Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tell us: do you think we need to increase taxes to strengthen education and transportation?
In his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed raising the state's income tax by 1 percentage point and lowering the sales tax to pay for $2 billion in transportation improvements and early childhood education programs. "There is no good time to raise taxes. I know how tough the times have been on the people and families of the Commonwealth. And though the worst of the recession is over, many, many families still face tough decisions and have deep anxiety about the future. I would not ask if I did not believe in my heart that investing meaningfully today in education and transportation will significantly improve our economic tomorrows," Patrick said. Patrick said he wanted a more fair and …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that would require teachers, workers at child care centers and school bus drivers to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks.
UPDATED FRIDAY, JAN. 11 at 11:55 A.M. Should school and child care employees fingerprinted before starting employment in order to check their criminal backgrounds? The Associated Press recently reported Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is considering signing legislation that would require teachers, workers at child care centers and school bus drivers to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks. On Friday, the state education office announced in a press release that Patrick signed the bill on Thursday, authorizing the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and school districts to conduct fingerprint-supported national criminal history background checks on all teachers, school employees and early education providers in …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The law that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013 allows store owners to place scanners in the aisles, making shoppers do their own price checks, instead of individually marking each item.
Starting on New Year's Day 2013, Massachuetts is the last state in the union to abolish a law requiring individual price tags on all food items. Instead of having the prices marked on every item, as has been the law since 1987, grocery stores can now install aisle price scanners every 5,000 square feet that would display the prices of scanned items. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill into law in July after earlier passing in the House and Senate—with only two senators in session. The bill, called "An Act relative to clear and conspicuous price disclosure," has been strongly supported for years by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, who argued that the current system creates less accurate pricing, lowers the level of service for …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Internet retailer said the collection would begin in time for next year's holiday shopping season.
Checking out at Amazon.com will be a little pricier starting next November. Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced the deal Tuesday, stating the company would be adding jobs to Massachusetts in the next few years, WBZ reported. Amazon.com and Patrick said they would work together to support a federal bill allowing individual states to collect sales tax in states where they have no physical location. "I value the contributions large and small employers alike make to Massachusetts' economic vitality, and this agreement captures that," Patrick said in a statement. "We are thankful Amazon was willing to come to the table and we will continue our conversations with them about creating jobs here. This agreement is a win for all sides, and I am …
Friday, November 30, 2012
Brendan Ryan will replace William 'Mo' Cowan of Stoughton.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick announced Tuesday that he will have a new chief of staff beginning in January. Brendan Ryan, who is now the administration's director of communications, will take over for Stoughton resident William “Mo” Cowan, who has held the job since January 2011. Ryan, 31, is the longest serving member of the governor’s senior staff, according to a press release from Patrick's office. He is a graduate of St. Sebastian's School in Needham and Vanderbilt University and worked as Patrick's deputy chief of staff in 2007 and 2008 before leaving to work as Massachusetts political director for President Barack Obama's first campaign. He returned as a special adviser in 2009, and since has worked with the MBTA and then on Patrick's re-…
Friday, November 23, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick plans to ask lawmakers to raises taxes to make up for the shortfall in Massachusetts' transportation system. What options should they consider and what's off the table?
Would you be willing to pay more at the pump, have a tracking system on your car that taxes you by the mile, or see tolls on state highways? Those are just some of the possibilities looming as Massachusetts looks to erase the state's transportation system's deficit. The Boston Globe reported that Gov. Deval Patrick will ask lawmakers to raise taxes in order to pay for a transportation system—from the MBTA to roads and bridges—that continues to operate in the red. The administration will present a specific proposal by Jan. 7. One option is raising the gas tax, a route Patrick sought in 2009 only to be rebuffed by the legislature. Patrick sought a 19 cent increase while business groups endorsed a 25 cent increase. Ultimately, the state …
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Governor Deval Patrick won't run again, and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray wants the job. So do Treasurer Steve Grossman and 2010 Republican candidate Charlie Baker. Who do you think should run for governor?
Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray could hold out any longer. On Thursday, he told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce he'd like to be governor, according to WBUR. Mind you, he didn't say he would run, just that he wants to be governor. With the election two years away, starting an official campaign now would be a bit premature. But Murray's not alone. Governor Deval Patrick has said he will not run in 2014, leaving the door open for Murray and a host of other suitors to the office. State treasurer Steve Grossman and 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker have also expressed interest in a run in 2014. And it wasn't so long ago that Scott Brown was greeted with shouts of "Governor!" during is concession speech. Who do you …
Saturday, September 29, 2012
In a live chat on Patch Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick said he approves of the extraordinary step of allowing release to defense attorneys of State Police interviews with alleged "rogue chemist" Annie Dookhan.
- POLICE & FIRE
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick took part in a live chat on Patch Thursday. In it, he spoke about the scandal engulfing the State Drug Lab in Jamaica Plain. That's where so-called "rogue chemist" Annie Dookhan is alleged to have tainted the evidence in as many as 34,000 cases. Thousands of drug dealers behind bars could go free (and some have already been released.) Asked by Patch for a progress report on the mammoth task of dealing with the fallout, here's what the governor typed: The criminal investigation is ongoing. Yesterday, in a very unusual move, prosecutors gave defense attorneys all the notes of State Police interviews of witnesses to date, including the notes of the interview of Annie Dookhan, the chemist at the center of this. Given the …
Friday, September 28, 2012
Asked about toll fairness during a Patch live chat, Governor Deval Patrick asked a reader whether he'd support high-speed tolls. Are these a good way to share the transportation funding pain, or another money grab?
Are high-speed tolls along Interstate 93 and other highways a smart way to help fund transportation in the state? Governor Deval Patrick mentioned such a system during a Patch live chat on Thursday. If you've gone up Interstate 95 into New Hampshire, you've seen high-speed tolling in action. The system is designed to read your EZ-Pass (nee Fast Lane) transponder while you breeze by at 65 miles per hour. There's no need to slow down or squeeze though a booth, as EZ-Pass users currently do on the Mass Pike, Tobin Bridge and harbor tunnels. The chat moved on to other topics, so no details about implementation were offered. What do you think? Would tolls along I-93 offer some fairness to riders in Boston, MetroWest and North Shore, who all pay…
The governor, during a live chat with Patch, expressed skepticism about the legalization of medical marijuana, though he sympathized with patients in pain.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick said he would likely vote no on Question Three this fall. During a Thursday live chat with Patch, a reader asked Patrick how he would vote on the ballot question and whether the governor was for or against the legalization of cannabis. "I am not too energized on this issue, personally. California's experience has been mixed. I will probably vote against it. I respect the opposing view, though, especially those whose concern is for people in constant pain," wrote the governor in response. Proponents say medical marijuana will help ease the pain and suffering of cancer patients and other eligible residents. Opponents, meanwhile, say the law is a back door to full legalization, and that medical marijuana can be dangerous…