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STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – MORNING EDITION – THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

BAKER PUTS IN A GOOD WORD FOR “STEALING”

Gov. Charlie Baker has given voice to his goal of selecting individuals who have some expertise in transportation to help him fix problems at the MBTA. During a radio interview last week, Baker said that in transportation and other areas he’s not necessarily looking for new ideas to make government work better. Sometimes, he said, it’s copying existing ones. “I’ve said many times and this is not just an MBTA thing. When I was at Harvard Pilgrim, and when I worked at General Catalyst, one of the things I think the private sector is pretty good at is if they see somebody doing something that’s working they steal it. They steal ideas,” Baker told WBZ’s Nightside program with Dan Rea late last week. “I mean that’s how you compete. And I’ve often thought that the public sector needs to steal that idea from the private sector and to be a lot more aggressive about stealing good ideas from other public entities, even other private entities. I just think we need a much broader sense about what’s possible.” As an example, Baker said transportation officials had talked with their peers in cold-weather cities to learn how they go about keeping their train systems running during periods of heavy snow. – Michael Norton/SHNS

SMALL BIZ GROUP HOPING FOR MORE THAN “PHOTO OP” AT ENERGY FORUM

Story Developing. A leading small business group is glad that five New England governors are meeting in Hartford, Connecticut Thursday morning to work on energy policy issues, but hopeful that the gathering is not just a “photo op.” “Hurdles in procuring energy in states like Maine are certainly not new. This issue has now been bantered about for ad nauseam and the problem was only exacerbated by the weather over the past few months. We cannot wait another three years for our Governors to come up with a solution. The time to act is now,” Maine National Federation of Independent Business State Director David Clough said in a statement. The group said Wednesday that “little has changed” in the areas of energy costs and supply issues since December 2013 when the region’s governors outlined a strategy for cooperation in a joint statement. Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday that he’s interested in pursuing a “combo platter” of resources that will both reduce the state’s carbon footprint, but also stabilize costs for consumers. The energy mix should include additional natural gas from Pennsylvania and hydro power from Canada, Baker said. – Michael Norton/SHNS

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