The Back Story

Baker’s dire deficit projection misses mark

Baker’s dire deficit projection misses mark

$768m shortfall turned out to be much less

A clarification has been added to this story. THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION’S dire warnings last winter about a $768 million deficit for fiscal 2015 have turned out to be off the mark, so much so that the governor is now asking legislative approval to spend an end-of-the-year surplus. Baker took office last January saying that the(...)

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Baker’s public records silence

Baker’s public records silence

Status quo has benefits for governor

Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t saying where he stands on legislative efforts to update the state’s Public Records Law, possibly because he is not eager to disrupt the status quo. Like his predecessors dating back to the late 1990s, Baker contends that his office is not covered by the Public Records Law, a situation that allows(...)

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Walsh’s steadily expanding casino lawsuit

Walsh’s steadily expanding casino lawsuit

So far, more smoke than smoking gun

OVER THE LAST SEVEN MONTHS, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has steadily increased the intensity of his legal attacks on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, to the point where the case is now spinning off in a bewildering number of directions. At first, the mayor’s lawsuit focused on broad, largely procedural matters: the Gaming Commission’s failure to(...)

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Mystery figure in Crosby ethics probe revealed

Mystery figure in Crosby ethics probe revealed

Letter writer worked for rivals of Wynn Resorts

THE MYSTERY FIGURE who spurred a state ethics investigation of Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby turns out to be Charles A. Baker III, a lawyer and top Democratic political operative who last year represented rivals of Wynn Resorts in the hunt for a Greater Boston casino license. Baker sent a letter to the State(...)

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Baker seeks to curb solar speculators

Baker seeks to curb solar speculators

Administration tinkers with auction rules for subsidies

A correction has been added to this story. THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION, which favors keeping a cap in place on one solar subsidy program, is now tinkering with another solar price support. State officials say they plan to change the way a key solar subsidy is auctioned to curb price speculation by hedge funds and Wall Street(...)

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Wynn statement on meeting with Walsh

 The following statement was issued by Michael Weaver, senior vice president for marketing and communications at Wynn. In addition to our current $35.9 million commitment to Sullivan Square pre- and post-opening mitigation, Wynn has repeatedly offered its full partnership to the City of Boston to obtain a portion of the Wynn-generated tax funds dedicated to(...)

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Fact-checking the state’s incarceration rate

Fact-checking the state’s incarceration rate

Massachusetts ranks low, but only if viewed in narrow context

In the debate over mandatory minimum sentences and corrections reform, those resisting major changes say there is little need for wholesale reform because the state incarceration rate is so low. The available data suggest they are correct, but only if that information is viewed in a narrow context. Figures compiled by the US Department of(...)

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What’s a money bill?

What’s a money bill?

Answer may hinge on 137-year-old SJC opinion

THE LEGAL BATTLE between the Massachusetts House and Senate over the constitutional authority to raise taxes in this year’s budget hinges on interpretations of a 137-year-old Supreme Judicial Court advisory opinion. In briefs filed with the current members of the SJC, the House and Senate agree on the basic facts of their dispute but differ(...)

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Baker administration revises T absence rate

Baker administration revises T absence rate

Number drops from 11-12% to 8.6%

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is now acknowledging that the MBTA absenteeism information cited in a report by the governor’s special advisory panel probably overstated the problem and that the reported comparison to other peer transit systems had little relevance. In its April 8 report, the governor’s advisory panel said the absence rate across all positions at(...)

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Fact-checking MBTA union’s radio ad

Fact-checking MBTA union’s radio ad

Carmen's Union confuses on-time performance and completed trips

WHILE BEACON HILL engages in a high-stakes debate about the future of the T, the Boston Carmen’s Union is running ads on the radio that play loose with the facts. The ads say the MBTA’s largest union is eager to help solve the transit authority’s problems and implies that T management is standing in the(...)

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