Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Heaviest lobbying by health care firms

Heaviest lobbying by health care firms

Partners HealthCare led the way, spending $683,520 on lobbying

health care firms, led by hospital systems and insurance companies, spent the most money on Beacon Hill lobbying activities in 2013. Partners HealthCare, which owns Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is in the midst of a battle with state regulators over its expansion plans, was the top dog, spending $683,520 on(...)

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Can Bay State schools afford online standardized testing?

Can Bay State schools afford online standardized testing?

Tech deficit is $75M

this spring, there’s a twist to the annual ritual of standardized testing. Many students will trade in pencil and paper and move into the 21st century, taking the state’s new standardized test on computers. But there are plenty of school district officials who know they are not as ready for the digital world of the(...)

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Paving the way for votes

Paving the way for votes

Former Lawrence mayor William Lantigua made street repaving a centerpiece of his reelection campaign last year

CORRECTION: The original map that accompanied this story was based on a 2010 draft redistricting plan provided by the Lawrence city clerk’s office in error. The map and legend have been revised to reflect the final redistricting map approved in 2011. former lawrence mayor William Lantigua made street repaving a centerpiece of his reelection campaign(...)

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Cashing in

Cashing in

The state paid more than $100 million in settlements and judgments since 2005, but officials are tight-lipped about why.

CommonWealth has obtained all settlement and judgment payouts by the State Comptroller from Fiscal Year 2005 though the second quarter of Fiscal 2014. Click here for the data, which includes the name of the agency against which the claim was made, the amount paid, and the recipient. Every year, the Massachusetts Legislature sets aside about(...)

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Free agency

Free agency

As the industry consolidates, health care networks scramble for control of primary care doctors and their patients

Dr. Richard Dupee chats with a patient after an examination. Dr. Richard Dupee is old school. Instead of rushing from one examining room to the next as fast as he can, the 68-year-old Dupee is the type of primary care doctor who does a checkup and then lets the patient get dressed and come into(...)

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Doing well and good

Doing well and good

With an unusual restructuring, a Billerica education publishing company has been able to thrive – and stay true to its mission

CALL IT A textbook case of serendipity. A few years ago, Frank Ferguson, then in his early 80s, reluctantly began considering the fact that he would not be able to run Curriculum Associates forever. The Billerica-based educational publishing company he helped launch in the late 1960s was doing well. But Ferguson lamented the idea that(...)

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Threading the needle

Threading the needle

For Massachusetts Republicans, it’s an increasingly narrow path to victory. The party’s two best hopes for major office this fall are plotting very different paths to try to get there.

In his second run for governor, Charlie Baker is focusing heavily on crossover issues that appeal to independents and Democrats. Charlie Baker bounds into the Charlestown Knights of Columbus, where the once and future savior of the Massachusetts Republican Party finds a hall stuffed full of shamrock balloons and voters clad in green sweaters. Baker(...)

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To fill our talent pool, fix remedial education

To fill our talent pool, fix remedial education

With so many students arriving unprepared, state colleges need flexibility to help them succeed.

jonathan was trying. But his professor, Mike Williamson of Middlesex Community College in Lowell, could see the student’s frustration mounting as he worked, once again, to conquer Algebra 1. He’d placed into the remedial math course based on his standardized college placement exam. And now, he couldn’t get out. Eventually, to Williamson’s frustration, Jonathan gave(...)

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Harsh history lessons

Harsh history lessons

Constitutional office looks like a great springboard to becoming governor, but no statewide officeholder has been elected to the state’s top job in almost 60 years. Voters may be telling us something.

IT’S HARD TO HEAR as the chatter bounces off the bare tile floor of the crowded VFW hall in Ipswich. The Democratic town committee is holding its annual breakfast on a sunny Saturday in early February. Local party activists have turned out in droves, and not for the chafing trays of scrambled eggs and bacon(...)

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