The Back Story

AG’s gun communications lacking

AG’s gun communications lacking

Healey gave conflicting accounts of who, when, and how dealers and others were notified

Two weeks after Attorney General Maura Healey announced her crackdown on assault weapons sales, there is still confusion over how and when she issued her directive, whether she did or should have consulted with legislative leaders, and how much notice dealers actually received for when the order took effect. In addition, many dealers are still(...)

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MBTA parking probe referred to Healey

MBTA parking probe referred to Healey

Revenue ‘discrepancies’ now seem to be far more serious

The MBTA’s months-long probe into the loss of revenue at T parking lots has been referred to Attorney General Maura Healey, a spokesman for the authority said. It’s unclear whether Healey is preparing to file criminal charges, but the referral suggests that what began as a relatively minor inquiry handled by the private company that(...)

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No layoff clause angers T board

No layoff clause angers T board

Officials hush-hush about controversy

The folks at the MBTA are all about transparency these days, but on some issues they are as secretive as ever. One of those issues is the contract negotiations with the union representing about 400 of the T’s management level employees. Neither union nor T officials would discuss what happened, but sources say the original(...)

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Airbnb follows Uber playbook

Airbnb follows Uber playbook

Lawmakers seem inclined to regulate apps with a light touch

FIRST UBER, NOW AIRBNB. The so-called sharing economy that went from zero to billions of dollars in the blink of an eye caught the State House off-guard, but it now appears the Legislature is inclined to regulate these new services with a much lighter touch than the legacy industries with which they compete. After months(...)

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The oddball ballot question

The oddball ballot question

Quest for 2d slots parlor stays under radar

One of the four questions certified for the November ballot is a political oddity. Most ballot question proponents are hungry for publicity, eager to get their point of view before voters. Three of the approved ballot questions — for legalizing marijuana, increasing the number of charter schools, and protecting farm animals — are mounting major(...)

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Clean power will cost more

Clean power will cost more

Report says state is in bind on emissions

The push to add clean power resources to the region’s energy mix is going to drive up electricity prices, at least in the short term. Clean energy advocates have hinted that the state could meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and stabilize or even cut electricity costs, but a new study that synthesizes all the previous studies makes(...)

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Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Sweeteners for Eversource, Grid worth millions

Tucked inside the House energy bill is what industry folks call an adder, a special add-on fee paid by electric ratepayers to their utilities to compensate them for carrying out the Commonwealth’s energy policy. Eversource Energy and National Grid play key roles under the legislation.  The two utilities are assigned the task of negotiating long-term(...)

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Weld’s views ‘developing’ on criminal justice reform

Weld’s views ‘developing’ on criminal justice reform

Ex-gov and current VP candidate casts off famous ‘busting rocks’ line

WHEN HE RAN for governor in Massachusetts 26 years ago, Republican Bill Weld cut a more moderate profile on many social issues than his Democratic opponent, John Silber – a key factor, many believe, in his victory in liberal-leaning Massachusetts. When it came to criminal justice issues, however, there was nothing tempered about the former(...)

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Harshbarger says democracy needs a shot in the arm

Harshbarger says democracy needs a shot in the arm

Jump to United Independent Party is effort to promote more competition

SCOTT HARSHBARGER MAY have the right diagnosis, but it’s less clear that he’s landed on the cure. The former attorney general and one-time Democratic nominee for governor says democracy is withering on the vine, with far too few contested elections in Massachusetts. With more than two-thirds of all legislative seats going unchallenged this fall, who(...)

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The ‘third way’ in education

The ‘third way’ in education

Education leaders seek to bridge the charter-district divide

POLARIZATION AND TRENCH WARFARE, the partisan watchwords these days in Washington, have also come to define education debates. In Massachusetts, as much as $30 million could be spent between now and November in what promises to be a bloody showdown between charter school advocates and opponents over a ballot question to raise the charter school(...)

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