State / Region

Early childhood education advocates fault Baker budget plan

Thursday, March 5, 2015

BOSTON — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is coming under fire from education advocates who say he missed a critical opportunity in his first state budget proposal to signal his commitment to early education programs. Put Massachusetts Kids First — a coalition of early childhood education organizations — say it’s concerned about Baker’s educational priorities. The group says his budget doesn’t do enough to address low salaries that have led to … 0

Baker administration details Medicaid savings plan

Thursday, March 5, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is detailing a proposal to trim $761 million in Medicaid spending, a key part of its overall plan for keeping the state budget in balance. Administration officials said Thursday about 60 percent of the Medicaid savings would be achieved by moving some provider payments due in the next fiscal year to the following year. They said that … 0

Baker partially restores international student program

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A program aimed at allowing talented international students to remain in Massachusetts after graduation would be reconstituted at a fraction of its pilot budget under the spending plan that Gov. Charlie Baker filed Wednesday. Former Gov. Deval Patrick cut the Global Entrepreneur in Residence program’s funding from $3 million to $1 million in November and Gov. Baker in February slashed that $1 million … 0

4 Northampton massage businesses under investigation

Monday, March 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton police say four city businesses that offer massages and other spa treatments are under investigation to determine whether they also offered sexual contact for money. Capt. Jody Kasper says the investigation began last April when police received a report that one of the businesses was … 0

High court upholds Massachusetts ban on stun guns

Monday, March 2, 2015

BOSTON — The state’s highest court has ruled that Massachusetts’ ban on the possession of stun guns does not violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Judicial Court, in a unanimous decision on Monday, upheld the 2011 conviction of Jamie Caetano in Ashland. Police investigating … 0

Mass. delegation divided on Netanyahu speech

Monday, March 2, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ all-Democratic congressional delegation is split over the decision of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept an invitation by House Republican leaders to address a joint session of Congress. Two members — Reps. Katherine Clark … 0

Mass. may offer early retirement as budget fix

Monday, March 2, 2015

BOSTON — Thousands of state employees could receive incentives to retire early under a proposal Gov. Charlie Baker hopes will help plug a sizeable deficit in the next state budget, the administration confirmed Monday. The governor’s office is hoping about 4,500 workers will opt for early retirement, saving … 0

Senior activists lobby for increased home care funds

Monday, March 2, 2015

BOSTON — Senior activists, concerned that a lack of services available in homes will leave nursing facilities as the only care option, visited lawmakers on Monday to press them on expanding the state home care program. Mass. Home Care executive director Al Norman told the News Service that … 0

Cold worthy of a record

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. — Hardy souls who shivered and shoveled their way through February in the Northeast now have evidence of just how brutal the weather was, with record cold in at least eight cities and record snowfall in … 0

Beacon Hill Roll Call

Monday, March 2, 2015

By BOB KATZEN Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ votes on roll calls from prior sessions on the debate on joint House-Senate operating rules for 2015-2016. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. 6-HOUR NOTICE (H 2017) House 34-120, voted strictly along … 0

Vermont Yankee official expects enough money to clean site

Friday, February 27, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. — An executive with the owner of the mothballed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sought to clarify comments that environmentalists interpreted as a possibility the company might shirk its responsibility for cleaning up the site decades from now. At a legislative hearing Feb. 11, Entergy Corp. Vice … 0

Baker files $350 million spending bill

Friday, February 27, 2015

BOSTON — Two weeks after announcing he signed legislation to close a $768 million budget gap that he said was the result of overspending, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday quietly sent lawmakers a proposed $350 million spending plan to cover snow and ice costs, the Department of Children … 0

State and regional news briefs

Friday, February 27, 2015

MBTA review board chairman resigns BOSTON — The newly named chairman of a panel reviewing problems in the Boston area’s transit system has resigned abruptly after a newspaper report about his financial problems, including a nearly $200,000 federal … 0