... MassINC criminal justice summit May 15 will feature Gants, Rep. Clark ...... Senate getting ready to move out of historic chamber, hold sessions in Gardner Auditorium ...... Local road repair funding bill stalls one Senate vote shy of Gov. Baker's desk ...... After backing income surtax on high earners, Mass. House rejects bids to raise, freeze income tax rate ...... Taxpayers could save $27 million if public pension systems were consolidated, Pioneer study says ...... Voting equipment, electronic polling book regulations up for May 5 public hearing ...... State says hospital licensing regulations will remove "unnecessary requirements" ...... Domestic violence, child abuse training regulations up for May 18 BORM hearing ...... May 12 deadline for comments on MassHealth midlevel practitioner project regulations ...... Comments due by May 1 on smart growth zoning overlay district regulations ...... Former Beth Israel Deaconess chief Paul Levy to deliver health care lecture May 3 ...... Crosby says Gaming Commission has never discussed extended serving hours at casinos ...... Rhode Island picks Tufts Health Plan for new Medicaid option ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.

LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF APRIL 30, 2017

It's late in arriving, but municipal officials will soon warmly greet the receipt of $200 million in state funding to fix up roads that were beaten up over the winter. A final enactment vote on Wednesday in the Senate will send the so-called Chapter 90 bill to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk and he is expected to sign it. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - ACT II IN TWO

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 28, 2017.....House "budget week" - once as sure a rite of spring as Patriots Day and the marathon - became something altogether different this year, a slow evolution from a colorful and messy, sugar- and caffeine-fueled test of wills and endurance into something far more antiseptic. Read More

Freshman Rep. Brian Murray of Milford took a phone

Freshman Rep. Brian Murray of Milford took a phone call outside the House Lobby on Monday, the branch's first day of budget debate. Over the two-day affair, the shortest "budget week" in recent memory, most of the important debates and decisions occurred not on the House floor, but in a nearby lounge where reps held meetings to decide which amendments were in and which were out. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


Thursday, April 27, 2017

PARTNERS, BRIGHAM PAY $10 MIL IN MEDICAL RESEARCH FRAUD CASE

Partners HealthCare and Brigham and Women's Hospital have agreed to pay $10 million to settle a medical research fraud case involving three doctors who are no longer affiliated with the companies. Read More


Q&A: TRUMP'S TAX PLAN AND MASSACHUSETTS

President Donald Trump on Wednesday released the skeleton of his plan to revamp the federal tax code, a plan that the White House referred to as "the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986 and one of the biggest tax cuts in the American history." Read More


STUDY ADDS FUEL TO DEBATE OVER CARBON FEES

Putting a price and cost on carbon emissions could save lives and improve health as harmful pollutants would be curtailed along with greenhouse gases, according to a new report that was presented at an event with supporters of the proposal on Thursday. Read More


FINNERAN

FINNERAN OWES $4,400 IN PENSION CASE, RETIREMENT BOARD SAYS

Former House Speaker Thomas Finneran owes the State Retirement Board about $4,400 -- money he collected as pension benefits above what he paid towards his own retirement, the board determined Thursday. Read More


L'ITALIEN

L'ITALIEN KNOCKS BAKER IN ENDORSEMENT OF GONZALEZ

Sen. Barbara L'Italien, in an early endorsement of Democrat Jay Gonzalez for governor, knocked Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday as a leader who "too often backs away from the most challenging issues" facing Massachusetts. Read More


TRUMP RETREAT ON ARTS $$$ COMPOUNDED BY HOUSE BUDGET CUTS, COUNCIL SAYS

Advocates for public funding of arts programs are painting a dim picture of the House's annual budget, saying its recommendation of a 13 percent cut in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council will force the council to scale back its work and comes as President Trump is also retreating from the arts. Read More


SOUTH STATION EXPANSION CRAWLS TO NEXT PHASE

State officials have made progress on the Green Line Extension and the planned extension of commuter rail service to the South Coast. And now there are signs that another mega-project is moving ahead. Read More


BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER RUNNING FOR SENATE

A Lexington woman who serves as the parent representative on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has entered the race to fill the late Sen. Kenneth Donnelly's seat. Read More


TRUMP ORDER COULD PUT MARINE MONUMENT BACK IN PLAY

President Donald Trump's new executive order calling for a review of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act could have implications for a marine monument created by President Barack Obama last year in a sweeping area off Cape Cod. Read More


REPORT RECOMMENDS IN-CLASSROOM BREAKFAST IN HIGH-POVERTY DISTRICTS

Half of the nearly 300,000 children in "high-poverty" school districts in Massachusetts receive breakfast at school, with the highest average participation rates in Lowell and New Bedford, according to a new report. Read More


SENATE GOES DIGITAL WITH NOTICES BOARD

A new digital display board now hangs outside the Senate clerk's third floor office, featuring interactive hearing agendas, session information, State House directions and a Senate roster with office numbers. Read More

Assistant Senate Clerk Michael Hurley on Thursday

Assistant Senate Clerk Michael Hurley on Thursday demonstrated the touch-screen informational board he developed to replace an old corkboard where agendas were posted outside the clerk's office. A similar corkboard remains outside the House clerk's office (right). [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STUDY: CARBON FEES COULD SAVE LIVES, REDUCE HEALTH COSTS

[Developing] Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions could save lives, according to a new report by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Read More


INNOVATION POINT GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR MAY 8

Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will again meet up with GE officials next month to mark another milestone in the company's relocation. Read More


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

HOUSE ADDED $77 MIL TO BUDGET THAT UNDERFUNDS MAJOR ACCOUNTS, REPORT SAYS

After rejecting proposals to boost taxes, the Massachusetts House added $77.7 million in spending to the annual budget bill this week, the bulk of it in funds that may be spent only on particular projects, according to an analysis by a business-backed policy group. Read More


SILVER TSUMANI, OLD TECHNOLOGY POSE CHALLENGE, COMPTROLLER SAYS

"There is a significant thing going on in state government that everyone should be aware of," State Comptroller Thomas Shack said in the early minutes of the daylong leadership summit he hosted Wednesday. Shack proceeded to sound the tsunami alarm, warning that core state services could be in jeopardy in the next five to ten years as older state employees leave the workforce and take their skill sets with them. Read More


BAKER CHALLENGES STATE TO THINK "BIGGER" ABOUT SOLUTIONS

The solutions that state government puts forward to address large issues like the opioid epidemic and the impact of modest growth in state revenues are going to have to be "bigger and more aggressive", Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday, as society and technology change more rapidly than ever. Read More


DENIM DAY DRAWS ATTENTION TO PROBLEM OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Rep. Natalie Higgins "stumbled into" her work in sexual violence prevention as a college freshman looking for a community service opportunity, trained to work as a counselor, volunteered at rape crisis centers, advocated for survivors and taught teenagers about consent. Then, at age 24, as a law student preparing to start work on a domestic violence clinic, she was sexually assaulted at a place she had been many times and thought of as safe. Read More

Rep. Natalie Higgins on Wednesday shared her perso

Rep. Natalie Higgins on Wednesday shared her personal experience with sexual assault during the Mass. Caucus of Women Legislators' "Denim Day" for sexual assault awareness. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER: BIG IDEAS NEEDED TO TACKLE OPIOIDS, BUDGET WOES

[Story Developing] Tackling large issues like the opioid epidemic and chronically lagging state tax revenue is going to take increasingly "bigger and more aggressive" efforts from state government, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday. Read More


SHACK

COMPTROLLER WARNS OF "SILVER TSUNAMI" IN STATE WORKFORCE

[Story Developing] State Comptroller Thomas Shack sounded the tsunami alarm Wednesday morning, warning that core state services could be in jeopardy in the next five to ten years as older state employees leave the workforce and take their skill sets with them. Read More


CAMPAIGN AIMS TO BOOST ORGAN DONATIONS AMONG THOSE 50 AND OVER

A new public awareness campaign launched Wednesday by the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Transplants seeks to spread the word that age doesn't matter in organ donations. Read More


ROSENBERG PLANS CRIMINAL JUSTICE CHAT WITH DeLEO

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said Wednesday that he plans to have a conversation "very soon" with House Speaker Robert DeLeo about a process for dealing with criminal justice reform ideas this session, but broadly endorsed a more comprehensive effort to overhaul the corrections system. Read More


BOSTON CHAMBER JOINS EDUCATION GROUP

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is the latest business group to align itself with the education reform group Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. Read More


TREASURER SAYS PAY INEQUITY SITE HAS "GLOBAL" APPEAL

In the year since she launched a website to highlight pay inequities between men and woman, more than 5,000 people from 66 countries have used it, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said Wednesday. Read More


COUNCIL CONFIRMS THREE FOR JUDGESHIPS

Three judicial nominees were unanimously confirmed on Wednesday, including attorney Joseph Ditkoff, who was tapped by Gov. Charlie Baker to join the Appeals Court. Read More


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY NOMINATED FOR APPEALS COURT

A patent law attorney who also represented a death row inmate in Montgomery, Alabama is Gov. Charlie Baker's choice to fill a new vacancy on the Appeals Court. Dalila Argaez Wendlandt, who is a partner in the Intellectual Property Litigation Group of Ropes & Gray, would fill the seat on the appelate court last occupied by Supreme Judicial Court Justice Elspeth Cypher. Read More


HIGHER PURCHASE AGE SEEN AS LATEST ANTI-SMOKING WEAPON

If there is any concerted opposition towards the idea of raising the statewide tobacco purchasing age to 21, Rep. Kate Hogan has not heard from it. Hogan, a former smoker and Stow Democrat who is House chairwoman of the Committee on Public Health, said support is growing behind the measure and she has yet to hear from anyone who outright opposes it. Read More


SPRINGFIELD RAID NETS TEDDY BEAR STUFFED WITH HEROIN

Authorities executing a search warrant at a Springfield apartment Wednesday morning recovered 750 bags of heroin inside a brown teddy bear. Read More

The Hampden County Narcotics Taskforce on Wednesda

The Hampden County Narcotics Taskforce on Wednesday seized a brown teddy bear stuffed with 750 bags of heroin. [Photo: Courtesy/Hampden DA's Office] | Hi-Res


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

HOUSE WRAPS DEBATE ON STATE'S FIRST $40B BUDGET

The House passed its fiscal 2018 budget on a 159-1 vote Tuesday night, green-lighting the more than $40 billion spending plan after just two days of debate. Representatives dispatched 1,210 amendments between Monday and Tuesday, grouping many of the measures together into "consolidated" packages of amendments that were approved with little public debate after closed-door meetings. The final vote came shortly after 10 p.m. Read More


MEALS ON WHEELS, AGING COUNCILS GET BUDGET BOOST

Before breaking for dinner on the second night of budget debate, the House nearly unanimously approved a bundle of amendments adding about $7.5 million to next year's budget for health and human services, and elder affairs. Read More


BID TO IMPOSE MASSHEALTH CONTROLS FAILS IN HOUSE

House Democrats on Tuesday rejected a proposal designed to limit cost growth in MassHealth and place the state's largest program under the oversight of a control board. Read More


HOUSE ADDS EARMARKS IN HOUSING AMENDMENT

House lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon unanimously added $3.05 million in spending related to housing, mental health and disability services to their 2018 budget. Read More


HUMASON

PANEL'S LONE REPUBLICAN NOT JOINING COLLEAGUES ON DC TRIP

When Democratic members of a state Senate committee left for Washington, D.C. Tuesday to lobby against potential federal spending cuts, the panel's one Republican stayed behind. Read More


HOUSE BANS MARIJUANA PURCHASES WITH PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

The House on Tuesday took a step toward barring welfare recipients from using their cash benefits to purchase recreational marijuana. Read More


LAST AMENDMENTS SET FOR PRIVATE DEBATE

House lawmakers proposing budget amendments dealing with public safety and the judiciary will have the chance to make their case to leadership Tuesday afternoon. Read More

[Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

[Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]


LOTTERY KEEPS UP PATTERN OF LOWER SALES, BIGGER PROFITS

The Massachusetts Lottery counted $70.7 million in net profit in March, up $9.5 million from last March despite $4.4 million less in total sales for the month, the Lottery director said Tuesday. Read More


HOUSE GOP STILL WAITING FOR HEALEY RESPONSE ON GUNS

House Republicans are still waiting for Attorney General Maura Healey's response to letters they and other lawmakers sent last summer about her heightened enforcement of the state's assault weapons ban, and on Monday night tried to hold up some of the attorney general's funding until they receive a reply. Read More


CARROLL

CARROLL, THOMPSON PROMOTED IN HOUSE CLERK'S OFFICE

Heading into the budget debate, the House clerk's office notified its Senate counterpart of two staff promotions, elevating Tim Carroll to assistant clerk and Betsy Thompson to second assistant clerk. Read More


MARKET BRISK AS HOME SALE PRICES RISE TO TEN-YEAR HIGH

The median sale price of homes sold in Massachusetts last month hit its highest point in ten years. Read More


HIV FUNDING TOUTED AS HOUSE APPROVES PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT

The $6.895 million in public health-related spending the House added to its 2018 budget Tuesday night includes funding one representative said would bring the state "within striking distance" of eradicating HIV. Read More


WALSH [Photo: Mass. Political Almanac]

REP RUNNING FOR MAYOR BARRING COMET, NUCLEAR WAR

Rep. Chris Walsh, a Framingham Democrat, told the News Service Tuesday evening that he will run to become the first mayor of Framingham – barring catastrophic disaster. Read More


LAWMAKERS CALL FOR DEEPER JUSTICE SYSTEM OVERHAUL

House and Senate progressives, eager to seize whatever momentum there might be for comprehensive criminal justice reform this session, implored their colleagues Tuesday not to let the chance slip by to overhaul all aspects of the justice system. Read More

Rep. Mary Keefe and other lawmakers on Tuesday cal

Rep. Mary Keefe and other lawmakers on Tuesday called for criminal justice reforms while standing outside the House Chamber, where the second day of the House budget debate was getting underway. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER

BAKER PREPARING FOR POTENTIAL TAX REVENUE SHORTFALL

Without divulging any details, Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration is drafting "reasonable and appropriate" plans to deal with a revenue shortfall in the nearly 10-month-old state budget. Read More


HOUSE DERAILS "MEAN-SPIRITED" BID FOR PUBLIC HOUSING APPLICANT INFO

House Democrats on Tuesday beat back a Republican proposal that would have required adult public housing applicants to provide their Social Security numbers or alien registration numbers. Read More


BIZ, INSURER GROUPS PRESS HOUSE ON HEALTH CARE

Business organizations and health plans are opposing legislative efforts to impose a floor on hospitals reimbursements by commercial payers to benefit lower-paid community providers. Read More


HOUSE ADDS $6.5M IN ENERGY AND ENVIRO SPENDING

The House on Tuesday unanimously adopted $6.485 million in additional budgetary spending on energy and environmental affairs, endorsing earmarks for shellfish propagation on the Cape and Islands, apiary inspection, and open space development at Callahan Park in Framingham. Read More


CAMPAIGN WILL APPEAL FOR MORE LIFE-SAVING ORGAN DONORS

Organ donors and people whose lives have been shaped by successful donations plan to gather Wednesday at the State House to launch a new campaign. Read More


BULK ENERGY AMENDMENT TOTALING $6.5M READY FOR REVIEW

House leadership on Tuesday morning teed up $6.485 million in additional budgetary spending on energy and environmental affairs, endorsing earmarks for shellfish propagation on the Cape and Islands, apiary inspection, and open space development at Callahan Park in Framingham. Read More


HOUSE EXPANDS COMMITMENT TO EARLY EDUCATOR SALARIES

About 200 early educators rallied outside the State House Monday, calling on the House to pad a salary reserve account with $5 million to assist workers whose wages leave them on the edge of poverty. On Monday night, their wish was granted. Read More


HOUSE EYES LAND CONSERVATION WITH LARGER POOL OF TAX CREDITS

The Massachusetts House on Monday agreed to a significant expansion of tax credits aimed at spurring land donations to public or private conservation agencies. Read More


FRAMINGHAM SELECTMAN EYEING RUN FOR MAYOR OF NEW CITY

A Framingham selectman who opposed converting the state's largest town into a city is now gearing up to run for mayor. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service