GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

GALVIN POSTS SCHOOLCHILD VACCINATION INFO

As parents across the state prepare to send their children back to school, Secretary of State William Galvin this week added information about recommended immunizations for children to his website. “Parents are beset with the contradictory arguments over vaccinations as children are heading back to school,” Galvin said in a statement. “This information will tell them when recommended immunizations should be given at ages ranging from birth to 18 years, and what those immunizations prevent.” Galvin noted a decline in vaccination rates elsewhere in the country “has led to outbreaks of measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough) and type B influenza.” The secretary of state also pointed to the fact that Massachusetts, despite having a pre-school vaccination rate higher than the 90 percent target, was one of 16 states to report between one and four cases of measles in the first five months of this year, according to the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The immunization information is available on the secretary of state’s homepage and on the Citizen Information Service website. In Massachusetts, children can be exempt from school vaccination requirements if vaccines would endanger their health, with a doctor’s opinion and the Department of Public Health acting as arbiter in disputes. The law also allows parents to circumvent the vaccine requirement by stating the vaccination conflicts with their religious beliefs. From the 1984-1985 school year to the school year that ended in 2014, the total number of exemptions ballooned more than eight times, from 120 to 1,161, according to the Department of Public Health. – Colin A. Young/SHNS

BOSTON ALCOHOL TAX BILL MARKED FOR SEPT. 24 HEARING

The plan by some members of the Boston City Council for an added tax on alcohol to pay for addiction treatment programs has been scheduled for a public hearing. The council plans on Sept. 24 to take testimony on the home rule petition sponsored by Councilors William Linehan and Frank Baker. Their plan seeks to allow the City of Boston to impose a local sales tax of 1 percent to 2 percent on alcohol sales at package and liquor stores and a local sales tax of 1 percent to 2 percent on the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption “on the premises.” In their petition, the councilors state “the neighborhoods in the City of Boston are experiencing the adverse effects of substance abuse and addictions, which lead to an increase in crime.” The Thursday, Sept. 24 hearing before the council’s Committee on Government Operations begins at 11 a.m. at Boston City Hall’s Iannella Chamber. – Michael Norton/SHNS

CONFERENCE IN WORKS ON DATA FABRICATION

A date has not been set yet and details remain to be worked out, but a local polling group is helping host a conference on data fabrication in 2016. According to the MassINC Polling Group, the conference will be a partnership with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and will be funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Data fabrication “occurs when data is faked rather than collected from actual respondents” and preventing it “is a challenge for organizations of all sizes and budgets, and one very much in need of further attention,” according to the MassINC Polling Group. “Recent papers and research have shown the threat of data fabrication remains real, particularly in remote and hard-to-reach areas,” polling group president Steve Koczela said in a statement Tuesday. “Survey data is used by leaders in business and in government. They need to be able to count on the integrity of the data. And survey respondents need to have their voices heard clearly, without the distortion of fabrication.” – Michael Norton/SHNS

IOWA POLL SHOWS CLINTON WITH BIG LEAD, SANDERS WITH SLIGHT EDGE ON TRUST

Hillary Clinton holds a big lead over her rivals among likely Iowa Democratic presidential caucus voters, even though most of those polled say the controversy over her email use as secretary of state will hurt her in next year’s election. Clinton was favored by 54 percent of those polled by Suffolk University, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 20 percent, Vice President Joe Biden at 11 percent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 4 percent, according to poll results released Tuesday. Nine percent were undecided. [Read: Poll Results] “There is a fierce loyalty to Hillary Clinton among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. “Despite reports suggesting her vulnerability, these Democratic voters say they don’t believe she broke the law. They are sticking by her in large numbers, even though a majority believes the email scandal will hurt her in the general election.” Asked which of the candidates was the most honest and trustworthy, 32 percent of the 500 likely caucus voters polled Aug. 20-24 chose Sanders, 29 percent chose Clinton, and 18 percent said Biden. Clinton led Sanders 58-15 among likely Iowa caucus voters who are women, a result that Paleologos said was evidence that Clinton was “making the gender advantage work to her advantage.” Paleologos said the poll showed Biden with “modest early support” even though he had not decided whether to enter the Democratic primary. – Michael Norton/SHNS