Summer 2008

Summer 2008

The price of prisons

The price of prisons

What part of state government is growing faster than education or Medicaid? Nationwide, spending on correctional facilities jumped by 9.2 percent in fiscal 2006, second only to transportation, according to One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008. The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project warns that “prison costs are blowing(...)

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What works

What works

INTRO TEXT COMING TOGETHER IN WESTERN MASS. To municipal administrators these days, the word “regionalization” is what “plastics” was to The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock: an easy, but just a little distasteful, buzzword that sums up the promise of the future. Like it or not, regionalization of services among the state’s 351 cities and towns now(...)

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Point of entry

Point of entry

we live in a time of demographic upheaval. We are becoming foreign-born, non-English-speaking, black, brown, yellow, and white. That’s as true in Massachusetts as it is nationally. In 2005, a MassINC study found that one in every seven state residents was from another country. Earlier this year, according to The Boston Globe, the state Department(...)

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Underfunded and overextended

Underfunded and overextended

moving people out of cars and into mass transit makes sense economically and environmentally, but not if the MBTA doesn’t have enough money to properly operate and maintain its existing system. Right now it doesn’t. In order to balance its upcoming 2009 budget, the MBTA has been forced to resort to a short-term fix of(...)

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Hidden tax credit

Tax credits are exploding in popularity in Massachusetts. Over the last several years, state lawmakers have approved tax credits to lure movies and movie stars to the state, to redevelop historic buildings, and most recently to give a boost to life science companies. The tax credits are having an impact. At least 88 movie productions(...)

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Mr. Cellophane

Mr. Cellophane

Whether we’re checking the test scores of local schools or looking for the fat content of a brand of yogurt, we are all players in a new way of life. We’re awash in information, and the decisions and choices demanded of us come from an increasing transparency in almost every aspect of society. It was(...)

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