STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2018
6/27/18 9:59 AM
- U.S. ATTORNEY TO ANNOUNCE ARREST OF THREE TROOPERS
- REPORT: FED FUNDS FOR CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS AT RISK IN 2020 CENSUS
- POT SUPPORTERS SEEK CLARITY ON MORATORIUM RULING
U.S. ATTORNEY TO ANNOUNCE ARREST OF THREE TROOPERS
Three troopers from the Massachusetts State Police have been arrested and face charges of theft of government funds, the U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday morning. Federal prosecutors will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to announce the charges, which the office said involve two retired troopers and one suspended trooper. The State Police has been under scrutiny for several months amid a series of department scandals including an investigation that revealed that taxpayers have covered the unspecified costs of unworked traffic enforcement shifts by troopers and that more than 20 troopers apparently put in for overtime shifts they did not work. The 11 a.m. press conference at the federal courthouse in the Seaport District is expected to include U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling and FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold Shaw. - Colin A. Young/SHNS
REPORT: FED FUNDS FOR CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS AT RISK IN 2020 CENSUS
Massachusetts ranks second in the nation on child well-being, but government programs that contribute to that status are at risk if the state does not secure an accurate count in the 2020 Census, according to a local assessment of a new national report. Nearly 30 percent of the state's youngest children live in neighborhoods where the Census has had difficulty securing an accurate count, and an undercount could undercut federal funding for programs that serve children and are rooted in population-based formulas, the Mass Budget and Policy Center said. In the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2018 KIDS COUNT report, Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in health and ensuring children have insurance, second in education based on math and reading data, and 11th in economic well-being. According to the report, the share of children living in poverty in Massachusetts is 14 percent, the same as in 2010, and the number of three-year-old and four-year-old children attending school has stayed the same since 2009-2011. In fiscal 2015, the federal government contributed $281 million toward special education services in Massachusetts, $147 million for the Head Start program and $76.3 million to programs that make child care affordable for working families, according to MassBudget. "If we don't count all children in Massachusetts, we may not get a full picture of their needs," Nancy Wagman, director of KIDS COUNT Massachusetts, said in a statement released by MassBudget. "This could affect the estimates for resources that go to classrooms, that provide health care, and that support other essential programs." - Michael P. Norton/SHNS
POT SUPPORTERS SEEK CLARITY ON MORATORIUM RULING
Supporters of the 2016 ballot campaign that legalized the adult use and sale of marijuana in Massachusetts plan a State House press conference to call on Attorney General Maura Healey to explain and revisit a recent decision. Healey recently approved a request from the town of Mansfield to extend its temporary moratorium on pot shops and marijuana businesses through June 2019. An official in Healey's office said the decision does not mean all similar extensions will be approved, but marijuana advocates have blasted it as a setback for legalization. The Yes on 4 campaign said the Mansfield ruling runs counter to a decision Healey made in August 2017 to deny a one-month extension request. "We are seeking an explanation for this puzzling reversal," Jim Borghesani, who served as Yes on 4 communications director, said in a statement. "We are also asking the attorney general to revisit her decision, and we would like assurances that no further moratorium extensions be granted, as they will further delay a voter-approved measure that has already faced significant delays." Though regulators had eyed a July 1 start date for a launch of the retail marijuana industry, the Cannabis Control Commission acknowledged on Tuesday that there will be no legal recreational marijuana sales until the CCC licenses a testing lab. The press conference is planned for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday outside the Beacon Street entrance to the State House. - Katie Lannan/SHNS
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