ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

License Law Repeal Campaign Plans to 'Run Across the Finish Line'

The campaign to repeal the new driver's license law, which is set to open up license access to immigrants without legal status in Massachusetts, said it hit a milestone Wednesday and turned in the requisite number of signatures to print the repeal question on the November ballot. But Secretary of State Bill Galvin's office contested that Thursday and said the signatures were "probably not" all actually filed yet.

Timing, Layout Questions Linger Over Sports Betting Rollout

The Gaming Commission waded into the crowded and complex field of sports wagering issues on which it will soon have to make decisions, and regulators are hoping by the end of the month to have a good idea of how many and which companies are interested in seeking a sports betting license in Massachusetts.

Baker Doesn’t Slam Door on Boston Fossil Fuel Ban

Gov. Charlie Baker "would want to try to be helpful" to the city of Boston as its leaders seek state approval to restrict fossil fuels in new buildings and major renovations, even though he continues to air concerns that the strategy could further strain the housing market.

Senate Session Summary - Thursday, Aug. 18

In a sure sign that it's August on Beacon Hill, the Senate was 80 minutes late in starting its session Thursday, and when it did finally convene, the chamber's top Republican was the one wielding the gavel. After briefly presiding and placing the Senate in recess at 12:20 p.m., Minority Leader Bruce Tarr told the News Service he was "still ready, willing, and able to contribute in that role if I need to," but the president's office by that point had located one of the Senate's 37 Democrats and Senate Dean Marc Pacheco took the chair.

Baker Figures Prominently in Talks About Legislature’s Return

Lawmakers love to deflect questions about conference committee talks by saying their rules require them to keep the negotiations private among the three representative and three senators tasked with finding a compromise. But no one is making any bones about the fact that the conference committee still negotiating an economic development bill has looped in an informal seventh member: Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker Taps Two for Judgeships, One with Guv’s Council Ties

Gov. Charlie Baker at midday Wednesday tapped a longtime central Massachusetts private practice attorney to replace a disgraced probate judge who resigned in March. Then, later in the afternoon, another new nomination quietly popped up on the Governor's Council calendar -- District Court nominee Sarah Jubinville.

Big Borrowing Measures Headed For Next Procedural Step

With fairly straightforward and mundane legislation filed Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker continued the work of capping off the significant lawmaking of the 192nd General Court.

Senate Acting First on Tax Bill Not Preferred, But Not Impossible

In the extended back-and-forth over the economic development and tax relief bill stuck in legislative purgatory, Senate President Karen Spilka has repeatedly said her chamber wants to act now but can't without the House doing so first. But on Tuesday, she gave voice to the possibility that the Senate could deploy procedural tactics to bring something to the Senate floor without the House acting first.

Months Past Original Due Date, State Seal Commission Eyes Start of “Real Work”

After receiving two extensions already, the special commission tasked with redesigning the state seal and flag is staring down a timeline of just over four months until the latest deadline with the "real work" not yet underway.

AG Lands Slice of $450 Mil Settlement With Opioid Maker

Massachusetts would receive part of a $450 million payment from opioid manufacturer Endo, which filed for bankruptcy Tuesday night, under a deal Attorney General Maura Healey and several other state AGs struck with the company.

Leaders Push for Free T as 'Apology' to Riders

A constellation of elected officials from Congress down to the local level have gained little traction so far with their calls for the MBTA to halt charging fares across the entire system when the Orange Line and part of the Green Line go offline for extended periods.

Who’s On The Move?

... MassDEP has a new deputy press secretary with private sector experience ... Auditor Bump's former deputy communications director starts this week in a senior communications role at the ABL ... Fallon Health added a new role focused on Medicare and Medicaid members ... Mass. Climate Action Network is experiencing changeover at the top ... And there's a new food justice director at Boston City Hall ... Enjoy The Personnel File ...

Baker’s Bill-Filing Ability Could Come Into Play for Eco Dev

As the House and Senate's overtime talks around tax relief and economic development stretch on, Senate President Karen Spilka suggested Tuesday that Gov. Charlie Baker might end up being the one to put forward a bill to provide funding for things like housing, hospitals and electric vehicle policies.

Boston Wants to Be in Climate Law’s Fossil Fuel-Free Demo

Ten Massachusetts municipalities will be able to restrict the use of fossil fuels in construction or major renovation projects under a new clean energy law, and the state's largest city wants to be in the mix.

Democratic LG Candidates Agree: Legislature Should Return to Address Relief, Development

Two Massachusetts lawmakers running for statewide office want their colleagues to reconvene and take up a stalled economic development and tax relief bill, and the mayor joining them in the race for lieutenant governor called the Legislature's inaction on the issue "insulting."

Allen, Campanale Split on Trump’s Influence in Bay State Politics

Former President Donald Trump emerged as a wedge in Monday's debate between the two Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, with one citing Trump as a model and the other saying that too close of an association with the 45th president is a losing formula in the Bay State.

Councilors Say Baker Admin, Not Lack of Quorum, Sunk Meeting Plans

Last week's Governor's Council meeting -- which was set to include a controversial Parole Board vote -- was not actually nixed due to a lack of attendance but instead was scuttled ahead of time by the Baker administration, two councilors said.

Shrewsbury, Middleborough Teams Eye Baseball Glory

Massachusetts amateur baseball will be featured on the national stage this week as an American Legion team from Shrewsbury and Little Leaguers from Middleborough each battle for their league's respective World Series titles.

House Session Summary - Thursday, Aug. 18

The bill that Gov. Charlie Baker filed Wednesday recommending terms for bonds that were authorized by three newly signed laws -- the $11.4 billion infrastructure borrowing package, the $5.2 billion general government bond authorization, and the borrowing plan meant to modernize parts of the state's court system -- was sent Thursday to the Committee on Bonding during a brief informal House session. Aside from advancing the bond terms bill (H 5213), the House processed bills of local importance to Bridgewater, Tisbury, Devens, Norwood, Lunenburg and Hull.

Gaming Regulators Gauging Interest in Sports Betting Licenses

[Coverage Developing] The Gaming Commission would like to know how many and which companies are interested in seeking a sports betting license in Massachusetts and is asking that interested companies get in touch by the end of the month.

Silver Line, Extra Shuttles Tapped as Orange Line Alternates

The MBTA will add a "circulator" shuttle bus and expand Silver Line service to help connect Chinatown to other destinations during the upcoming Orange Line shutdown, T General Manager Steve Poftak said Thursday.

National Guard Tapped to Wrangle Rockport Wildfire

The National Guard has again been pressed into action, this time at the request of Rockport as the Cape Ann community continues to deal with a wildfire that has been burning across 19 acres for a month, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said Thursday morning.

Report Highlights Intricacies of 'Full-Blown Crisis' at the MBTA

A cavalcade of missteps, hazards and failures at the MBTA have prompted some public figures to call for the transit agency to be absorbed into another department or placed under federal control, but those actions would not address the deep-seated problems that have festered for years, according to a new report.

Councilor Marilyn Devaney (far left) seeks Gov. Charlie Baker's attention while Councilor Joe Ferreira appears to take a photograph of the governor on Wednesday in the Governor's Council Chamber. Baker presided over a council meeting during a tie-breaking vote on a Parole Board nominee. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Polito Breaks Tie in Favor of Controversial Parole Board Reappointment

Gov. Charlie Baker facilitated a rare tie-breaking vote of the Governor's Council to win approval Wednesday for former corrections official Colette Santa to serve another five-year term on the Parole Board.

Senate President Karen Spilka celebrated Tuesday at the ceremonial signing of a mental health law, a legislative priority of hers for decades and one that has its roots in her childhood. [Colin A. Young/SHNS]

For Spilka, New Mental Health Law Culminates A Lifelong Story

Tuesday's signing ceremony for the state's new mental health law was more than the celebration of another legislative achievement for Senate President Karen Spilka. It was also affirmation that a childhood clouded by a parent's untreated mental health issues had been worth it.

With First Ad, Surtax Fight is Coming to Bay State Living Rooms

More than half a decade after supporters launched their first effort to put a ballot question imposing a higher tax rate on wealthy households before voters, the campaign shifted into a new gear Wednesday morning.

Uncaptioned image for story:Memoire Nightclub $25,000 Fine Showcases State Regulatory Muscle

Memoire Nightclub $25,000 Fine Showcases State Regulatory Muscle

After five separate incidents in which patrons at Encore Boston Harbor's Memoire nightclub, some of them underage, were served more alcohol than they should have been, the Mass. Gaming Commission has fined the nightclub operator $25,000 and the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is upping its presence there.

With Transpo Plan, Healey Details 'First Challenge' She’d Tackle As Guv

With a federal investigation casting a shadow over the MBTA, likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey announced Tuesday she would overhaul the T's leadership and target both short- and long-term reforms to the state's transportation network. Healey rolled out a lengthy transportation plan, calling hazards across the system "unacceptable" and the "first challenge she will take on" if elected to the corner office in November.

Home Sales Slow as Prices Continue to Soar

Sky-high prices and rising mortgage rates have put a bit of a chill on the Massachusetts housing market this summer, but the analysts at The Warren Group said Tuesday that the cooling of the market might be just what it needs.

Mass. High Schoolers Will Need Higher MCAS Scores to Graduate

The state board of education voted Monday to raise the minimum score that this year's incoming freshman class and at least the four classes that follow will have to attain on the MCAS test in order to graduate high school, a controversial decision that was blasted by teachers union officials and a handful of lawmakers.

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