... Former Mass Marketing Partnership director Betsy Wall named Auditor Bump's chief of staff ...... City on a Hill teachers, staff elect to join Boston Teachers Union ...... Senate moves online Lottery, Equifax bills to its Ways and Means Committee ...... Inflation, at 2.8 percent, rising faster in Boston area than nationally ...... Gov. Patrick among the many who turn out for former Sen. Forry's farewell address ...... Sen. Donoghue: "I have made no determination" on Lowell city manager's post ...... Health is latest wing of Baker admin to raise concerns over marijuana law rollout ...... Goldberg plans Feb. 27 re-election launch as she makes case for second term as treasurer ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

TOPMAINE PROJECT PICKED AS BACKUP FOR MASS. RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT

The Baker administration and electric utilities tipped their hand late Friday on their backup plan to bring hydropower down from Canada and help the Massachusetts meet its statutory renewable energy commitments. Read More

LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF FEB. 18, 2018

Massachusetts has been more aggressive in its approach to opioid addiction than other states, according to the Obama administration's former drug czar, but state data shows there are areas where an "enhanced focus" is necessary. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: WHAT ABOUT BRENDAN?

Geez, how'd you like to be Brendan Crighton? No gathering of governors for the NEXT lawmaker to depart a legislative seat early. No joint session hoopla. No post-session spread in Room 428. Read More

<strong>RAISE THE ROOF:</strong> After stepping do

RAISE THE ROOF: After stepping down midway through her term, former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry was lauded in the House Chamber on Valentine's Day by colleagues past and present, as she celebrated 13 years in the Legislature and hinted at a possible future return to public life. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER SIGNS BUDGET BILL WITH SCHOOL AID, MCAD FUNDS

School districts educating students who fled Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after this summer's hurricanes are in store for $15 million in state aid, under a budget bill signed Friday afternoon by Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More


78 LAWMAKERS URGE "CONTROLLED" BUILDUP OF POT INDUSTRY

It's a phrase that's taken hold in legal states to remind people to use marijuana responsibly, but it's also the message 78 state lawmakers sent the Cannabis Control Commission as its draft regulation comment period ended Thursday: "Start low and go slow." Read More


Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

SETTI WARREN PICKS PRESSLEY IN CHOICE BETWEEN "EXCELLENT DEMOCRATS"

Amid some early signs that Congressman Michael Capuano may be able to count on established politicians to rally to his re-election effort, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley picked up an endorsement Thursday from one of the three Democrats running for governor. Read More


MASSHEALTH SEEN AS CRITICAL TO HIGH CHILDREN'S COVERAGE RATE

About 12,000 kids in Massachusetts lack health insurance, giving the state a 99 percent coverage rate among its 1.39 million children. That's according to data presented Thursday by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, one of several organizations that took part in a "checkup" gauging the status of programs and policies related to children's health. Read More


SENATE SESSION – THURSDAY, FEB. 15, 2018

A supplemental budget for fiscal 2018 making available $15 million in additional funding for public school districts that have taken in students from Puerto Rico escaping the damage of Hurricanes Maria and Irma and appropriating additional funds to help cities and towns pay for early voting during the last election cycle made it to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk. As the Senate spent much of the day working with the House to put the final touches on the midyear spending bill, it also enacted a bill (H 3873) for Weston enabling the town to make it harder to place an article on the Town Meeting warrant. The branch will return after the President's Day holiday on Tuesday. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – THURSDAY, FEB. 15, 2018

It took four hours but the few House and Senate members who showed up for session Thursday worked together to send a fiscal 2018 supplemental budget to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk. The bill includes funding for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, to compensate cities and towns for early voting costs occurred in 2016, and it provides $15 million to cover costs associated with educating children who arrived in Massachusetts after hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico. The House opened its session with a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Read More


VIDEO | FLORIDA SHOOTING CITED IN PUSH FOR NEW MASS. GUN LAWS

[Coverage Developing] A lobby day to push for stricter gun laws in Massachusetts took on an urgent tone Thursday in the wake of a shooting at a south Florida high school Wednesday that left at least 17 people dead. Read More

"E-R-P-O laws work. Without action by Congress, th

"E-R-P-O laws work. Without action by Congress, their hollow words make them complicit in the frequent, senseless, preventable slaughter of school-age children," Rep. David Linsky said Thursday, asking advocates to lobby his colleagues to bring an extreme risk protective order bill to the floor of the state Legislature. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


"EXTREME RISK" GUN BILL LOBBY DAY FOLLOWS SCHOOL SHOOTING

The day after a school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead and more than a dozen more injured, Natick Rep. David Linsky will push for legislation to allow firearms to be seized by a court order in Massachusetts. Read More


MARKEY

MARKEY WANTS $1 BILLION INVESTMENT TO TACKLE FLU

Amid one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday proposed a $1 billion investment towards developing a "universal influenza vaccine." Read More


MARIJUANA CAMP SAYS BAKER TRYING TO INTIMIDATE CANNABIS COMMISSION

Marijuana advocates want Gov. Charlie Baker and others who opposed legalization to "back off" and allow the independent cannabis regulatory body to move ahead with an industry that would include marijuana cafes, delivery-only businesses and other novel business types. Read More

Marijuana legalization supporters, including Sen.

Marijuana legalization supporters, including Sen. Jamie Eldridge, rallied outside the State House on Thursday to tell Gov. Charlie Baker to "back off" and let marijuana regulators do their work. [Photo: Colin Young/SHNS]


YMCA ALLIANCE REMINDS LAWMAKERS OF THEIR ROLE IN CHILD PROTECTION

Support for water safety, youth government programs, diabetes prevention, and early education are among the wide-ranging list of asks that YMCA staff and advocates made of lawmakers Thursday. Read More


BRANCHES SEND BAKER BILL WITH $15 MIL FOR SCHOOLS

With only a few members on hand, the House and Senate on Thursday finalized a spending bill that includes funds for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, schools that are educating students from Puerto Rico, and cities and towns to cover early voting costs from 2016. Read More


POLL SHOWS CAPUANO WITH 12-POINT LEAD ON PRESSLEY

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano holds about a 12-point lead over his challenger, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, in a new WBUR poll that sheds light on the undertaking Pressley faces as she challenges the 10-term Somerville Democrat. Read More

A MassINC/WBUR poll found Boston City Councilor Ay

A MassINC/WBUR poll found Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley earned 46 percent support in her home city, while excluding Boston from the poll results left Congressman Michael Capuano with 66 percent support. [File/SHNS]


MEMA REPORTS "MINOR EARTHQUAKE"

State officials are not aware of any damage resulting from a 2.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred Thursday morning in southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. Read More


PRO-POT CAMP: BAKER LEADING "INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN" AGAINST REGS

[Coverage Developing] Marijuana legalization leaders plan on Thursday to fire back at the Baker administration's "coordinated intimidation campaign," countering what has been a 10-day shelling of the Cannabis Control Commission's draft regulations by executive agencies under the governor's control. Read More


Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

VIDEO | FORRY'S FAREWELL A POLITICAL GALA WITH HINTS OF HER RETURN

Former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry bid farewell – for now - to the State House in a festive ceremony on Wednesday that drew a Who's Who of city and state politics to say goodbye to a colleague who was both liked and respected on both sides of the aisle. Read More

Former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry returned to Beacon

Former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry returned to Beacon Hill Wednesday to deliver a farewell address from the House rostrum to members and guests, including former Gov. Deval Patrick (background). [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY BILL PASSED BY SENATE

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill its supporters said would help protect patient confidentiality and correct a situation where minors, young adults, victims of domestic abuse and others avoid treatment out of fear someone else in their household might find out. Read More


SENATOR EYES 15 PERCENT TAX AS PART OF FANTASY SPORTS REGULATION

If regulated correctly, the daily fantasy sports world could be a boon to the state's coffers, an opportunity for economic development and job growth, and an ongoing hobby for the thousands of Bay Staters who already play the games, Sen. Eileen Donoghue said Wednesday. Read More

Co-Chair Rep. Joseph Wagner (center) and other mem

Co-Chair Rep. Joseph Wagner (center) and other members of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee are considering a Sen. Eileen Donoghue daily fantasy sports bill. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GAS PIPELINE OPPONENTS URGE BAKER TO "BREAK UP" WITH INDUSTRY

Clean energy advocates on Wednesday delivered a Valentine's Day message to Gov. Charlie Baker, handing one of his aides a bouquet of roses and a stack of red construction-paper hearts with the handwritten message, "Break up with gas pipelines." Addressing the group gathered outside Baker's office, Cathy Kristofferson of Ashby said the governor has not ruled out natural gas as part of the state's energy mix, and called on him to do so. Read More

Advocates unfurled a banner outside Gov. Charlie B

Advocates unfurled a banner outside Gov. Charlie Baker's office Wednesday calling on Baker to "break up with gas pipelines." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GOLDBERG

GOLDBERG PLANS FEB. 27 RE-ELECTION LAUNCH AT BOSTON HOTEL

The first treasurer to seek re-election in more than a decade, Democrat Deborah Goldberg will kick off her bid for a second term in about two weeks. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - MORNING SESSION - WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14, 2018

The House gave initial approval Wednesday morning to legislation (H 4232) aimed at giving consumers additional legal leverage and protections in an era of data breaches, with further consideration of that legislation expected Wednesday afternoon. The latest version of the bill is from Ways and Means. The House also enacted bills important to municipal affairs in Barnstable, Ipswich and Middleton, while sending Gov. Charlie Baker's $200 million municipal road repair bill to the Transportation Committee for review. House Democrats plan a noon caucus and the session is scheduled to resume at 2 p.m. Read More


IN ERA OF BREACHES, HOUSE REVISITING CONSUMER CREDIT LAWS

House lawmakers on Wednesday are poised to make the first revisions since 2007 to the state law around data breaches. Read More


TOO SOON TO DECLARE "VICTORY" DESPITE 2017 DROP IN OPIOID DEATHS, BAKER SAYS

The number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell an estimated 8.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the first year-over-year decline in several years, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday. Read More


SENATE SESSION – WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14, 2018

The Senate met twice, and in two locations, on Wednesday. They gathered first in the House chamber to hear a farewell address from former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry. Gov. Charlie Baker and former Gov. Deval Patrick were on hand, along with several former lawmakers. Convening later in the afternoon in Gardner Auditorium, the Senate passed bills aimed at protecting confidentiality of health insurance claims information and expanding a community college incentive program. Three bills given adverse reports by the Consumer Protection Committee were revived and sent to the Ways and Means Committee, but an attempt to do so with a fourth, dealing with craft brewer contracts, was laid on the table by Sen. Michael Moore. The Senate also adopted an extension order giving the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee another week to report out bills relating to monthly minimum reliability contributions. Read More


DATA BREACHES SPUR HOUSE TO PASS NEW CONSUMER PROTECTIONS

The House on Wednesday took a step towards giving Bay State consumers more control over their credit reports, freezing their credit for free if they would like, and receiving a year of free credit-monitoring if a company suffers a data breach. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14, 2018

The House unanimously passed a bill (H 4232) intended to give consumers control over their own credit reports, including the ability to freeze their credit for free. Rep. Tackey Chan, first elected to the House in 2010, delivered his maiden speech in support of the bill before the 152-0 vote. That action took place after the Senate convened in the House chamber for farewell remarks by Linda Dorcena Forry. The House also enacted bills important to municipal affairs in Barnstable, Ipswich and Middleton, while sending Gov. Charlie Baker's $200 million municipal road repair bill to the Transportation Committee for review. The House meets again on Thursday at 11 a.m. Read More


CHARTER SCHOOL TEACHERS, STAFF CHOOSE TO JOIN UNION

Teachers and staff at two independently operated charter schools in Boston have elected to join the Boston Teachers Union, a choice that the union says represents a first in the city. Read More


BAKER NOMINATES MEHTA FOR CONCORD DISTRICT COURT

A former prosecutor and a member of the Board of Bar Overseers was tapped Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve as a judge in the Concord District Court. Read More


LEADERSHIP POSTS REMAIN UNFILLED FOLLOWING SENATE CAUCUS

Despite expectations that Senate President Harriette Chandler would round out her leadership team Wednesday, Senate Democrats met for almost two hours without making any decisions about who would fill vacant leadership posts that carry significant financial stipends. Read More

Senate President Harriette Chandler and other Demo

Senate President Harriette Chandler and other Democratic senators emerged from a closed-door caucus in Chandler's office Wednesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HEALTH IS LATEST WING OF BAKER ADMIN TO URGE SLOWER MARIJUANA ROLLOUT

In the latest volley from the Baker administration, the Department of Public Health warned Wednesday that moving ahead at once with things like pot cafes and home delivery of marijuana will create "negative consequences to public health and safety" that will be more difficult to address than if the Cannabis Control Commission focuses on only launching the simplest forms of legal retail sales this summer. Read More


AT 2.8 PERCENT, INFLATION LOCALLY EXCEEDING NATIONAL RATE

A common measurement of inflation shows prices are rising faster in the Boston area than nationally. Read More


DONOGHUE: "I HAVE MADE NO DETERMINATION" ON LOWELL POST

On the heels of Senate presidency contender Linda Forry bolting for a job outside the State House, Sen. Eileen Donoghue on Wednesday suggested that she is being courted to replace the retiring city manager in Lowell. Read More

Asked whether people have been encouraging her to

Asked whether people have been encouraging her to consider the Lowell city manager position, Sen. Eileen Donoghue laughed and said, "It's Lowell." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS DROPPED 8.3 PERCENT IN 2017

[Story Developing] The number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell an estimated 8.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the first year-over-year decline in several years, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday. Read More


MASS. HOME SALES, PRICES UP IN JANUARY

The median sale price of single-family homes in Massachusetts rose to $369,900 in January, benefiting sellers but raising the affordability bar higher for first-time buyers. Read More


Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018

ACLU HELPS SECURE RELEASE OF DETAINED RHODE ISLAND MOM

With the help of the ACLU of Massachusetts, a Rhode Island mother of two who had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month while she was pursuing permanent legal status was released Tuesday from federal custody. Read More


LOCAL LEADERS CHEER $200M FOR ROAD REPAIRS DESPITE UNMET NEED

The announcement from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito elicited applause and at least one shout of, "Yay!" at the Local Government Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday. Read More


BORDER WALL REFLECTS SOME DAYLIGHT BETWEEN CAPUANO, PRESSLEY

A rift over the proposed southern border wall emerged Tuesday between Congressman Michael Capuano and his challenger in the Democratic primary, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Neither Capuano nor Pressley support the proposed wall on the southern border that President Donald Trump has championed, but Capuano indicated he would be more open to the idea if it meant achieving some of his immigration policy priorities. Read More

CAPUANO / PRESSLEY

CAPUANO / PRESSLEY


SPENDING PLANS AT RISK DUE TO SLOW-MOVING HOUSING BOND BILL

Stressing the urgent need to fund popular affordable housing programs, a Baker administration official said lawmakers should send the governor a bond bill in the next several weeks. "We're going to soon be running out of authorization," said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay on Tuesday. Read More


OCPF TRANSPARENCY RULES COULD DISCOURAGE DONATIONS, CRITICS SAY

Proposed campaign finance regulations governing non-profits' disclosure of donors came under fire Tuesday from groups that called them overly broad and warned they could discourage contributions. Read More


VIDEO | POT LICENSES COULD BE ROLLED OUT ON TIMELINE, CCC CHAIR SAYS

With the chorus of critics calling for the Cannabis Control Commission to pump the brakes on its rollout of an expansive legal marijuana industry growing louder, the top marijuana regulator said Tuesday the agency will debate later this month whether it should license only certain types of marijuana businesses to open July 1 and wait to license others. Read More

After a Cannabis Control Commission meeting Tuesda

After a Cannabis Control Commission meeting Tuesday, Chairman Steven Hoffman said there are "tradeoffs" in slowing the CCC's proposed licensing timeline. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PIGNATELLI

CHAIRMAN: OMNIBUS BILLS FACE STEEPER CLIMB IN HOUSE

The House chair of the committee that vetted bills that became the foundation of Sen. Marc Pacheco's omnibus clean energy bill said the climb is often steeper in the House to win support for such a large legislative package, but he appreciated the senator's inclusion of bills backed by his panel. Read More


NEWTON FIREFIGHTERS UNION BACKS WARREN FOR GOVERNOR

Calling it the first labor endorsement in the 2018 race for governor, Setti Warren's campaign on Tuesday accepted the backing of the firefighters association in Newton, where Warren served as mayor. Read More


ANTI-POVERTY GROUP: TRUMP $$$ CUTS REFLECT "DEEPLY MISGUIDED" PRIORITIES

Spending cuts featured in President Trump's $4.4 trillion federal budget proposal would increase homelessness, drive up rents, and "eviscerate" the program that helps low-income families afford food, according to a local anti-poverty law and policy center. Read More


NY JUDGE ISSUES DACA INJUNCTION IN CASE BROUGHT BY AG

A New York judge sided with Attorney General Maura Healey and 16 other state attorneys general on Tuesday in their case against the Trump administration to protect the so-called "Dreamers" from deportation, issuing a preliminary injunction that would prevent any changes while legal challenges are pending. Read More


LAWMAKERS EMBARK ON EXAMINATION OF THEIR PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION

A group of lawmakers studying whether to extend the state public records law to cover themselves and their colleagues kicked off its work Tuesday, an effort they said would primarily involve listening to the public. Read More


SUCCESS IN HOUSING HOMELESS LEADS TO DIVIDEND PAYMENTS

A partnership that uses a social innovation financing model to reduce homelessness announced Tuesday that it has placed more than 650 individuals into housing, triggering dividend payments to partners who invested in the program. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - TUESDAY, FEB. 13, 2018

.....Sworn into the Senate in November, Sen. Paul Feeney is rounding out his State House staff...The Department of Developmental Services has a new chief of staff...Two Boston city councilors have signed on to chair Rep. Nick Collins' Senate campaign...House Ways and Means is filling out its staff as budget season arrives...the Massachusetts Package Stores Association has a new executive director... Read More


SEN. BARRETT DIAGNOSED WITH RARE, CURABLE FORM OF LEUKEMIA

Sen. Michael Barrett was diagnosed Monday with a rare and curable form of leukemia and will be hospitalized for about a month, his office announced Tuesday. Barrett said in a statement that doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital diagnosed him with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which he described as "highly curable." Read More

Sen. Michael Barrett said Tuesday he expects "to r

Sen. Michael Barrett said Tuesday he expects "to resume my duties in full" following treatment for a curable form of leukemia. [Photo: File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STUDY ATTACHES HIGH COST TO HUNGER, FOOD INSECURITY

From dialysis treatments to special attention in the classroom, costs pile up for those who may be ailing because they are hungry or unsure how they will get their next meals. A study publicized Tuesday pegged the total cost of hunger and food insecurity in Massachusetts at $2.4 billion. Read More

Ana Poblacion of Children's HealthWatch, one of th

Ana Poblacion of Children's HealthWatch, one of the researchers who worked on a food insecurity study, spoke at the State House Tuesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MCAD SEEKS $500,000 INCREASE, CITES SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES AND TRAINING

As it responds to a "deluge" of requests for assistance from alleged sexual harassment victims and employers seeking anti-harassment training, the state's anti-discrimination agency is calling on lawmakers to deliver a $500,000 funding increase in next year's budget. Read More


LAKEVILLE REPUBLICAN ORRALL RUNNING FOR STATE TREASURER

State Rep. Keiko Orrall, a Lakeville Republican, launched her statewide campaign for treasurer on Tuesday promising to bring a "fiscally conservative" approach to an office that oversees the Lottery, school building and the state pension fund. Read More

ORRALL / GOLDBERG

ORRALL / GOLDBERG | Hi-Res


REPORT: MASS. VOTERS INCREASINGLY DISAPPROVING OF TRUMP

As this year's elections approach, President Donald Trump's disapproval ratings have gotten a lot worse in Massachusetts during his first year in office. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service