... Cities, towns leading way on renewable energy to be highlighted in new report ...... Brockton reps join picket to raise awareness of South Shore elder services issues ...... Baker to sign gender pay equity bill on Monday ...... Senate passes towing legislation (S 2452) during Thursday's informal session ...... Outdoor lighting bill (S 2453) breezes through Senate ...... Baker acknowledges his sick leave reform, police assault proposals will have to wait til next year ...... Guv agrees to Legislature's restrictions on MBTA fare hikes ...... House, Senate agree to Baker amendment to REAL ID proposal ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
IN RECESS 'til Sunday at 12 p.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Sunday at 12 p.m.
Formal sessions end on July 31, 2016.

LATEST TALK, BUT NO RESULTS ON BIG BILLS HEADING INTO FINAL FORMAL SESSION

For months, Democratic legislative leaders thought they could take care of some of the most important legislative business pending before the state over three weekend days in late July, while taking the better part of the two-year session's busiest weeks off to attend to national political matters. It may still work out that way, but it's pretty messy right now. Read More

MUNI-GUV DEAL REACHED, ENERGY CONFEREE SEES "LITTLE BIT" OF PROGRESS

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise bill aimed at modernizing municipal government functions across Massachusetts. The bill does not include changes favored by the Senate and Gov. Charlie Baker to give local officials more control over the flow of alcohol licenses. Read More


TALKS ONGOING, BUT DeLEO SAYS HE CAN'T PROMISE DEALS ON MAJOR BILLS

With less than two days to complete work on a handful of policy initiatives that have been in the work for months, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Saturday afternoon that he has confidence in one deal getting finalized quickly, while the others remain "in play." Read More


HADDAD: LAWMAKERS "WORKING LIKE CRAZY"

Conference committee members facing deadlines this weekend to complete work on major bills are "working like crazy" and lawmakers are still hoping to deliver five major bills to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk by midnight Sunday, according to a top House lawmaker. Read More


MASS. DOCTORS SUPPORT BAKER PLAN FOR LYME TREATMENT

As lawmakers weigh a possible veto override this weekend, the Massachusetts Medical Society on Friday declared its support for Gov. Charlie Baker’s alternative proposal for the treatment of patients with Lyme disease. Read More


NEGOTIATING PANELS UP AGAINST DEADLINE ON MAJOR BILLS

It appears Massachusetts lawmakers may have as little time as possible - hours rather than days - to review major bills before they are offered up for take-it-or-leave-it votes on Sunday, the final day of formal sessions during the 2015-2016 of the General Court. Read More


ROSENBERG: HOUSE PACE ADDED TO CHALLENGE OF AGREEING ON MAJOR BILLS

As most lawmakers waited Saturday afternoon for a few of their colleagues to finish work on five major bills, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said he wasn't sure deals would be reached on all five and suggested the pace of House activity this session had added another hurdle in the effort to reach consensus. Read More


LAWMAKERS, ACTIVISTS URGE HOUSE TO PASS "RACIAL JUSTICE" BILLS

Describing the initiatives as racial justice matters, lawmakers and activists called on the Massachusetts House this weekend to approve Senate-passed bills raising the monetary threshold for felony theft, facilitating the medical transfers of terminally ill prisoners, and allowing the expungement of juvenile misdemeanors. Read More

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins spoke at a

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins spoke at a "racial justice" rally outside the House Chamber on Saturday. Several senators and representatives attended while both branches were in recess. "Good afternoon," Tompkins shouted to the crowd. "I can't hear you! I'm told we have the NRA in the building; I want THEM to hear you!" [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


Friday, July 29, 2016

GMO LABELING SUPPORTERS SAY NEW FEDERAL LAW PREEMPTS STATES

Disappointed Massachusetts lawmakers say a new GMO labeling law signed by President Barack Obama will preempt state efforts to impose simple-to-read labels and instead rely on a system of codes and symbols. Read More


ADVANCES - WEEK OF JULY 31, 2016

Legislative negotiators are scrambling to deliver final recommendations on a handful of major bills, including energy diversification, ride-hailing industry regulations and economic development proposals, raising the likelihood that lawmakers will be asked to vote quickly over the weekend on complex and lengthy bills should they emerge, as expected, from conference committees. Read More


SENATE GOP LEADER FILES BILL TO STRIP AG OF POWER TO REGULATE FIREARMS

Attorney General Maura Healey would be stripped of her authority to regulate firearms under a bill filed Friday afternoon by the state Senate minority leader. Read More


STATE ECONOMY GROWTH EXCEEDED NATIONAL GDP GROWTH IN Q2

Gross domestic product in Massachusetts grew at a 3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, compared to a 1.2 percent growth rate for the national economy. Read More


VIDEO | ADVOCATES PRESS FOR VOTE ON IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE BILL

The family of Deputy John Robert Kotfila Jr., a Massachusetts native, joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving officials at a press conference Friday to urge House Speaker Robert DeLeo to put before the full House a Senate-approved bill requiring the installation of ignition interlock devices in vehicles of all drunk driving offenders. DeLeo has indicated that it it's unlikely the bill would be taken up before the end of formal sessions. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] Read More


LIPODYSTROPHY, BULLYING, TEMP AGENCY BILLS ON MOVE IN HW&M

The House Ways and Means Committee is poised on Saturday to release a Senate-approved bill (S 2137) that would require Medicaid and insurers to cover treatment for HIV-associated lipodystrophy, deformations caused by early medications used to treat HIV. Read More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - ON SECOND THOUGHT

Distracted by an historic event in Philadelphia, legislative leaders have allowed for a slow build to the formal end of the lawmaking season, leaving the smell of anticipation, anxiety and hard bargaining hanging heavy in the thick late-July air. Read More


GOAL CHIEF HOPING LAWMAKERS WILL ACT THIS WEEKEND

Gun owners are pressing lawmakers to use the final hours of formal legislative sessions this weekend to take action against Attorney General Maura Healey's recent crackdown on the sale of "copycat" assault weapons. Read More


JOYCE

AFTER SOUNDING ALARM, SENATE BACKS OFF ON DEBT LIMIT AMENDMENT

The House and Senate on Thursday came to an agreement on a bill creating a new $50 million program to finance small bridge repairs, but not before annulling a Senate amendment that had been adopted with the intention of "maintaining the integrity of the debt limit." Read More


MAJORITY OF LAWMAKERS WANT CULTURAL COUNCIL FUNDING RESTORED

More than half the state Legislature has signed onto a letter supporting an override of Gov. Charlie Baker's funding veto for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Read More


REPS TO JOIN PICKET TO SHED LIGHT ON SOUTH SHORE SENIOR SERVICES

Lawmakers from Brockton plan to join direct care workers in that city Friday for an informational picket and rally designed to draw attention to concerns with the quality of services to the elderly. Read More


NO DEALS YET AS LAWMAKERS GEAR UP FOR WEEKEND SESSIONS

Legislative negotiators have so far failed to come up with final recommendations on a handful of major bills, including energy and economic development proposals, raising the likelihood that lawmakers will be asked to vote quickly over the weekend on complex and lengthy bills should they emerge, as expected, from conference committees. Read More


CLINTON CAMP STRIVES FOR UNITY AS CONVENTION ENDS

After two fractious weeks in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the final night of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday strove for unity that has eluded both parties, with officials calling on preachers, immigrants and others to vouch for Hillary Clinton and to level withering criticism at Donald Trump. Read More


Thursday, July 28, 2016

STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO PLAY ROLE IN DNC'S FINAL NIGHT

Rep. Harold Naughton, a Clinton Democrat, will participate in one of the final events of the Democratic National Convention before Hillary Clinton accepts the nomination Thursday. The central Massachusetts state legislator who is a major in the U.S. Army Reserves will join other veterans on stage in the Wells Fargo Arena shortly before Chelsea Clinton introduces her mother. Read More

Rep. Hank Naughton (center), a major in the U.S. A

Rep. Hank Naughton (center), a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, appeared on stage Thursday with fellow members of the armed services as part of final night of the Democratic National Convention. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS]


TRENDS REPORT OFFERS SNAPSHOT OF MASS. HEALTH INSURANCE

MassHealth and Medicare each provided primary health insurance coverage for more than 1 million Massachusetts residents from December 2013 to March 2016, while around 4 million Bay Staters were covered by private commercial insurance, according to a new report from a state agency. Read More


BRIDGES, DIRECT CARE, ALLERGIC REACTIONS BILLS ADVANCE IN SENATE

As some lawmakers roamed Philadelphia attending the Democratic National Convention, those who stayed behind on Thursday were busy advancing bills during sessions that started in the morning and were running late into the afternoon. Read More


CRIMINAL JUSTICE FEES POSING CHALLENGES ON PAYMENT, COLLECTION ENDS

Testifying before a legislative panel Thursday, the state's probation commissioner said a phone call from his sister one day "brought home" for him the issue of probation fees. Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan said his sister, a retiree who volunteers with homebound people, called him one day after a woman she works with asked her to get a money order for $65 to pay her son's monthly probation fee. Read More

Sen. Michael Barrett (left), chair of Senate Commi

Sen. Michael Barrett (left), chair of Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, convened a hearing Thursday to hear testimony on criminal justice system fees and fines. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


CLINTON LEADS TRUMP BY 9 IN PENNSYLVANIA POLL

A day after Republican Donald Trump touted the "bounce" he received from his nominating convention and his lead in presidential polls, Suffolk University on Thursday released survey results showing Hillary Clinton leading Trump 50 percent to 41 percent in a poll of likely general election voters in Pennsylvania, where Democrats are holding their nominating convention this week. Read More


EPA CHIEF McCARTHY: "I'M COMING HOME SOON"

After three years monitoring emissions and managing toxic cleanups around the country, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said she is sick of Washington D.C. Read More

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke Thursday to members of the Massachusetts and Washington delegations at the Democratic National Convention. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER OFFERS ALTERNATIVE LYME DISEASE BILL AFTER VETO OF COVERAGE MANDATE

Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have required health insurance coverage for a controversial drug treatment for chronic Lyme disease, instead filing an alternative bill that would ultimately guarantee coverage of “clinically proven treatments” of the tick-borne disease. Read More


TAUNTON TRIBAL CASINO PLANS DEALT BLOW BY FEDERAL COURT RULING

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe expects an appeal of a federal court ruling Thursday that undercut the tribe's plans to build a resort casino in Taunton. Read More


STATE STREET SETTLES OVER FOREIGN CURRENCY TRADING ALLEGATIONS

State Street bank agreed to return $75 million in profits and pay Massachusetts $500,000 as part of a federal and state global settlement involving allegations that the company provided misleading information about how it priced foreign exchange transactions. Read More


AT DNC, PATRICK REFLECTS ON NATIONAL POLITICS AND BEACON HILL

Former Gov. Deval Patrick, who has kept a low public profile since leaving office in 2015, reemerged Thursday in Philadelphia where he knocked GOP nominee Donald Trump and said it was time for Gov. Charlie Baker to stop blaming the state's challenges on his administration. Read More

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted Deval P

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted Deval Patrick before the former Massachusetts governor's remarks to delegates from Massachusetts and Washington at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday morning. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Photo Gallery


DUKAKIS SIZES UP TRUMP, SAYS "EVERY STATE IS IN PLAY"

The last Democrat to receive his party's presidential nomination before the Clintons rose to become a national political force, Michael Dukakis shared some perspective Thursday on November's contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Read More


TEN LAWMAKERS ENDORSE COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA BALLOT QUESTION

The campaign to legalize adult marijuana use in Massachusetts announced endorsements Thursday from ten state lawmakers, who said a ballot question's passage in the fall would generate new tax revenues and end marijuana prohibition laws that they called a failure. Read More


WELD [File photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

WELD: ROMNEY "THINKING ABOUT" ENDORSING LIBERTARIAN TICKET

Last cycle's Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may be considering an endorsement of the Libertarian ticket that includes another former Republican governor of Massachusetts, Govs. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld told CNN on Thursday. Read More


McGOVERN

CONGRESSMAN RELAYS McGOVERN EXPERIENCE TO SANDERS SUPPORTERS

Congressman James McGovern understands the letdown Bernie Sanders supporters feel because he has had the same feeling since 1972. McGovern was in junior high school that year and shared a last name with the late former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, a liberal who lost in the presidential election to President Richard Nixon, carrying only Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Read More


HEALEY'S PREDECESSORS DEFEND AG'S CRACKDOWN ON "COPYCAT" WEAPONS

The immediate five past attorneys general rallied to the defense of Attorney General Maura Healey Thursday and her efforts to crack down on the sale of “copycat” assault weapons, calling her actions “constitutional, lawful and consistent with the duties and responsibilities of her office.” Read More


DELEO [File Photo]

IN PHILLY, DeLEO SENSES "PEOPLE ARE COMING ON BOARD" FOR CLINTON

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who for more than eight years has presided over a 160-member body of elected officials, has detected a shift toward unity among the thousands of delegates in the convention hall who were divided over their preferred choices for president. Read More


LAWMAKERS PRESS NEGOTIATORS TO ADVANCE LIVE THEATER TAX CREDIT

More than half of the Legislature has signed a letter pressing the conference committee hashing out an economic development bill to keep a House amendment creating a tax credit program for some live theater productions. Read More


POWERBALL POT CLIMBS TO $478 M FOR SATURDAY DRAWING

If you missed out on the world record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot in January, Saturday's drawing could be your best chance since to strike it rich. Read More


OBAMA, BIDEN TARGET TRUMP, TOUT CLINTON IN DNC SPEECHES

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Vice President Joe Biden and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta attacked and mocked Donald Trump's business record and foreign policy positions at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, an evening capped by an address from President Barack Obama who energized the arena and testified to Hillary Clinton's preparedness. Read More


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BAKER [File Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

BAKER PICKS FOUR FOR APPEALS COURT BENCH

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday nominated two Superior Court judges, an assistant attorney general and a state solicitor to serve on the Appeals Court. Read More


SANDERS DROPS IN ON MASS. DNC BREAKFAST

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a surprise appearance before Massachusetts Democrats Wednesday, rallying delegates around the goals of defeating Donald Trump for the presidency in November and ushering in a new wave of Democrats to lesser offices around the country. Read More


SENATE CALLS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVEYS

College and university students in Massachusetts would be asked to complete a survey about the "prevalence and perception" of sexual assaults on their campuses under a resolve passed Wednesday by the state Senate. Read More


DUCK BOAT SAFETY BILL BEGINS ROLLING THROUGH SENATE

Just over a week after Boston Duck Tours announced it will add a second staff member to all of its tours, the Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday advanced legislation mandating that change and creating new penalties for violations of proposed industry safety requirements. Read More

[File Photo:Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[File Photo:Antonio Caban/SHNS]


IN LOWY, COUNCIL APPROVES SECOND OF THREE BAKER PICKS FOR SJC

David Lowy, a Superior Court judge and law school professor with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker and others in state government, will soon don a black robe as the newest justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. Read More

LOWY [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

LOWY [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


HIGHER ED SEXUAL ASSAULT, DUCK BOAT BILLS MOVING OUT OF SW&M

The logjam of bills in the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee continues to break in the days before final sessions subside on July 31. On Wednesday, ahead of an 11 a.m. session, the panel's members were voting to advance the following bills: Read More


ROSENBERG

ROSENBERG: SENATE WOULD AGREE TO BAKER CAMPAIGN FINANCE BILL AMENDMENT

Displeased that Gov. Charlie Baker sent back an election-mailer disclosure bill with an amendment, Senate President Stan Rosenberg said the Senate would agree to the language, which he said is unnecessary. Read More


MBTA: LATE-NIGHT CANCELLATION REVIEW MET REQUIREMENTS

After the filing of a federal complaint Tuesday by a trio of advocacy groups, the MBTA is standing by its review of the impact of eliminating late-night subway and bus service earlier this year. Read More


HOUSE PLANS 11 A.M. STARTS ON SATURDAY, SUNDAY

The House's weekend legislative schedule began to take shape Wednesday. According to House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office, the House will gavel in a formal session Saturday at 11 a.m., with a Democratic caucus planned for 12:30 p.m. in Room A-1 and recorded votes beginning in the House chamber after 1:15 p.m. Sunday's formal session, the last scheduled formal of the year, will begin at 11 a.m., and plans for a caucus or starting time on roll calls will be announced from the rostrum during Saturday's session. The Senate plans to be in session both days as well, although details have not been announced. Read More


VIDEO | CHARTER EXPANSION OPPONENTS KNOCK STUDENT SUSPENSIONS

Amanda Ceide's son Kiernan, then 5, was suspended from his charter school six times in three months for what she described to reporters Wednesday as "very minor incidences." Malikka Williams said her son Malik, also 5, was suspended 16 times over the course of a school year. Read More

At a Wednesday press conference organized by the c

At a Wednesday press conference organized by the campaign against the expansion of charter schools, mothers of children who were suspended from charter schools called on state education officials to release suspension data and helped launch a hotline for parents to talk about their child's suspension experiences. [Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


"IN-CAR COMMERCE" FUNCTIONS RECOMMENDED FOR TOLL TRANSPONDERS

As Massachusetts moves towards all-electronic tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Pioneer Institute is urging the state to look into expanding the use of tolling transponders to pay for parking and retail. Read More


BAKER AGREES TO NEW CAP ON MBTA FARES

MBTA fares will be allowed to grow by no more than 7 percent once every two years after Gov. Charlie Baker relented and signed a fare cap bill after his efforts to allow greater flexibility in fare setting were thwarted by the Legislature. Read More


HEALEY OVERSTEPPING AUTHORITY ON GUNS, PUBLIC SAFETY CO-CHAIR SAYS

Count Rep. Harold Naughton among the lawmakers on Beacon Hill questioning Attorney General Maura Healey's recent action to crack down on the sale of copycat assault weapons in Massachusetts. Naughton, the House chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, is among many elected officials who have written letters to Healey expressing concerns about her July 20 announcement. Read More


AS FORMALS WIND DOWN, SENATE MORE ACTIVE THAN HOUSE

The Massachusetts House has shown little interest in advancing scores of bills that have cleared the Senate this session, but that hasn't diminished interest among senators in passing more bills. Read More


SANDERS SURPRISES MASS. DELEGATION TO DNC

[Story Developing] Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a surprise appearance before Massachusetts Democrats Wednesday, rallying delegates around the goals of defeating Donald Trump for the presidency in November and electing Democrats to other offices around the country. Read More


MOTHERS SHARE PAIN AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Two Florida mothers who lost sons to gunfire in high-profile incidents tapped their pain Tuesday to tell the Democratic National Convention why they support Hillary Clinton's campaign for president. Read More


BILL ON HILLARY: "SHE'LL NEVER QUIT ON YOU"

Bill Clinton, whose marriage endured intense scrutiny during his time in the White House as a result of a cheating scandal, focused like a first-year law student on his wife Hillary Clinton in a speech to Democratic convention-goers on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Democrats made theirs the first major party to offer their presidential nomination to a woman. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton is set to accept it. Read More

Former President Bill Clinton spent around an hour

Former President Bill Clinton spent around an hour Tuesday night speaking almost exclusively about Hillary Clinton, his wife and the Democrats' choice for the Oval Office. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS]


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service