LAW

The number of hate crimes reported last year rose by 4.6 percent compared to the previous year, according to data released Monday by the FBI.

The total tally of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121, compared to 5,850 in 2015. More than half of those incidents were motivated by the victim's race.

The FBI statistics are based on voluntary reporting by nearly 16,000 local law-enforcement agencies. Civil-rights groups, however, say the figures are deeply flawed because of what they say is systemic under-reporting.

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
AlexiusHoratius / Creative Commons

Updated Nov. 11, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

A Massachusetts appeals court judge has blocked the auction, scheduled to start next week, of dozens of works of art owned by the Berkshire Museum.

The MGM project has been promised to create a minimum of at least 3,000 casino, hotel and other jobs, of which at least 2,200 will be employed on a full-time equivalent basis with benefits.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

A budget bill signed into law last week could open up jobs in the casino industry for thousands of Massachusetts residents who have had trouble with the law.

Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

Voters in Maine have easily approved a referendum to expand Medicaid for low-income adults, doing an end-run around Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who vetoed the move — a key element of Obamacare.

Maine is one of a handful of states deciding major issues by referendum on Tuesday, including New York and Ohio.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
State House News Service

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker returns to Beacon Hill from a vacation Monday, and lawmakers begin a countdown to the last day of their formal sessions in 2017. 

"The Last Arrow," by Thomas Moran, slated for sale by the Berkshire Museum.
Courtesy Sotheby's

A dispute over the Berkshire Museum's plans to sell off 40 art works will go before a judge Wednesday. 

Greg Saulmon / The Republican

The top judge in Massachusetts says the lack of available lawyers in juvenile court is a constitutional emergency and that the problem is particularly serious in the western part of the state.

Sens. Spilka, Brownsberger, and Rosenberg spoke to reporters after the Senate adjourned early Friday morning.
Andy Metzger / State House News Service

The Senate passed legislation early Friday that could make drug traffickers in Massachusetts liable for murder while substantially reducing other criminal penalties for drug dealing in an effort to reduce the state's prison population and give offenders a better chance at turning around their lives.

Amid the Trump administration's efforts to arrest people living in the country illegally, the Department of Homeland Security is looking at locations for five new detention centers around the country that could hold thousands of detainees.

The Connecticut Capitol in Hartford.
Photo Phiend flickr.com/photos/photophiend / Creative Commons

A compromise budget passed Thursday in the Connecticut House of Representatives, 126-23. Earlier, the $41.3 billion budget overwhelmingly passed the state Senate, 33-3.

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