New legal aid helping business

Boston Globe

Below is an excerpt from a June 30 article published by the Boston Globe.

State lawmakers rejected a proposal on Thursday that would have raised maximum fines on troubled nursing homes from $50 a day to $10,000, prompting questions from elder advocates about the influence of industry lobbyists.

Records from the secretary of state show that the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, the industry trade group, has paid two Boston firms a total of $635,000 since 2011 to lobby lawmakers on nursing home issues. One of those firms, Travaglini, Eisenberg & Kiley, founded by former Massachusetts Senate president Robert E. Travaglini, received most of that money, $435,000.

Neither the trade group nor Travaglini returned calls seeking comment on the nursing home fines.

The proposal that would have raised fines also dictated that money collected from the higher fines be used to establish a trust fund dedicated to improving nursing homes. The higher fines were stripped from the state budget lawmakers approved Thursday.

Still, legislators left intact language establishing the trust fund, even though there will be no money to support it.

Read more at the Boston Globe.

Group blasts Bridgewater State after patient suicide

Lowell Sun

Below is an excerpt from a June 22 article published by the Lowell Sun.

Lawyers for the commonwealth are pushing for a loophole in one of Gov. Charlie Baker’s marquee opioid-legislation reforms, according to civil-liberties groups that are suing the state.

For more than 30 years, public officials and advocates had sought to end the practice — known as Section 35 civil commitment — of sending women addicted to drugs, who have not been charged with a crime, to the prison at MCI Framingham when the primary Section 35 facility for women is full.

After lobbying the Legislature for the reform, Gov. Baker signed a law in January that removed MCI Framingham as the designated overflow facility. But earlier this month, a lawyer for the commonwealth argued in U.S. District Court that the law still allows civilly committed women to be sent to MCI Framingham if the Department of Public Health or Department of Mental Health approve it.

Read more at the Lowell Sun.

Boston focuses on nurturing female minority teachers

The Bay State Banner

Below is an excerpt from a May 4 article published by The Bay State Banner.

Back in 1996, as public housing developments struggled with crime, Congress passed the so-called “one strike” law, mandating eviction of criminally-involved tenants.

Now, as the pendulum of public opinion swings from punishment to rehabilitation, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has instituted a new program to help ex-offenders clear their records so that they can obtain jobs and housing.

Last week officials from HUD and the Boston Housing Authority joined Mayor Martin Walsh at the Lenox/Camden public housing development to announce a $100,000 grant to assist ex-offenders. The grant, to be managed by the BHA and Greater Boston Legal Services, will help people between the ages of 16 and 24 who live in BHA housing, or would be eligible for BHA housing without a CORI, to seal their records.

Read more at The Bay State Banner.