State Government

Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Crowded winner-take-all primaries, incumbency, and special elections subvert will of voters

ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1998, David Nangle, then a State House aide, was effectively elected to the Massachusetts Legislature even though 76 percent of the voters in the district where he ran chose someone else that day. Nangle won the Democratic primary for an open Lowell-based seat in the House of Representatives by garnering just 24(...)

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Flying without a PILOT

Flying without a PILOT

Don't call UMass Lowell's groundbreaking pact with the city a PILOT

Photo by Frank Curran Lowell and UMass Lowell signed a master agreement in August, committing the university to providing nearly $8 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the community over the next 20 years. The agreement includes new funds for repair and upkeep of the city-owned minor league baseball field and a commitment to(...)

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A new breed of advocacy

A new breed of advocacy

These advocates are driven by data rather than ideology

THIS ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS a new breed of advocacy that appears to be emerging here in Massachusetts, an advocacy driven more by data than ideology. Our Conversation introduces you to Marc Ebuña, Ari Ofsevit, and Andy Monat. You’ve probably never heard of these three relatively young men from a group called TransitMatters. They aren’t quoted regularly(...)

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Pushing ranked choice with beer (and pie)

Pushing ranked choice with beer (and pie)

A recipe to revive democracy in Massachusetts elections

AMERICANS ARE ALL too familiar with the divisive saga of the 2016 presidential contest, but few are aware of the quiet revolution that blossomed in Maine and is now taking flight in Massachusetts. On November 8 last year, Maine voters enacted Question 5, making Maine the first state in US history to upgrade its voting system(...)

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DeLeo, Rosenberg on same health care page

DeLeo, Rosenberg on same health care page

Speaker calls pace of MassHealth spending unsustainable

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO signaled on Tuesday that he and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg are on the same page when it comes to passing health care reform legislation. Rosenberg told the Health Policy Commission on Monday that spending on MassHealth was rising way too fast and crowding out other funding needs. DeLeo told the commission(...)

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Senate to unveil Medicaid legislation

Senate to unveil Medicaid legislation

Rosenberg says bill will include Baker, commission proposals

THE SENATE IS PREPARING to unveil legislation designed to pare back the cost of health care and MassHealth by cobbling together ideas put forth by Gov. Charlie Baker, a commission on hospital price variation, and a Senate research study. At a cost trends hearing on Monday hosted by the Health Policy Commission, Senate President Stanley(...)

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Polito promises transportation commission

Polito promises transportation commission

Focus, and whether revenues will be on table, are unclear

LT. GOV. KARYN POLITO said the administration intends to follow the advice of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and sign an executive order creating a commission to examine the state’s transportation needs and develop a plan to pay for them. Polito made the announcement at an event Wednesday hosted by the Taxpayers Foundation. Two Baker administration(...)

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Baker nominates T attorney for Appeals Court

Baker nominates T attorney for Appeals Court

Englander key inside player at the transit authority

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Wednesday nominated John Englander, the general counsel at the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, to serve as an associate justice of the state Appeals Court. Englander is a key inside player at the T. He has been involved in a number of hard-nosed negotiations with vendors, particularly LAZ Parking,(...)

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Reform before revenue debate rages on

Reform before revenue debate rages on

Setti Warren says MBTA needs more money

DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE SETTI WARREN on Friday rode the Red Line into Boston with a Suffolk University student and afterwards told reporters the state needs to invest more in the MBTA. “Everyone who rides the T knows this system is broken, it’s inadequate, it’s under-resourced,” said Warren. “The folks that don’t know it are the(...)

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