... Sen. Spilka's leadership team: Creem, Brownsberger, Chandler, Lovely, Barrett, DiDomenico, Rush, Cyr ...... Sen. Michael Rodrigues of Westport tapped by Spilka to chair Ways and Means Committee ...... Lewis takes over for Chang-Diaz as Education Committee chair, with issue at top of early 2019 agenda ...... Sen. Friedman takes leadership of Health Care Financing as lawmakers revisit major health care bill ...... Lynn Democrat Sen. Brendan Crighton to chair Housing Committee as lawmakers explore production bill options ...... Chang-Diaz takes over Marijuana Policy Committee chair from Sen. Jehlen ...... First-term Sens. Comerford to chair Public Health, Rausch Municipalities, and Kennedy Tourism Committee ...... Sen. Eric Lesser takes over Ethics Committee, which Rodrigues chaired last session ...... Brownsberger to chair Redistricting Committee as state prepares for decennial census ...... Baker visiting family in Florida for rest of week ...... Report: cost of traffic congestion, in hours and $$$, higher in Boston than any other city ...... Gas prices fall to 18-month low as MBTA considers hitting riders with another round of fare hikes ...... Business confidence in Massachusetts slips to lowest level since October 2016 ...... Baker ending February with trip to NGA winter meetings, address to Boston Chamber of Commerce ...... Mass. Lottery poised to open new headquarters in Dorchester on Feb. 19 ...... Boston-area tunnels, highway systems need $1.6 billion in work ...... Warren officially launches presidential bid and Moulton says he's thinking about getting in the race ...... ...
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ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (informal)
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)


By Chris Lisinski

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 7, 2019.....Opposition to a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth surged on multiple fronts Thursday with protests at the State House, the release of a report warning of potential health and environmental hazards, and new opposition from an organization whose work had paved the way for issuance of a key permit.

Activists against the proposed Weymouth gas compressor visited the State House on Thursday, holding mock pairs of scissors and urging Gov. Charlie Baker and regulators to "cut your hands free from fracked gas." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Close to 100 environmental activists crowded the hallway near Gov. Charlie Baker's office, chanting that "children's health is not for sale" and holding paper scissors to demand the administration cut ties with fossil fuels. They pointed to a detailed account, released earlier that morning by eight experts, warning the compressor station would pose significant threats to an area already grappling with high rates of respiratory disease and poor air quality.

"This community is especially vulnerable," said Susan Racine, a doctor and instructor at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "These people, nearly half of whom constitute an environmental justice population according to the definition of the Baker administration, deserve greater, not lesser, environmental protection."

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