On the heels of the high-profile prison suicide of former New England Patriots player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez, a state senator is asking the Legislature’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee to examine suicides among prisoners and correctional officers.
Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat whose district covers the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center and Massachusetts Correctional Institute-Shirley, wrote April 24 to committee chairs Rep. Harold Naughton, D-Clinton, and Sen. James Timilty asking them to hold an oversight hearing on the issue.
Here are the most popular Worcester Sun articles April 16-22
Valentino’s has ambitious plans for heart of Shrewsbury Street
Mariano: Democrats and Republicans can help residents of public housing by requiring work
Editorial footnote: An offer for Notre Dame
Cliff Rucker: On the Railers, reinvigorating downtown and defining success
Gardens and gargoyles: Dilapidated churches grow into urban farms
Mariano: Mayor Petty responds to PCB concerns with comprehensive plan
As the state and its municipalities begin to formulate their budgets for the next fiscal year, it’s worth considering the major components of government funding.
Income tax is the largest contributor, representing 23 percent of state revenue. The sales tax, which represents 10 percent of the budget, is third largest single source, behind federal reimbursements.
When it comes to cities and towns, property taxes represent the largest single portion of the city of Worcester spending plan, roughly 46 percent of the $611 million fiscal 2017 budget.
However, revenue from those three taxes — income, sales and property — has been affected, and continues to be affected, by the rise of the nonprofit sector of the economy.
Also inside: House lawmakers adding millions to proposed $40.3B fiscal 2018 budget; while Baker eyes five-year plan to boost affordable housing.
State of Politics is an occasional collection of news and notes from on and around Beacon Hill compiled from the latest reports by State House News Service.
HOUSE GOP STILL WAITING FOR HEALEY RESPONSE ON GUNS
House Republicans are still waiting for Attorney General Maura Healey’s response to letters they and other lawmakers sent last summer about her heightened enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, and on Monday night tried to hold up some of the attorney general’s funding until they receive a reply.
When a package of budget amendments dealing with constitutional officers came up for a vote Monday night, April 24, House Minority Leader Brad Jones offered a further amendment that would have withheld about $800,000 from Healey’s office “until an appropriate response is provided.”
Healey announced last July that she would double down on enforcement of the state’s 1998 assault weapons ban, specifically focusing on what she called “copycats” of firearms banned under that law. In response, a bipartisan group of 58 lawmakers sent her a letter opposing “in the strongest possible terms” her decision and the way she announced it.
The letter was signed by several Central Mass. legislators, including Sens. Michael O. Moore, Ryan C. Fattman, Jennifer L. Flanagan and Anne M. Gobi; and Reps. Kate D. Campanale, Kimberly N. Ferguson, Paul K. Frost, Hannah Kane and David K. Muradian Jr.
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Clark prof’s latest book ‘Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East’
The nature of international conflict has evolved in recent decades. Rather than conflict between state militaries, warfare increasingly takes place within regional conflict systems involving both states and non-state armed groups. Understanding the internal dynamics of these organizations is an important part of understanding the nature of international conflict, according to Ora Szekely, Clark University assistant professor of political science.
Szekely draws from field research conducted in Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Egypt to compare the performances of four key non-state actors of the Arab-Israeli conflict ecosystem: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas, Amal, and Hizbullah. Her research reveals how strategic domestic and foreign policy choices affect certain groups’ ability to “militarily resist and politically recover from confrontations with far more powerful adversaries.”
“Each of us living or working in the city has an important voice in shaping Worcester’s future development. Jane Week (May 1-7) is designed to prompt deep discussions and debates on our urban design and to give people a chance to think about the variables that make Worcester come alive.”