Recent Stories

Getting to yes on MassHealth

Getting to yes on MassHealth

State leaders need to work together to tackle Medicaid challenge

MASSACHUSETTS HAS A unique culture when it comes to health care.  Over the last quarter century, we have seen the business, provider, payer, consumer, and academic sectors come together to advance reforms aimed at expanding coverage and containing the cost of care. Whether it was repeal of hospital rate-setting and passing insurance reforms in the(...)

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Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Power should be limited, particularly at local level

UNDER OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, there are various powers that are absolute and from which there are no appeal.  One example of such a power would be the president’s pardon or executive clemency power.  A president can, theoretically, pardon anyone for a federal crime for any reason or for no reason.  Another example, a little(...)

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The Codcast: Trash talk

CommonWealth ran a cover story in January 2015 that featured a photo of a dump truck unloading trash at a massive landfill in New Bedford. The headline, drifting in the center of the page amid all the stinking refuse, was: “Seriously, is this the best we can do?” Now, more than two years later, we’re(...)

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Time to update state school funding formula

Time to update state school funding formula

The current system is leaving poor districts and high-needs students behind

FOR SOME POLICYMAKERS and the public, a billion-dollar budget such as the one granted to Boston Public Schools last fiscal year appears robust — even excessive. But teachers like me know that critical resources are in short supply. Every day, we feel the pinch: There aren’t enough support staff in the building, teachers use personal(...)

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Package store leader has it wrong

Package store leader has it wrong

Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving

FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“). Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections(...)

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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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ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

Poll shows many voters don’t believe criminal justice system is working fairly

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of Massachusetts says it plans to mount a campaign this fall urging voters to hold the state’s elected district attorneys accountable for the way the criminal justice system works. The impetus for the campaign grew out of a poll released Wednesday indicating that nearly half of Massachusetts voters believe the(...)

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Galvin throws shade on Millennium tower deal

Long ago, Beacon Hill insiders used to call then-Rep. William Galvin the Prince of Darkness because of his penchant for intrigue and political machinations. But now Galvin is coming to be known as the Lord of Light, the guy championing sunshine, not shadows, on Boston Common. As secretary of state and the overseer of the(...)

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The independence of independents

The independence of independents

Party leaders, consultants look for ways to win on new landscape

THE RANKS OF political independents continue to swell in Massachusetts, while the number of Democrats and Republicans remains roughly steady. Younger voters are choosing to remain “unenrolled” when they register to vote, rather than choosing a political party. The result is an increasing tilt toward the “unenrolled,” as they are called here, who now make(...)

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