Fall 2009

Fall 2009

Reining in regulation?

the obama administration has dedicated 2009 to the most ambitious legislative agenda of any president in recent memory, from the economic stimulus package of the winter to this fall’s landmark bills overhauling the health care system and attacking global warming. But 2010 may well turn out to be quite the opposite — one marked by(...)

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Ed reform erosion

in 1993, the state passed an education reform law with a funding formula that closely followed proposals I developed with the late Jack Rennie and the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. The formula’s foundation budget established spending goals for each district; based on those spending goals and local property wealth and personal income, the formula(...)

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Public spaces, private rules

many government agencies are quietly redefining themselves as private, nonprofit businesses. Citizens are learning that, at some agencies, public accountability laws no longer apply, or never existed. Our proven tools for ensuring good government include the rights to observe and record government meetings, purchase copies of government records, monitor conflicts of interest, and demand fiscal(...)

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Second chances

Second chances

INTRO TEXT three years ago, Dan Ladd of Lincoln closed up a real estate law practice and went back to school. Faced with a slow business climate and a desire for a skill he could take overseas, the former lawyer is now in training to be a veterinary technician. Dan Ladd left realestate law to(...)

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Expanding our horizons

Expanding our horizons

like everyone else in the news business, we here at CommonWealth are trying to figure out a way to cover the news and cover our costs. Thanks to generous grants from the Boston Foundation and the Knight Foundation, we’ve come a long way over the last year. We’ve expanded our staff and dramatically expanded our(...)

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Lawmakers cagy on how they use expense stipends

Lawmakers cagy on how they use expense stipends

massachusetts lawmakers receive a $600 monthly stipend for expenses, even though nearly all of their needs, including office supplies, stationery, postage, and telephone service, are paid out of other legislative accounts and most use campaign funds for district expenses. The stipend adds up to $7,200 over the course of a year for each legislator, or(...)

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