... China Day planned in Great Hall on Thursday afternoon ...... Holyoke trio charged with allegedly operating black market cigarette operation ...... California biopharma exec charged by feds in Boston with trading on insider information ...... State pension board set to meet Thursday morning on State Street ...... US Transportation Secretary Foxx to highlight canal bridges in Lowell visit on Monday ...... MassGOP touts Baker efforts to work with policy to reduce welfare benefit fraud ...... Revere man charged with operating illegal slot machines at East Boston club ...... Beaton gives Danish prince a framed copy of offshore wind law signed by Gov. Baker ...... Nurses ready to slam regulations they say could let unlicensed personnel administer medication ...... Through mid-September, state tax collections are up 3.8 percent ...... Lawmakers agree to tap Convention Center Fund to meet general spending needs ...... Early voting begins in Massachusetts on Monday, Oct. 24 ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.

LATEST DCR DEPUTY SUSPENDED FOR PRIVATE PARTY RESIGNS

A Baker administration deputy who was suspended earlier in September for using state resources for a private party resigned on Friday. Matthew Sisk, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), resigned effective immediately, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs spokesman Peter Lorenz said in a statement Friday evening. Read More

ADVANCES - WEEK OF OCT. 2, 2016

With legislation on his desk aimed in part at balancing last year's budget, Gov. Charlie Baker is undoubtedly hoping a state tax revenue surge over the first half of September will hold up moving forward. Read More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - BRIDGE WORK AHEAD

As Red Sox fans stream over what soon will be the David Ortiz "Big Papi" Bridge en route to Fenway Park this weekend for the final regular season games for Ortiz, some will no doubt recall the swift action on Beacon Hill to name the span in honor of the retiring slugger. Read More


AT HARVARD, JEB BUSH PUSHES FOR "RADICAL" REFORM OF EDUCATION

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made clear Thursday where he stands on the Massachusetts charter school debate. "If you're arguing about charter schools, clearly you're not going to get to the Bush plan," Bush told an audience at Harvard's Kennedy School. Read More

Former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush

Former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush declined to say who he would vote for in the upcoming presidential election on Thursday. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS]


VIDEO | WELCOME MAT ROLLED OUT FOR DANISH PRINCE, WIND POWER

The tiny turbines emerging out of tabletop bouquets of flowers were mere symbols at a breakfast event that brought Danish diplomats, business chiefs and royalty to Boston, but a top Baker administration official hopes to see the real versions in Bay State waters within a few years. Read More

Frederik, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of D

Frederik, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Denmark, spoke with Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton at a Friday breakfast hosted by DONG Energy, which is seeking to develop a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. | Hi-Res


GUV PUTS A CORK IN WINE BOTTLE BILL

Concerned that it might extend re-corking privileges in an uncertain manner, Gov. Charlie Baker recommended a technical change Friday to a bill that would let people have a last glass at home. Read More


BAKER EXCHANGES GIFTS WITH DANISH PRINCE, PRINCESS

Speaking to a crowd which included their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, Gov. Charlie Baker credited Denmark for helping pave the way for the planned expansion of Massachusetts' wind energy industry. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker (right), First Lady Lauren Bake

Gov. Charlie Baker (right), First Lady Lauren Baker (far left) and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (far right) greeted the Frederik, His Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince of Denmark (center) and Mary, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark (left), on the front steps of the State House on Friday. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Hi-Res


DPH STAFF RECOMMENDS CONDITIONAL APPROVAL OF CHILDREN'S EXPANSION

The state Department of Public Health has recommended approval of a $1 billion expansion at Boston Children's Hospital, a step that moves the controversial project closer to fruition. Read More


VIDEO | BEATON: RETRIBUTION CHARGE OVERSHADOWING WORK OF THOUSANDS

Top Baker administration officials have said they are pushing for a swift investigation into claims of political retribution within the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, but more than a week has passed since Gov. Charlie Baker said he wanted results "as soon as possible." Read More


Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016

PUBLIC HEALTH CHIEF LEADS DEMONSTRATION OF NEW RX MONITORING SYSTEM

With 16 days until Massachusetts doctors must check an updated state monitoring program before prescribing opioid medications deemed as having the highest potential for addiction, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel said a majority of prescribers are now registered with the program. Read More

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monic

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel on Thursday demonstrated how the state's redesigned online Prescription Monitoring Program system will work once it officially launches in mid-October. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER, POLITO MET WITH POLICE CHIEFS WEDNESDAY

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Wednesday addressed a training session for police chiefs about the challenges facing law enforcement agencies and how the police can work to bridge divides in society, according to the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. Read More

BAKER/POLITO

BAKER/POLITO


GUV, LAWMAKERS TEAM UP TO NAME BRIDGE IN HONOR OF BIG PAPI

As the Red Sox make their way into the postseason as division champions, fans making their way to Fenway Park could soon be doing so by walking across the David Ortiz 'Big Papi' Bridge. Legislation attached to a spending bill now before the state House of Representatives would rename the Boston bridge that carries Brookline Avenue over the Massachusetts Turnpike and a set of railroad tracks in honor of the retiring Red Sox designated hitter. Read More

Beacon Hill leaders on Thursday included in a budg

Beacon Hill leaders on Thursday included in a budget bill a provision that would rename the Brookline Avenue bridge near Fenway Park in honor of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. [Courtesy: Parker Harrington/Wikimedia Commons]


LAWMAKERS OKAY UP TO $60 MIL DRAIN FROM CONVENTION CENTER FUND

The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday fast-tracked a spending bill to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk aimed at closing the books on fiscal 2016, which ended June 30, in part by drawing up to $60 million from the state's Convention Center Fund to use for general spending purposes. Read More


DEMS CLAIM DCR TWEET IS LATEST EVIDENCE OF AGENCY "RUN AMOK"

The Massachusetts Democratic Party has coined a new term for the Baker administration's Department of Conservation and Recreation after the official DCR account tweeted an endorsement of Question 2 early Thursday morning. In a statement, Jay Cincotti, the party's executive director, called the state's parks agency the "Department of Crafty Republicans," keying in on the midnight tweet and other recent controversies. Read More


TRANSPO CHIEF CALLS FOR MORE AGGRESSIVE APPROACH TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change will become a "huge focus" of the Baker administration's transportation efforts, according to a top state official who said the old method of building pilot-sized shared-use walking-cycling paths does not meet the demands for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read More


ETHICS, LOBBYING, CAMPAIGN FINANCE RESOLVE ASSIGNED FOR HEARING

House Speaker Robert DeLeo's proposal for a task force to review the state's ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying laws is scheduled for a public hearing. Read More


EU LIVE LOBSTER BAN COULD CUT OFF $125 MIL MASSACHUSETTS MARKET

Hoping to preserve a $125 million Bay State export market, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation has raised objections with the European Commission, arguing against a ban on live imports of American lobster. Read More


POLLACK: CLIMATE CHANGE BECOMING "HUGE FOCUS" AT MASSDOT

[Developing] Saying climate change will become a "huge focus" of her secretariat, the state's top transportation official said Thursday that the older method of building only pilot-sized shared-use walking-cycling paths does not meet the demands for pushing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions downward. Read More


LAWMAKERS OKAY UP TO $60 MIL DRAIN FROM CONVENTION CENTER FUND

The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday fast-tracked a spending bill to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk aimed at closing the books on fiscal 2016, which ended June 30, in part by drawing up to $60 million from the state's Convention Center Fund to use for general spending purposes. Read More


MASSACHUSETTS DROUGHT SITUATION REMAINS UNCHANGED

The drought that's plagued the state since late spring -- forcing water use restrictions, damaging crops and contributing to wild fires -- is not receding, but it also has not gotten any worse in the last two weeks. Read More

[Courtesy: September 29/U.S. Drought Monitor]

[Courtesy: September 29/U.S. Drought Monitor] | Hi-Res


EVERETT TERMINAL AT CENTER OF NEW CIVIL LAWSUIT AGAINST EXXONMOBIL

[Coverage Developing] Texas-based ExxonMobile violated two federal laws designed to protect waterfront communities along the Mystic River, according to a civil lawsuit filed in federal district court Thursday by the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation. Read More


ENVIRONMENTAL PAC SCORES LAWMAKERS AHEAD OF NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

Twenty-six House lawmakers and seven senators earned top marks on the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund's scorecard for this legislative session, a tally the group hopes to use to spur greater transparency. Read More


Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND TERRORISM FOCUS OF WORCESTER CONFERENCE

Massachusetts law enforcement and college officials gathered Wednesday to talk about sexual assaults and terrorist threats, two areas of focus that have commanded attention in the past decade. Read More


BUSING DECISION SPURRED SUPERIOR COURT NOMINEE'S LEGAL INTEREST

Almost exactly two months after the Governor's Council approved his nomination to the state's top court, newly minted Supreme Judicial Court Judge David Lowy returned to the panel, this time to advocate on behalf of a former colleague and potential Superior Court judge. Read More


BAKER TO LEAD DECEMBER TRADE TRIP TO ISRAEL

Gov. Charlie Baker will lead a trade mission of about a dozen state government officials and 40 private sector representatives to Israel in December, his administration announced Wednesday, with plans to focus on cyber security and digital health innovation. In what will be his first international trade mission since taking office in 2015, Baker will arrive in Tel Aviv on Dec. 9 and return to Massachusetts early on Dec. 15. Read More

BAKER

BAKER


CALLAN CONFIRMED TO SUPERIOR COURT

The Governor's Council confirmed attorney Michael Callan to a seat on the Superior Court bench by a 7-1 vote Wednesday. Read More


BAKER ENDORSES DUFF'S OPPONENT IN GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL RACE

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday got behind the candidacy of Richard Baker, who is hoping to unseat Governor's Councilor Eileen Duff in November. Read More


POLITO: EEA INVESTIGATION COMMANDED A "LOT OF TIME" OVER THE WEEKEND

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the Baker administration is "anxious" to learn what happened in the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, where a staffer has reportedly alleged political retribution. The lieutenant governor, speaking to the News Service at a campus safety conference in Worcester, declined to specify a course of action if Cynthia Lewis's claims are deemed true. Read More


POLL: LIKELY MASS. VOTERS FAVOR MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION, MORE CHARTER SCHOOLS

High-profile ballot questions that would authorize additional charter schools and legalize the adult use of marijuana have similar levels of "strong support" among likely Massachusetts voters but are backed by "somewhat opposite groups," a new poll found. Read More


SCHILLING EYEING WARREN'S SENATE SEAT, GUV'S OFFICE

Curt Schilling knows a thing or two about being an underdog, and the former Red Sox ace would be about a 20-point underdog in a hypothetical U.S. Senate race he said he is getting more serious about. Read More


MASS. FALLS FURTHER IN RANKINGS OF STATE BIZ TAX CLIMATES

An annual study of the business tax climate in each state ranks Massachusetts in the middle of the pack. According to the Tax Foundation, a non-profit policy research organization, Massachusetts has the 27th most competitive tax code in the nation. That's down two slots from the last two annual rankings and four spots from the 2014 ranking. Read More


U.S. OFFICIAL FLAGS MARYLAND CAMPUS AS "LOWEST OF THE LOW"

Frostburg University in Maryland is "pretty much the lowest of the low" when it comes to its treatment of sex assault allegations, according to Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education. Addressing a campus safety conference on Wednesday, the federal official walked through some of the missteps that led to a resolution agreement earlier this month. Read More


MASS. TREASURY IN MARKET TO RAISE $$$ FOR TRANSPO PROJECTS

Massachusetts Treasury officials are taking retail orders Wednesday on $326 million in bonds to fund bridge and rail projects. The bonds are being issued to finance capital spending under the Accelerated Bridge and Rail Enhancement programs. Read More


NEW TECH COLLABORATIVE HEAD WANTS 'VISIBLE, VIBRANT' AGENCY

The state agency that oversees the incubation and growth of the Massachusetts innovation economy -- including electronic health initiatives, efforts to connect rural towns to broadband internet and fostering emerging industries -- is under new leadership as of this week. Read More

Tim Connelly, who this week took the helm as the n

Tim Connelly, who this week took the helm as the new executive director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, spoke to reporters Wednesday about his vision for the agency. [Photo: Colin Young/SHNS] | Hi-Res


VIDEO | TAKING TURNS AT GOLDEN PIANO, REPS CELEBRATE PUBLIC ART

A hand-painted piano in Ashburton Park hit the right notes for state lawmakers who gave brief performances Wednesday to celebrate the return of a public art series to Boston and Cambridge. Read More

Rep. Jay Kaufman celebrated the official opening o

Rep. Jay Kaufman celebrated the official opening of Street Pianos Boston on Wednesday and played one located in Ashburton Park, which is one of 60 different pianos located around the city and in Cambridge. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


RIPPING "FOOD TAX," ANIMAL PROTECTION QUESTION OPPONENTS FORM COMMITTEE

With a focus on food prices, farmers groups have joined with the Retailers Association of Massachusetts to launch a formal opposition campaign to a ballot question that would restrict farm animal confinement and require all eggs sold in Massachusetts to come from hens that have ample room to move around. Read More


FORMER JUDGE, BROCKTON ATTORNEY NOMINATED FOR DISTRICT COURT POSTS

A former District Court judge who left the bench for private practice in 2004 to be able to pay for his children's college education has been nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker to return to the judiciary as a District Court judge, the governor's office announced Wednesday. Read More


ASH WITHDRAWS FROM CAMBRIDGE CITY MANAGER CONTEST

Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, one of three finalists for the open Cambridge city manager's post, has withdrawn from the competition for the job. Ash publicly interviewed for the post last week but said in a statement on Wednesday that he's decided the post is "not the right fit for me." Read More

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash on Wednesday announced he has withdrawn his name from consideration for Cambridge City Manager. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL TO HEAR FROM SUPERIOR COURT NOMINEE

Superior Court nominee Karen Green, a former chief of staff to Gov. Bill Weld, will appear before the Governor's Council on Wednesday afternoon for a confirmation hearing. Read More


TRANSGENDER LAW OPPONENTS SAY THEY'VE GOT SIGNATURES FOR REPEALER

Activists working to derail the new state law aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender individuals in public accommodations say volunteers have already gathered enough signatures to place a repeal measure on the 2018 ballot. The ballot question committee Keep MA Safe reported Wednesday that local clerks have certified nearly 33,000 signatures, more than the 32,375 required to ensure ballot access in 2018. Read More

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Fa

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, in July led a kickoff event that began a signature gathering effort to repeal a new transgender public accommodations law. [File Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

WALSH PITCHES COMMUNITY PRESERVATION TAX IN BIZ GROUP SPEECH

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh's speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce was mostly standard fare for chamber breakfasts: there was talk of successes, of challenges, and plenty of thank yous to the businesses represented in the audience. Read More


SIDES FIRMING UP IN BALLOT FIGHT OVER CHARTER SCHOOLS

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the most high-profile Democrat in the state, came out in opposition to the charter-school-expanding Question 2 on Monday, the same day Congressman Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat, endorsed the ballot measure. Read More


STATE MULLING CHANGES TO HIGH SCHOOL STANDARDIZED TESTS

Massachusetts education officials plan to decide over the next year or so whether to shift the 10th grade standardized test that serves as a graduation requirement into the 11th grade or potentially add an 11th grade test. Read More

Education Secretary James Peyser (left), Departmen

Education Secretary James Peyser (left), Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester (center) and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chairman Paul Sagan (right) listened to a presentation on Tuesday. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER TO KEYNOTE TRADE SYMPOSIUM AT GILLETTE

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made trade policies a centerpiece of his campaign. Next month, Gov. Charlie Baker is the featured speaker at a trade symposium at Gillette Stadium, where business officials plan to gather to hear about international trends and forecasts. Read More


WATER PIPE FAILURE SOAKS GUV'S CONSTITUENT SERVICES OFFICE

Gov. Charlie Baker's constituent services offices were temporarily out of commission Tuesday after a pipe joint failed. Read More

Maintenance and operation workers were seen inside

Maintenance and operation workers were seen inside Room 280, Gov. Charlie Baker's constituent services offices, after a pipe joint failed. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


JEB BUSH LANDS FALL SEMESTER KENNEDY SCHOOL GIG

Seven months after the end of his presidential campaign, in the thick of the general election, Jeb Bush is moving on - to Harvard. Read More


MBTA EYES FORMAL POLICY TO ATTRACT INNOVATION PROPOSALS

The MBTA connects some of the country's busiest universities with the downtown business community and the heart of the state's thriving technology sector, and now it wants to establish a process for those groups to suggest ways to improve the transportation system. Read More


SCITUATE HIGH STUDENT FOLLOWS DAD'S FOOTSTEPS TO ED BOARD

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday welcomed what Chairman Paul Sagan deemed the "first legacy member," student representative Nathan Moore. Read More


BUS DRIVER FROM LOWELL WINS MBTA "ROADEO"

A 20-year MBTA employee from Lowell, Reynaldo Beato won the T's 2016 Bus Roadeo, where employees navigated buses through obstacles during a competition last weekend. Read More


DARKENED STOREFRONT SITE AIMED AT BOOSTING SUPPORT FOR RETAILERS

The website shows photos of storefronts around the state -- some of them of standalone buildings, sometimes in black and white, and sometimes there's a for sale sign in the window. But the storefronts are all empty. Read More


IN LETTER, HPC THROWS FLAG ON IMPACTS OF CHILDREN'S EXPANSION

Proposed expansions at Boston Children's Hospital carry a likelihood of increased health care spending in Massachusetts and could potentially drive competing providers out of business, according to the state's Health Policy Commission. Read More


SIX MORE LAWMAKERS SIGN "CLEAN MONEY FOR CLIMATE PLEDGE"

In the two and a half weeks since Primary Day, six more state lawmakers have agreed to reject campaign contributions from individuals associated with energy companies placed by activists on a list of "top ten climate-disrupting corporations." Read More


SENTENCING COMMISSION PLANS ALL-DAY HEARING OCT. 19

Sentencing laws and proposed changes to them will be up for debate in October when the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission meets at the State House. Read More


WALSH

WHILE CITY IS "FLOURISHING," WALSH SEES CHALLENGES IN BOSTON

Addressing a business breakfast crowd Tuesday morning, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh celebrated the success of his city's economy, but concluded that benefits are not reaching enough Bostonians and vowed to tackle racial and economic inequity in the city. Read More


STATE AND SCHOOL DIFFER ON BOSTON LATIN DOWNGRADE

Boston Latin School's interim head master on Tuesday attributed the school's downgrade this year to a "technicality," but state Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said the 95 percent participation rate in student assessment exams, which the school failed in one subgroup, has been a requirement for 15 years. Read More


CALIFORNIA JOINS MASS. ATOP STATE ENERGY EFFICIENCY RANKINGS

Massachusetts has company this year atop a national scorecard ranking state energy efficiency efforts. Read More


THREE DEMS CHALLENGING GOP REPS GET MASSEQUALITY BACKING

Democrats running against three Republican state representatives netted endorsements Tuesday from the MassEquality Political Action Committee, which is pressing to elect a slate of "committed LGBTQ champions" in Massachusetts. Read More


BAKER, HEALEY TO SPEAK AT HEALTH CARE COST HEARINGS

Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey will deliver keynote remarks at the Health Policy Commission's annual cost trends hearing next month. Read More

BAKER/HEALEY

BAKER/HEALEY


REVERE OFFICIALS RIP SLOT PARLOR PROPOSED VIA BALLOT

Voters in Revere in February 2014 approved plans for a proposed casino in that city but after losing that casino derby to Everett, officials in Revere are not getting behind a slot parlor envisioned by the backers of a Nov. 8 statewide ballot question. Read More


LIFE SCIENCES EXECS TO MARK SHARED LAB SPACE OPENING IN NATICK

A grand opening ceremony is planned for Wednesday in Natick, where public and private sector officials are celebrating shared lab space on Strathmore Road that they say will prove attractive to startup companies. Read More


REPORT: HOME SALES SURGE PAST 40,000, UP 14.2 PERCENT YEAR TO DATE

Massachusetts home sales in August shot up 9.8 percent, marking the most active August in 17 years, according to data released Tuesday. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service