Protecting and Building on Wins in the Senate's FY 2024 Budget

Tell your state senators to support budget amendments #819, #856, and #941

The MA Senate is voting on its FY 2024 budget this week! Your senator should hear from you on three key amendments.

Amendment 819 (Sen. Jason Lewis): Reducing high income tax avoidance

Amendment #819 would require that couples who file jointly at the federal level also file jointly at the state level, as other states do. Right now, Massachusetts is the only state that has a separate income tax rate for high-income filers without either designating lower tax rate thresholds for single filers than married filers or requiring federal joint filers to file jointly on their state taxes. As a result, under current law, some high-income couples who file jointly at the federal level may be able to avoid up to $40,000/year in Fair Share tax by filing singly at the state level. This loophole creates an incentive for illegal misattribution of income between the two members of the couple, necessitating additional tax audits and causing a loss in vital state revenue.

Amendment #856 (Sen. Adam Gomez): Youth Bail Fees

This amendment eliminates the $40 administrative bail fee imposed on justice-involved youth, paying the bail magistrate fee from state indigency funds. The Senate already passed this last session, so this is an opportune moment to do so again.

Amendment #941 (Sen. Liz Miranda): No Cost Calls

Thankfully, the MA Senate’s budget proposal includes "No Cost Calls" language that would end the practice of private corporations charging incarcerated people and their families huge fees to make phone calls to and from jail and prison.

This amendment strengthens the language to guarantee access to voice communications for people and ensures that technology like tablets, if they're already equipped for phone call, can be used under the new law.

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