Patrick to address Democratic National Convention
Gov. Deval Patrick has landed a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention.
The state’s first black governor will address delegates next Tuesday, Aug. 26, the same night Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak. Her speech coincides with the 88th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing a woman’s right to vote.
Patrick endorsed eventual nominee Barack Obama over Clinton in the Democratic primary fight, and he has been mentioned as a member of a potential Obama administration.
The governor says he looks forward to seeking re-election in 2010.
Nonetheless, the governor has been serving on the convention’s Platform Committee and he said in a statement that he is honored to play a part in a gathering with such historic connotations.
Obama is poised to become the first black nominee of a major political party.
WASHINGTON — Inflation nationally is running at the fastest pace in 17 years, but the Boston area is being hit particularly hard.
The federal Labor Department reported last week that consumer prices in greater Boston jumped 6.3 percent in the last year, the greatest jump in any metropolitan area. It’s the biggest increase in the region since 1990.
Nationally, inflation increased by 5.6 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month jump since the period ending in January 1991.
The local jump is blamed primarily on increases in home heating oil and lodging.
Food prices, however, increased at below the national rate.
Goods tend to cost more in the Boston area because the region is far from the centers of food and energy production.
Supreme Judicial Court: State can take prisoner money as punishment
The state’s highest court ruled last week that prison officials are allowed to take money from a prisoner’s personal account as punishment.
The practice by the state Department of Correction was protested by prisoner Dennis Ciampi, who was caught by a guard with a bottle of “home brew” alcohol in 2002.
He was later ordered to pay $144 to cover the cost of 12 months of testing him for drugs and alcohol. The department took the money out of his prison account.
Ciampi took the department to court, and a lower court judge ruled that the state had exceeded its authority when it took the money.
But last Friday, the Supreme Judicial Court said the state has broad authority to maintain order in prisons.
It said taking the money as restitution didn’t violate Ciampi’s property rights.
The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped slightly in July to 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in the previous month.
The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said last Thursday that the Commonwealth has added jobs in eight of the last 10 months, at a time when the nation as a whole has been losing jobs.
The national unemployment rate stood at 5.7 percent in July.
Officials say Massachusetts has gained jobs in several sectors of the economy, including education and health services, and professional, scientific and business services. There was a decline, however, in jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry in July, as employers hired fewer summer workers than in previous years.
“Green jobs,” global warming bills signed into law
Gov. Deval Patrick has signed bills to increase the number of “green jobs” and slow the emission of greenhouse gases in Massachusetts.
The Green Jobs Act, backed by $68 million in funding over five years, provides money to encourage environmentally friendly startup companies and offer grants to train workers for jobs in the green economy.
It also supports a new Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center to promote and develop the clean energy sector.
The state’s global warming law requires a gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, the goal is to have emissions drop 80 percent below 1990 levels.
Patrick said the new laws will help make Massachusetts a clean energy leader.