Opinion

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Governor MIA on greenhouse gas initiative

AS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP moves forward with his efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and accelerate the extraction of coal, oil, and gas on federal lands, it’s worth taking a look at our own record here in Massachusetts. While state officials speak the language of “climate leadership,” their actions have often fallen short. Case(...)

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Western Mass. needs regional economic development plan

Western Mass. needs regional economic development plan

Initiatives could help close east-west divide -- and boost lagging state revenue

THE MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET process demonstrates economic progress does not always create revenue for the Commonwealth. Total employment is eclipsing previous highs, unemployment rates are below four percent, and per capita state GDP is strong. Yet the state’s budget is difficult to balance and news stories about revenue shortfalls feel like waking up in Groundhog Day.(...)

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Offshore wind moving too slowly

Offshore wind moving too slowly

Faster buildout will mean greater savings, jobs

“GOOD THINGS COME to those who wait” is an old phrase extolling the virtues of patience.  When it comes to bringing offshore wind energy to Massachusetts, it is advice we should ignore.  We shouldn’t wait a moment longer than we need to. As of right now, Massachusetts is proposing to wait and bring offshore wind(...)

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Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

New pipeline capacity needed to match supply, demand

AS BADLY AS ALL OF US in Massachusetts have been needing improved access to natural gas, Wednesday at midnight our need–and the challenge to our economy and energy security–grow even more critical. The reason? Wednesday at midnight is when the giant, coal-powered Brayton Point electric generating station in Somerset, Massachusetts, shuts down for good. For(...)

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Leave horse race fund for the horses

Leave horse race fund for the horses

Pot of gambling money is working as intended – for harness racing

IT’S BUDGET SEASON at the Massachusetts State House and once again this year there have been some efforts to raid the Race Horse Development Fund to help address the state’s revenue shortfall. Proponents of this step argue that horse racing is a fading industry in Massachusetts and that gaming revenue placed in the fund could(...)

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Democratic supermajority not so super

Democratic supermajority not so super

Lawmakers from same party but not on same platform

IN THE YEAR FOLLOWING a presidential election, the Massachusetts Democratic Party updates its platform. A party platform can stand as a defiant statement of goals and ideals, and a roadmap for a legislative agenda and priorities. In today’s national political climate, such aspirational declarations are especially important as they offer voters something to fight for(...)

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MTA deserves ‘time out’ for bad behavior

MTA deserves ‘time out’ for bad behavior

Union takes low road in refusing to honor National Teacher of the Year

AS REPORTED IN CommonWealth on Thursday, last weekend the Massachusetts Teachers Association decided to reject a resolution congratulating the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, Sydney Chaffee from Codman Academy, right here in Massachusetts. Usually the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year is celebrated by the MTA and given the chance to talk to their fellow(...)

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T just doesn’t understand college students

T just doesn’t understand college students

Paltry university pass sales reflect marketing failures

EARLIER THIS WEEK, CommonWealth reported on the paltry sales of the MBTA’s university pass and the transit agency’s confusion about how to tap Boston’s student market. As a recent graduate of Northeastern University and one of the 12,500 students who purchased a student semester pass in the fall of 2016, I have a few suggestions.(...)

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Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

End the patchwork policies, save lives and money

MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED TO LEARN that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Massachusetts and across the country, despite the strides we have made in reducing cigarette smoking over the past few decades. Treating tobacco-caused illnesses adds up to $4 billion in annual healthcare costs in Massachusetts. This(...)

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Policy overload on fixing schools

Policy overload on fixing schools

Education reform faces big disconnect between designers and doers

When public policy goes one way and the premises of a culture go the other, you’ve got the formula for an unsustainable system of education. – Angus Campbell THERE IS CURRENTLY a disconnect between development and implementation of educational policy in the United States. When you speak with educators in the field it is evident(...)

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