State of the States

Only some opinions count

Only some opinions count

Two-thirds of 853 state-level polls were in 11 states

      PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS, done well, offer people an opportunity to speak to their leaders in an organized way. But the hunt for Electoral College votes tends to put all the focus of presidential campaigns on the opinions of residents in a handful of contested states, leaving no opportunity for residents of less(...)

Read More »

Campaign not much of a contest

Campaign not much of a contest

Massachusetts elections are becoming a little more of a contest, but not much

two years ago, we had stories showing the Bay State was dead last in the country for the number of contested races for the Legislature, with less than 17 percent of the seats having a candidate from both major parties in the 2008 election. By comparison, every one of Minnesota’s 134 House seats gave voters(...)

Read More »

The next great thing

The next great thing

despite the economic woes in the country, investment in research and development continues to expand in all public, private, and nonprofit sectors, according to federal statistics. Nowhere is that impact felt greater than in Massa­chu­setts, where more money is spent on business research and development than in any other state in the country except California,(...)

Read More »

Legislative pay

Legislative pay

The wages of sausage-making

many massachusetts legislators say the salary they receive as full-time lawmakers is not enough to live on and raise a family, so the majority—nearly 60 percent—report some form of outside income. But a look at legislative salaries throughout the United States indicates the pay in the Bay State is not half bad. While it certainly(...)

Read More »

Probation location

Probation location

the battle rages over which branch of government will control probation—and its $150 million budget—in Massa­chusetts. But looking for help to see how other states do it offers little in the way of guidance. According to the American Probation and Parole Asso­ciation, there is no one-size-fits-all approach or best-practices template to overseeing the people who(...)

Read More »

Going it alone

Going it alone

According to data released late last year by the US Census Bureau, “nonemployer businesses”—mostly consisting of just one person, working full or part-time— have been on the rise, at least up until the economic crash of 2008. There were 21.7 million such businesses in 2007, and they were especially common in Florida, Texas, the Rocky(...)

Read More »