... As complaint backlog grows, Ethics Commission appeals to lawmakers to hire one attorney ...... Amherst Rep. Goldstein-Rose leaves Democrats, changes registration to unenrolled ...... Speaker DeLeo to address Boston Chamber breakfast on March 13 ...... 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 ...... Goldberg plans Feb. 27 re-election launch as she makes case for second term as treasurer ...
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STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - TUESDAY, JAN. 23, 2018 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - TUESDAY, JAN. 23, 2018

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


  • GRID OVERSEER TO OUTLINE RELIABILITY CONCERNS TO US SENATE COMMITTEE

  • MASSBUDGET: TAX LAW DELIVERING $3 BIL IN RELIEF TO STATE'S HIGHEST EARNERS

GRID OVERSEER TO OUTLINE RELIABILITY CONCERNS TO US SENATE COMMITTEE
Less than a week after his organization released a study warning of the possibility of rolling blackouts, the chief of New England's electric grid is set to testify before a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday about system reliability. ISO-New England last week released results of its Operational Fuel Security Analysis, which highlighted the possibility that power plants won't have or be able to get the fuel they need to run, particularly in winter as "the foremost challenge to a reliable power grid in New England." The study examined 23 possible operational scenarios in New England for the winter 2024/2025. "The headline is that New England’s limited fuel infrastructure will eventually cause severe reliability issues if fuel security is not addressed. Suffice to say the severity of many of the results underscores the tremendous importance of improving fuel security arrangements in New England and the potential consequences for failing to act," Gordon van Welie, the electric grid chief, plans to tell members of Congress, according to his testimony. Emily Norton, chapter director for the Massachusetts Sierra Club, called the report "rigged against clean energy," echoing calls for the state to reduce its reliability on natural gas and oil-fired power plants. "This report inexplicably underestimates the amount of renewable energy -- i.e. solar and wind -- that we know will be coming online in coming years," Norton said. But until fuel security challenges are addressed, cold weather locally will present power reliability concerns and drive substantial increases in emissions and in the price of natural gas, according to van Welie. The US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources' 10 a.m. hearing was called to examine the performance of the power system during recent cold and storm conditions. - Michael P. Norton/SHNS

MASSBUDGET: TAX LAW DELIVERING $3 BIL IN RELIEF TO STATE'S HIGHEST EARNERS
The new federal tax law will reduce the taxes paid by the Bay State's top 1 percent of income earners by more than $2.96 billion in 2019, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which is also cautioning of a "gradual erosion" in value of the Earned Income Tax Credit and predicting a one-time temporary spike in capital gains tax revenue. MassBudget is one of 17 groups with representatives slated to testify at a Revenue Committee hearing Tuesday. Committee co-chairs Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Michael Brady called the hearing to gather information on how the new tax law will affect Massachusetts government, residents and municipalities and learn about ways the state might respond. The left-leaning MassBudget is using its testimony to plug a constitutional amendment leveling a 4 percent income surtax on households with income of $1 million or more per year. "If the people of Massachusetts determine that $2.96 billion could be better spent on investments in education and transportation, which could make our economy more productive and expand opportunity for our young people, the state could adjust our tax code in ways that would effectively redirect a portion of that $2.96 billion to those higher priority areas," MassBudget's Phineas Baxandall wrote in an analysis of the tax changes. "That could be done by raising state income taxes for our highest-income taxpayers, who will be receiving large federal income tax cuts and benefitting from large federal corporate tax cuts." The average cut for the highest-income 1 percent of Massachusetts tax filers will be $84,720 in 2019, while the middle 20 percent of filers will see an average cut of $1,090 and the bottom 20 percent will receive a cut of $90, MassBudget said. - Katie Lannan/SHNS

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1/23/2018


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