Massachusetts politics

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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Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

End the patchwork policies, save lives and money

MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED TO LEARN that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Massachusetts and across the country, despite the strides we have made in reducing cigarette smoking over the past few decades. Treating tobacco-caused illnesses adds up to $4 billion in annual healthcare costs in Massachusetts. This(...)

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Penn Station debate offers lessons for Boston

New York City is having its own North-South Rail Link debate, just on a much bigger scale. State and federal agencies in New York are pushing for a $20 billion Gateway Tunnel project that would add more tunnels under the Hudson River and new tracks at Penn Station. But a Manhattan think tank called ReThink(...)

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Budget uncertainty

There is one certainty with the fiscal 2018 budget: For the first time ever, Massachusetts will have a spending plan exceeding $40 billion to run state government. After that, there are lots of questions about where all the money will come from to pay the bills. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved its budget(...)

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Senate budget pinned on shaky revenue projections

Senate budget pinned on shaky revenue projections

Weak collections so far spread concern, trigger search for new taxes

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SENATE WAYS AND MEANS Committee members on Tuesday unanimously approved a $40.3 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018 that they said recognizes the state does not have as much revenue as it needs to pay for desired programs and service. With approximately $400 million in new revenues proposed, the budget tries(...)

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Brown seeks donors for group attacking Warren

Brown seeks donors for group attacking Warren

State PAC slams senator in appeal despite her support for former opponent

A CONSERVATIVE MASSACHUSETTS political action committee has sent out a fundraising request attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren that includes an appeal to donors from former US senator Scott Brown, whose nomination as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa has been backed by Warren, his one-time foe. The fundraising packet mailed out at the end of April from(...)

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Steve Lynch’s balancing act

Steve Lynch’s balancing act

Is the lunch-bucket Democrat out of step with his own party?

NO ONE WOULD question the wisdom of a gambler who put money on US Rep. Stephen Lynch securing another easy win next year. Still, the odds are changing a bit, in part because the demographics of his district are changing and the Democratic Party in Massachusetts is moving away from him to the left. Since(...)

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For Arroyo, probate job no soft landing pad

For Arroyo, probate job no soft landing pad

Controversy renews questions about electing obscure county officials

This wasn’t how the story was supposed to end. When Felix Arroyo was elected Suffolk County Register of Probate in 2014, the former Boston city councilor was supposed to sail off into obscurity, collecting a six-figure salary for a post no one pays attention to and then enjoying the spoils of a nice public pension(...)

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