... New Jersey Gov. Murphy featured at major regional offshore wind forum next week in NYC ...... Should Oak Bluffs ban commercial moped rentals? Lawmakers to weigh home rule petition Tuesday ...... Michlewitz budget will shed light on how far House Dems are willing to go on tax hikes ...... Higher education campus sexual assault, climate survey bills up for public hearing next week ...... Income surtax hearing is next week, but will Dems go for tax increases before 2023? ...... Lawmakers to confront nursing home closure crisis with hearing Tuesday on bills to bail out the industry ...... FRRACS plans documentary on health issues facing people in industrial area near proposed compressor station ...... Weymouth Republican Sen. O'Connor featured at event calling for 100 percent renewable energy push ...... Big March tax haul puts revenues over benchmark with three months left in fiscal 2019 ...... Healey, Baker to address New England Council at separate events next week ...... Partners hosting World Medical Innovation Forum in Boston April 8-10 ...... MBTA train riders will see fare hikes July 1, the same date that paid leave payroll taxes begin ...... Democratic Party releases 2020 DNC delegate section plan, vote planned at April 6 meeting ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 10 a.m. (formal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.

LATEST WEEKLY ROUNDUP - LABOR OF LOVE

What do butter cows, greasy spoons and Stop & Shop picket lines have in common? Read More

Stop & Shop workers picketed Thursday outside the South Bay Center grocery store in Boston ahead of a solidarity visit from former Vice President Joe Biden. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

ADVANCES - WEEK OF APRIL 21, 2019

The House of Representatives gavels in at 10 a.m. Monday to begin its "budget week," a few days of longer-than-usual formal sessions held to consider amendments to leadership's $42.7 billion fiscal year 2020 budget proposal. The spending plan (H 3800) would boost total state spending by 3 percent over the current year's budget and includes no increases to broad-based taxes. Read More


STATE ADDS JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT HOLDS AT 3 PERCENT

Although Massachusetts employers added 4,100 jobs in March, the overall unemployment rate stayed level at 3 percent, according to the latest figures released Friday by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Read More


AS 4/20 APPROACHES, STATE URGES RESPONSIBLE RECREATION

Saturday will be the first April 20 with legal and accessible marijuana for sale in Massachusetts, and the state is reminding consumers to puff, dab or dose responsibly. Read More


MORE SPENDING COULD EASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRUNCH, ADVOCATES SAY

Amid growing warnings about declining access to affordable housing, advocates are urging lawmakers to ramp up investments in key programs beyond what was already proposed in the House leadership budget. Read More


AMENDMENT PROPOSES PAY CUT FOR UMASS BOSTON BRASS

A Quincy lawmaker is eyeing the salaries of top University of Massachusetts Boston brass as a potential source of savings at the financially-strapped campus. Read More


Thursday, April 18, 2019

BIDEN PUMPS UP LABOR MOVEMENT AMID STRIKE, 2020 SPECULATION

Hundreds of striking Stop & Shop workers and friends in the labor community received a pep talk Thursday afternoon from former Vice President Joe Biden, who visited Dorchester to lend his support to the workers fighting proposed reductions in health care and retirement benefits. Read More

"Wall Street bankers and CEOs did not build Americ

"Wall Street bankers and CEOs did not build America. You built America," former Vice President Joe Biden said. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STATE OFFERS "TURKEY TIPS" FOR HANDLING AGGRESSIVE BIRDS

As turkeys become more active around Massachusetts during their mating season, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife on Thursday gave the public some "turkey tips," suggestions for preventing conflicts with the birds rather than tasty bits of turkey tenderloin. Read More

The spring hunting season for turkeys starts Monda

The spring hunting season for turkeys starts Monday, April 29. [Courtesy/MassWildlife]


GENDER-NEUTRAL ID BILL ON SENATE AGENDA FOR NEXT WEEK

The Senate plans next week to take up legislation that has become a signature priority for Senate President Karen Spilka, a bill that would allow an adult to change state identification records to reflect a gender of "X." Read More


SENATE SESSION - THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

The Senate prepared two bills for a full vote during a formal session planned for next Thursday, including one (S 2203) establishing a "Gender X" option on state identification cards and another (S 2204) and another implementing new traffic-safety restrictions aimed at reducing fatalities. Both bills were reported favorably by the Ways and Means Committee earlier in the morning, and the Senate set a deadline on Monday for ammendments to either bill to be filed. The Senate also referred several House matters to committees. - Chris Lisinski Read More


"GENDER X" BILL MOVING IN SENATE

The Senate plans next week to take up legislation that has become a signature priority for Senate President Karen Spilka and would allow an adult to change state identification records to reflect a gender of "X." Read More


CAPE COD COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECOVERS MOST FUNDS STOLEN IN CYBERCRIME

Cybercriminals stole more than $800,000 from Cape Cod Community College in November, and $677,594 has been recovered after a "lengthy investigation," the school announced Thursday. Read More


ON WORLD LEADER LIST, BAKER RANKS 20th

A new Fortune Magazine list puts Gov. Charlie Baker among the company of actor Michael J. Fox, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay. Read More

Fortune Magazine called Gov. Charlie Baker a "data

Fortune Magazine called Gov. Charlie Baker a "data-driven fixer." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File]


HEALTH COSTS A STRUGGLE FOR NEARLY HALF OF INSURED RESIDENTS

More than 40 percent of Massachusetts residents with health insurance nonetheless struggled with costs, and 18 percent of insured residents faced multiple affordability issues, according to a new report from a state agency. Read More


SAFE STREETS ACTIVISTS PROPOSE MERGER OF CITY DEPTS.

With key City Hall posts vacant or soon to be vacant, safe streets activists think now is the perfect time for Boston's city government to consolidate two departments into one and to more fully embrace the "Vision Zero" movement that is seeking to eliminate traffic, pedestrian and bicyclist crashes that result in severe injuries or fatalities. Read More


CAPITAL GAINS EYED BY CAMBRIDGE REP AS WAY TO RAISE $$$

A state representative from Cambridge wants to raise the state's capital gains tax in order to generate more than $1 billion in new revenue for the state each year, but at least one fiscal watchdog worries that could backfire by discouraging investment. Read More

Rep. Mike Connolly said "it's unassailably progres

Rep. Mike Connolly said "it's unassailably progressive to want to raise revenue from capital gains." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2017] | Hi-Res


HOUSE SESSION – THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

In its final session before next week's multi-day consideration of leadership's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, the House met for a few minutes Thursday to pass a bill allowing Dukes County to borrow to pay the costs of various capital improvements at the Martha's Vineyard airport and to advance a few sick leave bank bills. The House will return to action on Monday at 10 a.m., with roll call votes expected to begin at 11 a.m. The House has 1,370 amendments to its FY20 budget pan (H 3800) to consider next week before adopting a final spending plan. Read More


SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HONORS NORTH READING VETERAN

A North Reading oil company that a U.S. Navy veteran began with a $25,000 loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration has been named 2019 veteran small business owner of the year for Massachusetts. Read More


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

GOLDBERG HAS FAMILY MESSAGE FOR STRIKING STOP & SHOP WORKERS

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, whose family founded Stop & Shop as a single grocery store in Boston's North End, will attend a rally with striking workers in Dorchester on Thursday where she says she will deliver a message from her parents who treated the company's workers like family. Read More


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SEE PROGRESS IN HOUSE BUDGET PROPOSAL

Environmental advocates routinely seek increased funding for state agencies that have felt the impact of years of tight budgets and staffing cuts, but this year they believe their suggestions were received by lawmakers "loud and clear." Read More


LAWMAKERS, ADVOCATES SEEKING $10M TO AVOID UMASS TUITION HIKE

The House Ways and Means budget falls short of the funding level University of Massachusetts officials have sought to stave off tuition and fee increases across its four undergraduate campuses, but state representatives will have two opportunities to push it there next week. Read More


BAKER

BAKER TO GIVE UMASS AMHERST COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver the commencement address at the University of Massachusetts Amherst next month, the university announced Wednesday. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

... The Executive Office for Administration and Finance has new legal counsel ... The Shorenstein Center tapped a former TIME editor as faculty director....Rep. David Linsky made a string of hires and promotions ... Roxbury Community College's chief of staff joins the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department ... Please enjoy the Personnel File ... Read More


BIDEN, WALSH TO RALLY WITH STOP & SHOP STRIKERS

Former Vice President Joe Biden will rally with striking Stop & Shop workers in Dorchester on Thursday as the longtime U.S. senator inches closer to jumping into the already crowded field of Democrats seeking the presidency in 2020. Read More


FORMER COUNSEL TO BAKER ON FAST-TRACK FOR MAGISTRATE JOB

A recently-departed member of the Baker administration has been nominated by the governor to serve as the top administrator of the Cambridge District Court, a week after the governor nominated the head of the Parole Board to be a judge. Read More

Sharon Casey directed Gov. Charlie Baker's Judicia

Sharon Casey directed Gov. Charlie Baker's Judicial Nominating Commission since the start of the governor's first term. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2017] | Hi-Res


UMASS BOSTON TO STUDY EARLY EDUCATION WORKFORCE

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Boston will conduct a statewide survey of early childhood educators, which the school said will be the first comprehensive study of that workforce in more than 15 years. Read More


NOT ALL BAD NEWS FOR BAY STATE FARMS IN NEW SURVEY

Though the number of farms and amount of farmland in Massachusetts is declining, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation said it found a few bright spots in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recently-released 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture. Read More


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

MARCH A BIG MONEY MAKER FOR BOTH MGM AND PLAINRIDGE PARK

March was a good month for the state's two gambling halls; Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield both pulled in more revenue from gaming last month than during any full month since their first in business. Between the two facilities, the state can expect to receive about $14.23 million in gaming tax revenue for the month of March, according to revenue reports published Tuesday by the state Gaming Commission. Read More


SOME STILL NOT SATISFIED AFTER BAKER UPS HOME HEATING AID

After facing criticism for withholding a significant portion of approved low-income heating aid until next year, the Baker administration has made an additional $8 million available this spring. But even that change did not satisfy advocates who continue to demand that no money be held back. Read More

City Mission president Rev. June Cooper said the s

City Mission president Rev. June Cooper said the state's withholding of millions in low-income heating aid is "not just a financial crisis" but a "moral issue." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SCHOOL AID UP, COULD GO HIGHER IN HOUSE BUDGET

The House Ways and Means budget proposes the largest increase in Chapter 70 local school aid in a decade, according to a Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents memo. Read More


WELD FORMALLY JOINS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

The Libertarian Party's 2016 vice presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, said Monday he will run for president in 2020, this time as a Republican planning to go head-to-head with President Donald Trump in the primaries. Read More

William Weld served as governor of Massachusetts f

William Weld served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 until 1997, when he resigned to pursue an ambassadorship. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File] | Hi-Res


CALLS MOUNT FOR DRUG MAKERS TO PAY FOR ADDICTION CRISIS

As state lawmakers prepare to debate a state budget that again calls for spending tens of millions of dollars to address addiction and substance use, one representative is offering up a plan that would have drug companies pick up the tab. Read More


POPULAR PRESERVATION PROGRAM WOULD GET $$$ JOLT UNDER HOUSE PLAN

Having watched the state's financial support dwindle for a program that promotes affordable housing and open space preservation, advocates are newly hopeful that the Community Preservation Act will get an infusion of funding through this year's state budget. Read More


SENATE SESSION – TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

On the Tuesday of school vacation week, which the Legislature also treats as its own springtime break, the Senate met for five minutes to send a sick leave bank bill to committee, adopt resolutions filed by the vacationing Senate president and to advance a bill of local importance to the town in the northwest corner of Massachusetts -- Williamstown. The Senate also observed a moment of silence in memory of Ross Alameddine of Saugus, who was killed 12 years ago Tuesday in a mass shooting at Virginia Tech University. The Senate will hold another informal session during vacation week, on Thursday morning. - Colin A. Young Read More


HOUSE SESSION - TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

In a brief session the day after the Patriots' Day holiday, the House sent two new pieces of legislation to the State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee. One, filed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday, proposes $1.1 billion in borrowing to fund investments in information technology, public safety equipment and cybersecurity. The other, from Rep. Daniel Hunt, would charge the governor with annually proclaiming the last week in April Building Trades Opioids Awareness Week to drive awareness of substance misuse among workers in the industry. - Katie Lannan Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service