Massachusetts

Amid Economic Uncertainty, State Tax Revenues Decline

If there’s good news in April's numbers, though, it might be that most states were already planning for softer revenue growth in fiscal 2024 and many have robust rainy day funds to weather a potential downturn. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

With New Power in 4 States, Democrats Prepare to Push for Previously Blocked Priorities

After key midterm wins, the party will gain additional “trifectas” in 2023, holding both legislative chambers and the governor’s office. The change will unlock new policymaking possibilities.

How One State is Curbing Growth in Health Care Costs

Massachusetts is known for high medical expenses. But a unique initiative there is helping to dramatically slow increases and has other states taking notice. Here’s how it works.

Voters in One State Approve a Tax on Millionaires

And in another they eliminated tax breaks for higher earners. But national trends with ballot initiatives to tax the wealthy are mixed overall this year and hard to interpret.

The Battle Over a 'Millionaires Tax' Heats Up in Massachusetts

Voters will decide this November on a measure that would impose the tax on income over $1 million. Supporters say it would raise needed revenue for roads, transit and schools, while opponents argue it will revive the state's reputation as “Taxachusetts.”

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They Call It ‘Tranq’—and It’s Making Street Drugs Even More Dangerous

Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, is increasingly being found in drug samples.

Got Rats? These Cities Have Taken to Zapping Them

One Northeast city’s success killing 1,000 rodents in less than a year with traps that rely on electric current is leading its neighbors to test the same technology.

State Attorneys General Open Investigation Into TikTok

The bipartisan group of state officials wants to know if the social media platform with more than 1 billion users could be harmful to children and young adults.

One City's Aggressive Move to Restrict Tobacco Sales

Brookline, Massachusetts banned the sale of cigarettes and related products to those born after Jan. 1, 2000. Will the restriction catch on in other places?

The Difficult Push to Build More Housing Near Transit

Some states and cities are adopting policies to promote dense development near bus and rail lines. But it can be a hard sell politically and sometimes has unintended consequences.

The Best and Worst States for Health Care

Massachusetts ranks as the best state for health care while Alabama ranks as the worst, according to a report.

Top 10 Spookiest Towns to Visit for Halloween

Sleepy Hollow, New York tops the list, but most famous is Salem, Massachusetts.

Deploying the National Guard to Fill a School Bus Driver Shortage

Schools across the country are finding it difficult to recruit and retain school bus drivers.

This Week in Federal Funding

In the July 20 edition we check in with the state and local lead for the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a federal watchdog overseeing ARPA programs. Also: the outlook for broadband spending and updates from Massachusetts and Maine.

The Best and Worst States for Child Well-Being

Massachusetts took the top spot in the KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, while Mississippi ranked 50th.

As States Ease Covid-19 Mandates, (Some) Legislative Buildings Reopen

State capitols and legislative chambers are beginning to reopen their doors to the public amid increasing vaccination rates and shifting health guidelines.

US Approves its First Big Offshore Wind Farm, Near Martha’s Vineyard – it’s a Breakthrough for the Industry

COMMENTARY | Building a U.S. offshore wind industry will require more than just fast-tracking permits.

Northeast ‘Ghost Forests’ Multiply as Waters Rise

COMMENTARY | New research indicates two factors behind the emergence of “ghost forests” filled with dead trees along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast.

Pandemic Drives Phone, Computer ‘Right-to-Repair’ Bills

Legislation in half the states would make it easier to fix phones and computers.

'A Lost Generation:’ Community Colleges Report Record Enrollment Declines

New data shows total enrollment decreased by more than 10% since last fall, with the most precipitous drop seen with first-year students.