... Energy efficiency, transportation sector are focuses of Baker admin's first comprehensive energy plan ...... Baker nominates Brian Sullivan of Swampscott, the guv's hometown, as Lynn District Court clerk magistrate ...... Kelcourse, DiZoglio hosting "Pastries, Politics and Policy" event Tuesday night in Amesbury ...... Brigham & Women's researchers develop smartphone-based ovulation test ...... MassVote eyes election day registration as next major reform, calling it "the ultimate solution to enhancing participatory democracy" ...... Low oil prices, corporate tax relief should negate Eversource electric rate hike, Sen. Lesser says ...... Dracut physician charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly illegally prescribing opioids to an at-risk patient that resulted in her death ...... "Luis and I mutually agreed that the time was right for him to separate from the T" - Transpo Secretary Pollack on departing GM Luis Ramirez ...... Pioneer Institute pleased that its former research director Steve Poftak has been elevated to MBTA GM ...... Westfield State University, Holyoke Community College combine resources to hire joint emergency management chief ...... Arlington Police Chief Ryan, who led addiction recovery initiatives, is retiring in January ...... EPA announcing regulatory partnership with maritime, food and beverage, and outdoor recreation sectors ...... Labor groups urging allies to rally for locked out gas workers on Dec. 19 ...... New Bedford mayor to announce infrastructure, public safety upgrades on Thursday ...... Senate making late-session bid to pass juror service bill ...... Speech-language pathologist licensing bill clears Senate ...... Like so many buses, trains and drivers, the Future of Transportation report, due on Dec. 1, will be late this year ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST JURY FINDS FOUR GUILTY OF ABUSING TEENS IN DYS CARE

Four former youth workers will be sentenced Friday after a Suffolk Superior Court jury on Wednesday returned verdicts convicting them in connection with 19 indictments outlining abuse of teens they were trusted to care for in 2014. Read More

LEGISLATIVE NEWBIES TO HEAR FROM BEACON HILL'S HEAVY HITTERS

As a three-day program began Wednesday for incoming representatives and senators, some details of the events at UMass Amherst became available. Read More


BARRETT QUESTIONS GAS SAFETY CONSULTANT'S TIES TO INDUSTRY

During Tuesday's hearing on the safety of natural gas infrastructure in Massachusetts, a key lawmaker questioned whether the consulting firm the Baker administration brought on to evaluate the state's gas system is truly independent of the gas industry and whether its report will be free of bias. Read More

Sen. Michael Barrett said he questioned "how free

Sen. Michael Barrett said he questioned "how free Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems is to be a critic" of the natural gas industry. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


LOTTERY TIX "NOT APPROPRIATE" GIFTS FOR KIDS, OFFICIALS REMIND

With the gift-buying season well underway, state gambling regulators and responsible gaming advocates reminded players that Massachusetts Lottery tickets, casino chips and other forms of gaming are not appropriate gifts for children. Read More


STATE SPENDING PLATFORM ECLIPSES 3 MILLION VIEWS IN 27 MONTHS

The independent office that oversees $60 billion in state government funding says its transparency website, which lets users see exactly how 152 agencies and departments spend their money, has received more than 3 million page views in less than 27 months. Read More


SENATOR, UMASS OFFICIAL REFLECT ON LARGER WORK, DEBT TRENDS

As the state's population ages, the labor force will lose some of its most experienced and productive workers, except for those who can be persuaded to put off retirement, economist Michael Goodman told state budget writers recently. Read More

Sen. Joan Lovely, the Senate's point person on spe

Sen. Joan Lovely, the Senate's point person on spending bills, said she is still paying off her own student debt from law school. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ANOTHER TROOPER ARRESTED AS TWO PLEAD GUILTY IN OVERTIME SCANDAL

An eighth Massachusetts State Police trooper has been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into overtime abuse at the department and will appear in federal court later Wednesday. Read More


Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018

RAMIREZ REPLACED AS GM AFTER 15 MONTHS LEADING MBTA

With his second term about to begin, Gov. Charlie Baker has made a move to install new leadership at the MBTA, severing ties to General Manager Luis Ramirez just a year after he was hired and bringing in Steve Poftak, a member of the T's control board, to run the transit agency. Read More

Luis Manuel Ramirez was introduced in August 2017

Luis Manuel Ramirez was introduced in August 2017 as the MBTA's new general manager while Steve Poftak (right) looked on. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2017] | Hi-Res


MASSFISCAL THANKS DEMS BACKING GREATER TRANSPARENCY

When the conservative nonprofit Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance singles out Beacon Hill Democrats, it's usually to criticize their votes. But the group on Tuesday extended "the thanks of our organization, and of proponents of good government across the Commonwealth" to four newly elected Democrats who have pledged to support efforts to put state legislators' votes on record. Read More


EMPLOYER PUSH TO REDUCE ER VISITS FOCUSES ON CONSUMER EDUCATION

One out of every three Massachusetts residents who get health insurance through their employers reported making their last visit to an emergency room for a condition that wasn't acutally an emergency, according to a new analysis presented to a business group Tuesday morning. Read More


GAS EXECUTIVES ON HOT SEAT AT STATE HOUSE

[Coverage Developing] Five gas utility executives are facing sharp questions from lawmakers Tuesday as a House-Senate committee begins to investigate the safety of the state's natural gas distribution infrastructure in the wake of September's deadly gas explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley. Read More


BLACK CAUCUS CHAIR INTRODUCING HOUSE VERSION OF WARREN'S HOUSING BILL

A House version of legislation aimed at cutting rents by 10 percent and expanding access to affordable housing will be unveiled Tuesday afternoon in Washington by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Read More


ANALYSIS: ONE IN THREE SAY LAST ER VISIT WAS FOR NON-EMERGENCY

[Developing] One out of three Massachusetts residents who get health insurance through their employers reported that their last visit to an emergency room was for a non-emergency condition, according to a new analysis presented to a business group Tuesday morning. Read More


AMID MIXED SIGNALS, MASS. BUSINESS CONFIDENCE TICKS UPWARD

A three-month slide in business confidence came to an end in November, barely. Read More


MASS. RESIDENTS HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE, SURVEY SHOWS

Most adults who sought care for mental health or substance use disorders in Massachusetts in the last year had trouble obtaining that care, regardless of whether or not they had insurance coverage to help pay for the care. Read More


GAS EXECUTIVES BACK BAKER SAFETY BILL DURING GRILLING BY LAWMAKERS

Gas utility executives and state regulators faced sharp questions from lawmakers Tuesday as a House-Senate committee dug into the safety of the state's natural gas distribution infrastructure in the wake of September's deadly gas explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley. Read More

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts CEO Stephen Bryant r

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts CEO Stephen Bryant responded to lawmakers Tuesday during an oversight hearing on natural gas safety. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PERSONNEL FILE - TUESDAY, DEC. 11, 2018

... Congresswoman-elect Lori Trahan is staffing up, and bringing on board a pair of former aides to former Congressman Marty Meehan ... the City of Medford's new police chief has two decades of service in that city ... the state's small business financial services provider has added a longtime presence at the Brockton Boys & Girls Club as senior loan officer ... the team surrounding Gov. Baker is changing ... and Suffolk District Attorney-elect Rachael Rollins has new transition team ... Enjoy the latest Personnel File ... Read More


SALEM TO GET STATE'S THIRD RETAIL POT STORE

A marijuana retail store in Salem got clearance from state regulators on Tuesday to open its doors to recreational consumers as early as Saturday, positioning it as the third retail shop to open in Massachusetts and the closest retailer to Boston. Read More


RAMIREZ OUT AFTER JUST OVER A YEAR AS MBTA GENERAL MANAGER

After just more than one year managing the MBTA, Luis Ramirez is leaving the transit agency, and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said Tuesday she has chosen MBTA control board member Steve Poftak to take over in the new year. Read More

Luis Ramirez was hired as a turnaround artist who

Luis Ramirez was hired as a turnaround artist who the administration considered capable of transforming the complex bureaucracy of the T. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File] | Hi-Res


Monday, Dec. 10, 2018

VIDEO | GAS SAFETY BILL ON DECEMBER TO-DO LIST, DeLEO AND SPILKA SAY

The top two Democrats in the Legislature said Monday that before the end of the year they want to pass legislation filed by Gov. Charlie Baker to improve the safety of gas infrastructure work. Read More

Senate President Karen Spilka said the Senate will

Senate President Karen Spilka said the Senate will "hopefully" take up Gov. Charlie Baker's gas safety bill and "maybe make some tweaks to it." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WESTERN MASS. FREIGHT RAIL IMPROVEMENTS SEEN AS CLOSING "CRUCIAL GAP"

Federal funds will help upgrade the New England Central Railroad main line through western Massachusetts, making the north-south line ready to handle the standard weight of modern freight cars, according to Sen. Edward Markey's office. Read More


STATE OFFICIALS DETAIL OPPOSITION TO "PUBLIC CHARGE" RULE CHANGE

Seven health, human services and community development officials from across the Baker administration went on record Monday against a proposed federal rule change that would restrict the ability of immigrants to obtain green cards if they receive public benefits including Medicaid or food stamps. Read More


SENATE SESSION – MONDAY, DEC. 10, 2018

The Massachusetts Senate on Monday passed a bill establishing a provisional licensure for speech-language pathologists. Currently, speech-language pathologists in Massachusetts must complete their clinical fellowship before they can be licensed. Read More


ETHICS COMMISSION ISSUES REMINDER ON GIFT RESTRICTIONS

With the gift-giving season underway, the State Ethics Commission on Monday reminded state, county and municipal employees that accepting certain gifts could violate state ethics laws. Read More


PROGRESSIVES FIND FEW ON BEACON HILL WORTHY OF TOP GRADES

Advocacy group Progressive Massachusetts on Monday released its latest legislative scorecard, giving "A" grades to just three state representatives and four senators, and using the grades to call for more transparency on Beacon Hill. Read More


SOBER DRIVERS, SAFE TRAVELS URGED IN NEW STATE AD CAMPAIGN

State public safety officials Monday are launching a statewide public information campaign about the dangers of driving drunk or stoned and a mobilization of police officers to conduct "stringent" impaired driving enforcement operations this holiday season. Read More


TOP STATE OFFICIALS DISCUSS STATE HOUSE CHANGES

Top leaders from the executive and legislative branches discussed Monday potential changes that could be coming to the Massachusetts State House, the fourth oldest capitol building in America. Read More


AIR SAFE SLAPPED WITH $28,500 PENALTY FOR ASBESTOS VIOLATIONS

State regulators have hit a company called Air Safe with a $28,500 penalty for asbestos violations. Read More


AS EDUCATION ACTIVISTS PRESS, PEYSER SAYS STATE "TRYING TO DO THE BEST WE CAN"

A group of parents and advocates making their case for revamping the state's school funding system on Monday nearly crossed paths with a top education official on his way to a budget office meeting. Read More

Members of Stand for Children Massachusetts delive

Members of Stand for Children Massachusetts delivered more than 1,700 letters to Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday asking for equity in school funding. [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SYSTEM SHUTDOWN PLANNED AS HEALTH LICENSING MOVES ONLINE

Health professionals who use the state's e-licensing system will be unable to apply for or renew licenses from Friday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. until Monday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m., in order to facilitate a system upgrade. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2018

The House enacted a handful of sick leave bank and liquor license bills during its first of two scheduled sessions this week and also adopted an amendment offered by Bills in Third Reading Committee Chairman Rep. Theodore Speliotis to a bill (H 4824) dealing with lease pricing for yacht clubs on state-owned land, which precluded a vote on a separate amendment filed by Gov. Charlie Baker back in July. Read More


LAWMAKERS SET HEARING ON GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION EFFORTS

In the wake of dire climate warnings from federal scientists, Sen. Marc Pacheco and Rep. Frank Smizik are teaming up to host an oversight hearing this month to gauge the state's progress in meeting its carbon emission reduction mandates. Read More


SPILKA

SPILKA TO NATIONAL GRID: END THE LOCKOUT "IMMEDIATELY"

Newly in possession of a House-approved locked out worker benefit bill, Senate leaders said Monday they are ready to intervene if National Grid won't end its lock out of union gas workers voluntarily. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service