STATE OF THE COMMONWEALTH FALLS SHORT OF PROPOSING HEALTHCARE COST RELIEF
BOSTON (January 24, 2017): In response to tonight’s State of the Commonwealth speech by Governor Baker, the following may be attributed to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Massachusetts State Director, Bill Vernon:
The small business community is certainly grateful for the Governor’s leadership. The state’s strong economy and the historically low unemployment rate is something that the state’s political leadership, workers, and business owners can all celebrate. Our focus tonight, as always, is on how to improve our state and further empower our employment sector.
Fiscal responsibility is no doubt difficult work. Nearly eliminating the structural deficit in just two years is something to proud of and the small business community is proud of its contribution. Governor Baker’s promise tonight that there will be no new broad-based taxes is welcome news for small employers, who are concerned about talk of reinstituting a tax on thousands of employers who offer health insurance but whose employees choose to access other insurance options. With the state’s budget problems attributable to the growing cost of health care, we were hoping to hear more pertaining to reducing the health care cost crisis for small business.
The state of our Commonwealth is indeed strong, but lawmakers have the ability to make it stronger. Focusing on reducing the burden of healthcare costs and diminishing the costs to employ people in our state will make Massachusetts even more prosperous, and we hope to hear proposals addressing these issues from the legislature in the days to come.