Tag Archives: Therese Murray

Senate

Taking Down Scotty Brown

Scott Brown

Could any Dems topple #41 in six weeks?

Now that the 2010 election is behind us, we can begin to focus on the truly important task of governing. Just kidding. We’re just going to focus on the 2012 election.

The speculation about which Democrat could beat Scott Brown officially began on January 20, but it has already ramped up in the 36 hours or so since all of #41’s endorsees got trounced at the polls. In the Globe today, Alan Wirzbicki tossed out names like Congressman Mike Capuano and Alan Khazei (both of whom fell to Coakley in last year’s primary), Congressman Stephen Lynch, Newton Mayor Setti Warren, and even financial executive and social security wiz Bob Pozen.

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Attorney General Baddour Downing Cole Cynthia Creem Patronage Jobs Rush Williams Walsh

Rep. Thomas Petrolati Trying to Block Investigation of the Probation Patronage Scandal

Thomas Petrolati

The Globe on Sunday has a very important article about Rep. Thomas Petrolati’s attempts to thwart the investigation into the patronage scandal at the probation department.

Petrolati is at the center of some of the most egregious patronage abuses. His wife Kathleen is a top manager at Probation. A former aide, Andre Pereira, and the husband of his current aide, Colleen Ryan all have Probation jobs that pay more than $74,000.  Scores of financial supporters have also received jobs at the Probation Department. And Petrolati is a close friend of Probation Commissioner John “Jack” O’Brien, who was suspended in May after the Globe revealed a pattern of political favoritism in hiring.

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Murray Keyes

Plymouth & Barnstable Senate District Candidates: Murray, Keyes

CandidateMediaFinanceNotes
» Therese Murray (D) $140,026 incumbent
» Tom Keyes (R)

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Casinos and Slots

Casino and Slots Bill Passes the House

Robert DeLeo

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the casino bill on Wednesday with a veto-proof 120-37 vote margin. The bill would authorize up to two resort style casinos and up to 750 slot machines at each of the state’s four race tracks.

Supporters say this will will bring in thousands of construction jobs and would capture $1.1 billion that Massachusetts gamblers spend in nearby states. The question is, who captures that money, and where does it go afterwards? The answer is simple – first the state takes its cut of the money in taxes, after that the rest leaves the state in the form of pure profit for out of state gambling interests from Nevada and New Jersey. In fact the casinos are likely to take in more than just what is currently spent out of state and send it out of state.

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Budget

Who Signed on to the Resolution to Fund Local Aid?

Rep. Robert DeLeo puts the State ahead of your town.

Last week a group of legislators lead by House Minority Leader Rep. Bradley Jones drafted a resolution to level fund local aid. Passage of this resolution would have gone a long way toward protecting cities and town from more budget cuts. Our towns have already taken a disproportionate share of budget cuts last year.

As we reported earlier, this resolution was not even allowed to  be heard on the floor of the legislature. By avoiding a vote the leadership provided political cover for Senators and Representatives who are willing to balance the state’s budget mess on the back of our schools, police and fire departments again this year.

Because there was no vote, we will never know for sure everyone who was against this resolution. We can be certain that at the very least Rep. Robert DeLeo, Sen. Therese Murray, and Sen. Steve Panagiotakos had to be against it because they have wide discretion in what makes it to the house floor and on all budget matters. read more »

Budget

Resolution on Level Funding of Local Aid Rejected

Massachusetts State House

Last week the legislature announced that they would be cutting local aid to cities and towns by up to 4%. This is on top of deep cuts last year which fell disproportionately on cities and towns, and spared budgets at the state level.

Legislative Republicans drafted a resolution which would level fund local aid and give cities and towns specific guidance. Passage of this resolution would help ensure that this year, needed budget cuts would happen at the state level – where they belong.

The resolution establishes:

1. Establish a minimum level of Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Local Aid equal the amount proposed by the Governor for FY’11

a. The minimum Chapter 70 appropriation must equal $4,048,324,258 for FY11; and
b. The minimum Unrestricted Local Aid appropriation must equal $936,437,803.

2. Establish a minimum level of funding for each of the following accounts to equal the amount proposed by the Governor for FY’11

a. Reimbursement to Cities in Lieu of Taxes $27.3 million
b. Regional School Transportation $40.5 million
c. Special Education Residential Schools $135 million

But on Thursday the Democratic legislative leaders ( Rep. Robert DeLeo, Sen. Therese Murray,  Rep. Charles Murphy, and Sen. Steven Panagiotakos ) blocked the resolution from even coming to the floor. The resolution was not even debated. This gives them political cover. Now we will never know who would have voted against this resolution. When your legislator comes to town to campaign this fall I’m sure they will all claim they were in support of level funding local aid. But you will never know for sure. This is why we need reform.

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Budget

Beacon Hill Proposes $200M in Local Aid Cuts

The Massachusetts State House

Legislative leaders announced Friday that they intend to cut up to 4% from local aid next year.

There are two pools of local aid:

  • Chapter 70 – which is aid specifically for education, which cities and towns use to supplement their school budgets. This pool is roughly $4 billion dollars per year.
  • Unrestricted local aid – which towns generally use to supplement either education or public safety, like extra police. This pool is roughly $1 billion dollars per year.

You can get a sense of how much local aid your town gets from DOR.

The entire state budget last year was about $30 billion. So this local aid is only about 16% of the total state budget. The 4% cut in these two accounts represents a savings for the state of only 0.6% of the budget.

But the impact will be tremendous. read more »