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Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,

CommonWealth’s Spring 2018 issue is out!

Read the rundown

  Here’s a rundown of what’s in our spring print issue, which is in the mail and available online. You may have heard something about infighting in Fall River between wunderkind Mayor Jasiel Correia and the city’s political establishment. Now get a sense of what’s really going on. Ted Siefer portrays a mayor who isn’t

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH ONLY A WHIFF of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism. The legislation (S 2371), which

TransitMatters pushes ‘regional rail’

Would transform commuter rail into subway-like system

TRANSITMATTERS, a nonprofit known for delving into the nitty gritty of very specific transportation issues, went in a different direction on Tuesday, releasing a sweeping report calling for a multi-billion-dollar overhaul of the state’s commuter rail system over the course of a decade or more. Dubbed regional rail, the ambitious proposal calls for transforming a rail network

McAuliffe says she’ll be the ‘progressive change candidate’ for DA

Boston attorney cites lifetime commitment to social justice

SHANNON MCAULIFFE may have to shift gears from a campaign that was preparing to challenge a 16-year incumbent to what is now a wide-open race for Suffolk County district attorney, but the veteran defense lawyer and youth services manager says there will be no shift in her message. “The gap between what we should be

Riley’s collaborative ways

The Codcast

Jeff Riley won the backing last week of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to be the next state education commissioner based in large part on his work over the last six years as the state-appointed receiver for the Lawrence schools. If somebody can show real gains in what was arguably the lowest-performing,

Commissioner pick will signal direction for education policy

3 finalists each bring a different profile

WHEN THE STATE education board convenes next Monday to vote on a new Massachusetts education commissioner, its members won’t just be sizing up the three finalists for the job. They will be making a statement about the direction of state education policy going forward. The decision will come at a time when Washington is stepping back from the

CommonWealth’s Winter 2018 issue is out!

Politics, Ideas, and Civic Life in Massachusetts

Apps are wild in CommonWealth’s winter issue, which is in the mail and up on our website today. The apps we’re writing about are Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft – all of them popular with the public but creating headaches for policymakers who are slowly – and warily – grappling with their fallout. Jack Sullivan writes about Airbnb, an

A year of opportunity and impact

A Recap of 2017

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2017 was a year of opportunity and impact for the MassINC family, which includes our Policy Center, CommonWealth magazine and the MassINC Polling Group. Please take a moment to look through our top highlights of the year and consider making a year-end donation that will help us continue our efforts to improve the quality of life in

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