We're taking a look at Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's big week. With a re-election bid looming, he gave his State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, and a day later, released his budget proposal for the the next year.
The Republican Baker remains popular in the polls, but some Democrats say he lacks a larger plan to help the state face the challenges before it.
Also this week, The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, which handles health care for more than 400,000 state employees and retirees, found itself facing harsh criticism. The GIC had planned to cut the number of available health insurance companies in half, but later back-pedaled and said it would reconsider.
Meanwhile, Springfield Roman Catholic Bishop Mitchell Rozanski announced the formation of a group to examine Catholic education in the area. Many schools have been forced to close due to sagging enrollment and other factors. The diocese currently subsidizes 14 schools.
We also have an update on the situation with the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. An injunction blocking a planned sale of parts of its art collection is due to run out on Monday -- so what might happen next?
Finally, instead of writing a column, one of our panelists was recently the subject of one -- about his Chex Mix recipe. As many ponder what to serve at Super Bowl gatherings next weekend, he clues us in on his big secret for snack success.
- Chris Collins, columnist, Greenfield Recorder
- Larry Parnass, investigations editior, The Berkshire Eagle