April 23, 2012
BOSTON — The Massachusetts House of Representatives begins debate Monday on its version of the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The $32.3 billion spending plan includes no new taxes and increases state aid for K-12 education. The budget proposal also rejects some of Gov. Deval Patrick's key policy initiatives, including his plan to merge control of the state’s 15 community colleges under a central board. The budget plan would reduce child care funds for low-income families by $8 million and reduce grants to address gang violence by $6 million. House members have introduced a slew of budget amendments that will be debated for the rest of the week.
On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray joins students for a series of town hall meetings on underage drinking and prescription drug abuse and Harvard University releases new poll results on the political views of 18-to-29-year-olds.
Former state Treasurer Tim Cahill heads back to Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday for a pretrial conference — a routine step in any criminal case. Earlier this month, Cahill pleaded not guilty to using $1.5 million in lottery ad money to advance his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for governor. His trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on Sept. 24.
And on Thursday, the state Senate is set to debate a bill that would make it a felony for business owners not to purchase workers' compensation insurance. Also on the agenda is a controversial bill that would force major car manufacturers to sell diagnostic data to independent mechanics.