State Government

Holmes one of few reps willing to buck DeLeo

Holmes one of few reps willing to buck DeLeo

Says House should run differently, hints at run for speaker

IT IS TUESDAY MORNING – primary day – and Rep. Russell Holmes is stirring things up, as usual. Trash and grit swirl in the air as the Mattapan Democrat, wearing a gas-powered leaf blower, pushes litter into the path of street sweepers due to arrive later in the day. The weekly chore dates back about(...)

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Speeches highlight big differences between Baker, Gonzalez

Speeches highlight big differences between Baker, Gonzalez

Very different visions on taxes, health care, the MBTA

IN THEIR PRIMARY NIGHT acceptance speeches, Gov. Charlie Baker and his Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez laid out very different visions of the future. Baker talked of fiscal discipline, opposition to tax increases, an economy that is booming, and schools that are the best in the nation. He didn’t mention President Trump or announce any bold(...)

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5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

Cost increases and lack of concern at Health Policy Commission are surprises

THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION’S preliminary review of the proposed BI-Lahey et al merger and the comments of the commissioners on that review surprised me a bit. Here are my five takes on those surprises: 1. The commission staff and the agency’s economic consultant, with their “willingness-to-pay” analysis, say that if the merger goes forward(...)

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What has Galvin been doing on election security?

What has Galvin been doing on election security?

Secretary’s use of federal election funds ‘abject failure’

A DAY AFTER THE INDICTMENT of 12 Russians who allegedly interfered with our 2016 elections, Secretary of State William Galvin told the The Boston Globe he’s “picking up the pace” on election security in Massachusetts – hardly a ringing endorsement of whatever the previous “pace” was. If Galvin’s tired approach sounds familiar, that’s because it’s(...)

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Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Senate calls its proposal a market-based compliance system

SEN. MARC PACHECO wants to make clear that the energy bill the Senate passed on Thursday night did not include a carbon tax. Under the state’s constitution, he said, the Senate is not permitted to introduce a so-called money bill; legislation that raises or lowers taxes must originate in the House. He said the Senate(...)

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DCR still struggling as landlord

DCR still struggling as landlord

Audit: User fees uncollected, leases monitored poorly

 THE STATE’S DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION is improving as a landlord, but the agency still has a long way to go, with a new state audit reporting that $600,000 in user fees went uncollected over a two-year period and a number of  tenants were allowed to continue using state property with expired leases. The(...)

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Finalists for UMass Boston job all withdraw

Finalists for UMass Boston job all withdraw

Cite critical comments by faculty council; new interim chief named

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE THREE FINALISTS to become the next University of Massachusetts Boston chancellor each withdrew from consideration over the weekend, citing “extreme disappointment” with actions by the school’s faculty council, according to UMass President Marty Meehan. On Monday — the same day trustees were originally scheduled to vote on a chancellor —(...)

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We need to put a price on carbon

We need to put a price on carbon

Pollution pricing will reduce emissions, boost economy

AS THE STORMS LAST FALL AND WINTER have shown, the impact of extreme weather events on our way of life in the Commonwealth is already painfully visible. Global warming is very likely to increase the frequency and severity of such extremes in the years ahead unless we act energetically to shift from fossil fuels to(...)

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Bikers don’t get everything they want on Longfellow

Bikers don’t get everything they want on Longfellow

RMV wait times remain long; trash piles up along roads

THE LONGFELLOW BRIDGE between Cambridge and Boston will open at the end of this month without a much wider bike lane sought by cyclists, but state officials said they would be willing to reconsider their decision if traffic on the bridge justifies a change. Bicyclists have been pressing state officials for last-minute changes to the(...)

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Do all state offices need to be in Boston?

Do all state offices need to be in Boston?

Moving to Worcester would save money, spur development

THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS is one of the largest commercial office tenants in the state, leasing just under 5 million square feet of space for employees throughout its various agencies and departments. Nearly 1.7 million square feet, approximately 35 percent of the state’s rental space, is in Boston, the region’s most expensive office market. Worcester,(...)

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