The Back Story

Political payback and whatnot

Political payback and whatnot

DeLeo shows Holmes who's boss

JAMES VALLEE. CHARLEY Murphy. John Rogers. Jonathan Hecht. To that list of past and present lawmakers, you can add state Rep. Russell Holmes as someone who has crossed House Speaker Robert DeLeo and paid the price. Holmes, a four-term legislator with a background in financial planning, was removed earlier this week as House vice chairman of(...)

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Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Decision indicates DeLeo is not retiring anytime soon

THE PERCEIVED HEIR APPARENT to House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that he is stepping down to take a top job at the high-powered lobbying firm ML Strategies, a move that suggests the speaker is not inclined to retire anytime soon. Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, the chairman of the House Ways and Means(...)

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Authorities offer financial help to state

Authorities offer financial help to state

3 agencies provide $69.5m for deficit effort

Gov. Charlie Baker is asking some of the state’s independent authorities for help in balancing the fiscal 2017 budget, but it appears only three have stepped forward. The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency agreed to provide $17.5 million and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency is contributing $5 million, for a total of $22.5 million. The MBTA(...)

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Free bump on the Fairmount

Free bump on the Fairmount

Ridership rises during free period, falls back afterward

Even two weeks of free rides on the Fairmount Line didn’t boost traffic that much, but they did expose more people to the least-used line on the MBTA’s commuter rail system. The Fairmount Line, which connects South Station and Readville via Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Mattapan, has by far the worst ridership of any of(...)

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About-face on marijuana

About-face on marijuana

Some towns voted for pot in fall, against in spring

THERE’S BEEN A LOT of pot talk lately on Beacon Hill, as the House and Senate battle back and forth over whether changes should be made (and which ones) to the law voters approved last fall legalizing recreational marijuana. But there has also been a lot of chatter at the local level, where communities concerned(...)

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Greenway is no secondhand coat

Greenway is no secondhand coat

‘We ought to be so much better than this’

RECENT NEWS THAT state and city officials are attempting to devise new funding mechanisms for the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy prompts a reflection on how the Conservancy came into being, and what the expectations were about how this urban gem would be funded and sustained over time. Let’s take a short trip down memory(...)

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Fear and loathing on Haverhill school vote

Fear and loathing on Haverhill school vote

Charter school at the center of charged debate

THE SILVER HILL Horace Mann Charter School in Haverhill is seeking a five-year extension of its charter, but the seemingly routine process has mushroomed into a high-stakes battle reminiscent of last fall’s statewide ballot fight over charter school expansion. Members of the Haverhill teachers union will vote next week on whether to allow the K-5(...)

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Tito Jackson’s address? It’s complicated

Tito Jackson’s address? It’s complicated

Boston mayoral candidate is both a Roxbury and Dorchester guy

TITO JACKSON, the Boston city councilor who is challenging Mayor Marty Walsh this fall, is not generally one to shrink from a tough question or dodge and weave around a topic. Which makes it all the more remarkable to see Jackson tiptoe his way through a seemingly simple inquiry: What neighborhood does he live in?(...)

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Mass. teachers union snubs National Teacher of the Year

Mass. teachers union snubs National Teacher of the Year

Votes down motion congratulating Dorchester charter school teacher

SYDNEY CHAFFEE WAS WELCOMED to the White House last month. She was honored at an event in Boston by the governor and the state education commissioner. But the first Massachusetts educator ever named National Teacher of Year was given the cold shoulder by the state’s largest teachers union. Delegates at the Massachusetts Teachers Association annual(...)

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Few answers on corrections spending  

Few answers on corrections spending  

Baker, sheriffs offer muted explanations for findings  

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER and the state’s sheriffs offered no clear explanation this week for why corrections funding is going up as inmate populations are declining. The puzzling spending pattern was detailed in a study released on Monday by MassINC, the nonpartisan public policy research organization that publishes CommonWealth. The report found that spending on corrections, especially in the county systems overseen by the state’s 14 elected(...)

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