Statistically Significant

Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Clinton expected to win, but her victory margin could influence legislative races

REPUBLICAN KATE CAMPANALE stunned the state’s political establishment in 2014 by winning the 17th Worcester district House seat, edging out Democrat Douglas Belanger by just 43 votes out of 9,750 cast. Campanale will face Democratic challenger Moses Dixon on November 8, after Dixon defeated Belanger in the September 8 Democratic primary. Campanale is in a(...)

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Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Only 1.8% of applicants denied, suggesting discretion not abused

ONLY A TINY fraction of Massachusetts residents who apply for firearms licenses or identification cards are turned down, suggesting the state’s reputation for restricting gun use may be overstated. Just 1.8 percent of those who applied for Firearms Identification Cards (FID) and licenses to carry concealed weapons between 2010 and 2015 were rejected, according to(...)

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Pump slump good for government

Pump slump good for government

Lower gas prices, more driving mean more revenue

FALLING FUEL PRICES may be wreaking havoc in oil-producing countries, but they are bringing smiles to drivers in Massachusetts and helping state and local officials keep their budgets in balance. The price of gasoline has dropped by nearly half since mid-2012, when the average retail price hovered around $3.59 a gallon. By March of this(...)

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Public schools extend their reach

Public schools extend their reach

School systems across Massachusetts are boosting their revenue by taking in students from as far away as China

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AROUND the state, faced with rising costs and stagnant budgets, are turning outside their districts —even outside the country—to attract tuition money from foreign students and students from other communities inside Massachusetts. The money falls into three pots. According to fiscal 2014 figures from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 21 public(...)

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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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