Taxes and Budget Issues

Pot panel looks to let ex-cons in

Pot panel looks to let ex-cons in

Lawmakers open to allowing nonviolent drug offenders sell and grow legal marijuana

THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE shaping the state’s new marijuana law wrapped up its final session of hearings Monday with an impassioned plea from a convicted drug felon to change the laws to allow him to grow and distribute marijuana to legal sellers. “What I did was a mistake,” said Sean Berte of Boston, who said he(...)

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Death of a cancer lab

Death of a cancer lab

Once-thriving publicly funded research program driven into bankruptcy by questionable characters

FEW PLACES HAVE the resources and brain power to match Boston when it comes to biomedical research, including the search for effective ways to treat and prevent cancer. Internationally renowned hospitals, combined with some of the leading universities in the world, make the region a magnet for top researchers and the funding that fuels their(...)

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The evolution of Stephanie Pollack

The evolution of Stephanie Pollack

Why a life-long Democrat became one of Charlie Baker’s biggest backers

Photographs by Frank Curran STEPHANIE POLLACK AND Charlie Baker are the odd couple of Massachusetts politics. Pollack is short and Baker is tall. She’s a lifelong Democrat and he’s a lifelong Republican. She supported Deval Patrick in 2010; Baker was running against Patrick during that race. She’s a progressive with a history of pushing higher(...)

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Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Under-the-radar attempt to repeal entitlement unlikely to go away

REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON couldn’t cobble together enough votes in March from their own party to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump learned that health care is more complicated than he thought and quickly put the Affordable Care Act in his rearview mirror. House Republicans, who had symbolically voted dozens of times to repeal the ACA,(...)

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Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Massachusetts is betting big on accountable care organizations

IN A WILDLY uncertain national health care environment, something new, audacious, and risky is happening in MassHealth, the Medicaid program that provides health coverage to 1.9 million people who are poor, elderly, and persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is betting that an emerging health care delivery and payment model, called “accountable(...)

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Spare service programs from budget ax

Spare service programs from budget ax

Now more than ever, feds must invest in opportunities to serve

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FISCAL 2018 budget eliminates all funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the parent organization of flagship national service programs such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. As two former chairs of the community service corporation, representing different political parties, we call on the White House and Congress to consider the broad benefits(...)

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Fact-checking the T’s structural deficit

Fact-checking the T’s structural deficit

Key lawmaker, advocate say there is no shortfall

Over the last two weeks, the MBTA has repeatedly cited the existence of a “structural deficit” to make the case for its controversial spending cuts and privatization initiatives In a presentation on March 13 and again on Monday, T officials outlined a series of tough choices they said were necessary to close a $42 million(...)

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State cutting off Greenway funding

State cutting off Greenway funding

Pollack says talks with abutters going well

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY Secretary Stephanie Pollack said on Monday that the Greenway Conservancy’s $2 million-a-year state subsidy will end on July 1 and she is working with abutters to help fill the gap. “We are in active talks with the Conservancy and abutters,” Pollack said at a meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board. “Those(...)

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With health assessment, Baker heading down familiar path

With health assessment, Baker heading down familiar path

Proposed levy has shades of Patrick's ill-considered software tax

“ONCE BURNED, twice shy.” Will the Legislature heed that aphorism in response to Gov. Baker’s proposed health care tax on employers to help balance the state’s fiscal 2018 and 2019 budgets? Four years ago, then-Gov. Patrick proposed a tax on computer software and services to help expand funding for transportation. He assured the Legislature that(...)

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