Articles by Steve LeBlanc

Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek to Ease Federal Flood Insurance Rules

When Mitch Haddad and his brother began rebuilding their family’s oceanside restaurant in Marshfield, Massachusetts, they decided to take no chances. The restaurant, which had been in the family for more than 70 years, routinely flooded — 25 times in …

In Mass., Website Woes, Technical Roadblocks Frustrate Health Care Push

Massachusetts has long held a special status in the debate about President Obama’s health care law. It was a 2006 Massachusetts law that provided the inspiration for the 2010 national law, and Massachusetts already had near-universal coverage before the federal …

Report: Massachusetts Blast Not the Fault of Gas Company

State fire investigators have concluded that a fatal explosion at a condominium project last summer was not the result of the delivery of odorless propane gas from a Westfield, Mass., distributor, as initially thought. The report from Fire Marshal Stephen …

Massachusetts Elderly Driver Bill Stalls on Beacon Hill

A bill that would require Massachusetts drivers age 75 or older to pass cognitive and physical exams every time they renew their licenses has stalled on Beacon Hill. The legislation gained momentum this summer after a spate of car accidents …

GOP Candidate Challenges Sen. Kerry on AIG Bailout

Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s Republican challenger in Massachusetts called on him to sell any stock he has in insurance giant American International Group and donate all campaign contributions from officials at the company to taxpayers. Republican Jeff Beatty said the …

Mass. Considering Traffic Flaggers Instead of Police at Construction Sites

Civilian flaggers dressed in orange safety vests could replace police officers at some roadside construction projects as early as October under regulations set to be unveiled by the Patrick administration Wednesday. Police unions have fiercely defended the paid details, but …

Mass. Insurers, Businesses Balk at Plan to Hike Health Fee

Massachusetts insurers and business owners have one question for Gov. Deval Patrick: Why us? Patrick is looking to tap insurers, businesses and hospitals to help close a looming $130 million budget hole in the state’s landmark 2006 health insurance law, …

Mass. Law Limiting Liability for Brownfields Transforms Landscape

Growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Henry Wainer remembers driving past the old Alden Corrugated Container Co. on trips out of the city. Then one day, the single-story cardboard box factory burned. The city bulldozed what remained and — in …

Mass. Mandatory Health Plan Enters Cost Control Phase

Massachusetts is facing a daunting goal as it enters the second year of its grand experiment of extending health care coverage to nearly all citizens — reining in spiraling costs that could threaten the landmark law. “The sustainability of reform …

Mass. Officials Cite Early Success for Mandatory Health Benefit Law

As Massachusetts’ landmark health care law nears another crucial deadline, its ripple effects continue to spread across the state and country. This week those charged with overseeing the law toasted what they said has been its single most dramatic success: …