... Sen. Spilka's leadership team: Creem, Brownsberger, Chandler, Lovely, Barrett, DiDomenico, Rush, Cyr ...... Sen. Michael Rodrigues of Westport tapped by Spilka to chair Ways and Means Committee ...... Lewis takes over for Chang-Diaz as Education Committee chair, with issue at top of early 2019 agenda ...... Sen. Friedman takes leadership of Health Care Financing as lawmakers revisit major health care bill ...... Lynn Democrat Sen. Brendan Crighton to chair Housing Committee as lawmakers explore production bill options ...... Chang-Diaz takes over Marijuana Policy Committee chair from Sen. Jehlen ...... First-term Sens. Comerford to chair Public Health, Rausch Municipalities, and Kennedy Tourism Committee ...... Sen. Eric Lesser takes over Ethics Committee, which Rodrigues chaired last session ...... Brownsberger to chair Redistricting Committee as state prepares for decennial census ...... Baker visiting family in Florida for rest of week ...... Report: cost of traffic congestion, in hours and $$$, higher in Boston than any other city ...... Gas prices fall to 18-month low as MBTA considers hitting riders with another round of fare hikes ...... Business confidence in Massachusetts slips to lowest level since October 2016 ...... Baker ending February with trip to NGA winter meetings, address to Boston Chamber of Commerce ...... Mass. Lottery poised to open new headquarters in Dorchester on Feb. 19 ...... Boston-area tunnels, highway systems need $1.6 billion in work ...... Warren officially launches presidential bid and Moulton says he's thinking about getting in the race ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST VIDEO | ADVANCES - WEEK OF FEB. 17, 2019

Coming off Thursday's leadership and committee assignments, the holiday-shortened school vacation week affords lawmakers some time to move around the State House, with freshman House members finally poised to move out of their two big shared offices on the first floor and other legislators settling into new digs that are tethered to their new assignments. Committees may hold organizational meetings and will need to agree on internal rules -- the House and Senate have not agreed on final joint rules for 2019-2020 -- before delving into dockets of bills that await public hearings. The current rules require joint committees to adopt rules within four weeks of the appointment of joint committees, and require that committee rules be available on the Legislature's website. The rules say that all joint committee meetings must be posted well in advance on the website and that all hearings are open to the public. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP – TEAM CHEMISTRY

House Speaker Robert DeLeo walked out of a caucus of his Democratic members on Thursday looking pleased. Read More

<strong>MEET THE PRESS:</strong> The new House and

MEET THE PRESS: The new House and Senate budget chiefs, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael Rodrigues, talked to reporters outside their caucuses on Thursday. [Photos: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MASS. IN NATIONAL PILOT TO MEASURE ADDICTION TREATMENT PROGRAMS

State officials plan to work with substance use treatment providers in Massachusetts to participate in a national pilot rating system that will measure the quality of programs aimed at helping people overcome addiction. Read More


"ONE HELL OF A FIGHT" PREDICTED OVER EMERGENCY DECLARATION

President Donald Trump "thinks he is a dictator," U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern said Friday as he predicted that both Congress and the courts will react to Trump's announcement that he is declaring a national emergency at the southern border. Read More


KEMPIC NAMED COLUMBIA GAS OF MASS. PRESIDENT

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts on Friday named Mark Kempic as president and chief operating officer, effective May 1, 2019. Read More

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts CEO Stephen Bryant,

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts CEO Stephen Bryant, who plans to retire May 1, testified in December at a legislative oversight hearing on natural gas safety. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018] | Hi-Res


HPC REVIEWING WESTERN MASS. HEALTH CARE DEALS

State regulators are working to determine health care cost, quality and access impacts of a pair of transactions. Read More


LESSER

ECO-DEV CHAIR LESSER SAYS DIVERT GE INCENTIVES TO EDUCATION

On the heels of news that General Electric plans to reimburse $87 million in incentives associated with relocating its headquarters to Boston, a state senator is calling for those funds to be reinvested in Massachusetts vocational schools. Read More


WELD

WELD EXPLORING GOP PRIMARY CHALLENGE AGAINST TRUMP

After ditching the Libertarians and reuniting with his former Republican party, former two-term Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced Friday he is exploring a primary challenge against President Donald Trump in 2020. Read More


Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019

CENTRIST THREAD EVIDENT IN SPILKA APPOINTMENTS

Senate President Karen Spilka, at the starting gate of her first full term leading the upper chamber, put her imprint on the Senate's power structure on Thursday by unveiling her own team that includes centrist Westport Democrat Michael Rodrigues as the chair of the powerful budget-writing committee. Read More


VIDEO | MARIANO: "SLOW BEGINNING" POSSIBLE DUE TO NEW ROLES FOR REPS

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who for the past decade has been the constant at the helm of the House, remade his leadership team on Thursday, turning to Boston Democrat Aaron Michlewitz to chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee as part of a major committee reshuffling. Read More

Representatives studied a list of new leadership a

Representatives studied a list of new leadership and committee assignments after leaving a Democratic caucus Thursday where the positions were ratified. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PRESSING ISSUES AWAIT NEW AND RETURNING COMMITTEE LEADERS

Now that the House and Senate have ratified committee assignments for the new two-year legislative session, it's time for lawmakers to get down to the work that awaits them. Read More


BAYSIDE PROJECT INTENDED TO GENERATE $235 MIL FOR UMASS-BOSTON

The University of Massachusetts on Thursday tapped Boston-based Accordia Partners to develop the former Bayside Expo Center site, agreeing to a deal university officials said could generate a transformational $235 million in revenue for its Boston campus. Read More

The University of Massachusetts on Thursday select

The University of Massachusetts on Thursday selected Accordia Partners for a $235 million, 99-year lease of the former Bayside Expo Center site adjacent to UMass Boston. [Source: UMass via SHNS] | Hi-Res


FULL LIST: HOUSE LEADERSHIP, COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

House Speaker Robert DeLeo of Winthrop, first elected to that post in 2009 and now the longest continually serving speaker in state history, shuffled his leadership and committee structure Thursday, naming Rep. Aaron Michlewitz as the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Read More

Speaker Robert DeLeo talked to reporters Thursday

Speaker Robert DeLeo talked to reporters Thursday after his leadership and committee assignments were ratified in a private caucus of House Democrats. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WESTPORT DEM MICHAEL RODRIGUES TO CHAIR SENATE WAYS AND MEANS

Senate President Karen Spilka, at the starting gate of her first full term leading the upper chamber, put her imprint on the Senate's power structure on Thursday by unveiling her own team that includes Westport Democrat Michael Rodrigues as the chair of the powerful budget-writing committee. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - THURSDAY, FEB. 14, 2019

The House held an uneventful session Thursday as members were abuzz about possible leadership and committee assignments expected later Thursday. Rep. Paul Donato of Medford made sure to remind those in attendance that Democrats were caucusing at 1 p.m., where committee assignments may be finalized. For almost six weeks, legislators have been referring bills to committees that have no members. - Chris Lisinski Read More


MOODY'S: AUCTION RESULTS CREDIT NEGATIVE FOR POWER PROJECTS

Pleasant news for electricity bill payers isn't so good for the companies who build the plants that keep the juice flowing. Read More


SUBURBAN LAWMAKERS NAMED TO CHAIR EDUCATION COMMITTEE

As lawmakers try again this session to rework the way the state funds public schools, there will be one new set of hands at the controls. Read More

Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester was appointed Thurs

Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester was appointed Thursday as Senate chairman of the Education Committee. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STRONG ECONOMY FLAGGED AS MICHLEWITZ'S TOP PRIORITY

House Democrats selected sixth-term Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who worked for and then succeeded former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, to chair the influential Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, elevating a younger lawmaker favored by the party's leadership. Read More

Rep. Aaron Michlewitz of Boston's North End emerge

Rep. Aaron Michlewitz of Boston's North End emerged from caucus Thursday as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GE STAYING, BUT IN SMALLER HEADQUARTERS UNDER LAND SALE DEAL

General Electric is sticking with its plans to keep its headquarters in Boston, but under a new agreement. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker, General Electric vice presiden

Gov. Charlie Baker, General Electric vice president Ann Klee, then-CEO Jeff Immelt, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh broke ground on GE's planned "Innovation Point" campus in May 2017. [Photo: Colin A. Young/SHNS/File 2017] | Hi-Res


VIDEO | SENATE BUDGET CHIEF SEES SELF IN "BORING MIDDLE"

Sen. Michael Rodrigues, a moderate Democrat from Westport who runs his family's flooring business, was appointed as the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, handing him the reins of the state's budget as a new legislative session gets underway. Read More

Sen. Michael Rodrigues walked down a Senate corrid

Sen. Michael Rodrigues walked down a Senate corridor Thursday on his way to a caucus where he was announced as new chairman of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


FULL LIST: SENATE LEADERSHIP, COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

Senate President Karen Spilka, who first ascended to her post in July 2018, on Thursday put her imprint on the Senate's power structure, slotting some of her 33 Democratic colleagues onto her leadership team and announcing committee chairmanships for the rest. Read More

Sen. Michael Rodrigues, tapped Thursday as new cha

Sen. Michael Rodrigues, tapped Thursday as new chairman of Senate Ways and Means, was chairman of Senate Ethics in May 2018 when he shared details from the Hogan Lovells report on the conduct of former President Stanley Rosenberg. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018] | Hi-Res


SENATE SESSION - THURSDAY, FEB. 14, 2019

The Senate is out until Tuesday, Feb. 19 after holding a brief session Thursday while most of its members were holed up in Senate President Karen Spilka's office where leadership and committee assignment appeared to be the main topic of conversation. No major business was conducted in the chamber. Read More


Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019

TIPPED WORKERS DESCRIBE HARASSMENT ON JOB

Contributing to a national day of action, restaurant industry workers told personal stories Wednesday and framed the issue of tipped worker wages as a matter of women's rights. Legislators and representatives from the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) gathered in the State House to advocate for tipped workers to make the same minimum wage as other workers. Read More


HPC SEEKS TO UNWIND HEALTH CARE PRESCRIPTIONS, ADMINISTRATION

The state's Health Policy Commission is calling for policymakers, the medical field and insurers to take action on two complicated issues that contribute to the cost of health care in Massachusetts: prescription drug spending and administrative expenses. Read More


OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS DOWN, BUT STILL TOTAL NEARLY 2,000

Deaths from opioid-related overdoses declined in 2018 for the second consecutive year, according to state figures released Wednesday that officials said showed signs of progress in the fight against an epidemic that took nearly 2,000 lives last year. Read More

Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts, 2

Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts, 2009-2018. [Source: DPH] | Hi-Res


BAKER'S EDUCATION $$$ PLAN GETS COOL RECEPTION

City and town officials struggling to keep their schools adequately funded told state officials Tuesday that Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal to overhaul the state's public school funding system makes good strides, but doesn't fully address the problems many communities confront. Read More


EIGHTH TROOPER AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY IN OVERTIME ABUSE SCANDAL

All eight Massachusetts State Police troopers charged as part of a federal investigation into overtime abuse have pleaded or agreed to plead guilty after suspended trooper Heath McAuliffe agreed to a plea agreement Wednesday on one count of embezzlement from an agency that received federal funding. Read More


HOFFMAN

CCC CHIEF: ALCOHOL, MARIJUANA REGULATION NOT THE SAME

The 2016 push to legalize marijuana began with an activist campaign that sought to "regulate marijuana like alcohol" and many legalization supporters continue to argue that the two substances should be treated similarly by government. Read More


SOLID NUMBERS, BUT CONFIDENCE WANING IN HOUSING MARKET

As Beacon Hill looks to restart talks over a housing production bill, signed home and condo sale agreements in Massachusetts were each up more than 20 percent in January, compared to the same month in 2018, marking a full year of monthly increases in pending sales and providing a glimpse of where the 2019 market is heading. Read More


ASSIGNMENTS COULD FLOW FROM NEWLY SCHEDULED SENATE CAUCUS

Thursday is shaping up as the day that a lot of the uncertainty about the Legislature’s power structure will be ironed out. Read More

Senate Democrats plan to hold a private caucus Thu

Senate Democrats plan to hold a private caucus Thursday morning. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018] | Hi-Res


Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

HOUSE DEMS TO CAUCUS THURSDAY WITH APPOINTMENTS LIKELY

Six weeks after House lawmakers took their oaths of office, it appears that they may be getting assigned to committees on Thursday. House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Tuesday afternoon called for a Democratic Party caucus at 1 p.m. on Thursday after an informal House session in the morning. The schedule was sent to members in the afternoon, and was subsequently shared with the News Service. Read More


HEAD START SEEKS $$$ BOOST TO HELP YOUNG LEARNERS, FAMILIES

Even with snow in the forecast for Tuesday afternoon and a bevy of other State House events canceled, House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad said she wasn't at all surprised to see the large crowd that turned out to lobby for more funding for the Head Start program. Read More

"I am a product of Head Start," Sen. Sal DiDomenic

"I am a product of Head Start," Sen. Sal DiDomenico of Everett told members of the Massachusetts Head Start Association after receiving an award at their lobby day on Tuesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STEYER

STEYER BRINGS IMPEACHMENT PUSH TO MASSACHUSETTS

Billionaire philanthropist and political activist Tom Steyer said Democrats running in 2020 would be making a mistake to not talk on the stump about removing President Donald Trump from office. Read More


WU OFFERS TAX BREAK ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN IN BOSTON

Businesses receiving tax breaks would be required to publicly report annually on job creation, wages and benefits paid, and capital invested as a result of the favorable tax treatment, under a newly proposed ordinance in Boston. Read More


BIZ CONFIDENCE IN MASS. AT LOWEST LEVEL SINCE OCTOBER 2016

Dimming employer views of the state and national economies drove down business confidence in Massachusetts in January. Read More


BOARD OF ED OPTS AGAINST APPROVING NEW CHARTERS

This year's round of charter school applications came to an end on Tuesday, with no new charters granted. Read More


VETERANS MOBILIZE TO HONOR JAMES McCUE, 97

James McCue will be laid to rest Thursday in Lawrence with a representative from the U.S. Army on hand to honor his World War II military service. Until Monday, it seemed like the military honor guard detail could be the only attendees at the veteran's burial. Read More


REPORT: COSTS OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION HIGHEST IN BOSTON

Traffic experts have long deemed Los Angeles and Washington, where roadways are crowded for most of the day, as the cities with the most agonizing driving delays. But one report that dug down into a specific metric found that Boston might be the worst of them all. Read More

[Source: INRIX]

[Source: INRIX] | Hi-Res


BAKER

BAKER LEAVING FOR WASHINGTON D.C., THEN FLORIDA

Gov. Charlie Baker will be leaving Massachusetts for the rest of the week later Tuesday. Baker plans to travel to Washington, D.C. to receive an award before continuing on to Florida to visit family. Read More


LOTTERY POISED TO OPEN DORCHESTER HQ ON FEB. 19

The Massachusetts Lottery is permanently closing its prize claim center in the McCormack Building at One Ashburton Place in Boston on Wednesday and plans to open its new headquarters in Dorchester on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Read More


DOJ RULING SNAGS TREASURY PUSH FOR ONLINE LOTTERY

While she is in the nation's capital this week, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is planning to meet with members of the state's congressional delegation to discuss how a Department of Justice ruling could affect her wish to see the Massachusetts Lottery begin selling products online. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service