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Equity, income concerns flagged in free college debate
04-12-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON – Moderate-income white students could gain the most under a proposal that top Senate Democrats are weighing to make community college free for all Massachusetts residents, according to a report, which urges lawmakers to make adjustments with...

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Blue envelope program offered for Massachusetts drivers on autism spectrum
04-10-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Massachusetts State Police have begun implementing a program to improve interactions with people on the autism spectrum, building upon legislation that won Senate approval in January and remains before a House committee.Participating drivers...


Council OKs mega-pardon for marijuana possession
04-07-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council unanimously approved Gov. Maura Healey’s mass pardon Wednesday that grants official forgiveness to anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession in Massachusetts.The courts must still work to identify people to whom...


Consolidation, caps urged to speed clean energy permitting across state
04-04-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — In anticipation of a boom in clean energy projects needed to help the state meet its decarbonization targets, a group put together by the governor rolled out recommendations Monday for ways to streamline and accelerate the siting and...


State rules governing to-go drinks, outdoor dining expire as politicians figure out next steps
04-02-2024 5:00 PM

By Chris Lisinski

BOSTON — This week’s dismal weather forecast might actually have a silver lining for some restaurateurs.After nearly four years with a streamlined system in place to permit outdoor dining and permission to sell takeout alcoholic drinks, both practices...


Larry Lucchino, force behind retro ballpark revolution and drought-busting Red Sox, dies at 78
04-02-2024 12:53 PM

By JIMMY GOLEN

BOSTON — Larry Lucchino, the force behind baseball’s retro ballpark revolution and the transformation of the Boston Red Sox from cursed losers to World Series champions, has died. He was 78.Lucchino had suffered from cancer. The Triple-A Worcester Red...


Officials talk funding for, hear feedback on Northern Tier Passenger Rail
04-01-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) study of the Northern Tier Passenger Rail project continues, officials and consultants Thursday night collected more feedback and laid out some of its potential funding streams in the final...


DCR sees booking surge at state campgrounds
03-28-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

It seems people from all over are anxious for spring to arrive as bookings at the three state camping locations in Franklin and Hampshire counties are filling up fast.The state Department of Conservation and Recreation reports that at least 756 total...


Shelter costs put state budget at "breaking point"
03-26-2024 4:31 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz sits in the catbird seat of budget and policy development on Beacon Hill.The Boston Democrat offered a glimpse Monday afternoon at the various balls he is trying to keep...


Homeless women face raft of challenges in Mass.
03-25-2024 5:00 PM

By RUIHAN YANG

After years of being homeless, Amy “adapted” to living on the streets under insecurity.“I thought I wasn’t going to wake up, but I woke up, and I’m fine. The more I feel adapted to staying outside without a person that stays with me, the more I...


"Warning signs" seen around police hiring, retention
03-24-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy warned lawmakers this week that big cities and small towns face a “major issue” with recruiting new candidates for law enforcement jobs and said he’s worried about the future of public...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-20-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...


State’s rental assistance leaving families in limbo
03-19-2024 5:01 PM

By XINYI YANG

Anna Smith has applied three times to a state program that provides rental assistance for families — before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic — with the intention of “saving her two kids and her life.” What she didn’t anticipate was such a bleak...


Sen. Comerford talks health care legislation with region’s physicians
03-15-2024 3:55 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Before a room filled with local health care professionals, state Sen. Jo Comerford shared details about legislation she’s filed this session in hopes of bolstering the health care system to “do well by” those physicians and, in turn,...


Public comment sought on responsible clean energy development
03-14-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

By DOMENIC POLIStaff WriterResidents have until Friday to submit their input regarding the process by which clean energy projects are permitted in Massachusetts.An online survey is soliciting public comment on how the state should protect health,...


Healey: State pardoning all pot possession convictions
03-14-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s plan to pardon all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions will impact hundreds of thousands of people, she told a crowd at the Grand Staircase on Wednesday, and represents “the most sweeping cannabis pardon ever...


State Cannabis Control Commission looks to have new director by summer
03-12-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Aiming to have its new executive director on board by this summer, the state Cannabis Control Commission spent hours last week crafting the contours of the job and detailing what qualities a successful applicant will demonstrate.The CCC has...


Senate plans another push for major early ed bill
03-11-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Despite a tightening state budget picture, the Senate this week plans to take up a pricey early education and child care bill aimed at expanding access to education for the state’s youngest learners and making it more affordable for families,...


Healey starts push to end homelessness among veterans
03-10-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey announced a $20 million campaign Tuesday to end veteran homelessness as she lamented the hundreds of former Massachusetts service members who have nowhere to call home.The governor said the effort, funded primarily through...


Ending legacy admissions, providing menstrual products in all state buildings among many bills to emerge from Higher Education Committee
03-08-2024 5:00 PM

By XINYI YANG

BOSTON — Area lawmakers’ proposals to require menstrual products to be available for no cost in all state buildings, establish special dorms for students in recovery, and consolidate overlapping higher education financial aid programs all cleared a...


State legislators leery of ballot question ending MCAS graduation requirement
03-07-2024 4:52 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Over more than three hours of discussion about a proposal to stop using MCAS exam scores as a high school graduation requirement, lawmakers kept returning to one specific question: If the ballot measure were passed, how would Massachusetts...

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