Sunday, December 8, 2019

In the News: RMV analysis update, Senate District primary date not defined yet

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The House Transportation Committee chairman said last week that key players in the Baker administration should have noticed the Registry of Motor Vehicles was falling behind on public safety-related tasks while it focused on reducing customer wait times, but conceded that investigators may never get a clear answer on who knew what.

Rep. William Straus, who previously criticized a “war on wait times” at the RMV, told WGBH’s “Greater Boston” that extensive interview notes from an outside audit firm reveal a significant focus on customer service at the Registry before a fatal crash in June prompted re-evaluation of thousands of warnings that should have resulted in license suspensions.

Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration have denied that they shifted staff from back-end departments that manage violation notices to front-facing service tasks, but Straus alleged Wednesday that argument is “simply not true.”

“Positions were left unfilled in critical areas and vacancies were only filled, from the information we’ve developed, in these branch offices because, again, the focus was only customer service,” Straus said during the interview."
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"The confrontation over when to schedule a special election for an open Senate seat has spilled outside the Senate chamber walls.

Gov. Charlie Baker last week endorsed Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s plan to avoid a general election on the same day as the presidential primary, and Secretary of State William Galvin accused Republicans of attempting “voter suppression.”

For three days last week, Democratic and Republican Senate leaders were unable to broker an agreement over when voters will choose a new senator in the Plymouth and Barnstable District to replace Viriato “Vinny” deMacedo, a Republican who resigned at the end of November.

With the delay continuing, the implications of the ticking clock are unclear. Galvin said his office looks to set special elections 12 to 14 weeks in advance, but cautioned that there is no “magic number” after which the March 3 presidential primary would no longer be a viable date for the Senate."

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