Politics

Debate over Neponset center could signal citywide changes

Murphy Community Center: Change in status?Murphy Community Center: Change in status?The director of the Boston Center of Youth and Families is proposing that  Read more

Menino seeks year's freeze on city wages; Protecting 'core services' is the goal

Mayor Menino delivering his State of the City address on Tuesday evening: Photo courtesy the Mayor's Office.Mayor Menino delivering his State of the City address on Tuesday evening: Photo courtesy the Mayor's Office.  Read more

No more waiting

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

Pay bump for lawmakers a political consideration this year

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

Prosecutors ask for pre-trial gag order on Turner

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

More council hopefuls emerge out of Dorchester

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

Ross ascendancy gives Connolly a new platform with 'Livable Boston' panel

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

Patrick eyes major changes in health care payment system

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

Governor looks to toughen laws on corruption in wake of scandals

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
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

We get what we pay for in public life

Newsnote from the Associated Press: Congress members in 2009 will receive salaries of $174,000, a boost of $4,700 over the salary they have had since January 2008.

That 2.7 percent increase is mirrored by similar raises for associate justices of the Supreme Court, who will see their pay go from $208,100 to $212,800 and Chief Justice John Roberts, whose pay will rise to $222,100 from $217,400.  Read more