The Back Story

‘Big Marijuana’ is actually a thing

‘Big Marijuana’ is actually a thing

Dire warnings about large investors entering legal market were right, just not accurate

DURING THE 2016 CAMPAIGN, and since the passage of the law legalizing the sale and adult use of marijuana in Massachusetts, opponents of legal pot have continually pointed to the potential for wealthy investors to cash in on the billion-dollar industry and nudge smaller entrepreneurs to the side. They have labeled such corporate backers “Big(...)

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Glynn calls for conversation on ride-hailing congestion 

Glynn calls for conversation on ride-hailing congestion 

Massport CEO cites enormous growth at Logan Airport 

THE OUTGOING CEO of Massport, which operates Logan International Airport, says it’s time for the state’s transportation leaders to come together to decide how to respond to the growing congestion being caused by ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft. “I do think there needs to be a conversation about congestion,” said Tom Glynn, who is expected to step(...)

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Bump prods Baker on elder abuse reporting

Bump prods Baker on elder abuse reporting

Administration cites improvement; says lapses were small

STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP is prodding the Baker administration to do a better job of referring serious cases of elder abuse to district attorneys for possible prosecution, but state officials say they have already stepped up their game and any problems that have occurred were confined to a small number of cases. An audit by(...)

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On nurse ballot measure, Dems line up with labor

On nurse ballot measure, Dems line up with labor

Are policy points secondary to union loyalty?

THE NOVEMBER BALLOT QUESTION that would mandate minimum nurse staffing levels at Massachusetts hospitals is a complicated issue. Health care experts offered views that were sharply at odds with each other at a hearing this week of the state Health Policy Commission, with some saying the measure would unquestionably lead to better patient outcomes, while(...)

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Does Harvard have constitutional protection from Gonzalez tax?

Does Harvard have constitutional protection from Gonzalez tax?

John Adams gave university special status, but taxation waiver is unclear

THINGS LOOK TOUGH enough for Jay Gonzalez’s proposal to tax high-value university endowments, with lots of leading Democrats offering a less than enthusiastic embrace of the idea. But could the idea face an even bigger barrier – the Massachusetts Constitution? Gonzalez, the Democratic nominee for governor, has proposed levying a tax on the endowment of(...)

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A stash of cash for troubled pols

A stash of cash for troubled pols

Funds let officials collect unlimited money from donors and companies

EARLIER THIS YEAR, on April 13, the city of Fall River signed a host community agreement with Northeast Alternatives, which already operates a medical marijuana dispensary in the city, to open up a retail recreational pot operation in a strip mall near the Rhode Island line. Four days later, on April 17, J.H. Holdings Group Inc., whose principals are executives of the medical marijuana dispensary, donated $20,000 to Mayor Jasiel Correia’s(...)

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Where will the money for S. Coast Rail come from? 

Where will the money for S. Coast Rail come from? 

Answers won’t be provided until after the election 

STATE TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS plan to have South Coast Rail service up and running by November 2022, but they haven’t figured out a way to cover the $1 billion cost yet. About $200 million has either been spent or budgeted so far, but the funding sources for the remaining $800 million haven’t been located. Officials say the Baker administration is working on a(...)

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Why a Red-Blue pedestrian link won’t work

Why a Red-Blue pedestrian link won’t work

Best approach is a transit tunnel between Bowdoin, Charles/MGH

THERE HAS BEEN a recent renewed advocacy push to bring attention to the Blue Line’s failure to provide the necessary connectivity any good rapid transit line must. This focus on the Blue Line – the system’s shortest rapid transit line, connecting Revere, East Boston, and Logan Airport to downtown Boston – coincides with the MBTA’s(...)

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Lobbyists shower DeLeo, Sanchez with donations

Lobbyists shower DeLeo, Sanchez with donations

25% of Sanchez’s campaign funds came from lobbyists

LOBBYISTS POURED MONEY into the campaign coffers of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and one of his top lieutenants, House Ways and Means chair Jeffrey Sanchez, during the first part of this year. Campaign finance documents filed by the two lawmakers on Monday indicate Sanchez took in $59,795 from 301 lobbyists from the beginning of January(...)

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