State Government

Ignore the charter school think-tank crowd

Ignore the charter school think-tank crowd

We don’t need and can't afford charter school expansion in New Bedford

YOU ARE AN EDUCATION RESEARCHER sent to discover best practices in urban schools so that you can replicate them to create results for more kids—kids who you believe are trapped in mediocre schools. You look at three exemplar schools to scale up: School A has 336 students and rates in the state’s 85th accountability percentile,(...)

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Baker faces big challenges on education, transportation

Baker faces big challenges on education, transportation

Popularity may be tested by need for more revenues

NO REPUBLICAN in more than 60 years has governed Massachusetts for two full terms. Charlie Baker has been pretty clear about what he plans to do with the next four years, but far less forthcoming on how exactly he’s going to accomplish it. GOP governors William Weld, Paul Cellucci, and Mitt Romney all felt the(...)

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Massachusetts’ upside-down tax system

Massachusetts’ upside-down tax system

Asking the richest to pay their fair share would add $2B in revenue

AT A TIME when people across the state seem to agree that our Commonwealth needs additional resources for public investments, asking those with the highest incomes to contribute a similar share of their incomes in taxes as the rest of us could support major investments to boost prosperity and economic opportunity for all. Every state(...)

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Bump falls short of state’s audit deadlines

Bump falls short of state’s audit deadlines

Auditor failed to review 29 agencies within 3-year period

STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP’S office is legally required to audit 210 agencies every three years, but she has fallen short of that mark 29 times recently. Three cabinet-level agencies — energy and environmental affairs, housing and economic development, and labor and workforce development — were all supposed to be audited two-and-a-half years ago, but they(...)

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Bump prods Baker on elder abuse reporting

Bump prods Baker on elder abuse reporting

Administration cites improvement; says lapses were small

STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP is prodding the Baker administration to do a better job of referring serious cases of elder abuse to district attorneys for possible prosecution, but state officials say they have already stepped up their game and any problems that have occurred were confined to a small number of cases. An audit by(...)

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Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility

Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility

State-owned terminal, completed in Jan. 2015, to rev up in Dec. 2020

THE STATE’S STAGING TERMINAL for offshore wind development got its first major customer on Monday, nearly four years after it opened for business in New Bedford. Vineyard Wind, with power contracts in hand to build an 800-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, signed an 18-month lease that starts December 1, 2020. The(...)

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Final approval given to two retail pot stores

Final approval given to two retail pot stores

Cannabis commissioner abstains in opposition to host community agreements

THE STATE BOARD overseeing the nascent marijuana industry gave final approval to the first licenses for retail stores Thursday with some conditions. But the vote, one of the most momentous the panel has yet taken, was not unanimous with one commissioner abstaining because of problems with the host community agreements. The Cannabis Control Commission approved(...)

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Health panel ventures into political arena

Health panel ventures into political arena

Altman: We’re providing information, not telling people how to vote

TOP OFFICIALS AT THE HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION privately began debating this summer whether it made sense for the watchdog agency to wade into the political arena and analyze the potential impact of a ballot question mandating nurse staffing ratios at the state’s hospitals. Stuart Altman, the chairman of the commission, said the agency didn’t take(...)

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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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