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From CW magazine

The 10 political regions of Massachusetts

Mass. links

  • Walking the Berkshires
  • The Eisenthal Report (notes from central Mass.)
  • Talking Politics (David Bernstein)
  • Politicker MA | Inside Politics for Political Insiders
  • Peter Porcupine (Cape Cod conservative)
  • New England First Amendment Center Home Page
  • MetroBoston DataCommon
  • Media Nation (Dan Kennedy)
  • Imagine Election for Massachusetts Voters
  • Don't Quote Me (Adam Reilly)
  • Dispatches from Seth Gitell
  • Blue Mass. Group: Reality-based commentary

In the media

  • BRUCE MOHL on tax credits for the film industry

Government (general)

October 22, 2008

Massachusetts ranks 39th in government employees per capita

The Census Bureau today released its every-5-year tabulation of state and local government workers, and the Bay State is on the low end of the workforce scale. (The Census Bureau's press release is typically horrible in terms of providing links to complete data; go here to get your stats.)

In 2007, Massachusetts had the equivalent of 332,957 full-time people working for state and local government (299,320 full-time employees and 92,864 part-timers.) That added up to 516 employees for every 10,000 people living in the state, or well below most states. The main reason for our low ranking seemed to be our reliance on the private sector for "eds and meds," or educational degrees and medical treatment. Only 3 percent of our public employees worked in hospitals (compared with 6 percent nationwide), and 9 percent worked in higher education (compared with 12 percent nationwide). We also had a relatively light number of people working in corrections and prison departments (2.6 percent of all public workers vs. 4.5 percent nationwide). Compared with other states, a larger proportion of our workforce were employed in elementary and secondary schools, police departments, and fire departments.

Continue reading "Massachusetts ranks 39th in government employees per capita" »

"Public records should be public"

But they're often not. Or they're prohibitively expensive, as CommonWealth magazine contributor Colman Herman explains in the Boston Globe today:

The Public Records Law encourages officials to waive fees for fulfilling document requests. Some did in response to my requests, but most didn't. The Massachusetts Port Authority, for example, initially tried to charge $1,641 for 300 pages of executive director Thomas Kinton's appointment calendar, including $141 an hour for Kinton himself to spend 4.5 hours reviewing redactions made by his lawyer. Massport later reduced its charge after I challenged the initial price.

The Globe column is a good primer on the topic. A more comprehensive look is in the current issue of CommonWealth.

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