Taxes and Budget Issues

What’s the rush on Medicaid reform?

What’s the rush on Medicaid reform?

Baker’s proposals deserve thorough, careful review

IN THE SUMMER OF 1972, then-governor Frank Sargent announced a series of steps to gain control over the escalating costs of the Medicaid program, which had been launched only a few years earlier. The annual costs were about $500 million. Nine governors and almost half a century later, with annual costs now at $16 billion,(...)

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For Jackson, tight squeeze to Walsh’s left

Marty Walsh is out of touch with issues affecting working-class people and those in the city’s less affluent neighborhoods. He’s more attuned to downtown development than down-on-their-luck constituents, and he hasn’t been willing to confront the city’s long-festering race issues. If that sounds like a tough case to make against Boston’s workaday mayor, a recovering(...)

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Baker (still) flying high

It’s great to be on top. Just ask Gov. Charlie Baker. The Republican governor has maintained his No. 1 ranking in the latest Morning Consult poll showing America’s Most and Least Popular Governors. Baker clocks in with a 71 percent approval rating, with just 17 of state voters disapproving of his performance. His steady popularity(...)

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Lawmakers reach pot compromise

Lawmakers reach pot compromise

Bill boosts tax up to 20 percent, creates unique mechanism for local control

FIRE UP THE SMOKING lamp. House and Senate negotiators finally reached a compromise on amending the voter-approved law legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts, agreeing to levy a tax of up to 20 percent and approving a different process to implement bans or restrictions based on election results from last November. “Compromise means you get some of what(...)

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Package store leader has it wrong

Package store leader has it wrong

Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving

FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“). Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections(...)

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Beating the craps out of each other

Beating the craps out of each other

A Massachusetts-Connecticut border war over gambling stirs fears of an Atlantic City meltdown

Illustration by Phil Foster CASINOS ARE ABOUT GAMBLING. Take away the restaurants, the shops, and the entertainment and what remains is the foundational reason for a casino’s existence—getting people to come and leave their money behind, lured by the slim chance they might walk away with a fatter wallet. Those who build and operate the(...)

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Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

House satisfied with spending bill; Senate calls it “painful”

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LARGELY DISCARDING SPENDING plans they approved in the spring, the House and Senate on Friday sent Gov. Charlie Baker a $40.2 billion state budget that holds state spending flat, includes higher employer health care assessments, and, according to some Democrats, underscores the need for higher taxes and new revenues. The bill(...)

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Lawmakers signal budget accord reached

Lawmakers signal budget accord reached

No details provided but a vote is planned for Friday

THE LEAD BUDGET NEGOTIATORS for the House and Senate announced a deal Thursday evening to resolve differences between the branches over an annual state budget for the fiscal year that began Saturday, indicating that the legislation will be filed Friday morning with a vote coming later in the day. No further details on the spending(...)

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Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Mariano says no senator has suggested tradeoffs in negotiations despite DeLeo statement

THE HOUSE’S TOP POT negotiator said on Thursday he’s not aware of anyone from either the Senate or House who has tried to link the negotiations over the budget and marijuana bills. “We’re the last people that would want to tie this together,” said Rep. Ronald Mariano of Quincy, the House majority leader. “We have(...)

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DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

Rosenberg refutes hint that Senate is linking budget, marijuana bills

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO said Wednesday evening that he asked House members of the committee negotiating marijuana legislation to pull out of talks with the Senate until an agreement is reached on the fiscal 2018 budget. DeLeo released a statement at 6:16 p.m., shortly after the State House News Service reported that the pot and(...)

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