tax as a result of changes in federal partnership auditing rules in order to avoid significant revenue loss.
The House will open debate next Tuesday, November 10 and the talks are expected to take a few days as members debate the details. House Speaker Robert DeLeo stated that his goal is to pass House budget by the end of next week and to have a finalized budget to Governor Baker by the end of the month, a priority also shared by the Governor.
We should know more details in the coming days and will provide that information to you once we have it.
Massachusetts House of Representatives Meet to Close Fiscal Year 2020
The Massachusetts House of Representatives will hold a formal session to advance legislation that provides supplemental appropriations in order to finalize the fiscal year 2020 budget, which ended June 30, 2020.
Outlined in the “close out bill” is:
- Language temporarily amending the Unemployment Insurance (UI) law to align with the availability of additional UI benefits, which will be mostly paid for by the federal government;
- $62.6 million to the Group Insurance Commission;
- Appropriations for workforce development programs; and
- $727,170 reimbursement funds for municipalities for early voting costs associated with the March 3 presidential primary elections.
To read the supplemental bill and all provisions outlined in the legislation, click here.
Governor Baker Announces Additional Restrictions to Curb COVID-19 Cases
This week, Governor Baker released a series of executive orders aimed to “disrupt rising trends” of positive COVID-19 cases. Included in the orders and advisories are:
- Stay-at-home advisory
– Instructs residents to stay home between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.;
- Early closure of businesses and activities
– Orders certain businesses, including restaurants, liquor stores, gyms and others, to cease certain sales, dine-in service and other activities at 9:30 p.m.;
- Gatherings order
– Reduces the number of people allowed indoor or outdoor at private residences and orders that gatherings must end at 9:30 p.m.; and
- Face covering order – Requires individuals to wear face coverings in public at all times, including when more than six feet away from another individual.
These advisories and orders are effective tomorrow, November 6 at 12:01 a.m.
Governor Baker Launches $115 Million Economic Stimulus Program for Massachusetts’ Small Businesses
Governor Baker released an economic stimulus program aimed at assisting struggling small businesses with various expenses including payroll costs, rent and personal protective equipment.
As part of a $50.8 million grant program included within the stimulus package,
eligible businesses may receive grants of up to $75,000,
which are made available through the Massachusetts Capital Growth Corporation.
Applications for the small business grants are accepted until 12:00 p.m. next Thursday, November 12.
To apply for a small business grant and for more information on the grant program, click here.
New England Advocacy Coalition November Newsletter
The New England Advocacy Coalition released its November newsletter on happenings specific to each state in the New England region.
To read the newsletter. click here.
IRS: Renew Preparer Tax Identification Numbers
In preparation for the 2021 tax season, the IRS is encouraging tax preparers to renew their PTINs before the December 31, 2020 expiration date.
For more information, click here.
Guidance for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)