massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts will begin offering stand-alone dental plans for children and adults through the state's Health Connector starting next year.

State health officials say making dental care more readily available will improve the overall health of Massachusetts residents.

Dental coverage is one of several changes coming to the state's health care exchange.

Beginning in 2014, insurers seeking to offer plans through the connector must not only meet state requirements but also federal requirements to receive the connector's seal of approval.

BOSTON (AP) — The gambling industry spent $2.3 million dollars lobbying Beacon Hill lawmakers in 2012, a drop from the $3.1 million spent by the industry in Massachusetts in 2011.

A review of lobbying records by The Associated Press found that despite the decline, companies hoping to land one of the state's coveted casino license still poured hundreds of thousands into lobbying.

Advocates for low-income families in Massachusetts are calling on the state and federal governments to increase funding for fuel assistance programs in the shadow of sequestration.

In a few short days, members of Congress must vote to avoid the series of across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, but if not; many programs that benefit the neediest families will have their budgets slashed mid-year.

Flickr / Quique Lopez

BOSTON (AP) — The Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner," an iconic 1970s ode to the joys of driving along Route 128 when it's late at night, was unlike any song of its era.

Michael Fairneny

Massachusetts residents living near a recently completed large-scale industrial wind farm in the Northern Berkshires have filed noise complaints to state officials.

This week a group of concerned residents called the Friends of Florida and Monroe met to communicate their experiences of living near the so-called Hoosac Wind Project, a 19-turbine wind farm owned and operated by Iberdrola Renewables in the Berkshire County town of Florida and neighboring Franklin County Town of Monroe.

Over $2 million in grant funding has been awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support a wide variety of community-based initiatives, from public safety to information technology. 

The 2nd round of the Community Innovation Challenge Grants were announced this week to support expansion and regionalization of a slew of community programs across the Bay State. Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray says that the $2.25M round of funding is important for solidifying important programs, but will also save cities and towns money in the long-term.

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he remains open to other ideas for raising revenue to pay for improvements in transportation and education.

Patrick has proposed a series of tax changes in his budget calling for a net increase of nearly $2 billon. His plan includes hiking the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while reducing the sales tax from the current 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Farmers and agricultural advocates are rallying behind a piece of legislation that promises to expand the potential for local meat and poultry processing in Massachusetts.

BOSTON (AP) — A Native American tribe hoping to develop a resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts has received a favorable opinion on their land bid from the federal government.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe announced Tuesday that the Office of Indian Gaming, in a preliminary advisory opinion, said the land where the casino has been proposed in Taunton qualifies as an "initial reservation," as does land in Mashpee, where the tribe is headquartered.

Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is scheduled to tour some of the areas hit hardest by the weekend blizzard and meet with local officials.

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