Best of 2012 on Beacon Hill

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Massachusetts politics in 2012 was dominated by one of the most expensive and closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country.  The battle between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and eventual winner Elizabeth Warren was by far the most talked about race on Beacon Hill.  Though Massachusetts did have former Governor Mitt Romney running for president, the Senate race had more local impact. 

"Scott’s focus is going to make sure that a lot of our small businesses are protected," said Sean Coughlin of East Longmeadow during Scott Brown’s election night party.

“I think Elizabeth Warren would be particularly good for the economy because she fights for the middle class,” said UMass Amherst grad Alexis Estrella, shortly before the Harvard professor won the election.

Public health scandals dominated the headlines locally and nationally.  About 200 inmates have been released because of a state lab chemist accused of evidence tampering and compromising tens of thousands of criminal cases.

“Oh complete anger that the actions of a single person could cause so much damage, so much damage and harm,” said former Dept of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach during a news conference in which he publicly announced his resignation because of the scandal.

39 people are dead and more than 600 are also sickened across the country because of a meningitis outbreak linked to tainted medications manufactured by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. 

“Frankly the million dollar question to me in the end is what do we need to put in place to make sure that this never happens again?” testified Exec Office of Health & Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby at a state legislative oversight hearing held to investigate the outbreak.

This was also the year the state began the process of licensing three resort-style casinos and one slots parlor.  The governor signed a law that reduces costs and overhauls the health care system; and residents voted to legalize medical marijuana.

Next year, lawmakers plan to tackle comprehensive tax reform, transportation funding, and laws related to gun control and sex offenders.  Election fever will also make a comeback; A U.S. Senate special election will likely be held in the spring following the appointment of U.S. Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State.   

 

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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