RECESSED 'til 1 p.m. Thursday (Formal)
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

Tax Collection Deluge Leads to Third Markup of Fiscal 2022 Revenue

After a steady stream of way-above-projected collections created an "unprecedented" surplus, the Baker administration on Wednesday upgraded its official estimate of how much money Massachusetts will bring in from taxpayers this year for the third time.

House Session Summary - Wednesday, May 18

The House moved into an overnight recess Wednesday after passing its version of a Senate-approved bill aimed at increasing equity in the Bay State cannabis industry. House leadership opted to recess the session until 1 p.m. Thursday, when the House is slated to consider a $4.88 billion general government bond bill (H 4792).

Both Branches Now Backing Marijuana Law Changes

For the first time since rewriting the voter-approved legalization law in the summer of 2017, Massachusetts lawmakers are poised this session to reform state cannabis policy as the House and Senate have each now approved legislation targeting some of the most persistent issues in the young industry.

Baker’s Latest $1.7 Bil Plan Reflects Spend-Now Approach

Port improvements, housing development, and water and sewage infrastructure headline the investment areas in a $1.7 billion supplemental budget bill Gov. Charlie Baker outlined Wednesday as the Republican eyes more spending in his final months in office.

House Passes Bill To Foster Marijuana Industry Growth, Diversity

[Coverage Developing] Marijuana policy figures to be among the issues in play as the current legislative session winds to a close in the next seven weeks with both branches now on record overwhelmingly supporting changes intended to make the burgeoning cannabis industry in Massachusetts more accessible and equitable.

Poll Finds Erosion In Policing Reform Support

Pollsters at UMass Amherst say new national survey results show an erosion in support for policing reforms.

Rare Monkeypox Case Detected In Massachusetts

The United States' first case of monkeypox this year has been confirmed in Massachusetts, where a man who recently traveled to Canada is hospitalized with the rare viral illness.

Council Confirms Two Judges, One Magistrate

Two new judges and a clerk magistrate for the Chicopee District Court were unanimously confirmed Wednesday by the Governor's Council.

Baker Offers New $1.7 Billion Spending Proposal

[Story Developing] Port improvements, housing development, and environmental infrastructure headline a new $1.7 billion midyear spending bill Gov. Charlie Baker outlined Wednesday, as the Republican eyes more spending in his final months in office.

Cape Bridge Replacement Costs May Soar To $4 Billion

The public sector is feeling the strain of soaring inflation, too: officials now expect that a once-in-a-generation infrastructure overhaul in Allston will cost $300 million more than estimated, and the price of replacing the Cape Cod bridges could more than double.

Education Committee Releases Major Early Ed Bill

The Education Committee has agreed to a bill making a "significant step forward" in advancing access to early education and care but the chairs of that panel are cautioning that full implementation of "transformative" proposals will only occur over multiple legislative sessions.

Voices Campaign Spotlights Home Care Crisis

A new national alliance aims to shine a spotlight on the workforce challenges facing the home care industry by amplifying the stories of workers and consumers.

House Committee Adds Prison Construction Pause To Baker Bond Bill

When representatives head to the House floor Thursday to debate a more than $4.8 billion government operations bond bill, they will also be asked to decide if they should flex their political muscle by ordering a temporary halt on building new prison and jail space in Massachusetts.

Split UI Commission Comes Up Short On Recommendations

The group that has spent the last year studying potential reforms to keep the state's unemployment system solvent in the long-term is poised to make just two formal recommendations: that the goal be to reach the federal government's recommended target balance and that state labor officials do more to promote a program that allows workers to collect partial unemployment benefits to replace some wages lost through reduced hours.

SHNS Conference Committee Scorecard

House leaders moved Tuesday to send two more bills into negotiations with the Senate, adding to an already-lengthy list of major legislation bottlenecked in conference committees in the final months of the 2021-2022 lawmaking session. The House named representatives who will lead their chamber's bargaining on proposals to open up standard driver's license access to undocumented immigrants and to legalize wagering on sports.

House Session Summary - Tuesday, May 17

The House laid groundwork Tuesday for potential action at this week's scheduled twin formal sessions, and named members of its negotiating teams on two high-profile bills. The House insisted on its version of a sports wagering legalization bill (H 3993 / S 2862) and appointed Reps. Jerry Parisella of Beverly, Aaron Michlewitz of Boston, and David Muradian of Grafton to negotiate with the Senate. The House also disagreed with the Senate's edits to a bill that would create a process for immigrants without lawful residency here to apply for Massachusetts driver's licenses (H 4470 / S 2872), and appointed Reps. Bill Straus of Mattapoisett, Marcos Devers of Lawrence, and Steve Xiarhos of Barnstable to represent the House in conference talks.

COVID-19 Cases On Rise With Late-Spring Temperatures

Bay Staters may have become accustomed over the past two years to warm weather overlapping with a period of waning COVID-19 impact, but this time around, cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise as the days grow longer. With a variant and subvariant circulating, most measurements of the virus's impact in Massachusetts have climbed to levels last observed in February on the tail end of the winter surge.

MGB Plan Calls For $70 Mill Reduction In Spending

Leaders at Mass General Brigham are proposing to reduce the hospital system's spending by $70 million a year in a performance improvement plan submitted Monday to the state Health Policy Commission.

Uncaptioned image for story: McAnneny Leaving Top MTF Post In December

McAnneny Leaving Top MTF Post In December

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny plans to step down from her post at the end of this year, she announced Wednesday. McAnneny in 2015 became the first woman to lead the business-backed organization. An influential player on Beacon Hill, MTF is closely watched by policymakers for its economic analysis, and is one of the groups that state budget-writers rely on for projections about future revenues and fiscal conditions.

Technology Driving Progress In Missing Children, Homicide Cases

Whether it is a joint effort between investigators and a private company that operates advanced sonar or the pairing of cutting-edge technology with decades-old evidence, district attorneys detailed Wednesday how collaboration has been key to major breaks in unresolved child homicide and missing children cases.

Chris Doughty / Geoff Diehl

Diehl-Doughty Battle Pivots On Republican Divide

There's little doubt that Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl will walk out of the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Saturday the clear favorite among the party faithful.

Energy Bill Conferees To Meet Friday Afternoon

The work of wrestling the offshore wind-focused bill that the House passed in March and the broader climate and energy bill that cleared the Senate last month into one piece of legislation will get started in earnest Friday, just more than 10 weeks before the deadline for action.

Auto Body Repair Industry Fed Up

Auto body shop owners and employees plan to converge on the State House on Wednesday to demand relief from collision repair rates that they say have not been increased in 11 years.

Baker Plans To Unveil Spending Bill In Salem

A day after opting out of two public events due to illness, Gov. Charlie Baker is back in in-person action Wednesday with plans to unveil a new supplemental budget bill in Salem.

Uncaptioned image for story:Dempsey Nabs Endorsement From Bump In Bid To Succeed Her

Dempsey Nabs Endorsement From Bump In Bid To Succeed Her

Outgoing Auditor Suzanne Bump has made her pick in the race to succeed her, endorsing Chris Dempsey on Wednesday and asking delegates at next month's Democratic nominating convention to support him. Bump is retiring after more than 20 years in various roles on Beacon Hill. Dempsey and Sen. Diana DiZoglio are running on the Democratic side of the open race, and Republican Anthony Amore is the sole candidate across the aisle.

Baker “Feeling Ill,” Tested Negative For COVID

Gov. Charlie Baker has canceled his appearances at the only two public events on his schedule Tuesday due to illness.

Housing Going Up At Former Hyannis Nursing Home Site

The state's economic development agency has partnered with BankFive to provide nearly $12 million in loan financing to developers who plan to build a 53-unit mixed-income apartment complex in Hyannis.

Mass. Home Prices Set More Records In April

So many people are fighting for the precious few homes for sale in Massachusetts that the intense competition in April propelled the median sale prices of both single-family houses and condos to new record heights, real estate market watchers at The Warren Group said Tuesday.

Uncaptioned image for story:Baker Not Worried Ahead Of Legislative "Crush"

Baker Not Worried Ahead Of Legislative “Crush”

The list is long and growing longer by the week. Health care, energy and offshore wind, voting rights, transportation investment, economic development, soldiers' home oversight, tax relief, sports betting, pre-trial detentions. And there are more, all in various stages of the legislative process. That doesn't even include the annual budget, which will occupy the Senate for the next two weeks.

Muni Matters: State, Local Governments Facing Their Own Labor Squeeze

COVID-19's impacts on the workforce have been well-documented as employees have fled their full-time jobs as part of the "Great Resignation" and employers have struggled to replace them.

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