Technology

Baker hails Uber bill

Baker hails Uber bill

Governor signs law with new fee earmarked for infrastructure, taxis

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Friday afternoon signed into law what he described as the strongest regulatory framework in the country for app-based ride-for-hire services like Uber and Lyft. “I want to start by thanking the Legislature for pushing this one through,” Baker said after signing the bill in his office. “There(...)

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T to pay $400 million for mandated safety system

T to pay $400 million for mandated safety system

Feds will provide bulk of money in low-interest loans

MBTA OFFICIALS SAY a mandatory $460 million system to ensure rail safety is on track to be installed by 2020 but though they claim it’s an 80-20 split with the federal government for funding, the cash-strapped authority will end up picking up 87 percent of the cost because the bulk of the money from Washington(...)

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Fingerprints fail in Senate Uber bill

Fingerprints fail in Senate Uber bill

Forry chastises those who say the measure is discriminatory

AFTER AN EXHAUSTIVE debate that dragged on for nearly five hours, the state Senate passed Uber-friendly regulations for the runaway ride-hailing industry but not before beating back an impassioned plea by the chamber’s only black member to require fingerprints for background checks on drivers to ensure safety of passengers. “Fingerprinting is not a form of(...)

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Judge says Uber, Lyft should be treated like taxis

Judge says Uber, Lyft should be treated like taxis

Ruling orders city to level playing field between apps and cabs in absence of state regs

A FEDERAL JUDGE on Thursday ordered Boston officials to explain what regulations they plan to implement on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to treat them like cabs until the state comes up with some action and why the court should not issue an injunction barring the companies from operating. In a lengthy ruling(...)

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Senate unanimous in support of Public Records Law update

Senate unanimous in support of Public Records Law update

The bill must be meshed with less-stringent House version

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT ADVANCES in current technology has rendered the decades-old law ineffective, the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed a public records reform bill updating the statute governing access to public documents for the first time roughly 40 years. By a unanimous vote, the bill that supporters said would strengthen access to(...)

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Baker administration making public records progress

Baker administration making public records progress

Appeals plummet; still, compliance not perfect

A clarification has been added to this story. THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is making significant progress in fulfilling the governor’s pledge to make it easier and cheaper for the public to access records from his administration. Baker’s new procedures require every agency to designate a “records access officer” to receive and track public records requests, to(...)

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Are dashboards the right tool to measure progress?

Are dashboards the right tool to measure progress?

What sounds good and exciting isn’t always useful

YOU RUN A government agency or nonprofit.  You ask management experts how you can assess your “bottom line,” given that earning profits is not your mission.  You want to know if you are doing a good job delivering value for the public money you are spending. The experts tell you to take three easy steps.(...)

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Senate puts teeth into public records reform

Senate puts teeth into public records reform

Bill differs vastly with House measure but still leaves governor and Legislature exempt

THE STATE SENATE unveiled its version of Public Records reform, potentially the first major overhaul since the law was enacted in 1973, placing a hard time limit on responses, requiring courts to award attorneys’ fees if a requester is wrongly denied, mandating electronic records be provided, and restricting fees for compliance and copies. The bill, which(...)

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State courts revamp their website

State courts revamp their website

New system offers technology improvements, but public access remains limited

THE STATE’S TRIAL COURT has upgraded its outmoded computer system to allow lawyers to electronically file case records and to allow judicial decisions to be shared automatically with other government agencies. But proposed regulations governing the system continue to limit access by the general public to court records and bar access to any documents dealing(...)

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