Massachusetts Legislature

Baby, you can’t drive my car

General Motors wants to own the driverless car market. So much so they have pushed legislators in at least six states, including Massachusetts, to file bills that would only allow the zombie cars to be made and owned by auto companies who have experience building the vehicles in the US. That would exclude from the market(...)

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The Codcast: Goldberg wants to keep her sight on pot

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg says when she talks to counterparts around the country, there is one aspect of her job that stops them in their tracks: Her office’s regulation of the state’s liquor industry. Goldberg now has another mood-altering substance to oversee with the passage of the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Under the(...)

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Sanchez: A few common themes emerged

Sanchez: A few common themes emerged

Health panel finds higher payments justified for high-quality providers

IN MAY OF 2016, I was named co-chair of the Special Commission on Provider Price Variation, a 23-member group consisting of legislators, insurers, providers, employers, and other stakeholders. The commission spent the last six months tackling complex issues in health care, including the payer-provider contracting relationship, the impact of health care market forces, how transparency(...)

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Gants v Conley: Time for a real debate?

The Boston Globe delivered an editorial spanking to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley over the weekend for questioning the political activity of Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants. Gants has been leading the charge for doing away with mandatory minimum sentencing in most cases, an issue that the Globe editorial page is also(...)

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Baker leaves door cracked on Pacheco Law suspension

Baker leaves door cracked on Pacheco Law suspension

No plans for seeking extension at T, but doesn’t rule it out

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Wednesday that he has no current plans to seek a longer suspension of the Pacheco Law on behalf of the MBTA, but indicated his thinking could possibly change. “At this time, we’re not going to seek an extension,” he said. He noted, however, that a series of initiatives approved by(...)

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Senators leave money on the table

Senators leave money on the table

No lawmaker takes three stipends, some decline any increase

PUBLIC PRESSURE APPEARS to have won out as no Massachusetts state senator opted to receive three stipends for leadership positions as they could have under the rules and three Democratic lawmakers eschewed any increase in their pay. The increases are part of a broad package of pay raises for lawmakers, constitutional officers, and judges that was(...)

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No place for ‘personal attack’ on Bump

No place for ‘personal attack’ on Bump

CommonWealth should have called out Pioneer Institute official

I AM A FAN of MassINC and CommonWealth magazine, and a regular listener to the podcasts you produce. But I want to express in the strongest terms possible my outrage and disappointment in the standards on display at the end of that podcast featuring state Auditor Suzanne Bump and the Pioneer Institute’s Greg Sullivan regarding(...)

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Do legislative staffers deserve a raise, too?

Do legislative staffers deserve a raise, too?

Data poor on worker pay, diversity, and equity

NOW THAT MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATORS have secured increased compensation for themselves, they should take a hard look at the pay levels of those who work for them. Fair and livable wages should be the norm for all workers whether they are employed by private, nonprofit, or public entities. Those who step up into a public service(...)

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Senators to see average pay rise 39%

Senators to see average pay rise 39%

Stipends will boost some lawmakers’ pay even more dramatically

THE AVERAGE PAY OF A STATE SENATOR will likely rise about 39 percent this year to $110,942 under a new compensation scheme that rewards lawmakers with stipends for the leadership positions they hold. At least 25 of the 34 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate will earn more than $102,000 a year, including an expense stipend,(...)

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Pro-pot Jehlen to head marijuana panel

Pro-pot Jehlen to head marijuana panel

Lewis, who opposed legalization, falls to vice chair spot

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A PRO-LEGALIZATION SENATOR will lead the Senate’s effort to make changes to the marijuana ballot law after Senate President Stanley tapped Somerville Sen. Patricia Jehlen to lead the new Committee on Marijuana Policy. Jehlen, who supported the legalization campaign last fall, will take the lead for the Senate as the branch(...)

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