Massachusetts Legislature

Sanchez ups T appropriation by $27m

Sanchez ups T appropriation by $27m

But doesn’t back paying workers with capital funds

THE HOUSE’S BUDGET CHIEF on Wednesday rejected a provision sought by the MBTA and Gov. Charlie Baker that would have spared the transit authority from taking a $27 million hit on its operating budget, but he made up for it by increasing the T’s legislative appropriation by a corresponding amount. Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the chair(...)

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Hollywood haves and have-nots

Hollywood haves and have-nots

Film tax credit economic benefits flow primarily to Greater Boston

NEW BEDFORD MAYOR JON MITCHELL thinks his city, with its gritty harbor, its cobblestoned streets, its mill buildings, and its sweeping ocean views, has Hollywood appeal. Hollywood also appeals to him, not because he has any red carpet aspirations himself, but because of what he thinks a movie or a TV series could do for(...)

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Lawmakers refuse to release records

Lawmakers refuse to release records

Governor, courts met some requests despite exemption

THE LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR, and the judiciary are all exempt in one way or another from the state’s Public Records Law, but the governor and the judiciary sometimes voluntarily comply with requests for information. By contrast, lawmakers take the view that their records are off-limits to the public. CommonWealth tested the willingness of officials from(...)

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Congress (surprise!) leads way on financial aid

Congress (surprise!) leads way on financial aid

State needs to step up higher ed funding in upcoming budget

THE SPENDING BILL passed by Congress finally recognizes what educators, students, and business leaders have been saying for years: Without a robust and affordable higher education system, we will not be able to succeed in the increasingly competitive global marketplace. This bill should serve as a model for Massachusetts legislators as they prepare their own(...)

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Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH ONLY A WHIFF of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism. The legislation (S 2371), which(...)

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State needs to step up for higher ed

State needs to step up for higher ed

More investment key to future economic competitiveness

THE COMMONWEALTH’S ECONOMY has been transformed from one heavily defined by manufacturing a few decades ago to one that is now knowledge-based. Jobs – even the less-skilled positions – require a higher level of educational attainment, yet the pipeline of workers to fill the jobs has slowed, just as baby boomers get set to retire(...)

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Hefner indicted on felony charges

Hefner indicted on felony charges

Conley: Inappropriate, criminal behavior by Rosenberg's husband

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A GRAND JURY on Thursday indicted Bryon Hefner, the husband of former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, on felony charges connected with five sexual assaults, criminal lewdness, and the distribution of nude photos without consent. Hefner, 30, faces five counts of indecent assault and battery, one count of open and gross lewdness(...)

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Healey seeks ban on electricity sellers

Healey seeks ban on electricity sellers

Despite deceptive claims, AG says firms charge more

This story was updated at 5 p.m. ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY on Thursday called for a ban on companies selling electricity to residential customers in Massachusetts, saying the 50 firms currently in the business deceptively claim to offer savings when their rates actually are higher than the prices charged by the state’s utilities. A report(...)

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Net neutrality hearing gets hot

Net neutrality hearing gets hot

Senators clash with internet service providers

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SENATORS PUT REPRESENTATIVES of internet service providers on the hot seat Wednesday at a hearing on a Senate bill intended to promote fair internet practices known as net neutrality. Internet service providers (ISPs) and their representatives have said they do not currently and do not intend to slow connection speeds for(...)

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