Big Win for Injured Workers in MA: Courts Now Allowing Compensation for Pain and Suffering Damages

On February 12, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that, in third-party settlements, workers’ compensation liens will not cover damages for injured employees’ pain and suffering. The compensation for these “noneconomic damages,” which had previously been awarded to workers’ compensation...

How Legislation Is Fighting Airbnb in Massachusetts

Airbnb is an online community that connects short-term renters to people with space to rent. The company began in 2008 as “Air Bed and Breakfast” and was imagined after its founders rented out airbeds in their home. Six years since its humble beginning, Airbnb has shortened its name and inflated its...

Common Core Standards Are Questioned in Massachusetts Education

  A spirited group of MA citizens, End Common Core MA, hopes to eliminate Common Core standards from the commonwealth’s education system. The MA state attorney general has officially declared the potential vote to be constitutional—a significant leap toward End Common Core MA’s goal. The group’s next...

Worcester Named Most Business-Friendly City in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Small Businesses Make a Remarkable Turnaround in Just a Year Business confidence in Massachusetts cities continues to grow . . . and you may not believe which city is at the top of the list. A recent survey of small business owners in New England ranked Worcester, Massachusetts, as the most...

The Push for a Graduated Income Tax in Massachusetts

Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition representing religious leaders, liberal community organizers, and unions, is advocating a constitutional amendment to raise income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents. The proposal, which would affect those earning more than $1 million annually, would...

New England States Explore Energy Alternatives

Energy is expensive everywhere. However, while it may not be widely known elsewhere around the country, it is certainly no secret to those of us living here in Massachusetts that the commonwealth ranks as one of the most expensive when it comes to energy costs. With this in mind, state legislators and...

Some MA Business Owners Urging Delay of Sick Time Law

In November of 2014, by a margin of 19 percent, voters in Massachusetts clearly expressed their wishes that a statewide provision be implemented requiring all employers to offer sick time. Every employer in the state will soon be required to offer either paid or unpaid sick time, depending on their number...

Baker Being Urged to Replace MBTA Board

Based on findings recently  issued  by a panel he appointed in February to investigate blizzard-related system shutdowns, Governor Charlie Baker is now being urged to find new leadership for the beleaguered MBTA. including asking for the resignations of the entire MassDOT Board of Directors. In a press...

Boston to Investigate Gender Wage Gap

On Tuesday, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh jumped head first into the bickering swirling around the issue of the gender wage gap. He did so by announcing that the city is getting set  to study the wages of male and female employees at dozens of  local companies. This is the first attempt by any major U.S....

Berkshire County Rep. Proposes Change to Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Berkshire County, Massachusetts has presented a bill that, if passed, would gradually increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in the state until they are paid the same as other minimum wage workers. This is an addition to the current law, which will increase...

Gains Reported in State’s Human Services Sector

A new research study released by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth has revealed that human services sector employment in the Bay State increased nearly 48 percent during the years spanning 2003-2011, a fact many in the industry will surely find to...

Will the MBTA Cause the Demise of 2024 Boston Olympics?

At a Suffolk University panel convened in Boston on March 17th, there was a discussion regarding two closely related subjects: improved infrastructure and the possibility of hosting the world’s Olympic Summer games in 2024. This past December, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that the Olympics...

Study Says a Carefully Planned Boston Olympics Could Bring in Billions

As Boston prepares its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, supporters and detractors have come out of the woodwork. However, according to a study done by The Boston Foundation and the UMass Donahue Institute, the Olympics could bring up to $4 billion to the state’s economy. According to the study, the...

Baker Takes On Skills Gap

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has assigned three of his top deputies to oversee an effort that would better align the state’s education and workforce training systems with the needs of employers. The decision underlines the skills gap as a remaining obstacle to real economic growth. Baker signed an...

Baker Takes $750M from MassHealth with New Budget

On Wednesday, March 4th, Governor Charlie Baker filed a $38.1 billion budget proposal which includes recommendations for increased spending on objectives like local aid, transportation and higher education. The budget also proposes cutting more than $750 million from MassHealth to help fill a projected...

Worcester Chamber to Host Debate of Boston Olympics Bid

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce is about to host a debate discussing the pros and cons of Boston winning its bid to host the 2024 Olympics Games. The debate will be held as two separate functions, and is intended to discuss the possible implications for Worcester should Boston become the host...

Baker Resists Tax Hike for “T”

Charlie Baker thinks the issue of the how to fix the lingering issues related to the financially-troubled MBTA transit system in Boston is still up in the air.  During a February 19 appearance on WGBH Public Radio in Boston, Governor Baker said that, while all options are being evaluated, the issue of...

Worcester Groups Pitch Transportation Solutions – Seek Backers

In an effort to provide much-needed transportation solutions in Worcester, seven groups provided ideas for a National Science Foundation program. This program, which was also shared with the cities of San Diego and Chicago, seeks to provide solutions to the cities’ transportation issues that arose out...

Baker Announces New Business Posts

Nominations for vital business posts were recently announced by the incoming Baker administration. The candidates chosen are well-known and , as a result, their nominations have been met with little fanfare but, more importantly, little protest. Baker named John Chapman as his new Undersecretary for...

Baker Chooses Lepore For Top Finance Post

Governor-elect Charlie Baker  has named Kristen Lepore as the head of his finance office. Currently, Lepore is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. Previously, Lepore was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Cellucci and the Director of Fiscal Policy in...

Final Weeks for Governor Patrick to be Marked by Wind Energy Auction

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is not resting on his laurels for his final weeks in the corner office. On the contrary, he is advocating for a large auction for offshore wind development. Patrick has reportedly told public relations executive Helene Solomon that the federal government would be...

New Massachusetts Energy Chief Says State Can’t Rest in Push for Renewable Energy

Bespectacled Maeve Bartlett stood behind a glossy black podium at the DCU Center and made a bold claim: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is, she said, the national leader in meeting the challenges of climate change and adopting renewable energy technologies. Numero uno. The criteria: megawatts. In 2007,...

Massachusetts Task Force Challenges Companies To Promote Women

A state task force was established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to encourage the hiring of female employees in the Commonwealth. The task force is suggesting that companies permit more flexible scheduling, and hire and promote female workers to higher positions. Almost half of the employees in...

Improvements to South Station Could Boost Framingham/Worcester Rail

According to Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, Boston’s South Station is “becoming a choke point in the system and an obstacle to expanded service.” Davey placed a request with lawmakers on October 9 asking them for help with negotiating a deal that has the potential to allow the...

MA Senate Passes $80 Million Spending Bill

An $80 million spending bill was recently approved by the Massachusetts State Senate to end the 2014 fiscal year. The bill will allow select state agencies to spend money from the 2014 fiscal year in the 2015 fiscal year. Five million dollars was also included to reimburse cities for expenditures from...

Ebola and the Economy

Unless you’ve been under quarantine for the past few weeks, you know that Ebola has once again reared its ugly head, causing widespread concern – bordering on panic in some quarters – about the possibility of a global pandemic. How realistic a possibility is this?  Could it actually happen? Frankly, it’s...

Worcester Chamber Says ‘No’ to All Four Ballot Questions

In November, voters across the Commonwealth will have the option to cast their vote for or against four positions that could impact business across the state. Recently, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce met to discuss each of these questions in detail and to develop a policy to assist its members...

Candidates for Top Office Go Silent on Non-Competes

Both major-party candidates for governor,  Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley, should have been in the hot seat on non-compete clauses this past Monday. After all, they were in Cambridge speaking with an audience of young, tech-oriented, startup-minded, entrepreneurial spirits.  But if anyone was looking for...

GOP’s Baker Unveils Economic Development Plan

Charlie Baker, Republican candidate for governor of Massachusetts, unveiled his economic and development plan Wednesday. The candidate claims that the plan will help build better schools, create jobs, and help to strengthen local communities. Included in the plan are several proposals that would use tax...

Should Cape Wind Receive $150 million Federal Loan Guarantee?

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it will grant a $150 million loan to advance the Cape Wind energy project in Massachusetts, provided backers can secure an additional $2.6 billion in financing. If successfully built, Cape Wind will consist of 130 wind turbines capable of producing 360...

Did the $525,000,000 Massachusetts Poured Into Biotech Generate 571 or 17,994 Jobs?

Yes? No? Maybe? The state of Massachusetts has spent $525 million encouraging the development of the state’s biotech industry, just over half of the $1 billion budgeted for this purpose. This public investment is being applied to grants, tax breaks and business loans for companies planning on moving...

Is Refugee Resettlement Good for Mass. Businesses?

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the effectiveness of refugee resettlement programs that the federal government employs to settle refugees in the United States. Earlier this month, Dominic Sarno, mayor of the Massachusetts city of Springfield, wrote to prominent Massachusetts politicians...

Worcester on the Affordable Care Act

Recently a panel was held in Worcester to discuss health care reform. Secretary of administration and finance, Glen Shor acted as the keynote speaker and spoke positively on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He claimed it would help break down barriers to health care, along with assisting Massachusetts in...

Millbury competes for state’s only casino

Recently, representatives from Mass Gaming & Entertainment LLC (MGE) unveiled their plans for a $200-million slots parlor on McCracken Road in Millbury. The plan will compete with other towns in Massachusetts for the state’s only slots parlor, including nearby Leominster. With traffic already a major...

Millions in Massachusetts State Tax Credits To Life Science Companies

The 2012 Mass Tax Credit Transparency report revealed that about $17 million was awarded to life science companies. In total $159.2 million in state tax credits were issued this year, with 11% going to life science companies. The $17 million was distributed to 28 different companies to improve life science...

MassWorks Infrastructure Program Enters New Round

Applications opened earlier this summer for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program – a program available for eligible public entities in need of funding to support economic development and job creation. The program opens a short window (September 3, 2013 – September 13, 2013) for entities to...

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