Statistically Significant

Region’s cap and trade program draws interest

Region’s cap and trade program draws interest

EPA's power plant emission plan boosts Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is drawing a lot of attention to the carbon cap-and-trade program run by nine Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, including Massachusetts. The Clean Power Plan, if it survives legal challenges, will require each state to reduce its power plant carbon-dioxide emissions to a target level set by the(...)

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Rainy day fund taking hits

Rainy day fund taking hits

Is it really raining?

THE STATE’S RAINY DAY FUND is set aside for years when the economy is tanking, tax revenues are falling, and officials are scrambling to fill budget gaps. That’s what happened in the early 2000s and in 2008 when the state was gripped by recession; the state tapped the rainy day fund to weather the economic storm.(...)

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The solar disconnect

The solar disconnect

If sun power is expensive, why is it saving municipalities money?

THE US ENERGY Information Administration says solar power is expensive relative to other types of electricity generation, yet cities, towns, and schools across Massachusetts are finding that solar can save them lots of money. The federal agency, which tries to compare the cost of electricity produced from various sources, says solar is one of the(...)

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Tracking student migration

Massachusetts is a winner under the Regional Student Program, while New Hampshire is a loser

a program set up to provide more educational opportunity for New England college students is proving to be a brain gain for some states and a brain drain for others. Massachusetts and Maine are big winners, while New Hampshire and Connecticut are losing more students than they’re taking in. For Vermont and Rhode Island, the(...)

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Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

The number of unenrolled voters is climbing to historic highs

political parties in Massachusetts are approaching a crossroads, as fewer new registrants choose to affiliate with either party and the number of unenrolled voters climbs to historic highs. Since 1978, the number of unenrolled voters in Massachusetts has soared by 97 percent, while the two major parties each added just 9 percent to their rolls.(...)

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Boston’s challenge for the GOP

Boston’s challenge for the GOP

GOP has trouble connecting with non-white voters

The partisan divide between cities and less urbanized areas is growing into one of the defining characteristics of Massachusetts politics. The suburbs are often held up as the place where elections are won or lost, but a steady long-term shift in urban voting is rendering suburban voters less able to change the outcome. Cities’ relatively(...)

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The blue-red color divide in Massachusetts

The blue-red color divide in Massachusetts

Politically, Massachusetts is now 3 regions

On a national political map, Massachusetts is reliably blue, a Democratic stronghold. The congressional delegation is all Democrat, the State House is overwhelmingly Democrat, and every constitutional officer is a Democrat. While Republicans occasionally break through (Scott Brown’s US Senate victory in 2010 or the string of Republican governors elected from 1990 through 2002), the(...)

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The GOP’s corner office strategy

The GOP’s corner office strategy

Drawing Democrats in big numbers has been the key to a winning formula

While Massachusetts ranks as one of the bluest states in the nation, giving the average Demo­cratic presidential nominee a 20-point advantage over his GOP rival in the last 14 elections, four of the Bay State’s last five governors have been Repub­li­cans—an intriguing paradox. With a wide-open race for governor looming in 2014, Republicans once again(...)

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The Massachusetts H-1B connection

10 firms secure two-fifths of foreign workers

MORE THAN 1,200 Massachusetts companies hired 5,481 skilled foreign workers last year through a controversial visa program that is simultaneously being praised for helping to plug holes in the state’s tech workforce and criticized as a way to replace US employees with cheaper foreign labor. The H-1B visa program, which allows skilled foreign workers to(...)

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