Tuesday, February 26, 2013
While specific deductions would end, personal exemptions would double under the Patrick budget.
A recent analysis of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed budget finds that it eliminates 44 tax breaks that benefit a large slice of Massachusetts taxpayers. Patrick's $34.8 billion FY2014 budget includes not only a 1 percentage point increase in the income tax – from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent – but the end of such deductions such as the capital gains from the sale of a person's primary home, college tuition, and contributions to a health savings account. The analysis, by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, found that the eliminations would raise an additional $1 billion for the commonwealth. But Patrick's assistant secretary for fiscal policy, Gregory R. Mennis, told The Republican that that amount would be offset by the doubling of …
Saturday, February 23, 2013
There's a push to make The Modern Lover's "Roadrunner" the official rock song of Massachusetts. But the state's musical heritage is full of great acts and songs. This week we asked readers to pick theirs. Here's what they had to say.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Rep. Martin Walsh is looking to celebrate the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts.
Massachusetts already a state polka ("Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts," anybody?) and a state glee club song among its eight anthems, but the state that produced The Pixies, Aerosmith and The Cars is missing its own rock song. But that could change soon. Rep. Martin Walsh (D-Dorchester) filed legislation last week to make "Roadrunner," by The Modern Lovers the state rock song. In "Roadrunner," Natick native Jonathan Richman croons about Stop & Shop, Route 128 and "the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts." And "Roadrunner" could be the only rock song that has the lyrics "I'm in love with Massachusetts." “This is about acknowledging an artist from Massachusetts who’s obviously had a very good career and one of his masterpieces …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Livingstone is the second Democrat from Beacon Hill to run for Rep. Marty's Walz' seat.
Lawyer Jay Livingstone has entered the race for Rep. Marty Walz' seat in the State House, making him the second Beacon Hill Democrat to announce his candidacy. “For years, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with residents of each of this district’s neighborhoods and worked side-by-side with some of the most committed community leaders in the area. I’m excited to takethis step to provide the independent progressive leadership the residents of this district deserve," he said. Livingstone, a self-described "progressive activist" announced his campaign the same week Nils Tracy said he intended to run for the 8th Suffolk District seat, which covers the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, West End, Cambridgeport, and MIT. Walz is vacating the position to …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Part of the money will also be used to help employers pay for a rise in unemployment insurance rates.
The state senate voted Tuesday to spend $200 million in rainy day cash to balance the budget and freeze the unemployment insurance rates businesses pay, according to The Republican. The bill is part of an effort to close a projected $515 million shortfall in this fiscal year's $32 billion budget, caused by lower-than-expected tax revenue. The reserve fund money will also be used to help employers avoid a projected 28 percent increase in unemployment insurance – knocking that rise down to 4.4 percent. About $30 million of the $200 million withdrawal will be used to pay costs incurred in the state drug-lab scandal, The Republican reported. The spending would still leave Massachusetts with $1.2 billion in reserves, which is more than most …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Marty Walz will be leaving the seat to become the president of the Massachusetts chapter of Planned Parenthood.
Monday, January 28, 2013
The gathering coincided with similar rallies across the country Saturday.
About 200 people rallied in front of the State House Saturday morning to demand tougher gun laws, including bans on assault weapons and and background checks for all gun sales, according to Boston.com. The rally, organized by One Million Moms for Gun Control, coincided with gun-control rallies across the country. It happened a week after 700 gun-rights advocates demonstrated in front of the State House last week. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey and state Rep. David Linsky of Natick, both Democrats, addressed the crowd, asking them to contact their legislators and demand tighter gun control, in particular in light of what they called a "flood" of letters from gun-rights activists. Linsky, who filed a bill earlier this month aimed at closing loopholes…
Friday, January 25, 2013
Their proposal calls for a two-thirds majority vote before tax increases can be passed.
House Republicans are proposing new rules that would make tax increases harder to pass. Now, tax increases need a simple majority to pass but under the GOP's proposal they would need a two-thirds majority to become law, the AP reported. Republicans also want any change to apply to withdrawals from the state's rainy day fund as well. They also want to bar the house speaker from voting unless there is a tie, claiming that the speaker's vote tends to strongly influence the vote of majority party members. The proposals came out just before Gov. Deval Patrick submitted his $34.8 billion budget to the State House. The budget calls for an income tax increase of one percentage point – from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent – coupled with a decrease …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The 2013-14 proposals include a bill establishing a gun offender registry and one providing further support for charter schools.
Mayor Thomas Menino is supporting a renewed focus on education and public safety for the 2013-14 legislative session, he announced Tuesday. During a short press conference attended by state legislators, their aides and others, Menino presented the city’s 2013-14 legislative initiative package, which features 49 bills including 24 new initiatives. “The concentration of those new bills is on the public schools and education and also on public safety,” Menino said. “We were fortunate enough a couple of years ago to get the educational reform bill through, and that gave us some tools to really move some of our schools forward, and we’re going to file another bill on educational reform with Representative [Martha] Walz.” Among the new education…
Advocates met with their representatives and senators in a total of 46 meetings.
Tuesday, January 15
Below is an edited press release from Planned Parenthood: More than 220 women’s health advocates from across the state gathered at the State House Monday, one week before the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade that made abortion legal in the United States. Advocates from across the state met with their legislators to lobby for pro-women’s health bills filed last week. Regarded as a celebration and kick-off to the new legislative session, the event began with a legislative breakfast and program featuring keynote speaker Dr. Paula Johnson. “The 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade is a time to celebrate and to renew our commitment to women’s health and reproductive choice,” said Johnson. "In the years since Roe, this …