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

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Baker Staying Optimistic on Eco Dev, Tax Relief

Gov. Charlie Baker is holding out hope that top Democrats will reach agreement on some form of their shelved tax relief and spending bill, even though the August decrescendo represents what he called "a tough time."

State Eases Recommended COVID Precautions in K-12 Schools

Massachusetts school districts were told Monday they should focus their COVID-19 mitigation strategies towards vulnerable and symptomatic individuals this coming school year instead of deploying universal masking requirements or surveillance testing of asymptomatic students and staff.

Gaming Centers Haul in Nearly $100 Million in July

The state's three gaming centers raked in nearly $100 million in gross gaming revenue last month with more than $27.6 million bound for the state's coffers, the Gaming Commission announced Monday.

Look At The Week Ahead - The Advances

As lawmakers vacation or campaign ahead of the Sept. 6 primaries, the August sales tax holiday weekend is the only form of tax relief they've made available to Massachusetts residents who are feeling numb from the higher costs of everything. The 6.25 percent sales tax will be suspended for two days (Aug. 13 and 14) while the state sits on a massive fiscal 2022 surplus and a record rainy day fund account balance. House and Senate Democrats intended to pass $1 billion in tax relief to go along with more than $3 billion in spending, but shelved their economic development bill at the start of this month and haven't returned to it, at least publicly.

Regulators Consider Options For First Sports Bets

Gaming regulators will sit down with the state's casinos, simulcast centers and slots parlor next week to get a better sense of what they have planned for sports betting, and the Gaming Commission is thinking about whether those facilities will have a fast track to getting up and running first.

Baker Punctuates Formal Session’s End By Signing Clean Energy Bill

Gov. Charlie Baker was able to overcome his agita and on Thursday signed the Legislature's compromise offshore wind and climate policy bill, but he aired "deep misgivings" with some parts of the law and the way the House and Senate addressed his suggestions.

Transpo Chairs: Guv Amendment Would Water Down T Safety Reports

Top Democrats are disappointed in Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal to alter the MBTA reporting and electrification requirements marbled into an $11.3 billion bond bill, arguing that the changes "will delay our progress towards our long-term transportation and climate goals."

Sweeping Cannabis Industry Reforms Signed into Law by Baker

Nearly six years after voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana and almost four years since legal sales began, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law the first major step of its kind by state government to bolster the nascent industry and tear down obstacles that its participants face.

MBTA Inches Closer To Plan On Orange Line Alternatives

Tens of thousands of Boston-area commuters who will have their trips upended for a month by an imminent MBTA shutdown could get a clearer look at available travel alternatives on Friday.

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.

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.

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.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak flashes a printed version of a 16-page "Rider's Guide to Planning Ahead" as the T prepares for a 30-day Orange Line shutdown to begin Friday. The guide is also available <a href=''>online</a>. [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Travelers Told to 'Avoid the Region Altogether' During Orange Line Shutdown

If you were thinking about hopping in your car to avoid the patchwork of shuttle buses or infrequent commuter rail trains when the Orange Line goes offline Friday night, state officials have a simple message: don't.

Senate Session Summary - Monday, Aug. 15

The Senate on Monday sent to committee Gov. Charlie Baker's veto of language from the cannabis industry reform bill that would have commissioned a study on medical marijuana use at K-12 schools. Senators also advanced liquor license bills for Tisbury, Norwood, and the Nantasket Beach area of Hull, along with a measure to exempt the positions of police chief and police captain in Leominster from the civil service law. - Sam Doran

House Session Summary - Monday, Aug. 15

The end-of-session cleanup work continues on Beacon Hill and made up the bulk of the House's work during a brief informal session Monday morning. The House officially received and began to process the vetoes and amendments that Gov. Charlie Baker sent to the Legislature last week as his time to review the bills passed during the final weekend of July expired.

Cummings Foundation Donates Record $10 Million to Salem State

For the second time in as many years, Salem State University has set a new record for the largest cash gift received by a Massachusetts state university, the school said.

Senate President Karen Spilka, Gov. Charlie Baker, and House Speaker Ron Mariano appeared thrilled to be together again this week after a hectic end-of-session flurry that saw the Democrats come up short on a major economic development and tax relief package, much to the governor's dismay. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Three Sides To This Story

Triangles are the strongest shape, but there can be some level of conflict inherent with three-sided situations. When three interests are involved, they can either all be in agreement, each be on their own, or you find yourself in a two-against-one situation.

Secretary of state candidate Tanisha Sullivan addressed the press on the State House steps Thursday afternoon. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Sullivan Would “Activate” Secretary’s Office On Abortion Access

Secretary of state candidate Tanisha Sullivan focused her campaign pitch on abortion rights Thursday, outlining an agenda to "activate" all divisions of the secretary's office in an effort to support abortion access and at the same time knocking incumbent Secretary William Galvin for his decades-old statements on the issue.

State Savings Overflowing Amidst Pause On Spending, Tax Relief

State tax collections have surged in recent years to the point that nearly $3 billion in excess revenue could be returned to taxpayers, but so too has the amount of money that Massachusetts keeps stashed away and the state now has more than five times as much in its rainy day fund as it did five years ago.

Congressional Delegation Urges Baker To Declare Monkeypox Emergency

The ongoing outbreak of monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization and by President Joe Biden, and the state's entire Congressional delegation this week urged Gov. Charlie Baker to do the same in Massachusetts.

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