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Massachusetts House-Senate committee pushes $1.7 billion borrowing bill

BOSTON – A House-Senate committee on Monday approved a $1.7 billion borrowing bill, dramatically raising the bottom line on legislation sought by Gov. Deval Patrick and padding the legislation with spending authorizations for trees, cranberry bog acquisitions and money to purchase coastal property. The Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, chaired by Sen. Marc  Full Article…

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Letter: Unfair taxation looming in Massachusetts again

Eagle Tribune – On Feb. 25, wire services released a report that a committee known as the Tax Fairness Commission appointed by the Massachusetts Legislature was expected to recommend a graduated tax to levy an increasing burden on high-wage earners and supposedly a lesser burden on low-wage earners. The recommendation will be delivered through a  Full Article…

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Pioneer Institute says convention center plan will cost the state $5B in lost revenue

Boston Business Journal – A new analysis of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center’s planned expansion in the city’s Seaport District claims that the buildout will ultimately cost the state $5 billion in lost revenue for roads, schools and other public services over a 16-year span. According to The Pioneer Institute, the Boston-based think tank that  Full Article…

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House, Senate must settle billions in transportation spending

STATE HOUSE — The Massachusetts Senate passed a multi-billion dollar transportation bond bill Thursday evening, setting up election-year negotiations with the House on the final version of legislation replete with pet projects and policy directives. In rapid succession, the Senate considered an avalanche of amendments that mostly earmarked project funds under the borrowing bill (S  Full Article…

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Rosenberg Takes The Most Cash

Boston Herald – Senate President-in-waiting Stanley Rosenberg is months away from ascending to his presumptive perch in the upper chamber, but he’s donned a new crown in the meantime: Per diem king, according to a Herald review of state records that show the Amherst Democrat took in nearly $13,000 in travel stipends last year. Rosenberg  Full Article…

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Tom Menino Aides Cash Out

Boston Herald – On his way out the door, former Mayor Thomas M. Menino stuck taxpayers with a tab of more than a quarter-million dollars for vacation and sick time payouts to his inner circle, including nearly $50,000 to his top aide Michael Kineavy, according to payroll data obtained by the Herald. At least 10  Full Article…

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Nearly 9,000 State Workers Earned at Least $100,000

Globe – About 8,850 state employees earned more than $100,000 last year, a significant jump from 2012, when nearly 7,700 state workers cracked that mark, according to a Globe analysis of public payroll records. The University of Massachusetts, as in past years, dominated the list of highest paid employees, with 68 of 69 top spots  Full Article…

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Massachusetts Online Unemployment Help Still Ponderous

PITTSFIELD — Last week, winding up his tenure as interim executive director of BerkshireWorks, John Barrett III was on the front lines at the career center, helping unemployment-benefits seekers navigate the still problem-plagued state website, UI Online, and TeleCert, the automated phone system for filing and updating claims. This week, Barrett, 66, is preparing to  Full Article…

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Seven months later, $46m Deloitte system has more than 100 defects

Globe – More than seven months after its rollout, the $46 million computer system for managing unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of jobless workers still has more than 100 defects, representatives of the consulting firm that built the system told a Senate panel Tuesday. Officials of Deloitte Consulting said 11 defects surfaced when the  Full Article…

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