Massachusetts Legislature

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

$2 fee on rental cars follows pattern of fire training

THE LEGISLATURE APPEARS POISED to shift the cost of municipal police training on to people renting cars in Massachusetts, adopting a funding philosophy for law enforcement that was pioneered decades ago for firefighters and which some believe has spiraled out of control. The Senate and House moved on Wednesday to pass legislation assessing a $2(...)

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Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

A top priority should be increasing access to medications

MASSACHUSETTS CONTINUES TO LOOK for new answers to the opioid crisis. Despite changes to state law to require insurance coverage for inpatient substance use disorder treatment, despite the increased availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone (Narcan), and despite significant investments in substance use prevention programs in our communities, this disease continues to claim lives and(...)

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Charter school funding formula is broken

Charter school funding formula is broken

The current system is wreaking havoc with municipal finances

ONE DOESN’T HAVE to choose sides in the long debate over charter schools in order to raise legitimate questions about the approach being taken in Massachusetts. I count myself among those who have adopted a nuanced view—one that is philosophically supportive of a range of ambitious K-12 education reforms, including charters, but that also recognizes(...)

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Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Say assessments will hike costs, not address underlying problems

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS LEADERS on Thursday raised concerns about legislative efforts to provide financial support to struggling community hospitals, saying the measures will drive up costs and could destabilize the state’s health care industry. A letter from seven groups, including Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, indicated businesses were growing tired of(...)

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Disability insurers discriminate against women

Disability insurers discriminate against women

Legislation would put an end to higher prices for individual policies

WHILE MASSACHUSETTS HAS ENACTED the strongest laws in the country to ensure equitable pay for women, the reality is that there is still significant work to be done to ensure that women in the Commonwealth have the same advantages and stand on equal financial ground with their male counterparts. It is high time that we(...)

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Beyond the hashtag

Beyond the hashtag

State needs to act on protecting survivors in absence of federal support

OVER THE PAST YEAR, thousands of people from across the country have come forward to voice their experiences with sexual assault, abuse, and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement. Now, more than six months after Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” the Person of the Year for 2017, we have to ask ourselves: what has(...)

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Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers warm to the idea of private funding for police, fire training

BRIAN KEYES, the police chief in Chelsea, sounds like a mountain climber with the summit finally in sight. He and his fellow chiefs have been scaling Beacon Hill for almost a decade looking for a way to fund police training programs that wouldn’t require them to go hat in hand to the Legislature each and(...)

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DeLeo: Let’s take policy issues out of spending plan

DeLeo: Let’s take policy issues out of spending plan

Call comes as House to take up opioid, education budget legislation

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH THE STATE’S ANNUAL BUDGET now nine days late, House Speaker Robert DeLeo floated the idea Monday of separating the policy proposals in the spending bill from the dollars and cents needed to fund the government in an effort to reach a compromise. Massachusetts is the last state in the country(...)

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House’s Trump working group hasn’t done much

House’s Trump working group hasn’t done much

Leading the resistance requires action, not words

LAST MARCH, a self-described “deeply worried” Speaker Robert DeLeo created a nine-member working group to guide responses to the “unprecedented actions” of the Trump administration. The group, led by House Majority Leader Ron Mariano of Quincy and House Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Haddad of Somerset, consisted of Assistant Majority Leader Byron Rushing of Boston, Ways(...)

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