... Lacking firm agenda, lawmakers busy themselves with make-work sick leave bank bills ...... Markey analysis documents impacts of Trump's proposed budget cuts on Massachusetts ...... Boston teachers plan rally Wednesday at school HQ, will call for fair contract ...... MMA protests home-grow, retail opt-out provisions of legal marijuana law ...... Baker admin hires charter school campaign manager for labor secretariat communications post ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m.

LATEST MOULTON SEEKS AUTHORIZATION FOR NEW WAR MEMORIAL IN D.C.

With no end in sight to the "war" on terrorism, the acts of sacrifice and service by American military members cannot legally be commemorated in sculptural form in the nation's capital for the foreseeable future. Read More

MOULTON

OBAMACARE'S SURVIVAL OPENS PATH FOR BAKER TO SEEK CHANGES

Gov. Charlie Baker breathed a sigh of relief last week when the Republican plan to replace Obamacare collapsed and the Trump administration declared itself ready to move on from the legislative health care debate. Read More


CLAWBACK PLEDGE FROM SESSIONS RAISES STAKES IN SANCTUARY CITIES

The U.S. Department of Justice will require communities applying for its grants to "certify compliance" with federal immigration law and "claw-back" funds awarded to those who are not complying, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday. Sessions urged municipalities and states to end so-called sanctuary policies, through which local governments do not enforce federal immigration laws. Read More


BAKER TO ADDRESS MASSBIO CONFERENCE THURSDAY

Gov. Charlie Baker will later this week address more than 400 representatives of the state's growing life sciences sector at a conference designed to tackle the most critical issues for the industry. Read More


NEW ED GROUP LEADER FOCUSED ON "HUGE PROBLEM" OF EARLY LITERACY RATES

Since taking over as Massachusetts head of the education advocacy group Stand For Children, Ranjini Govender has started carrying around with her a sheet of statistics. The numbers show what Govender, who has taught both preschool and high school, says is a "huge problem" in early literacy -- 43 percent of Massachusetts third graders are not proficient in reading, according to Stand For Children's numbers. Read More

Ranjini Govender, the new executive director of St

Ranjini Govender, the new executive director of Stand for Children Massachusetts, pegged improving early literacy rates as one of her top priorities. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


REORG PLAN TAKES EFFECT AFTER LAWMAKERS PASS ON ITS CONSIDERATION

Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to eliminate the Department of Public Safety and move its functions elsewhere has taken effect without input from the House and Senate as the 60-day window for a vote on the plan came and went on Sunday. Read More


WARREN AND SANDERS TO TEAM UP AT BOSTON RALLY

Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to join Sen. Bernie Sanders Friday night at a rally in downtown Boston. Read More


ATTLEBORO REP RUNNING FOR MAYOR

Democrat Rep. Paul Heroux is taking a shot at becoming mayor of Attleboro this fall and says he is leaning against running for reelection to his House seat in 2018. Heroux announced his candidacy for mayor over the weekend and joins a four-person field that includes incumbent Kevin Dumas, a 1994 Attleboro High School graduate who became mayor in 2003 after a career in finance. Read More

Rep. Paul Heroux, center, has announced his intent

Rep. Paul Heroux, center, has announced his intention to run for mayor of Attleboro. [Photo: File/Sam Doran/SHNS/2017] | Hi-Res


WARREN: SINGLE PAYER AT "TOP OF THE LIST" IF CARE SYSTEM WERE RESTARTED

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggested Monday that the United States should consider single-payer health care if Congress were to upend the health care system and start from scratch, a position that has Republicans accusing the senator of flip flopping. Read More


WARREN

BIZ LEADERS SHOULD JOIN FIGHT AGAINST TRUMP, WARREN SAYS

Though the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act failed last week, the battle over health care in Washington, D.C. will likely continue to rage in less visible ways, U.S. Elizabeth Warren told business leaders Monday. "If you think we're past that because health care reform failed last Friday and has been taken off the table, I just want to say, think again," Warren said. Read More


MassDOT officials are pursuing a new approach to the South Coast Rail through Middleborough. [Image: Courtesy MassDOT]

COST OF DIESEL RAIL ROUTE TO SOUTH COAST ESTIMATED AT $1.1B

Providing diesel-based commuter rail service to the South Coast via Middleborough would cost about a third as much as the $3.3 billion price-tag for building an electrified route through Stoughton, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Read More


BAKER

ONCE A FAN, BAKER NOT READY TO BACK LOWERING OF SALES TAX

Gov. Charlie Baker in 2010 supported rolling the state sales tax rate back to 5 percent, but is withholding judgment for now on a potential 2018 ballot question to ratchet down the sales tax until it moves closer toward becoming a reality. Read More


McGEE

SENATOR LAUNCHES BID FOR MAYOR OF LYNN

Longtime senator and former state Democratic Party head Thomas McGee will run for mayor of his hometown of Lynn this fall, describing himself as a leader with the "vision, skills and experience" to unite the city. McGee, who has worked as a legislator on Beacon Hill for more than 22 years, announced Monday that he had pulled papers to run for City Hall, setting up a probable showdown with the city's incumbent Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. Read More


REPORT: NIH PUMPED NEARLY $2B INTO BOSTON

Institutions throughout Boston received $1.85 billion in grants from the National Institutes of Health last fiscal year, marking 22 consecutive years that Boston has received more NIH funding than any other city, according to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. Read More


T HANDS OFF SIX BUSES AND A CONTRACT TO MAINTAIN THEM

While contemplating a larger move to outsource bus maintenance, the MBTA last week inked a deal with a local company to perform repairs and maintenance on six new T buses it uses for routes serving Winthrop. Read More


RETAILERS WEIGHING SALES TAX CUT BALLOT QUESTION

There may be a major tax cut competing with the significant tax increase that's already being prepared for the 2018 ballot in Massachusetts. Retailers have conducted polling and are encouraged by results suggesting Massachusetts residents are receptive to reducing the state sales tax, which was raised to 6.25 percent from 5 percent during a 2009 push led by House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Read More


Friday, March 24, 2017

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - AS THE CONGRESS TURNS

As Congress convulsed over a decision to repeal and replace Obamacare, Gov. Charlie Baker took baby steps toward a declarative no on the GOP health bill while he tested his own deal-making skills back in Boston. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags to half-staff on

Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags to half-staff on Wednesday in memory of Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano, who died March 17 after collapsing on duty at a two-alarm house fire. The House delayed its Wednesday roll call vote on the mid-year supplemental budget because of Toscano's funeral. The spending bill included a provision doubling one-time benefits for families of first responders killed in the line of duty. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ADVANCES - WEEK OF MARCH 26, 2017

Beacon Hill heads next week into the second quarter of 2017 seeming fully distracted by President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. Lawmakers are operating with both eyes on Washington and it's showing. Read More


LEGISLATURE SERVES UP BIZ TAX CODE ALIGNMENT FOR BAKER

Though the change was not made in time to help them during the tax season they are currently working through, an organization that represents accountants on Thursday cheered a provision in the midyear spending bill awaiting the governor's signature that will align state and federal tax filing deadlines. Read More


BAKER: HOUSE GOP HEALTH CARE BILL "SHOULD NOT PASS"

Gov. Charlie Baker staked out a clear position on the American Health Care Act late Thursday night. "House delay on AHCA vote is good news. Means concerns raised by Govs fr/both parties & others are being heard. This version should not pass," Baker tweeted at 10 p.m. Read More

BAKER [Photo: File/Sam Doran/SHNS/2016]

BAKER [Photo: File/Sam Doran/SHNS/2016] | Hi-Res


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State House News Service