Saturday, May 11, 2013
Results from a recent executive survey ranked Massachusetts 47th for business.
A CEO magazine ranks Massachusetts as one of the worst states in the nation for business. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Massachusetts 47th based on a survey of corporate leaders. Survey respondents reported the Bay State is one of the worst for taxation and regulation. The state Republican Party is pointing to the survey and saying that Gov. Deval Patrick and the Democratic-led Legislature are bad for the economy and business. What do you think about Massachusetts’ business climate? Is this a good state in which to do business?
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Governor has made transportation funding a key part of his agenda.
Gov. Deval Patrick visited two of Medford's Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) facilities Wednesday in an effort to highlight his push for transportation funding. Patrick visited the MBTA Fellsway bus garage at 465 Salem St. and then the Wellington Station maintenance garage, where numerous Orange Line trains were being serviced. "There's a tremendous amount of consensus, in and out of the Statehouse...that it's time for re-investment in our transportation infrastructure," Patrick told reporters at Wellington. When asked if the figure of $800 million that's been floated recently would be sufficient, Patrick said it would be a "mistake" to start with a number and work backwards. "So far, the only plan on the table is mine," he said…
Friday, March 8, 2013
Fare hikes and service cuts are a few options T officials proposed in an effort to close the $130 million budget deficit in 2014.
MBTA officials have proposed service cuts and fare increases if there is no increase in funding, based on a $130 projected budget deficit in fiscal year 2014. Director of Strategic Initiatives for the MBTA Charles Planck said at a MBTA finance committee meeting that in order to close the budget gap, T fares would need to go up 33 percent, which means subway fares would move up from $2 to $2.60, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday. There was also talk at the meeting of a 15 percent fare increase coupled with the possible elimination of up to 30 bus routes, according to the Globe. Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled an ambitious transportation plan in February that would potentially raise $1.02 billion per year for the next 10 years, some of which, …
Friday, March 1, 2013
The governor's optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Governor Deval Patrick's still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically-damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution to outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Markey is in, Lynch set to make an announcement Thursday and Brown reportedly considering throwing his hat into the race following Tuesday’s nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State.
With Tuesday's official nomination of U.S. Senator John Kerry to the post of Secretary of State, the field is opening up with folks vying for Kerry's seat in his unexpired term in the U.S. Senate. But before that even happens an interim senator has to be named. On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick announced his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan will be the interim senator and will serve until a new senator is elected in the June 25 special election. Patch reported in December that Cowan, a Stoughton resident, would be stepping down this month and returning to the private sector. Besides being Patrick’s former chief of staff, Cowan also served as chief legal counsel to Governor Patrick, having served in the Patrick-Murray …
Friday, January 25, 2013
The governor's budget proposal for fiscal 2014 would raise $1.9 billion in new revenues through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. Is the state's economy ready for this?
After years of treading water in the state budget, Gov. Deval Patrick has put forth an ambitious $34.8 billion proposal for the coming fiscal year that would make significant investments in education and transportation by raising $1.9 billion in revenue, through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. The question: Is the state's economy ready for this? To raise that funding, Patrick's proposal would increase the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling personal exemptions. It'd also lower the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. Several tax breaks for both personal income and businesses would be eliminated. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation, ensuring gradual increases in what …
Friday, January 18, 2013
In the governor's tax plan, all sales taxes would be dedicated to transportation and infrastructure needs.
In his State of the Commonwealth Address, delivered Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick outlined a tax proposal that he said would pay for the state's education and transportation needs. In his statements, he mentioned the Green Line Extension as one of the transportation projects his plan would help fund. The plan calls to reduce sales tax in Massachusetts from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. All money from sales taxes would be dedicated a public works fund that would support transportation, school building and public infrastructure needs. In turn, the plan calls for an increase in income taxes from 5.3 percent to 6.25 percent. In regard to the state's transportation needs, the governor mentioned a number of projects, including the Green …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would tighten gun control laws in Massachusetts while increasing funding for mental health services and enhance background checks. Is this sensible, or reactionary?
Are new proposed laws regarding guns in Massachusetts and mental health services sensible and pragmatic steps, or reactionary measures that won't increase safety? Gov. Deval Patrick introduced new legislation Wednesday along those lines in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, CT. "I am encouraged by the palpable consensus in our Legislature that the time for action is now. All of us must pull in the same direction to bring about real change in this state and across the country," Patrick said in a press release. The bill would require gun purchasers to undergo background checks at gun shows, reduce access to high-powered rounds of ammunition, and limit licensed individuals to purchasing a maximum of one gun per month. Punishments …