House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

Eco Dev, Close-Out Action Pushed Into October

Lawmakers broke for another long weekend Thursday, their final time meeting in September, with no movement on a stalled economic development bill nor on a spending bill the state comptroller hoped would be complete by the end of the month.


Mixed MCAS Results Reveal Lingering Pandemic Impact, State Officials Say

The learning loss that came about as a result of the pandemic and its shift towards remote schooling for more than two years is still showing up in standardized test results, state education officials said Thursday as they released the latest batch of MCAS scores.


Wu Wants Boston to Lead on MBTA, Infrastructure Funding

While outlining her agenda for a "revitalized" Boston to hundreds of business leaders Thursday morning, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said "enough is enough" on Boston's failing transportation infrastructure and crowded roads.


Orange Line Diner Not in the Cards as T Scraps Old Trains

Were you hoping that enjoying a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of pie inside a former Orange Line train might exorcise all those memories of inexplicable delays, unidentifiable odors and fellow riders who don't take off their backpacks?


Senate Session Summary - Thursday, Sept. 29

The Senate admitted a new Sen. Edward Kennedy bill Thursday that would direct the state to convey two properties to the UMass Building Authority. The Senate also approved bills dealing with Saugus Town Meeting and allowing West Stockbridge to keep Chief Steve Traver at the helm of their fire department until mid-2023, and sent Gov. Charlie Baker a liquor license authorization for a grocery store in Milford.


House Session Summary - Thursday, Sept. 29

Select boards and alcohol licenses were the main areas of focus for the House on Thursday, which wrapped up its week with another quick and lightly attended informal session. The House advanced legislation dealing with alcohol sales in Milford, Belmont and Avon, and with boards in Lanesborough and Goshen. Under another bill that the House approved Thursday, July 8 would be designated Massachusetts Emancipation Day in honor of Quock Walker, a former slave who successfully sued to earn his freedom under the state's new constitution.


Wu Eyes Stronger Role Fixing Transportation Woes

[Story Developing] While outlining her agenda for a "revitalized" Boston to hundreds of business leaders Thursday morning, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said "enough is enough" on Boston's failing transportation infrastructure and crowded roads.


Alliance: Home Health Rate Bump Needs To Be Permanent

The new state budget requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to provide a rate add-on of $3.56 per hour for home health aide services, and $3.96 per hour for homemaker and personal care services purchased by MassHealth.


Uncaptioned image for story:Energy Policy Freeze Part Of Diehl's Cost Focus

Energy Policy Freeze Part Of Diehl’s Cost Focus

Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl on Wednesday made a bid to ensure the high costs of living and doing business in Massachusetts are near the center of this year's gubernatorial contest, pledging to provide tax relief, increase natural gas pipeline capacity into the state and to at a minimum put a "temporary freeze" on some clean energy policies to help residents and businesses cope with high costs.


Feds Approve Five-Year, $67 Billion Medicaid Waiver

Massachusetts will be able to invest tens of millions of dollars into primary and mental health care workforce development and offer continuous Medicaid eligibility for some vulnerable populations under a five-year, $67 billion Medicaid waiver federal officials approved Wednesday.


State Commission Approves MGB Spending Cut Plans

Mass General Brigham will work to slash its annual spending by $127 million under a first-of-its-kind plan regulators approved Tuesday after flagging the state's largest hospital system for excessive cost growth.


HPC: Health Care Cost Growth Trends Require New Approach

Health care spending in Massachusetts dropped in 2020 for the first time since implementation of a decade-old landmark cost control law, but the decline is likely a one-time outlier driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reverse worrying trends, state analysts concluded in a new report.


State Releases Final Stretch Energy Code

With no fanfare or interest in discussing it, the Baker administration's Department of Energy Resources late last week quietly released its final language for the state building code changes that it hopes will encourage builders to shift away from fossil fuel heating in favor of electrification and some activists are hoping that lawmakers will compel changes before the code changes take effect.


Wu: City Services Attracting Out-of-Staters To Boston

Boston saw a "fairly large influx" of migrants over the summer that underscored the need for resources at the municipal level, Mayor Michelle Wu said Tuesday.


Health Cost Regulators Approve MGB Improvement Plan

Mass General Brigham will work to slash its annual spending by $127 million under a first-of-its-kind plan regulators approved Tuesday after flagging the state's largest hospital system for excessive cost growth.


Contractors Cited In Deadly Garage Collapse

A Brockton-based contractor faces $1.2 million in fines in connection with the partial collapse of the Government Center Garage in March, which led to the death of a worker on their first day on the job.


Who’s On The Move?

... A convenience store industry group tapped a former Beacon Hill aide as its next leader ... South Shore Health has a new chief development officer ... The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Mass. brought back a former vice president of communications to hold that job once again ... A Boston lending organization appointed a new CEO ... The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's programs director landed at the New England Aquarium ... Gov. Baker's most recent energy and environment secretary joined the board of an environmental advocacy group ... The Springfield Symphony Orchestra added a new conductor ... Please enjoy the Personnel File ...


Regional Guvs Want 'At Least' $500 Mil in Emergency Heating Aid

New England governors are asking Congress to support at least $500 million in emergency funds to help address the forecasted spike in home energy bills.


Whistleblower Due $250 Mil In Biogen Drug Kickback Settlement

Cambridge-based Biogen has agreed to pay $900 million to resolve allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the pharmaceutical company paid kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe the company's multiple sclerosis drugs.


Baker Still On Hunt For Energy Aid

As overnight temperatures drop in Massachusetts and some people start reaching for their thermostats, Gov. Charlie Baker continues to urge the federal government to step up to help New Englanders likely to be hurt by high electric and heating bills this winter.


Uncaptioned image for story:MBTA Could Be Waiting Even Longer for Brand New Cars

MBTA Could Be Waiting Even Longer for Brand New Cars

The outlook for the already-delayed transition to entirely new Orange and Red Line fleets continues to grow worse. After previously delaying the project's targeted end date by at least a year, Chinese firm CRRC now expects it will need several more months to finish manufacturing subway cars for the MBTA's Red and Orange Lines as a result of nagging pandemic-related supply and labor issues.


Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Jeannie Hebert presents Democratic gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey with a basket of Blackstone Valley-branded goods Thursday after Healey addressed the chamber. Healey predicted that her 79-year-old mother will swipe the basket from her. [Colin A. Young/SHNS]

Small-Town Bona Fides, Affordability Headline Healey Campaign Stop

Bringing her gubernatorial campaign to a part of Massachusetts that is often overshadowed by the Greater Boston area, Democrat Maura Healey said she's not all that different from the people of the Blackstone Valley, and pitched herself Thursday as a governor who will understand and advocate for the people and priorities of smaller towns.


Report Calls For More Action On Mental Health Care Access

Massachusetts faces an "unprecedented call to action" to invest in its behavioral health workforce amid twin trends of increased demand for mental health services and reduced stigma surrounding their use, according to a new report.


Councilor Joseph Ferreira (left) administers the oaths of office to newly-seated Brockton District Court Clerk Magistrate Eric Donovan just minutes after his confirmation vote, while Councilor Terry Kennedy (center) looks on. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Court Nominee Sworn In Moments After Hearing

The Governor's Council was only scheduled to vote on three of Gov. Charlie Baker's court nominees Wednesday, but in an unusually accelerated timeline wound up stamping its approval on five of them -- including a pair who were just interviewed Wednesday morning.


Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito sat down Wednesday with Rappaport Institute visiting fellow Danielle Cerny to take stock of the last eight years of state-local government relations. [Screenshot]

Cities and Towns About To Get New State Partner

In an event that at times felt like it was capping off the Baker-Polito years, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Wednesday sat down with a researcher from the Harvard Kennedy School's Rappaport Institute to take stock of the last eight years of state-local government relations.


U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh points out former Beacon Hill colleagues in the crowd during his keynote remarks Wednesday at a MASSterList/SHNS labor forum. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Walsh, Unions See “Moment” For Labor Movement

Labor leaders across Massachusetts are seeing the current moment -- between the pandemic, nationwide staffing shortages and "the strongest labor president in American history," according to Mass. AFL-CIO Chief of Staff Chrissy Lynch -- as a golden opportunity for union strength and advancement.


Uncaptioned image for story:Rollins Warns Nursing Homes Of ADA Requirements

Rollins Warns Nursing Homes Of ADA Requirements

Three weeks after the U.S. Attorney's office reached an agreement with a nursing home conglomerate over alleged ADA violations, where skilled nursing facilities were said to be turning away patients who were prescribed medications for opioid use disorder, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins wants to make the message clear to nursing homes around the state.


Uncaptioned image for story:Lottery Officials Activated By Sales Stumble

Lottery Officials Activated By Sales Stumble

As economic uncertainty and an expanding menu of gambling options send lottery sales into a slide in Massachusetts and across the country, officials here are thinking about making changes to "adjust to the current market structure" and will dive deeper into the trends they are worried about next month, the head of the Mass. Lottery said Tuesday.


Voting Disclosure On Ballots In 19 House Districts

Voters in about one-eighth of the House's 160 districts will get a chance in November to tell their representatives, including the speaker himself, if they want to know how lawmakers vote on committee polls that set bills up for passage or demise.


Alcohol License Overhaul Unfolding Without Opposition Campaign

Go to www.foodstoresma.org. You won't find anything. Neither will you if you check the bank account of Food Stores for Consumer Choice, the ballot committee formed to oppose Question 3.


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