Preserving education. Reforming of the criminal offender information system. Protecting local aid to cities and towns.
Those are some of the issues facing lawmakers as they prepare to kick off another two-year session. And those are just the ones that are personal to them. Looming large are changes to the state's transportation infrastructure, and pension and ethics reforms.
Keeping safe local aid - which cities and towns depend on from the state to pay for teachers, firefighters and police - is a top priority for most, including the Dorchester legislators. Read more
The director of the Boston Center of Youth and Families is proposing that Read more
From, 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail,' by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., April 16, 1963:
"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was 'well timed,' according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. Read more
State lawmakers are in line for a pay raise this year, and that includes the Dorchester delegation.
Thanks to a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution, lawmakers receive pay hikes every two years. The governor is tasked with deciding how much of a raise lawmakers will receive and the governor's Executive Office of Administration and Finance is due to issue its calculation of the raise this week.
While their Republican colleagues have called for a one-year freeze on any salary increase because of the stagnant economy, local lawmakers this week defended the coming pay bump. Read more
Federal prosecutors are telling District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner, whom they've charged with corruption, to pipe down, citing the intense media coverage of the case. Turner has pledged to fight the gag order.
In a motion filed on Monday in U.S. District Court, U.S. Assistant Attorney John McNeil asked for the gag order to be imposed on Turner, preventing him from talking about the case and any materials the government may have to give him over the course of the case. Read more
Amidst news of Councillor Sam Yoon's growing bank account - at $158,158 as of Tuesday - at least one new potential candidate is rubbing his chin in contemplation - and the guy's OFD. And over in District 4, Councillor Charles Yancey also picked up a challenger.
"I'm keeping my options open," said Dorchester's Doug Hurley. "A run for at-Large is something I'm considering, but some things would have to happen."
Hurley hinted that it may have something to do with how many at-Large seats are left open by mayoral candidates, and who decides to run for them. Read more
Councillor Michael Ross's election to the Council president's chair on Monday signals yet another yearly council ritual - the backroom battles over committee assignments.
The early winner of this traditionally underground skirmish seems to be at-Large Councillor John Connolly, whose special "Livable Boston" committee was among Ross's first announcements. Connolly's committee theme recalls ideas he drove home at backyard barbeques and house parties all over the city during his 2007 campaign. Read more
Gov. Deval Patrick is considering fundamental changes to the health care system in Massachusetts, eyeing adjustments to the current fee-for-service payment system and planning cost reduction legislation by summer.
Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby said the administration is considering a system in which providers would receive payments related to outcomes rather than amount of care. Read more
Jan. 8, 2009
Responding to a series of allegations he said had "rocked the State House," Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a package of tougher ethics and lobbying rules that he pushed the Legislature to pass within 30 days.
In statements, legislative leaders said only that they would consider meaningful ethics law reforms. Read more