... Baker introduces new procedures for public records requests ...... Obama appoints Beverly Scott to National Transportation Safety Board ...... AIM: Senate solar subsidy could add $600 million to electric bills ...... Gov. Baker to speak at MAHP conference Oct. 30 at Seaport Hotel ...... Emerson College building 400-bed residence hall with state-issued tax exempt bonds ...... MassHousing closed 3,038 loans ($736 million) to low- and moderate-income borrowers in fiscal 2015 ...
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House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
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LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF AUG. 2, 2015

Initiative petition sponsors have until Thursday to file the language of their proposed ballot laws along with signatures from 10 sponsors of their measures if they wish to be in the running for a slot on the November 2016 ballot.  It's the first in a series of deadlines that ballot campaigns must meet if they wish to put proposals before voters. Read More

WATERTOWN OFFICERS AWARDED CONGRESSIONAL MEDALS OF BRAVERY

As their former chief recounted their firefight with the terrorists who struck the Boston Marathon in 2013, three Watertown police officers were granted the Congressional Medal of Bravery on Friday for their actions more than two years ago. Read More


WARREN, MARKEY RESERVE JUDGEMENT ON SCOTT'S NTSB NOMINATION

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have reserved judgement on former MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott's nomination for the National Transportation Safety Board. Several months after her mid-winter resignation from the T, President Barack Obama nominated Scott to serve on the independent body that investigates major transportation accidents. The nomination was announced Tuesday. Read More


COPS TURNED LAWMAKERS PUSHING TRAFFICKING CRIME FOR HEROIN ADDITIVE

Two freshman legislators, each with decades of experience in law enforcement, have put forth bipartisan legislation to criminalize the trafficking of a chemical they say drug dealers have been adding to heroin, giving the opiate a dangerous boost in potency. Read More


WYNN PLANS TO SUBSIDIZE MBTA LINE THAT WILL SERVE CASINO, REGION

Wynn Resorts announced Friday that it will subsidize MBTA Orange Line operations to the tune of $7.36 million over 15 years for improvements that will be in place when it opens its $1.7 billion resort Casino in Everett. Read More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - THE DAY THE OLYMPICS DIED

Almost as abruptly, and anticlimactically, as Boston's Olympic dream went from an obscure study initiated by a senator from Lowell to a full-blown international incident, the city's quest for gold this week was disqualified. Read More


REAL ESTATE GROUP FILES MOTION IN STORMWATER DISCHARGE CASE

A major commercial real estate industry group on Friday filed a motion to intervene and to become a defendant to a lawsuit that the Conservation Law Foundation brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking to push for additional stormwater discharge regulation. Read More


GROUP HOPES TO DISLODGE MASS. DEMOCRAT SUPERMAJORITY

The Republican State Leadership Committee aims in next year's elections to end the supermajorities that Democrats enjoy in the Massachusetts House and Senate, part of a multi-prong effort to advance Republicans in various state Legislatures. The group, which plans to spend $40 million on 2015-2016 legislative races, announced that Massachusetts would be one of its focuses from its national meeting in Boston on Thursday. Read More


LAWMAKERS HEAR OPPOSITION, SUPPORT FOR "CONVERSION THERAPY"

Massachusetts lawmakers seeking to ban therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors heard this week from some people around the country who say the therapy has value and others who say it is dangerous. Read More


Thursday, Jul. 30, 2015

LEGISLATURE PUTS $97M BACK INTO BUDGET BEFORE AUGUST RECESS

The Legislature powered through two days of voting to override roughly 87 vetoes and restore about $97 million in spending to the fiscal 2016 budget cut by Gov. Charlie Baker out of concern that the budget could fall out of balance later in the year. Read More


BAKER, WALSH HELP OPEN BOSTON PUBLIC MARKET

After much anticipation, the doors at the Boston Public Market swung open Thursday, giving local farmers and consumers a new venue to buy, taste and experience food grown in the heart of New England. "It is providing an opportunity for our farm and farms all over the state of Massachusetts to maintain traditional New England farming practices and bring healthy, happy, humanely raised meats to the Boston community," said Kim Denny, owner of Chestnut Farms in Hardwick. Read More

Baker visits Chestnut Farms stand at Boston Public

Baker visits Chestnut Farms stand at Boston Public Market Opening [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


Brian Shortsleeve [Photo: LinkedIn]

FORMER BAIN EXEC, ROMNEY ADVISER NAMED TO TOP MBTA POST

Leadership of the MBTA will be divided into two positions, one focusing on the transportation authority's financial health and the other devoted to improving service for customers, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack announced Thursday. To fill the newly created position of chief administrator, Pollack tapped Brian Shortsleeve, a Marine Corps veteran who served as political director to Mitt Romney's 2002 gubernatorial campaign before going to work at Bain and Company. Read More


HOUSE CHURNING THROUGH VETO OVERRIDES

The House on Thursday made quick work of Gov. Charlie Baker's attempts to rein in fiscal 2016 spending on local project earmarks and other legislative budget priorities. Read More


AGENCY: SUSTAIN BAKER VETO TO PRESERVE PENSION SYSTEM REFORM

The agency charged with the oversight of the state's public employee pension systems is urging lawmakers to let stand a budget veto by Gov. Charlie Baker relating to retirement board private equity and real estate investments. Read More


TRAFFIC BLAMED FOR LATE HOUSE SESSION START

The House on Wednesday sped through about half of the 87 budget veto overrides they hoped to accomplish this week, and legislative leaders intended to return at 11 a.m. Thursday to resume votes to add spending back to the $38.1 billion state budget. Read More


Beverly Scott

OBAMA NOMINATED FORMER MBTA GM TO NATIONAL BOARD

President Barack Obama nominated former MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott to the National Transportation Safety Board, the White House announced on Tuesday. Scott was among seven appointments made by Obama Tuesday. Read More


INGA BERNSTEIN NOMINATED FOR FEDERAL JUDGESHIP

Inga Bernstein was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama on Thursday to replace Judge Douglas Woodlock. Read More


VIDEO | BAKER AIMS TO IMPROVE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS

While the Legislature continues to weigh reforms to the state's antiquated public records law, the Baker administration plans to take immediate steps to standardize the cost and process for filling public requests for information, including a pricing structure across the executive branch. Read More


BAKER BID TO BUILD SOLAR INDUSTRY WILL MINIMIZE RATEPAYER IMPACTS

As solar energy advocates rallied on the steps of the State House Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker said at a different event that his administration will file legislation concerning the solar power net metering cap "probably sometime next week." Details of the governor's planned legislation were not immediately available Thursday afternoon, but Baker said he expects "a robust discussion with the Legislature on that." Read More

Sen. Jamie Eldridge joins solar energy advocates f

Sen. Jamie Eldridge joins solar energy advocates for rally outside State House [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHSN] | Hi-Res


LABOR PANEL ENDORSES FIVE WORKPLACE BILLS

Bills aimed at bolstering the state's gender pay equity law and strengthening protections for pregnant women in the workplace were among five pieces of legislation advanced through the committee process by lawmakers Thursday. Read More


HOUSE VOTES ON CORPORATE TAX-EARNED INCOME CREDIT DEAL

Acting on a compromise hashed out with Gov. Charlie Baker by legislative leaders, the House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation increasing the state's earned income tax credit while further delaying a corporate tax deduction. Read More


MASS. SENATE APPROVES "REMOTE SELLERS" TAX COLLECTION BILL

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation aimed at facilitating the collection of sales taxes on online commerce despite warnings from the Senate's top Republican that the bill might lock Massachusetts in to whatever Congress decides to about sales tax rates and collections. Read More


DEMS QUICKLY TARGET DIEHL AS HE EYES SENATE SEAT

Taking aim at an influential Whitman Republican seeking to pick up a Senate seat centered in Brockton, the state Democratic party dinged Rep. Geoff Diehl for votes he took against a domestic workers bill of rights and against the $3 minimum hourly wage increase in 2014. "While Second Plymouth and Bristol District voters overwhelmingly support economic security for working families, Republican Geoff Diehl does not: his positions would be a raw deal for voters," said Massachusetts Democratic Party spokesman Pat Beaudry in a statement. Read More


MASS. SENATE TO BIZ: INCREASE GENDER DIVERSITY ON BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

In an effort to encourage more equitable gender representation on boards of companies in Massachusetts, the state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution urging corporations to appoint more women to board seats. Read More


Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2015

MASS. LEGISLATURE OKAYS SALES TAX HOLIDAYS, PUTS $$$ BACK IN BUDGET

Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday poured millions of dollars back into the state budget over Gov. Charlie Baker's objections and approved a two-day tax holiday designed to trade expected revenues to the state for an anticipated burst of consumer spending in mid-August. Read More


HOUSE VOTES FOR AUG. 15-16 SALES TAX HOLIDAY

The House voted 136-20 Wednesday to set a sales tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 15-16. Read More


BAKER REVIEWING STATE HOUSE SECURITY OPTIONS

In response to call from a state senator for armed security at the State House, a spokeswoman for Gov. Charlie Baker says the administration is already in the process of reviewing options to enhance security. Read More


Gov. Baker reacts to budget overrides by House and Senate [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

VIDEO | GUV WILL "FIGURE OUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO" AFTER VETO VOTES

As lawmakers began pouring money back into the state budget over his objections, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he will review the Legislature's veto override actions and determine what steps he must take to balance the state budget. Read More


Speaker DeLeo addresses budget vetoes ahead of formal house session [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

VIDEO | HOUSE PLANS TO PUT $97 MIL IN VETOED $$$ BACK INTO STATE BUDGET

House leaders aim to restore $97 million in spending to the $38.1 billion state budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this month, planning on Wednesday to begin overriding nearly 60 percent of the funding vetoed by the governor. Read More


COUNCILOR JOINS COLLEGE STUDENT AT FENWAY

Governor's Councilor Joseph Ferreira, a Somerset Democrat and former police chief, introduced the council Wednesday to James Blazek, a college student from Arizona whom Ferreira met in Kenmore Square Tuesday evening on his way to the Red Sox game. Read More


SENATOR WANTS ARMED GUARDS AT STATE HOUSE DOORS

Legislators and tourists are used to being greeted by Department of Conservation and Recreation rangers as they walk through the doors of the State House, but one lawmaker is asking the governor to add armed guards to the building's security detail in the wake of national shooting tragedies. Read More


Joseph Levy, Scientific Advisor to the American Suntanning Assoc. & Executive Director of the International Smart Tan Network [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

TANNING DEVICE BILL MET WITH RESISTANCE FROM INDUSTRY

Advocates for public health and the tanning industry accused each other of spreading "distortion" and "misinformation" during a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would apply new restrictions on minors and tanning businesses. The bill (S 1229), sponsored by Sen. James Timilty, would bar anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning device and would prohibit tanning salons from employing anyone under the age of 18 as an operator of a tanning device. The bill would exempt those prescribed by their physician to use a phototherapy device. Read More

Sen. Timilty pushes for tanning restrictions bill

Sen. Timilty pushes for tanning restrictions bill at hearing [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


TOP OFFICIALS CELEBRATE WOMEN'S SOCCER "ROLE MODELS"

Members of the Boston Breakers professional women's soccer team were feted as role models Wednesday during a meet-and-greet with the governor, House speaker and Senate president. Read More


SEPT.2 REPORT WILL ASSESS MASS. HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Updated calculations of total health care expenditures in Massachusetts will be released in early September, according to the Center for Health Information and Analysis. The center on Wednesday issued an email reminder that its Annual Report on the Performance of the Massachusetts Health Care System will be released on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Read More


DeLEO: BABY DOE "THE CHILD OF ALL OF US"

The little girl whose remains were found last month in a trash bag on Deer Island is "a daughter of the Commonwealth," Father Rick Walsh said at a memorial Mass to honor the still-unidentified child. Read More


HEALEY ANNOUNCES FINDINGS AFTER PLANNED PARENTHOOD REVIEW

A review of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts found that the group acts in compliance with state and federal laws regarding the disposal of aborted fetal tissue, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Wednesday. Read More


BROCKTON CASINO OPPONENTS STILL ACTIVE, DESPITE VOTE OF SUPPORT

New Bedford's sudden exit last week from the competition for the southeastern Massachusetts resort casino license left the region with a single remaining commercial casino proposal in Brockton and while voters in that city agreed to host a casino during a May 12 vote, there's still opposition to the idea. Read More


STATE LOANS FOR ACCESSORY APARTMENTS PUSHED BY SENATOR, PARENTS OF DISABLED

The establishment of a state loan program to make it easier for homeowners to add accessory apartments to their homes would simultaneously help to create affordable, independent housing for people with disabilities and the elderly while addressing a growing need for affordable housing in Massachusetts, according to advocates of the proposal. Read More


SPENDING, TAX HOLIDAY PLANS BRING LAWMAKERS BACK TO HILL

The House and Senate plan to meet Wednesday in rare simultaneous formal sessions with the goal of restoring vetoed spending to the state budget, reconciling unresolved policy matters in the annual spending plan, and considering a bill suspending the 6.25 percent sales tax for two days in August to spur retail sales. House plans to take up a public records reform bill before the summer recess have been called off in the face of resistance to that bill from municipal government officials. Read More


Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2015

BEATON: HYDROPOWER KEY TO MEETING STATE EMISSIONS TARGET

Passage of the hydropower bill Gov. Charlie Baker filed with the Legislature earlier this month will be "truly essential" if the state is to meet the emissions reduction goals of its Global Warming Solutions Act, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said Tuesday. Read More


PAY EQUITY BILL UP FOR COMMITTEE VOTE ON WEDNESDAY

Lawmakers plan to move Wednesday on legislation aimed at strengthening the state's gender pay equity law, which would free up private sector workers to share information on salaries without fear of losing their job. Read More


PUBLIC RECORDS BILL SLIPS OFF PRE-RECESS HOUSE AGENDA

Facing strong pushback from cities and towns over the potential time and cost burden of proposed reforms to the public records law, House leaders are taking a second look at the fines and fees proposed in a bill that had been slated to emerge for consideration before the summer break. Read More


"PARTIAL FILLS" BILL SEEN AS HEDGE AGAINST OVER-PRESCRIBING

Individuals would be free to request that narcotic prescriptions be filled in lower quantities and pay lower sliding-scale co-payments under legislation promoted Tuesday by doctors and a state senator from Quincy, but opposed by an insurance industry group that says the bill runs afoul of federal law. Read More


DCR BUYS 690 ACRES IN SEMASS FOR $859,000

The Department of Conservation and Recreation on June 26 acquired vast parcels of "ecologically significant" land in Lakeville and Freetown that will serve as wildlife habitat and places for the public to visit and explore. The Baker administration announced the acquisition of 690 acres of land on Tuesday. Read More


ACCESSORY APARTMENT LOAN PROGRAM PITCHED TO LAWMAKERS

[Story Developing] Citing a growing population of people with disabilities, legislators and advocates on Tuesday touted a bill that would create a loan program to make it easier to add an accessory apartment to a home to create affordable, independent housing for people with disabilities and the elderly. Read More


FORECLOSURE SALES, MUNI-TECHNOLOGY BILLS EMERGE FOR SENATE ACTION

The state Senate is moving quickly on legislation aimed at fostering stronger connections between the state's 351 cities and towns and technology startups with products that might make local government more responsive and efficient. Read More


MASS. HOME SALES IN JUNE HIT HIGHEST LEVEL IN TEN YEARS

More single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts during June than in any month since August 2005, according to newly released data, which also showed sale prices are up only marginally from the first half of 2014. The Warren Group reported that single-family home sales in June totaled 6,457, up 11.4 percent over June 2014. Home sales over the first half of 2015 are up 1.8 percent over the first half of 2014. Read More


ROSENBERG, SPILKA TOUR MARIJUANA GROWING FACILITY

The two most powerful members of the Senate visited a Franklin medical marijuana growing facility last Friday that will be the source of cannabis products for New England Treatment Access's Northampton and Brookline dispensaries. Read More

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Senate Ways

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka toured a medical marijuana growing operation in Franklin on Friday. [Photo: NETA] | Hi-Res


BILL OF RIGHTS PROMOTED TO ENSURE DIGNITY OF HOMELESS

After a 30-year career as a software developer, Cleve Rae found himself "in a major crisis" last year. The 58-year-old with mental health needs became homeless and "it just scared me to death," he said Tuesday. Read More


LAWMAKERS HEAR CONCERNS ABOUT GENTRIFICATION, PROPERTY TAX BILLS

Surging property values in downtown Boston are making it difficult for longtime residents to keep up with property taxes and remain in their homes, City Councilor Stephen Murphy told lawmakers on Tuesday as he pitched legislation to "fight gentrification" in downtown neighborhoods. Read More


CANCER SOCIETY TO PRESS FOR INDOOR TANNING RESTRICTIONS

Highlighting the increased vulnerability young people have in developing skin cancer, public health advocates plan on Tuesday to press for passage of a bill that would add Massachusetts to a growing list of states that have tanning restrictions on minors and businesses. Read More


BIKELESS TOP POLS SAY THEY'LL GIVE PAN-MASS CHALLENGE A SHOT

The annals of Bay State politician-cyclists include former Senate President Tom Birmingham, who famously commuted from Chelsea on two wheels, Sen. Will Brownsberger who now does the same from Belmont, and Cape Cod Sen. Dan Wolf, who on multiple occasions has ridden in the Pan-Mass Challenge. They do not include Gov. Charlie Baker or Boston Mayor Marty Walsh ... yet. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service