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Advances - Week of Dec. 4, 2022

Voters in November selected the state's leaders, but many leadership decisions still remain, and some of those will come down in December.

Unions Plan Offensive To Invest In Public Higher Ed

After winning a long fight to impose a surtax on the state's highest earners designed to fund education and transportation, unions and educators from across Massachusetts are making it clear that public higher education is on the top of their priority list for the newfound funds.

Losses Pile Up At State Pension Fund

Officials at the state pension fund expect economic cycles and market downturns will periodically affect their investments and the quarter that ended in September "was one of those periods, unfortunately," the head of MassPRIM said as the agency also confirmed that it has connections to the failed cryptocurrency firm FTX.

Mental Health Care System In Flux

When the head of the largest behavioral health provider in western Massachusetts woke up Thursday, there were 39 people continuing to wait in emergency departments around greater Springfield in need of psychiatric treatment beds.

City Council Backs Lower Voting Age In Boston

If you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to vote, the majority of Boston city councilors decided Wednesday, bringing 16-and 17-year-olds one step closer to enfranchisement in the city. By a 9-4 vote, councilors passed a petition to allow Boston residents aged 16 and 17 to vote in municipal elections, as long as they meet all other legal qualifications.

Clean Heat Panel Sees “Real Burdens” Ahead

A commission that spent the last 11 months studying ways to help the state meet its emissions reduction requirements by shifting to cleaner buildings and addressing heating fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions released its final recommendations Wednesday, but was not able to come to consensus around a timeline for phasing out new fossil fuel heating equipment.

Health Care Insider To Lead Analytics Agency

A top Baker administration health care policy official will take over the Center for Health Information and Analysis in the new year, a trio of statewide elected leaders announced Wednesday.

Baker Clears Schedule, Event With Raimondo Canceled

Gov. Charlie Baker had been planning to tout a North Andover company and its place in the advanced manufacturing and clean energy technology sphere to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Wednesday, but the visit to 6K was called off early in the afternoon.

Sports Betting Credits Add To Busy Gaming Agenda

Don't bother trying to make plans with anyone from the Mass. Gaming Commission in December.

Red Sox, MassMutual Partner Up

While fans wait for offseason moves to improve the team's outlook, the Boston Red Sox announced a major off-the-field move Wednesday: a 10-year partnership with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Big Insurer Reports Doubling Of Mental Health Visits

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts offered new statistics Wednesday that punctuate the national trend of more people seeking treatment for depression and anxiety disorders.

DEP Official Cites “Societal Context” In Biomass Plant Ruling

Opponents of a long-planned biomass facility in East Springfield that would have burned wood to generate energy are applauding a new ruling upholding the state's decision to revoke permits for the project.

Council To Hear Amirault, Shabazz Cases Dec. 13

The Governor's Council will solicit public testimony in two weeks on Gov. Charlie Baker's requests to make a murderer convicted 50 years ago eligible for parole and to pardon members of the Amirault family who were convicted in the Fells Acres abuse case.

Officials Reflect On Opioid Crisis Progress, Setbacks

While boasting of "nation-leading policy and reforms" in Massachusetts related to the opioid epidemic, incoming and outgoing state executives agreed Tuesday that there is more work to be done.

Report: Infrastructure Aid Generous In New England States

Every state in New England is poised to receive an above-average injection of federal infrastructure money, funding that could play a key role after years where the region's rate of investment lagged other states, a new report concluded.

State Seeking Extension Of MCAS-Alt Waiver

State education officials are hoping to extend a waiver of a federal requirement that limits the number of students in the state who can take alternative assessments on statewide standardized tests.

Lottery Fretting Over Instant Tickets, Ad Budget

Massachusetts Lottery sales have improved in the past two months thanks in large part to interest in a huge Powerball jackpot, but officials remain worried a broader slowdown that left the agency tens of millions of dollars behind last year's pace will persist.

MGM Springfield Survives Sports Betting “Mix-up”

The casinos and slots parlor that are already regulated by the Mass. Gaming Commission were made automatically eligible for sports betting licenses here, all they had to do was submit an application and pay a fee and the commission is required by law to issue them a license so long as they meet the law's other requirements.

Boston Examining Waste Management At Big Venues

Most of the waste generated at the biggest events held in Boston is not being recycled. Called together Monday by the Boston City Council, representatives of major venues and city officials held the first of several discussions about ways to improve recycling and reduce the amount of waste that ends up flowing to landfills and incinerators.

Wu: Communities Must Be Ready For Migrant Arrivals

Massachusetts communities will "need to be ahead of the curve" to absorb an influx of asylum-seekers and other migrants expected to continue in the coming months, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Monday.

Shielding themselves from the elements with umbrellas and raincoats, spectators jockey for a better view of Prince William and Princess Kate from atop trash bins and a granite wall on Boston City Hall Plaza on Wednesday. [Sam Drysdale/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Royal Intervention

What do you think Maura Healey and Prince William talked about when they sat courtside for the Boston Celtics game Wednesday night?

Senate Session Summary - Focus on Brookline, Lowell and Local Matters

'Tis the season of cleaning up the local bills.

House Session Summary - “School Custodian Day” Bill Wins Initial Approval

Two Boy Scout troops from Burlington were on hand Thursday morning as the House of Representatives churned through mostly local matters during the first session of December.

Uncaptioned image for story:Ten Confirmations Include One Put Over Top By Baker

Ten Confirmations Include One Put Over Top By Baker

The Governor's Council on Wednesday cleared the way for the secretary of state's office to order hand recounts in two House districts where election winners have yet to be settled, and approved 10 judicial candidates -- one of whom advanced after Gov. Charlie Baker broke a tie vote.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark, who on Wednesday won her colleagues' support to become Democratic whip in the U.S. House, celebrates at a MassDems election night event in Boston on Nov. 8. [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Clark Nabs Number-Two Post Among U.S. House Dems

Congresswoman Katherine Clark secured a new role as the whip for U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday, elevating the Revere resident to the number-two role in her caucus amid a historic changing of the guard.

A rendering shows Northeastern's new EXP research center, slated for 2023 completion, which will stand between Ruggles Station and the university's Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex. [Courtesy/Northeastern University]

Tax-Exempt Bond Fuels Northeastern Research Hub

Northeastern University is using revenue from a $378.5 million tax-exempt bond to build a 340,000 square foot science and engineering complex in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.

New Bedford attorney Pamela Gauvin-Fernandes. [Courtesy/Twitter]

Lung Transplant Barely Slowed Court Nominee

One of the governor's latest judicial nominees is an experienced prosecutor, employment lawyer, and bar advocate, a former college athlete, and a mother of twins -- and she accomplished most of that before receiving the double-lung transplant she needed to survive.

Boston Will Host Biden, And Royal Visit On Friday

President Joe Biden is becoming something of a regular in Massachusetts.

Uncaptioned image for story:Big Class Set To Join Legislature In 2023

Big Class Set To Join Legislature In 2023

Significant turnover is on the way for the Legislature as election season gives way to the next two-year term and more than two dozen newly elected lawmakers prepare to take the oath of office. Five new senators will join the 40-member chamber in January, while the 160-member House will feature either 21 or 22 first-time representatives depending on how a pair of unresolved recounts play out.

Healey Meets With House’s Top Leader

Gov.-elect Maura Healey was back at the State House Monday for a sitdown with House Speaker Ronald Mariano, whose chamber she'll be filing her first budget bill with by March 1.

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