Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Dozens of elderly and disabled riders say the cuts would make the paratransit service too expensive to use.
Police arrested several people who were blocking Beacon Street in front of the State House as part of a protest against cuts to the MBTA's service for disabled and elderly passengers. The protest began peacefully around noon but moved into the street 20 minutes later. After seven in folding chairs or wheelchairs stopped traffic for another 20 minutes, police moved in arrested "four to five" of them, according to an officer on the scene. The rally, organized by MassUniting and the Massachusetts Senior Action Coaltion, was called to protest the large fare hikes to the MBTA's paratransit service The RIDE. According to MassUniting, while fares for regular MBTA service went up 23 percent, the cost of The Ride has ballooned up to 150 percent …
Saturday, January 19, 2013
As of Tuesday, 1,221 seniors remained on waiting lists for home care.
Dozens of senior citizens stood outside Gov. Deval Patrick's office in the State House Thursday demanding that their concerns about cuts in home care spending be heard. Chanting "Can you hear us now governor?" the seniors wanted Patrick to respond to a letter several senior advocacy groups sent him in September detailing what they say has been a $15 million cut since 2009 in home care services and asking for such funding to be restored. Although Patrick didn't meet with the seniors, Ann Hartstein, his secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, took their questions and comments in a downstairs press room. "The governor is totally communted to community-first," Hartstein said of the policy that promotes home care over nursing-…
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Advocates met with their representatives and senators in a total of 46 meetings.
Tuesday, January 15
Below is an edited press release from Planned Parenthood: More than 220 women’s health advocates from across the state gathered at the State House Monday, one week before the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade that made abortion legal in the United States. Advocates from across the state met with their legislators to lobby for pro-women’s health bills filed last week. Regarded as a celebration and kick-off to the new legislative session, the event began with a legislative breakfast and program featuring keynote speaker Dr. Paula Johnson. “The 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade is a time to celebrate and to renew our commitment to women’s health and reproductive choice,” said Johnson. “In the years since Roe, this …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Massachusetts has some old, sometimes funny morality laws about cursing and other no-nos. But sometimes those laws play havoc with modern-day living. Is it time to clear the books?
Massachusetts is famous for its out-of-date laws. The Boston Globe cites a few, like a cursing ban at sporting events. But there are other laws, passed over 100 years ago, which could complicate present-day political and legal dilemmas. But these old laws sometimes have a major effect on modern day issues. Representative Byron Rushing, D-South End, reminded the Globe that Governor Mitt Romney used a 1913 law about residency rules to prevent out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts. That old law was scrubbed from the books in 2008, five years after it was cited by Romney. The 19th-century anti-abortion laws are a particularly thorny issue, according to the Globe. They may be relics of a time past, but that didn't stop the …
Friday, August 24, 2012
A new state law bans animal control laws that target specific breeds, nullifying a Boston regulation for pit bulls. Does the new law go to far?
Boston officials are fuming over a new state law that nullifies the city's pit bull muzzle law. According to the Boston Herald, Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councilor Ron Consalvo are among the city leaders criticizing the new state law, saying the city knows best when it comes to protecting the public from what many consider vicious dogs. The new state rule, supported by animal rights groups, bans breed-specific regulations, like muzzle and leashing laws for pit bulls or other types of dogs the public considers aggressive or violent. Does the new state law go too far? Should cities and towns get to decide what kinds of dogs need muzzles? Or do you believe the laws supporters when they say there's no data to support breed-specific laws? …
Monday, June 25, 2012
Act could head off fight at the ballot box this fall.
A day after the Legislature's Education Committee endorsed a bill that reduces the importance of seniority in teacher-hiring decisions, the Senate last week voted to approve it. The bill comes as a compromise between the Massachusetts Teachers Association and Stand for Children, an advocacy group that was pushing to put a measure on the fall ballot that would base hiring and promotion decisions on evaluations and student test scores. In the compromise, seniority can be used as a factor in such decisions but not as the primary factor. Also, Chapter 70 money would be used to implement the evaluation programs, including training for them. The bill was passed on a voice vote Thursday, a day after both the state's largest labor union, the AFL-…
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Proposed measures would stiffen penalties for repeat offenders.
If all goes as Senate and House leaders expect, the state will have tougher law against drunken drivers this summer. The two chambers are both pursuing separate means to the same end, which is closing the so-called "loophole" in Melanie's Law, which was passed in 2005 to stiffen penalties for driving under the influence. It's named after 13-year-old Melanie Powell, who was killed by a repeat drunken driver as she crossed a street in Marshfield in 2003. While the current law calls for an offender's license to be suspended for three years on a second offense, it does not count cases that are continued without a finding (CWOF) as an offense. In those cases, a defendant will admit to committing the crime but the charge against him or her will…