massachusetts

New England News
6:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Mass. Reactions to "Gang of Eight" Bipartisan Immigration Plan

The announcement of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan plan to immigration reform was welcomed among advocacy groups in Massachusetts. A central pillar of the plan introduced by the so-called “Gang of Eight” is the Path to Citizenship, which would in part make undocumented immigrants to register with the Federal government, undergo background checks, and pay back taxes among other requirements.

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New England News
5:05 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Mass. Gov. Introduces Bill To Allow Parole for Convicted Youths

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has unveiled a series of sentencing reforms, including efforts to curb sentencing on youth offenders convicted of first-degree murder. 

Governor Patrick released a bill titled “An Act to Reform the Juvenile Justice System in the Commonwealth.” Two primary focuses of the bill would extended juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 years old to 18 years old, and would also prohibit mandatory life-sentences without parole for those convicted of first degree murder between ages 14 and 18.

In a prepared statement the Governor said…

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New England News
4:25 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

High School Graduation Rates Improve in Massachusetts

According to new data, 4-year high school graduation rates in Massachusetts are on the increase, while the dropout rate is on the decline.

State officials recently announced that the 4-year graduation rate has improved in the Bay State for the sixth year in a row. JC Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said that the statewide dropout rate also decreased to 2.5% in the last school year.

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New England News
6:25 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Gov. Patrick's FY 2014 Budget Proposal Focuses on Education, Transportation

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today released his FY 2014 budget proposal. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that the Governor is planning to invest in three key areas: education, innovation, and infrastructure.

Governor Patrick’s $34.8 billion budget proposal follows his State of the Commonwealth speech last week where he called for more investment in transportation including streamlining public transportation and improving roads and bridges, as well as a significant boost to education spending.

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New England News
6:05 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Berkshire County Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than Mass. Statewide Average

According to state officials in Massachusetts, the unemployment rose to 6.7% in December, and for the Berkshires, the unemployment rate is now above the state average.

Although the numbers released by the State Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development are not seasonally adjusted, the Berkshires now face an unemployment rate at 6.6% That’s up half a percentage point from October and November, and the highest it’s been since February 2012.

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New England News
12:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Gov.Patrick Proposes Large Tax Increase

Credit Dwight Sipler

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, beginning his final two years in office, is proposing an ambitious restructuring of the state’s tax system.  The governor outlined the proposal in his annual State of the Commonwealth Address last night. 

Governor Deval Patrick announced a bold plan that would raise an additional $1.9 billion dollars in taxes annually.

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New England News
10:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Mass. Republicans Call For New Forensic Services Board

Credit AP File Photo

BOSTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are calling for creation of a new state board to oversee forensic services facilities after a former chemist was accused of tampering with drug evidence at a state lab.

The proposal announced on Wednesday by the four GOP members of the state Senate would create a five-member oversight panel consisting of the secretary of public safety, the attorney general, the state inspector general, the head of the state police and one gubernatorial appointee.

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New England News
9:54 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Mass. Gov. Patrick's tax plan meets mixed reviews

The Massachusetts State-house in Boston, Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers are giving mixed reviews to Gov. Deval Patrick's call to hike the state's income tax while also cutting the sales tax.

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New England News
7:56 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Massachusetts Governor Patrick calls for income tax hike in State of the Commonwealth Address

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
Credit Dwight Sipler

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has asked the Legislature for a $1.9 billion in new taxes to support major new spending on transportation and education.

In his annual state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature, Patrick called for hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling the personal exemption for all taxpayers and eliminating dozens of itemized deductions.

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New England News
4:56 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov.Patrick To Propose Tax Increase

Credit AP Photo/Steven Senne

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is expected to call for higher taxes in his State of the Commonwealth address tonight.

Governor Deval Patrick started making the case for higher taxes Monday when he endorsed a plan from the state department of transportation to increase spending by more than $1 billion a year on the highway system, commuter rail and regional transit authorities.

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