Matt Murphy

Guest Contributor

Stories by Matt Murphy

Baker backs off commuter rail cut

Baker backs off commuter rail cut

Takes weekend service off the chopping block

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE ELIMINATION OF WEEKEND COMMUTER rail service will no longer be considered an option to close the MBTA’s looming budget deficit after Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said he would “explore alternatives” to close a $42 million gap that will preserve weekend service. Baker backed off the idea a week after(...)

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Pro-pot Jehlen to head marijuana panel

Pro-pot Jehlen to head marijuana panel

Lewis, who opposed legalization, falls to vice chair spot

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A PRO-LEGALIZATION SENATOR will lead the Senate’s effort to make changes to the marijuana ballot law after Senate President Stanley tapped Somerville Sen. Patricia Jehlen to lead the new Committee on Marijuana Policy. Jehlen, who supported the legalization campaign last fall, will take the lead for the Senate as the branch(...)

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Legislative income inequality

Legislative income inequality

Widening pay gap in House could have negative impact, reps say

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE NOW THAT PAY RAISES for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadership and committee assignments that could allow some legislators to more than double their pay. That power in the hands of just two Democrats sparked some of(...)

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Baker to veto pay raise

Baker to veto pay raise

Says state's fiscal outlook makes salary hike unwise

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE HOURS AFTER FORMALLY RECEIVING their plan, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday afternoon informed legislative Democrats that he intends to veto a controversial package of pay raises worth $18 million for lawmakers, judges and constitutional officers in a move that may carry more political weight for the Republican governor than practical implications.(...)

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Baker pushes health cost controls

Baker pushes health cost controls

Plan includes employer assessments, rate caps

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE COMPANIES THAT DO NOT OFFER their employees health insurance would pay a $2,000 annual assessment per full-time worker to the state under a plan Gov. Charlie Baker plans to offer later this month to blunt the impact of escalating, enrollment-driven costs in the state’s Medicaid program. The proposal – the bulk(...)

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Baker to tax short-term rentals

Baker to tax short-term rentals

Governor opposed similar measure last year

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Gov. Charlie Baker intends to include in his budget due later this month a proposal that would tax short-term rentals offered through online portals like Airbnb and VRBO at the same rate as rooms rented by traditional hotels and motels. The proposal, which will be offered as an outside section in(...)

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Ortiz stepping down early

Ortiz stepping down early

Controversial US Attorney resigning before Trump takes over

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE U.S. ATTORNEY Carmen Ortiz, the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as the top federal prosecutor in the district of Massachusetts, will leave her post in three weeks, clearing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to name a new U.S. attorney. Ortiz, in a press release on Wednesday, announced that(...)

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Price commision weighs impacts of tiered health plans

Price commision weighs impacts of tiered health plans

Plans could help drive down total medical spending

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE INCREASING THE POPULARITY of tiered health insurance plans could help drive down total medical spending, industry leaders agreed Tuesday, but hospitals and insurers aren’t necessarily on the same page about how to do it. A special commission studying how the state might reduce provider price variation in the health care system(...)

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Baker, nervous about budget, cuts $98m

Baker, nervous about budget, cuts $98m

House, Senate officials say it was premature to act now

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LURCHING FROM ONE BUDGET PROBLEM to another, Gov. Charlie Baker moved Tuesday to cut $98 million from the $39.25 billion state budget in an effort to match sluggish state revenues with likely spending, including accounts he says the Legislature underfunded. Baker slashed funding for health care, the State Police, municipal regionalization,(...)

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Warren backs one-time rival Brown for VA post

Warren backs one-time rival Brown for VA post

'You bet I'd support him for that,' she says of cabinet job

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE EVER SINCE SHE beat him in 2012, US Sen. Elizabeth Warren has used former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown as her go-to punching bag for laugh lines in stump speeches to the point that Brown suggested Warren had a “creepy” obsession with him. But with Brown in contention to lead the Department(...)

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