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Beacon Hill slow to act on home-rule petitions for Massachusetts cities, towns pitching policy change

In Massachusetts, home-rule petition shapes the local law of the land — a system that leaves cities and towns at the mercy of the Legislature when it comes to enacting everything from the mundane to major policy changes.  Local petitions can address a range of complex issues, such as whether a town should implement ranked-choice voting or […]

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Boston is biggest ‘domino’ in ranked-choice voting push in Massachusetts

When the spread for the neighborhood barbecue is left up to the simple majority, Ed Shoemaker says everyone winds up eating raisins in their potato salad.  The punch line in his analogy explaining the benefits of ranked-choice voting is meant to convey that more people win when weight is given to second- and third-choice candidates.   Three years […]

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Next chapter for Massachusetts veterans as Holyoke Soldiers’ Home breaks ground on new facility

State officials today will ceremoniously turn the page on a dark chapter for Massachusetts veterans and their families, celebrating the groundbreaking of a long-needed new dormitory at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home where 76 veterans died in a COVID outbreak fueled in part by poor infection control at the aging facility. Family of the service members who […]

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Budget veto raises concern migrant crisis overshadowing Massachusetts’ long-running homeless need

Homeless advocates are accusing Gov. Maura Healey of robbing Peter to pay Paul after she cut a “critical” $2.5 million for support services in the $55.98 billion annual budget she signed earlier this week. The shelter crisis spurred an emergency declaration this week with taxpayers currently spending more than $1 million a day — roughly $45 million per […]

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Massachusetts governor’s office would reveal more in the way of public records, should bill pass

Whether a campaign trail pledge from Gov. Maura Healey to break with the tradition of her predecessors, promising to follow public records law and bring more transparency to the office “than ever before” has been realized, depends on whom you ask.  By many accounts, Gov. Maura Healey has been selective in which public records requests she’s […]

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Gov. Maura Healey holds budget power as Massachusetts Democrats battle over priorities

Democratic in-fighting that’s slowed progress in the Legislature and exposed differences in priorities for House and Senate leadership could flare this week with the budget now before Gov. Maura Healey. Healey has until Thursday to review the fiscal year 2024 spending plan and sign, reject or return the budget to the Legislature with specific line-item vetoes. The […]

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Massachusetts voters could get second pass at rent control as lawmaker looks to ballot for action

Fed up with inaction on Beacon Hill, one state representative is threatening to take his fight for affordable housing straight to the people. It’s a battle he may wage without the vocal support of housing advocates hesitant to get tangled up in a power play to sidestep the Legislature where dozens of reform bills sit pending.  […]