Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Here comes StateStat

Massachusetts joins the movement to track data to improve government performance

FOLLOWING THE LEAD of many cities and towns across the country, the state of Massachusetts is launching a program to harness more data that can be used to sharpen government performance and deliver not just services but results. A new state law requires state managers to set goals, collect data measuring their progress in meeting(...)

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All in

All in

A destination resort casino can be part of the revitalization of Springfield

on august 27, I announced that Springfield was beginning its selection process for a destination resort casino project pursuant to the Commonwealth’s recently enacted gaming legislation. This legislation is unique in that it places strict limits on the number of casinos permitted in the Commonwealth and requires each gaming licensee to make a minimum capital(...)

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Making it in Massachusetts

Making it in Massachusetts

Reports of the death of manufacturing here, and across the country, have been greatly exaggerated.

  Barry Bluestone (left), dean of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University,and Michael Tamasi (right), owner of AccuRounds and a leading manufacturing industry voice. when the great recession battered employment across the country, manufacturing jobs—already on a decades-long slide—took a big hit. In Massachusetts, of the 300,000 manufacturing jobs the state(...)

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Waiver warfare

Waiver warfare

Obama administration offers states waivers from education and welfare law, but Republicans raise alarms

of the domestic policy achievements of the past two decades, most would agree the two biggest are the welfare reform law of 1996 and the No Child Left Behind education law of 2001. The first ended guaranteed lifetime cash assistance to needy families and required the poor to work while receiving temporary aid. The education(...)

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Romney writes off 2002 campaign loan

GOP nominee forgives $550,000 loan

FOR NEARLY EVERYONE else, a half-million dollars would be a pretty healthy retirement account. But for Mitt Romney, who has an estimated worth of $250 million, it’s akin to change under the couch cushions. When Romney was running for governor in 2002, he loaned his campaign $550,000, a sum that included $150,000 to clean up(...)

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Tracking the cash

Tracking the cash

Massachusetts lawmakers turn the corner in reporting donor information

after decades of shrugging off campaign finance disclosure mandates, Massachusetts lawmakers have finally turned the tide in reporting what their donors do for a living, giving watchdogs the tools to monitor the influence of money in state politics. Under campaign finance law, anyone who contributes an aggregate of $200 or more in a calendar year(...)

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DCR cottage leases face quicker demise

DCR cottage leases face quicker demise

Lambert seeks to phase out program

massachusetts officials are vowing to phase out a controversial program that has offered cheap, virtually permanent permits for state park land to private citizens for summer cottages. After years of complaints and a series of critical audits over several decades, the state in 2006 stopped allowing permit-holders to pass their cottages along to their heirs(...)

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Chinese students flocking to UMass Boston, Lowell

CHINESE AND OTHER international students are flocking to US colleges, including two campuses of the University of Massachusetts.  UMass Boston, viewed locally as primarily a commuter school, saw its number of international students rise 38 percent during the last school year to 929, or about 6 percent of the campus population and more than a(...)

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Rhode Island red

Rhode Island red

The Ocean State did the math on pensions and boldly went where no state had gone before

little rhody was in big trouble. That much Gina Raimondo knew when she pumped her fist in victory on election night two years ago. It wasn’t until the new Rhode Island state treasurer set up shop in her cavernous offices in the Ocean State’s majestic State House that she found out how close the ship(...)

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A bank for infrastructure

A bank for infrastructure

If the state doesn’t have any money for transportation improvements, maybe Wall Street can help

  Illustration by Peter and Maria Hoey. the pivot was abrupt, but it hardly sounded unfamiliar. For two straight hours, Joe Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, had led an auditorium packed with angry residents in a rousing denunciation of the state’s Highway Department. This was a somewhat unusual scene, in that Somerville residents are normally(...)

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