Monday, June 17, 2013
The bill, aimed at curbing abuse and fraud, will be debated by the Senate Thursday.
State Senate Democrats have introduced a new bill this week intended at reforming the Massachusetts welfare system, including forcing applicants to prove they have searched for employment through a state program. According to Boston.com, the bill is aimed at shaking up what Senate President Therese Murray called a "stagnant" system. And the Senate expects to act quickly with a vote coming Thursday. Boston.com reported the bill would also force adult welfare recipients to use EBT cards with "photographic identity." Penalties of perjury could be imposed on recipients who use a false identity. In a statement, Republican Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said the bill "reflects a comprehensive approach that seeks to transition recipients away …
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Watch our video of the arrival of the former governor's police-led procession.
Former Gov. Paul Cellucci was honored by the commonwealth he served Thursday with a memorial service at the State House. Cellucci passed away at 65 over the weekend after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. Beacon Street was closed to traffic temporarily around noon as a state police-led procession brought his casket to the place where Cellucci served as governor from 1997 to 2001. One of the police vehicles in the procession was from Cellucci's hometown of Hudson. Among the dignitaries outside the State House as the procession arrived were Gov. Deval Patrick, former Gov. William Weld and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. The Massachusetts State Police Pipes and Drums played as eight troopers carried Cellucci's casket …
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The debate raged on Beacon Hill Tuesday.
A packed hearing on Beacon Hill Tuesday dealt with the issue of possibly raising the mimimum wage for commonwealth workers, according to an Associated Press report posted on WBUR.com. While those in favor of the wage increase believe it to be about fairness and economic justice, the AP reported business groups said raising the minimum wage would make the state less competitive. Prior to Tuesday, SEIU Local 509 Director of Communications Jason Stephany said in a statement the minimum wage in the state has been at $8 an hour since January 2008. "Many jobs at large retail and restaurant chains pay so little that even full-time workers must rely on public assistance for the most basic necessities," according to the statement. The Senate …
Monday, June 10, 2013
Former governor will lie in state in the Hall of Flags Rotunda Thursday before a funeral Mass in his hometown Friday.
Former Gov. Paul Cellucci, who passed away Saturday after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, will be honored at the State House with a memorial service Thursday. A funeral Mass for Cellucci will be held Friday in his hometown of Hudson as well, according to a statement from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Shortly after noon on Thursday, Cellucci's motorcade will be arriving at the State House with a formal procession up the State House front steps. An invitation-only memorial service for Cellucci will begin at 12:30 p.m. According to the Boston Globe, the service will be live-streamed. Thereafter, a public viewing for Cellucci will be held in the Hall of Flags Rotunda at the State House from 2:30 to 7 p.m., according …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Ways & Means Committee budget falls short of many of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposals.
The Massachusetts State Senate Ways & Means Committee released a budget proposal Wednesday just shy of $34 billion for fiscal year 2014 that falls short of several of Gov. Deval Patrick's budget recommendations. According to the Boston Globe, the Senate $33.92 billion budget would increase spending by 4.4 percent as opposed to Patrick's budget that hikes spending by 6.9 percent. The Senate budget is roughly in line in terms of spending with the proposed $33.8 billion House budget last month. The Globe reported that the Senate budget increases spending for elderly services and special education but does not reach Patrick's recommendations for expanding transportation and providing universal childcare access. Committee Chairman Sen. Stephen …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Several news outlets reported on the British Prime Minister's visit to Boston this week.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is spending time this week in Boston to offer his condolences to Gov. Deval Patrick on the Boston Marathon bombings and also discuss the lessons learned from the tragedy, according to WCVB.com. The news station reported Cameron arrived in Boston Monday and went into a private meeting with Patrick. While Cameron didn't address the meeting with reporters after the meeting, WCVB reported Patrick said the meeting "was great." Early Tuesday morning, Cameron and Patrick visited the makeshift Boston Marathon bombings memorial in Copley Square, according to an Associated Press report on WBUR.com. Cameron met with President Barack Obama at the White House Monday before coming to Boston, according to WBUR.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Massachusetts has some old, sometimes funny morality laws about cursing and other no-nos. But sometimes those laws play havoc with modern-day living. Is it time to clear the books?
Massachusetts is famous for its out-of-date laws. The Boston Globe cites a few, like a cursing ban at sporting events. But there are other laws, passed over 100 years ago, which could complicate present-day political and legal dilemmas. But these old laws sometimes have a major effect on modern day issues. Representative Byron Rushing, D-South End, reminded the Globe that Governor Mitt Romney used a 1913 law about residency rules to prevent out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts. That old law was scrubbed from the books in 2008, five years after it was cited by Romney. The 19th-century anti-abortion laws are a particularly thorny issue, according to the Globe. They may be relics of a time past, but that didn't stop the …
Friday, August 31, 2012
Despite the setback last legislative session, a restaurant alliance will try again to get the holiday.
Would you be more likely to go out to eat if the state suspended its meals tax? The Restaurant and Business Alliance thinks so, and is gearing up to try again to get it passed in the State House. Unlike the sales tax holiday, which is offered one weekend out of most summers, the meals tax holiday would benefit workers in Massachusetts since the amount restaurant workers make is usually tied to how many customers come in, according to Vincent A.J. Errichetti, the alliance's spokesman. Both the sales tax and meals tax are 6.25 percent in Massachusetts. "They understand that not only would it help waiters, waitresses and bartenders, but it would help an industry that is really hurting. And it would stay in the state," he said, contrasting …
Friday, August 24, 2012
A new state law bans animal control laws that target specific breeds, nullifying a Boston regulation for pit bulls. Does the new law go to far?
Boston officials are fuming over a new state law that nullifies the city's pit bull muzzle law. According to the Boston Herald, Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councilor Ron Consalvo are among the city leaders criticizing the new state law, saying the city knows best when it comes to protecting the public from what many consider vicious dogs. The new state rule, supported by animal rights groups, bans breed-specific regulations, like muzzle and leashing laws for pit bulls or other types of dogs the public considers aggressive or violent. Does the new state law go too far? Should cities and towns get to decide what kinds of dogs need muzzles? Or do you believe the laws supporters when they say there's no data to support breed-specific laws? …
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The bill increases public aid while not raising taxes.
The House and Senate overwhelming passed a $32.5 billion budget last week and Gov. Deval Patrick has until July 8 to review and sign it, or to issue vetoes. The thrust of the bill is to shore up aid to public programs while at the same time not increasing the burden to taxpayers. Overall, the 2013 budget is about 3 percent higher than this year's, but considerably tighter than previous recent years. Here are some of the bill's highlights: 1. It includes no new taxes or fees. Instead, $516 million will be taken from existing funds, including $350 million from the state's rainy day fund, leaving it over a billion dollars in the black. Still, that's down from the $2.2 billion it had in 2008. 2. It tightens welfare. The bill would limit the …