... DGA: Mass. voters "will not forget that their governor helped contribute to Roy Moore�s embarrassment of a campaign" ...... Return of medical device tax, set for Jan. 1, causing a stir in Massachusetts ...... Galvin throws up caution flag on Bitcoin ...... Massachusetts joins regional group that supports public high schools ...... Top health ranking triggers sharp words over nurse staffing proposal ...... Open enrollment, federal policy updates on Connector Authority agenda Thursday ...... Consumer price index is up 2.9 percent in Boston area over past 12 months, feds say ...... State says early education and care programs will receive 2 percent rate increase ...... Open enrollment update on Connector Authority agenda for Thursday ...... No response from Dems on allegedly corrupt coffee cash revealed in Joyce indictment ...... Chandler staying behind but staff moving into former Senate President Rosenberg's old suite ...... ACLU in new voter education effort with report card on district attorneys ...... Rep. Moran backing Matias in Third Congressional District race ...... In appeal to motorists, Green pledges to fix Concord Rotary if elected to Congress ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST SJC HOPEFUL CONFIRMED TO SUPERIOR COURT BENCH

A career business attorney was cleared to join the Superior Court on Wednesday and a career corrections official won confirmation to join the Parole Board. The Governor's Council, an 8-member elected body that vets the governor's judicial nominations, voted 6-1 to confirm Debra Squires-Lee for a Superior Court judgeship, and voted 5-2 to confirm Colette Santa for the Parole Board. Read More

Attorney Debra Squires-Lee was confirmed Wednesday to the Superior Court bench. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res

RETURN OF MEDICAL DEVICE TAX CAUSING A STIR

The failure of Republicans in Congress this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act means that a controversial tax on medical device sales will return in 2018 unless legislators intervene in the next couple weeks, putting a major Bay State industry on edge. Read More


REPORT: MASS. ANTI-SMOKING EFFORTS TRAIL OTHER STATES

At $3.51 per pack, the cigarette tax in Massachusetts is considered high, but a new report places the Bay State among the states spending the least to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers stop. Read More


FORMER DCF ATTORNEY NOMINATED FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY JUDGESHIP

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday selected a longtime Department of Children and Families attorney who currently works in Plymouth Juvenile Court for a Suffolk County Juvenile Court judgeship. Read More


NATIONAL GUARD DAILY PAY WOULD DOUBLE TO $200 UNDER BAKER BILL

The minimum daily pay for soldiers and airmen performing state active duty in the National Guard would double to a highest in the nation $200 under legislation filed Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker presented awards to National Gu

Gov. Charlie Baker presented awards to National Guard members on Wednesday including a commendation medal to Capt. David Wilson (right) for his heroism evacuating a crashed school bus in January. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GALVIN

GALVIN THROWS UP CAUTION FLAG ON BITCOIN

The state's top financial regulator is warning investors to pump the brakes on the excitement around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, warning that their "unregulated and ambiguous nature" welcomes fraud. Read More


JOYCE

NO RESPONSE FROM DEMS ON ALLEGEDLY CORRUPT COFFEE CASH

Amid eye-grabbing allegations about the hundreds of pounds of free coffee former Democratic Sen. Brian Joyce corruptly accepted, federal prosecutors claim Joyce directed his coffee supply man to give $10,000 to the Massachusetts Democratic Party in order to "conceal his corrupt relationship." Read More


GREEN

GREEN PROMISES VOTERS HE'LL FIX CONGESTED CONCORD ROTARY

Republican Rick Green of Pepperell is appealing to frustrated drivers in his candidacy for Congress, pledging to address traffic congestion at a heavily traveled rotary in the Third Congressional District. Read More


LEXINGTON HOUSE SEAT DRAWING SIGNIFICANT INTEREST

Lexington Democrats are lining up to succeed Rep. Jay Kaufman, whose House seat is opening up in 2018 for the first time in 24 years. Kaufman in November announced plans to retire after his current term. Read More


TRAN

GOP'S TRAN TO JOIN RANKS OF SENATE NEXT WEDNESDAY

Dean Tran will be sworn in as the seventh Republican member of the Massachusetts Senate next week, but the customary full Senate welcome won't be held until early next month. Read More


AFTER COMING UP SHORT, ABORTION FUNDING ACTIVISTS SAY THEY'LL TRY AGAIN

While opponents of an abortion funding initiative petition cheered the news that question would not make its way before voters, backers say they're encouraged by the response they received and plan to try again in the future. Read More


MASS. JOINS REGIONAL GROUP THAT SUPPORTS HIGH SCHOOLS

Massachusetts is the last New England state to join a regional group that shares ideas about supporting public high schools. Read More


HEALTH RANKING TRIGGERS SHARP WORDS OVER NURSE STAFFING PROPOSAL

As nurses seek to convince voters that patient safety is at risk without nurse staffing mandates, opponents of their proposed 2018 ballot question are pointing to new rankings that determined Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the nation. Read More


SENATE HOLIDAY PARTY CANCELED, BUT DECORATED OFFICE OPENS TO PUBLIC

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the state Senate president's office, but there will be no holiday party this year for senators and staff. Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler "made the determination that a holiday party would not be appropriate" this year after speaking with other members of Senate leadership, Chandler spokesman Kevin Connor told the News Service. Read More

The Senate president's office, bedecked with everg

The Senate president's office, bedecked with evergreens and lights, was open to visitors on Wednesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ACLU RELEASES DA REPORT CARD RUBRIC

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts plans to grade the state's district attorneys on transparency, fairness, racial justice and other matters as part of a new education campaign aiming to inform voters about the roles that elected prosecutors play in the justice system. Read More


MORAN BACKING MATIAS IN PACKED 3CD DEM PRIMARY FIELD

State Rep. Juana Matias, a candidate for Congress, is now running with an endorsement of a fellow Lawrence lawmaker. Read More


MASS. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE WOULD REMAIN IF FED MANDATE IS REPEALED

Massachusetts officials remain on alert for attempts in Washington to squeeze the northward flow of federal health care funds, but the so-called individual mandate to purchase health insurance, an important ingredient of Obamacare, is not a top concern within the Bay State. Read More


Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

VIDEO | UPDATED: PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR DISCUSSES STATEHOOD, TAX BILL IMPACTS

Puerto Rico would be "penalized" under tax bills passed by the U.S. House and Senate, according to the island's governor, who said the U.S. territory would be treated like a foreign country under the federal legislation. Read More

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Tuesday tha

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Tuesday that this year's hurricane damage on the island is the "greatest catastrophe in the modern history of the United States." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Video


CCC EXPLORING WAYS TO HELP COMMUNITIES HARMED BY MARIJUANA BAN

As it works to build a new industry from the ground up, state marijuana regulators on Tuesday wrestled with how Massachusetts' newly legal marijuana industry could be more accessible to racially and economically diverse communities and how the industry could benefit groups that were disproportionately affected by the enforcement of marijuana prohibition. Read More


STATE POLICE READY TO PHASE IN NEW RADIO SYSTEM

State Police are embarking on a five-year process to overhaul their public safety radio system, replacing the aging analog network with a new digital system. Read More

Col. Kerry Gilpin said the current State Police ra

Col. Kerry Gilpin said the current State Police radio system is "nearing the end of its useful life." [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SABSHON

DeLEO AIDE SEES AFFORDABILITY AS PART OF "TOUGH CONVERSATIONS" ON HEALTH CARE

Expect to see more concrete details on the Massachusetts House's plan for health care within the next couple of months. That's the message from Speaker Robert DeLeo's health care policy analyst, Sarah Sabshon, who said Tuesday that affordability remains the pressing issue facing the state as policymakers seek a balance between rising medical costs for consumers and the potential loss of federal funding to support care. Read More


STATE TO REVIEW IMPACTS OF MAJOR BETH ISRAEL-LAHEY MERGER

The merger involving the Beth Israel Deaconess system, Lahey Health and three other hospitals is the largest health care transaction proposed in Massachusetts in decades, and the new entity would provide one-quarter of the state's inpatient care, according to the Health Policy Commission. Read More

The primary acute care service area would stretch

The primary acute care service area would stretch from Salisbury down to Bourne under a new regional system that would be created by a merger of the Beth Israel Deaconess System, Lahey Health and New England Baptist, Anna Jaques and Mount Auburn hospitals. [Courtesy/HPC] | Hi-Res


RIVALS SAY BAKER'S FUNDRAISING APPROACH BENEFITS MOORE

A fundraising partnership with the Republican National Committee has greatly enriched the Massachusetts Republican Party since Gov. Charlie Baker took office in 2015, but that same agreement has put the governor on the defensive this week as Republicans have splintered over the Senate candidacy of Roy Moore in Alabama. Read More


DeLEO PROMOTES STAFF AS TOP AIDES LEAVE FOR LOBBYING FIRMS

House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office is undergoing major staff changes, with his two senior aides departing for jobs in the private sector and his director of communications, former reporter and Mayor Thomas Menino aide Seth Gitell, moving up to chief of staff. Read More

Seth Gitell, House Speaker Robert DeLeo's new chie

Seth Gitell, House Speaker Robert DeLeo's new chief of staff, was hired in 2009 as DeLeo's communications director. [Photo: File/SHNS/2013] | Hi-Res


REPORT: MASSACHUSETTS IS THE HEALTHIEST STATE

Massachusetts vaulted past Hawaii to lay claim to being the healthiest state in the nation, according to annual rankings released on Tuesday. Read More


HIGHER ED TUITION BREAK APPROVED FOR PUERTO RICO, VIRGIN ISLAND EVACUEES

Students who relocated to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because of Hurricane Maria will be immediately eligible to pay lower in-state public higher education tuition rates under a proposal unanimously approved on Tuesday by the state Board of Higher Education. Read More


ROSSELLÓ

BAKER TO HOST PUERTO RICAN GOVERNOR TUESDAY

The governor of Puerto Rico will meet with Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday morning, nearly three months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory. Read More


Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

INCOME SURTAX OPPONENTS CALL PROPOSAL "TRULY RADICAL"

A proposed constitutional amendment that roughly 70 percent of Bay State lawmakers voted to put before voters is "truly radical," a group of business representatives told the state's highest court in a brief filed Monday. Read More


BAKER BACKING DEMOCRAT JONES IN ALABAMA SENATE RACE

Gov. Charlie Baker supports the Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Alabama against Roy Moore, the controversial Republican who has been dogged by multiple accounts that he made sexual advances towards teenage women well into his adult years. Read More


BAKER, BUMP CONTINUE TO CLASH OVER DCF AUDIT

Gov. Charlie Baker delivered a forceful rebuke Monday of Auditor Suzanne Bump's review of the Department of Children and Families, calling the claims in the audit release last week "irresponsible" and in some cases "simply not true" in a letter to DCF staff. Read More

Charges and counter-charges have bounced back and

Charges and counter-charges have bounced back and forth between Auditor Suzanne Bump and Gov. Charlie Baker's administration over the auditor's DCF review. [File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MASS. STEPPING UP TRANSPO SECURITY AFTER NY BOMBING

Massachusetts on Monday planned to up the visibility of law enforcement at transportation hubs following the detonation of a bomb in New York City's main bus terminal, but Gov. Charlie Baker said there were no known threats to the state. Read More


CHANDLER STAYING BACK, BUT STAFF MOVING INTO PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

It's moving day in the Senate president's office. Read More

Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler's name

Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler's name was inscribed on the doorway to the president's office. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER OUTLINES PLAN FOR 135,000 NEW HOUSING UNITS BY 2025

Aiming for the construction of 135,000 new housing units by 2025, the Baker administration on Monday heralded $10 million in incentives to encourage cities and towns to promote development within their borders. Read More


BAKER

IN LETTER, BAKER CALLS BUMP'S DCF AUDIT "IRRESPONSIBLE"

Gov. Charlie Baker delivered a forceful rebuke Monday of Auditor Suzanne Bump's review of the Department of Children and Families released last week, calling the claims in the audit "irresponsible," and in some cases "simply not true" in a letter to DCF staff. Read More


HEALEY

HEALEY JOINS COUNTERPARTS IN SUIT OVER CFPB

Attorney General Maura Healey and her counterparts from other states are backing a legal challenge to the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that President Donald Trump's appointment of an acting director will hinder the agency's independence and effectiveness. Read More


PANEL RECOMMENDS LIMITING CAPITAL DEBT INCREASE TO $80M

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration should boost state capital borrowing by no more than $80 million in fiscal year 2019, a committee of state finance experts recommended Monday. Read More


SOCIAL CONSUMPTION, HOME DELIVERY MARIJUANA RULES DEBATED

The first day of policy debate among state marijuana regulators indicated that the Cannabis Control Commission is working towards industry regulations that would give consumers more options for how they obtain marijuana and where they will be able to use it. Read More


MARKEY ANTICIPATES "DAY OF RECKONING" FOR TRUMP

President Donald Trump "shouldn't get a pass" on the sexual harassment allegations against him, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Monday. Read More


TRAHAN

TRAHAN TOUTS ZERO TOLERANCE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN POLICY

Congressional candidate Lori Trahan of Westford declared a zero tolerance sexual harassment and discrimination policy on her campaign Monday, saying the policy mirrors the one in place at the business she owns, Concire Leadership Institute. Read More


OPPONENTS OF FCC "INFORMATION GERRYMANDERING" PLEDGE COURT BATTLE

An open internet creates a level digital playing field and makes up the "foundation of our tech economy" in Massachusetts, but rules that protect it face a "day of reckoning" on Thursday, Sen. Edward Markey said. Read More

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Monday that he thinks

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Monday that he thinks "there is a very good chance" the FCC's planned reversal of net neutrality rules "will be overturned in the courts." [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STATE BUILDING GRANT PROGRAM TO ADDRESS MARINE ECONOMY

State officials are developing a Grand Challenge grant program, with awards expected next summer, to spur the growth of technologies that can solve problems facing marine industries. Read More


FERNANDES

REP SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY TO REMOVE BENIGN TUMOR

Rep. Dylan Fernandes will be out of commission through the end of 2017, with plans to recover from a surgery scheduled for Wednesday, in which doctors will remove a footlong benign tumor from his leg. Read More


NATIONAL ALZHEIMER'S TRIALS CONSORTIUM HAS LOCAL TIE

A local researcher will join colleagues from California and Minnesota to build a network of 35 trial sites with the goal of finding new strategies and therapies to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Read More


SENATE SESSION - MONDAY, DEC. 11, 2017

The Senate sent a bill to Gov. Baker's desk on Monday naming a bridge over Route 290 in Auburn in memory of police officer Ronald Tarentino Jr., who died in the line of duty in 2016. The bill also names a portion of Route 9 in Leicester in Tarentino's memory. Local legislation dealt with on Monday included five separate bills dealing with liquor licenses in Salem and two liquor license bills for Westford. The branch adopted resolutions in honor of Hanukkah and adjourned in memory of a Korean War veteran from Westfield. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – MONDAY, DEC. 11, 2017

The House on Monday advanced numerous local bills, giving final approval to legislation affecting matters in Methuen, Westford, Dennis and Taunton. Rep. Christine Barber of Somerville presided. The House plans to meet again on Thursday morning in another informal session. Read More


Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

PITMAN

ADMIN OFFICIALS DEPARTING FOR BAKER CAMPAIGN, MASSGOP

As Gov. Charlie Baker moves into re-election mode, two administration staffers are shifting into political roles. Billy Pitman, who had been Baker’s press secretary in the governor’s office, served his last day in that post Friday. His new role is deputy campaign manager for communications and digital. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service