massachusetts

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

The gun control debate is about to begin on Beacon Hill in Boston. A state lawmaker will introduce legislation this week that will, among other things, require assault weapons in Massachusetts to remain locked and secured at gun clubs, when not in use by their owners. The legislation is from State House Democrat David Linsky of the 5th Middlesex District. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A two-day series of events commemorating the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held at Williams College.

On the Williams College campus, programs were held throughout Sunday and Monday paying tribute to Dr. King. Ranging from a documentary film screening, lectures, a gallery exhibition, and a presentation with local school children, students, faculty and the public took the time to remember and reflect the actions of those in the civil rights era.

Massachusetts has removed violent video games from four highway rest stops after a family traveling for the holidays saw a young boy playing one days after the Connecticut school shooting.

Andrew and Tracey Hyams of Newton, and their son, Josh, 12, stopped at a service plaza on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton on Christmas Eve and saw another boy firing a replica machine gun at a screen. The rest stop is about an hour from Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Pages