Conservatism by John Nadeau

Before I got into politics, when I flipped through channels on any given day, I occasionally would come across the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN). This would lead to, as with most others my age, an eye roll and a passing thought about how this was even a channel because there was no way anyone could possibly bring themselves to watch this programming. Who could find a bunch of adults rambling on about confusing topics and subjects that most of the country did not know about interesting? Continue reading

Frost-Tarentino Bill

My name is State Representative Paul Frost.  I serve in House Floor Leadership as the Assistant Republican Whip in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.  In the very early morning hours of Sunday, May 22, 2016, in my hometown of Auburn, MA on the very street I live on, Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino, Jr. was shot and killed in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop. Continue reading

Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission

Continuing education and recertification is required in many professions.  It is an integral component to maintain effectiveness and currency.  Most states in the U.S. require peace officers to recertify and maintain standards; Massachusetts is not one of those states. In 2008, a recommendation was made to move Massachusetts towards a Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) system.  The recommendation was presented by the Special Commission on Massachusetts Police Training established under Chapter 3 of the Resolves of 2008, and later endorsed by the Special Commission on Sheriffs established under Section 22 of Chapter 61 of the Acts of 2009. Continue reading

Sheriff Cummings Warns of Fundraising Scam

Summer always brings increased activity to Cape Cod, and not all of it is beneficial.  Fraudsters seem to thrive along with swimmers, boaters, and the rest, leaving it to county Sheriff Jim Cummings to warn of the latest scam. Continue reading

With UMass Tuition Hikes on Horizon, Key Issues for Legislators to Consider

This is a re-post that originally appeared on the Pioneer Institute's website. Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government. Later this month, the University of Massachusetts’ Board of Trustees will again vote on tuition and fee increases.  In the fall of 2015, UMass charged 13th highest of 172 public universities in the U.S., higher even than UC-Berkeley and UCLA, the two top-ranked public universities according to US News and World Report Rankings of Public Colleges.  Longer term, the system’s manner of financing a multi-billion burst in facility capital expansion has come at the expense of attention to its deferred maintenance backlog, and places UMass in a precarious financial position.  The UMass Board, the governor and the legislature will need to begin asking hard questions in order to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities to the University as well as to Massachusetts taxpayers.  Continue reading

Surprise, Surprise at the County Jail

Running the Cape’s largest adult correctional facility, currently hovering around 365 inmates and with room for 220 more, I get plenty of questions about life “on the other side of the wall.” That’s one reason we encourage citizens to come in for a tour.  I’ll pass that information along at column’s end, but for now I hope you’ll keep reading. What I find intriguing is how often those questions are built on misconceptions, and I don’t mean that in a pejorative sense.  Ask me how to straighten out a golf drive and (regrettably) my head will shake slowly from side to side.  Ask me what it’s like inside the bowels of a battleship or in a Pentagon situation room, and my shoulders will move in that upward, “beats me” trace of body language. But ask me about running a jail and the ground gets a lot firmer.  Here are some of my favorite questions.  Note how they often telegraph a misconception that lies just below the surface:     Continue reading

Municipal Modernization

Imagine trying to do your job with one hand tied behind your back.  No matter what your job, it would likely make things very difficult.  Now imagine trying to do your job with both hands tied behind your back, while hanging upside down, blindfolded, at night and in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language.  That’s a little bit what it’s like being a municipal official in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, all of that is about to change. Continue reading

Massachusetts Ride Sharing Bill

Ride-sharing service companies have been in the news lately, making headlines as the state attempts to regulate this burgeoning industry. On March 9, the House of Representatives approved ride-sharing legislation setting standards and creating a regulatory framework for the industry.  House Bill 4064 calls for background checks, vehicle inspections and other requirements for vetting ride-sharing companies and their drivers to ensure there are proper safeguards in place to protect the public. One of the more controversial aspects of the House bill is a provision that would impose a five-year ban prohibiting ride-sharing companies that are not registered as liveries from accepting prearranged rides from Logan Airport and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.  If the language survives the legislative process, it would mean that Uber, Lyft and other popular companies would not be able to pick up customers at Logan and the convention center until August 1, 2021. Continue reading

MBTA Transparency Back on Track

*This is a re-post and was not written for original release on MassYRs webpage* Today, the MBTA released its long-anticipated performance dashboard, bringing with it a sleek and interactive new website full of data metrics and detailed explanations of the data. Continue reading

Addressing Inequality Through K-12 Education in Boston

By Michael Weiner *This is a re-post and was not written for original release on MassYRs webpage* According to a new Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) study cited by The Boston Globe, nearly half of Boston residents make under $35,000 per year. These findings, coupled with a January Brookings Institution report ranking Boston number one nationally in income inequality, paint a worrisome picture of the city.  Sadly, many of those left behind in the midst of Boston’s economic boom are low-income minorities. The underlying issue is that Boston’s schools have not successfully promoted educational opportunity and economic mobility for many of its students. And Boston Public Schools have a particularly high bar to meet because, as the Globe notes, 40 percent of jobs in Massachusetts require a bachelor’s degree compared to 27 percent nationally. Continue reading