... At Bentley forum, state health commissioner Bharel to discuss vaping's impact on teen brains ...... Former Essex Tech superintendent pays $23,000 penalty for violating conflict of interest law ...... Students stage sit-in to protest unaffordable higher education costs ...... Galvin wants five days of early voting ahead of the March presidential primary ...... Keating: U.S. House votes 275 to 146 for bill recognizing the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe ...... Study questions metric behind legislative plans to bolster community hospitals ...... Public safety undersecretary Queally nominated for District Court ...... Criminal defense attorney Michael Doolin nominated for Superior Court ...... Riley's timeline puts New Bedford charter school deal up against Beacon Hill deadline ...... AG Healey sues Trump again, claims admin undermining bargaining power of personal care attendants ...... Reconstituted council charged with updating state's economic development plan by end of 2019 ...... Baker to attend briefing Tuesday where activists will press for reforms, in addition to education revenues ...... State opens new round of MassWorks grants ...... OCPF: Middlesex clerk of courts Sullivan makes personal payment to resolve campaign finance issues ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST DeLEO ACCUSES UNION OF MOCKING EDUCATION CHAIRWOMAN

With tensions mounting between education advocates and Beacon Hill leaders over school funding, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is accusing the state's largest teachers union of resorting to "juvenile tactics" by appearing to mock House Education Committee Chairwoman Alice Peisch during a rally. Read More

[Facebook/Merrie Najimy/May 16, 2019] | Hi-Res

Friday, May 17, 2019

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - DRIVER'S EDUCATION

Fund. Our. Future. Those three words are still echoing through the hallways of the State House after having been chanted Thursday by hundreds of teachers, parents and union activists as they marched through the capitol demanding additional funding for public education. Read More

Beacon Hill this week heard the frequent refrain o

Beacon Hill this week heard the frequent refrain of advocates' calls for action on public education funding. On Thursday, demonstrators with the Fund Our Future campaign chanted outside several State House offices before rallying on the Common. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


EVERETT CASINO SALE TALKS UNDERWAY, GAMING COMPANIES CONFIRM

Wynn Resorts has engaged in talks with MGM Resorts about the potential sale of its $2.6 billion Everett casino, which is scheduled to open next month. Read More


PILGRIM HOSTING SIMULATED SHUTDOWN AHEAD OF REAL THING ON MAY 31

Ahead of its planned shutdown on May 31, officials at Pilgrim Nuclear Station plan a similated shutdown on May 28. Read More


UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS UNDER 3 PERCENT, WORKFORCE ALSO DIPS

The state unemployment rate last month dropped below 3 percent for the first time since December 2000, falling one-tenth of a point to 2.9 percent. Read More


BAKERS SPENDING WEEKEND IN OHIO

Gov. Charlie Baker and his wife, Lauren, plan to travel to Oxford, Ohio on Friday for their daughter's college graduation, according to the governor's office. Read More


ADVANCES - WEEK OF MAY 19, 2019

There's a temporary break next week in the wave of legislative hearings that have washed over Beacon Hill. That's because the Massachusetts Senate will debate its annual state spending bill, planning probably three or four marathon sessions, beginning on Tuesday, where they will dispense with the 1,142 amendments to the $42.7 billion budget released by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on May 7. It's the first budget for new Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues, who has had more than a week to look over the many changes his colleagues would like him to make to the spending bill. Read More


DEP INTRODUCES NEW AIR QUALITY DATA IN COMPRESSOR CASE

State environmental regulators on Friday introduced hundreds of pages of air quality testing data, surprising parties at a days-long appeals hearing on an air quality permit for a controversial natural gas compressor station project in Weymouth. Read More

Hearing officer Jane Rothchild spoke during the th

Hearing officer Jane Rothchild spoke during the third day of an appeal hearing challenging an air-quality permit the Department of Environmental Protection issued for a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PERSONNEL FILE - FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019

... Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has a new team in charge of advancing his agenda on Beacon Hill ... the Associated Industries of Massachusetts board is getting makeover ... a conservative columnist is joining the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance board ... the Massachusetts Medical Society has a new president ... This news and more in the latest Personnel File. Enjoy. Read More


Thursday, May 16, 2019

ENBRIDGE DEFENDS WEYMOUTH GAS PROJECT AGAINST POLLUTION CHARGES

A day after academic experts slammed a plan to place a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, energy giant Enbridge had its chance Thursday afternoon at an appeal hearing to defend its permit for a facility the company said would not cause significant or environmental health impacts. Read More


LIVELY PASSES ON RUN FOR CONGRESS, BLAMES "BAKER MACHINE"

Conservative pastor and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively said Thursday he would not run for Congress in 2020 after challenging Gov. Charlie Baker last year, blaming the "Baker Machine" and its hold over the state Republican Party. Read More

Scott Lively filed some ballot signatures in May 2

Scott Lively filed some ballot signatures in May 2018 for his primary run against Gov. Charlie Baker. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File] | Hi-Res


STUDENTS STAGE SIT-IN TO PROTEST HIGHER EDUCATION COSTS

Student activists on Thursday staged a sit-in outside the offices of Beacon Hill's legislative leaders, urging top Democrats to schedule votes on a bill that would provide free public higher education to Massachusetts residents. Read More

College students camped out in the corridor by Hou

College students camped out in the corridor by House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office Thursday to push for free public higher education in Massachusetts. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MONTIGNY

MONTIGNY: SENATE READY TO PASS HANDS-FREE

The House’s 155-2 vote Wednesday evening to ban handheld device use by driving is "encouraging," according to a state senator who has been filing hands-free legislation since 2004. Read More


LEWIS EYES "BROAD CONSENSUS" ON EDUCATION COMMITTEE BILL

Lawmakers on the Education Committee are aiming to put forward a bill next month overhauling the state's school funding formula, the panel's Senate chair said Thursday as teachers, students and other advocates descended on the State House to continue the push for reform. Read More

Activists with Fund Our Future lined the corridor

Activists with Fund Our Future lined the corridor outside Education Committee Co-chairwoman Rep. Alice Peisch's office Thursday while campaign leaders talked with staff inside. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STATE BOARD SUSPENDS LICENSE OF NEWBURYPORT DOCTOR

A state board on Wednesday suspended the license of a doctor based in Newburyport, declaring that Dr. Keith Ablow "poses an immediate and serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare" for allegedly violating patient boundaries and other offenses. Read More


GALVIN

GALVIN WANTS EARLY VOTING AHEAD OF PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

Ten months before the 2020 Massachusetts presidential primary, Secretary of State William Galvin is trying to force lawmakers to decide whether to expand early voting and give voters five extra days beginning in February cast their ballots. Read More


KEY LAWMAKERS UNDECIDED ON SPORTS BETTING LEGALIZATION

Will Massachusetts bettors be able to plunk down a legal wager on the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots when they take the field week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Read More


HOUSE SESSION - THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019

After a more than eight-hour session Wednesday, the House advanced a few local bills Thursday morning and adjourned for the weekend. Four-plus months into the new session, the House has a limited session calendar as committees continue to hold public hearings on the thousands of bills filed for consideration. Read More


SENATE SESSION - THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019

With a Gloucester middle school civics class looking on, the Senate passed a bill naming a bridge in Dalton after U.S. Army Specialist Mitchell K. Daehling, who was killed in action in Afghanistan. Read More


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

MASS. HOUSE PASSES HANDS-FREE BILL 155-2

State representatives invoked the memories of people killed in distracted driving crashes on Wednesday before voting 155-2 to pass a bill banning motorists from using handheld cellphones and electronic devices behind the wheel. Read More


PROFESSOR ACCUSES DEP OF ACCEPTING ENBRIDGE "COACHING" ON AIR QUALITY

One professor alleged that the state Department of Environmental Protection received "coaching" on how to model air quality from a company seeking a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. Read More


U.S. HOUSE VOTES TO RECOGNIZE MASHPEE WAMPANOAG

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 275-146 Wednesday for legislation sponsored by Rep. William Keating to give federal recognition to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Read More


SUMMER POWER NEEDS COVERED DESPITE LOSS OF PILGRIM

New England is expected to have sufficient resources to meet peak consumer demand for electricity this summer, even with the impending retirement of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, the grid operator said Wednesday. Read More


GAMING FACILITIES GENERATED $12.3 MIL IN TAXES IN APRIL

The two gambling facilities in Massachusetts generated about $12.3 million in tax revenue for the state last month, the Gaming Commission reported Wednesday based on revenue reports from MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino. Read More


DATA SOUGHT ON CHILDREN WITH COMPLEX MEDICAL NEEDS

There are thousands of kids in Massachusetts with complex medical needs, but quantifying the population more specifically and getting a full picture of their care needs remains a challenge for the parents, health professionals and others who advocate for them. Read More


PROTESTERS BOLSTER CASE AGAINST COMPRESSOR STATION

Activists renewed their demand Wednesday that the Baker administration revoke an air-quality permit issued for a proposed natural gas compressor station, gathering outside the headquarters of state environmental regulators to complement an appeals hearing underway challenging the permit's validity. Read More

Anne Goodwin, one of the leaders of Mothers Out Fr

Anne Goodwin, one of the leaders of Mothers Out Front's Massachusetts chapter, held up a postcard the group delivered to Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday demanding he revoke an air-quality permit issued to a proposal natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HEARING UNDERWAY ON COMPRESSOR STATION PERMIT APPEAL

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday kicked off the first of three planned days of an appeals hearing challenging an air-quality permit issued for a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, calling in experts to testify on the impacts of the station as advocates planned to rally in opposition. Read More


PATRIOTS HELP KEEP UP DRUMBEAT OF EDUCATION LOBBYING

Three New England Patriots players and a national labor leader -- along with scores of parents, students and local activists -- are among those set to visit Beacon Hill this week to dial up the pressure for lawmakers to deliver an education funding reform bill. Read More

Patriots player Devin McCourty spoke about crimina

Patriots player Devin McCourty spoke about criminal justice reform at the State House in 2018. "This is a pretty cool place, so hopefully this won't be the last time you'll see me here," he said of his initial State House visit. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HOUSE SESSION - WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2019

The House voted 155-2 Wednesday to pass legislation requiring motorists to only use cellphones that are in hands-free mode, a bill intended to curb distracted driving crashes and fatalities. The bill had stalled out in the House in each of the last two sessions. Read More


HOUSE NEARING VOTE ON HANDS-FREE DRIVING BILL

The Massachusetts House was getting closer to a final vote Wednesday on legislation banning drivers from using handheld devices but appears to be hung up in talks over a few amendments. Read More


STUDY QUESTIONS METRIC USED IN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL $$$ DEBATE

As the Legislature weighs another effort to try to stabilize community hospitals and limit the growth of consumer health costs, the organization that represents insurers is making the case to lawmakers that the metric they've used to assess the hospitals' financial health is not the best way to think about the problem. Read More


BAKER NOMINATES SAFETY AIDE FOR JUDGESHIP

One of the Baker administration's senior public safety officials, who has worked on everything from the opioid crisis to impaired driving, was nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker for a judgeship on Wednesday. Read More

Law Enforcement Undersecretary Jennifer Queally an

Law Enforcement Undersecretary Jennifer Queally and Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, the adjutant general, walked up the State House front steps at Gov. Charlie Baker's second term inauguration in 2019. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STEWARD OFFERING FREE DOULA CARE DURING PREGNANCY

Members of the Steward Health Choice MassHealth accountable care organization plan will now be able to get free care from doulas during pregnancy and childbirth. Read More


"GENERALLY RELIABLE" GAS SYSTEM FEATURES LEAK-PRONE PIPES

Emergency response preparedness and safety have to become greater points of emphasis at most every level of utility companies and the Department of Public Utilities, a panel reviewing the physical integrity and safety of the natural gas distribution system concluded in the first part of its analysis. Read More


OPIOID OVERDOSES KILLED 497 PEOPLE IN MASS. DURING FIRST QUARTER

A total of 497 people, or more than five a day, died of confirmed or suspected opioid overdoses in Massachusetts during the first three months of 2019, according to the Department of Public Health. Read More


ROADWORK FUNDING BILL MAKING QUICK PITSTOP IN SENATE BONDING

Annual legislation delivering $200 million in state funds for local road and bridge repairs is moving through the Legislature like a car stuck in rush hour traffic in the southeast expressway. On Wednesday, Sen. Michael Moore did his part to break the time-sensitive bill free. Read More


HOUSE ADVANCES BILL TOUGHENING LAWS AGAINST DISTRACTED DRIVING

The Massachusetts House on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill requiring that any cellphone use behind the wheel be hands-free, and opened up a window of about two hours for lawmakers to offer up amendments to the bill before potential debate on it later in the day. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service