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Study Touts Benefits Of Reduced Driving In Mass., Urges Policy Changes

November 23, 2015
A new report is calling for improvements to Massachusetts public transportation systems to allow residents to cut down on driving miles, which the report says will save the state and its residents money. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

According to the report, the reduction of 1 percentage point in the growth rate of driving miles over the next 15 years would generate a combined savings of $2.3 billion annually. The reduction would also prevent an estimated 23.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere from 2015 to 2030.

Mass. Lawmakers Fail To Reach Accord On Solar Incentives

November 19, 2015

The House and Senate moved into their winter recess on Wednesday night without a deal to raise caps on solar power that advocates say are hindering solar development across the state.

Social Media Privacy Unanimously Endorsed In Mass. Senate

November 19, 2015

Employers and education institutions would be prohibited from forcing workers or applicants to share their social media passwords or access to their accounts under a bill that cleared the Senate on Wednesday.

Partnership Between MBTA’s The Ride And Uber Coming For Paratransit Passengers

November 10, 2015

“The main obstacle there is making sure there are enough accessible vehicles,” a state transportation official said.

Rockwell Painting Delivers Windfall For Gardner Schools

November 09, 2015

Of the $1.9 million yield from the sale of Rockwell’s 1941 painting “Willie Gillis in Convoy,” 50 percent would go toward scholarships for students pursuing the arts and 50 percent to students pursuing academic endeavors.

Recollections Of MBTA Fare Cap Negotiations Differ

November 05, 2015
(Chitose Suzuki/AP)

Activists and key senators maintain that the 2013 tax law was meant to cap fare hikes at 5 percent every two years, while a key House chairman and the Baker administration say it clearly caps fare hikes at 10 percent every two years.

Cape Cod Sen. Wolf Won’t Seek Re-Election

November 05, 2015
State Sen. Dan Wolf is seen in a 2013 file photo. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

The Democrat said in a statement the decision not to run for a fourth term in the Senate “was one of the most difficult I’ve made.”

DeLeo: UMass Funding ‘Not As Easy’ In New Budget Period

November 04, 2015

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg had said he planned to push for inclusion of $10.9 million for UMass in a future spending bill after university officials committed to using $5 million for financial aid for high-needs students if the funds are approved.

Gov. Baker Extends State Contracting Preference To Veteran, LGBT Businesses

November 03, 2015
The move to include LGBT-owned businesses in contracting and procurement opportunities alongside those run by women and people of color is a first-in-the-nation effort, officials said. Here, Gov. Charlie Baker announces the initiative at the State House Tuesday. (Antonio Caban/SHNS)

The move to include LGBT-owned businesses in contracting and procurement opportunities alongside those run by women and people of color is a first-in-the-nation effort, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

UMass To Cut $11M From Budget After Legislature Omits Contract Funding

October 29, 2015
University of Massachusetts President Martin Meehan at WBUR in May (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Legislature’s 2015 close-out budget bill did not include anticipated funding to cover retroactive pay increases for UMass faculty and staff unions.

Health Connector Sees Rate Hikes For Some, Reductions For Others

September 10, 2015

Those enrolled in unsubsidized health insurance through the Health Connector will see hikes of up to 9.3 percent, while those subsidized plans will see modest decreases.

Mass. Adopts Final ICU Nurse Staffing Rules

June 10, 2015

The 2014 nurse staffing law will apply to burn units and intensive care for newborns along with intensive care units for adults.

Gov. Baker Adds Voice To Hundreds At Opioid Hearing

April 02, 2015

It was the fourth and final public listening session before Gov. Charlie Baker’s opioid abuse task force prepares to issues recommendations to the governor in May.

Connector Gains New COO, Corner Office Adviser

March 12, 2015

Vicki Coates, a former vice president of dental management at DentaQuest, starts on Monday as chief operating officer. Patricia Wada, who has worked on state information technology projects, will take the job of special assistant to the governor for project delivery.

Gov. Baker Fills 2 Connector Board Seats

March 12, 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker named insurance executive Mark Gaunya and business consultant Rina Vertes to serve on the Massachusetts Connector Authority Board.

Baker Deputies Outline Plan To Tame MassHealth Costs

March 05, 2015

The bulk of the savings — about 65 percent — come from what officials are describing as “cash management,” a budgeting technique partly inherited from the Patrick administration that will push off $456 million in payments to the next fiscal year.

Groups Resist Baker Push On MassHealth

February 09, 2015

Groups representing people dependent on state health insurance programs are resisting Gov. Charlie Baker’s push for authority to make major changes in the MassHealth program.

Quincy Medical Center’s Closure Set For Friday

December 24, 2014

Local elected officials have criticized Steward for the speed with which the for-profit company has moved to close the hospital after it claimed in November that it suffered financial losses and a decreasing number of patients at the Quincy hospital.

With Late-Term Order, Gov. Patrick Carves Out Money For Public Art

December 10, 2014
One of the new public murals created in Boston. (Zoe Sobel/WBUR)

The order devotes .5 percent of the cost of construction and renovation projects on state-owned property in Boston and “gateway cities” to the preservation or creation of public art, up to $250,000.

State, Feds Reach Five-Year, $41.4B Health Care Accord

November 01, 2014

The Patrick administration early Friday evening announced a five-year health care deal with the federal government worth $41.4 billion, which will succeed a three-year $26.75 billion waiver agreement that expired June 30.

Mass. Lawmakers Hear Calls For Ebola Training

October 16, 2014
A licensed clinician participates in a CDC training course in Alabama earlier this month for treating Ebola patients. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

As nurses raised alarms that they are untrained and ill equipped to handle cases of Ebola virus, Massachusetts hospital officials said Thursday that the health crisis emerging from West Africa demands a unique response.

SJC Sets ‘Presumption’ Of Misconduct In Dookhan-Related Guilty Pleas

March 05, 2014

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday that defendants seeking to withdraw guilty pleas because their cases were handled by disgraced former state chemist Annie Dookhan must indicate they would have insisted on a trial if they knew about her malfeasance.

Coakley: Dookhan ‘Appeared To Be Proud’ Of Her Work

September 28, 2012

According to Attorney General Martha Coakley, Annie Dookhan may have had professional pride in mind when she allegedly misidentified drug lab evidence.

Amid Crime Lab Crisis, DPH Commissioner Resigns

September 17, 2012

Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach offered his resignation over the weekend and Gov. Deval Patrick accepted it on Monday.

Improper Drug Testing Leads To Closure Of State Crime Lab

August 30, 2012

State police discovered a chemist failed to follow protocols in drug testing, potentially exposing thousands of drug convictions to legal challenges.

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