House:
ADJOURNED 'til Wednesday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

“Alarming” Safety Report Makes Case For New $$$, DeLeo Says

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday evening questioned whether the $50 million for the MBTA hung up in a legislative dispute would be put toward safety as he used a damning report released on the safety culture at the transit agency as a opportunity to make his case for new revenue.


Pressley Slams As “Irresponsible” Reported Lack Of T Safety Focus

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley slammed the MBTA and the Baker administration Monday after an independent panel concluded that the T's safety culture is "questionable" and needs significant corrective attention.


T Board Approves Purchase Of Additional Hybrid Buses

The MBTA will purchase 60 new diesel-electric hybrid buses to expand the size of its fleet and boost peak hour service following approval from the Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday.


Senators Plead With MLB to Save Spinners' Sox Affiliation

The two U.S. senators from Massachusetts are asking Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred to rethink what they're calling an "ill-advised" proposal to eliminate or strip the major league affiliation of 42 minor league teams.


Budget Talks Keep House Chair From Traveling to Texas

Senate President Karen Spilka and her top budget deputies aren't the only legislators canceling travel plans because of the surplus spending stalemate.


Senate Session Summary - Monday, Dec. 9, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr again blocked the Senate's attempt to set a special electon date for the vacant seat last held by Plymouth Republican Viriato deMacedo. Senate President Karen Spilka has selected March 3, the same day as the 2020 presidential primary in which several Democrats are vying for their party's nomination, as the date for the general election.


MBTA Examining Locomotive Failures, Orange Line Problems

MBTA officials are taking a "hard look" at recently-exposed Orange Line service problems as well as locomotive failures on the commuter rail system, according to the agency's leader. "We need to learn something from every one of these incidents," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told WCVB's "On the Record" on Sunday morning, citing the two areas as current focal points.


Experts: MBTA Safety Woes Underscored by Trust, Fear Issues

Fiscal belt-tightening, a lack of trust in leadership, and frequent lapses in maintenance and inspections all contributed to a "questionable" approach to safety at the MBTA, an independent panel concluded in an explosive new report.


House Session Summary - Monday, Dec. 9, 2019

Another weekend out of the spotlight wasn't enough to foster agreement between the House and Senate over how to allocate the more than $1 billion surplus from fiscal 2019. The House took care of some routine business Monday morning, and then held its session open until early afternoon waiting for a breakthrough on the closeout budget bill.


MBTA Hitting Reset on Automated Fare System Rollout

The MBTA's long-awaited fare collection overhaul will not roll out over the next two years as originally planned, and officials will instead pursue a "reset" that will phase in the new system across the next four years and push the total project costs above $900 million.


Worcester Symposium Thursday Aims to “Reimagine Manhood”

Sexual assault and domestic violence activists plan to gather in Worcester this week in an attempt to foster "positive masculinity" amongst young men.


Advances - Week of Dec. 8

The winter recess is supposed to be a drama-free period in the Legislature, but this year is different. Comptroller Andrew Maylor on Wednesday plans to take the unprecedented step of sweeping more than $1 billion in fiscal 2019 surplus funds into the state's rainy day account even though the House and Senate have each overwhelmingly approved plans to spend the vast majority of that money on popular initiatives.


Senate Session Summary - Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

The Senate on Friday completed five straight days of sessions without reaching deals on a long overdue fiscal 2019 supplemental budget or a date to hold a special election to fill a vacant Senate seat.


House Session Summary - Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

As snow fell outside, the House held a rare Friday afternoon session but gaveled out mid-afternoon when it became clear that the branches still can't agree on a bill attempting to close the books on a budget year that ended June 30. The House bill (H 4132), approved Oct. 16, totaled $723 million.


Budget Watch Continues as Branches Quit for Weekend

The Senate last month proposed a larger bottom line in a closeout fiscal 2019 budget and study of a House-approved tax break for businesses, an offer that the House swiftly rejected. More than two weeks later the branches are still at odds.


Baker Mystified By State Responses to Vaping Illnesses

With his temporary ban on vaping product sales set to end next week when public health officials adopt a new set of vaping rules, Gov. Charlie Baker this week expressed some surprise that other states did not follow his lead amid an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.


House Session Summary - Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019

The House, like the Senate, held its session open all day Thursday, but no deal emerged on the late spending bill that would close the books on fiscal 2019.


Michlewitz Fundraiser Going Against Big DNC Gala

Several Beacon Hill figures, along with one member of Congress and Boston city councilors, were billed as special guests at a holiday fundraiser for House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz Thursday evening.


Senate Session Summary - Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019

A six-hour Senate session Thursday ended the same way that long sessions in that branch all week have ended: without agreement on an election date for a vacant Senate seat and without movement on a huge spending bill that's at risk of cratering next week.


MBTA Interim General Manager Frank DePaola addressed the new MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board at their inaugural meeting on July 21, 2015. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2015]

DePaola Remembered for Approach, Engineering Skills

Tributes poured out Monday for Frank DePaola, the former state highway chief who briefly served as transportation secretary and took a turn at the helm of the MBTA. DePaola lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, officials confirmed.


Hampden DA Anthony Gulluni is the president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019]

Prosecutors Withdraw From Sentencing Commission

Members of the state's district attorneys association are no longer participating in the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, a panel the prosecutors say is not complying with state law.


Gov. Charlie Baker listened Monday as members of an independent panel discussed their months-long investigation into the MBTA's safety culture. [Photo: Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS]

MBTA Safety Effort Will Require $$$, LaHood Says

Making safety the top priority throughout the MBTA will be a costly venture, a former U.S. transportation secretary who participated in the months-long review of the T's safety said, and he suggested that Gov. Charlie Baker seek out new money from Washington, D.C. policymakers.


Ed Co-chair Peisch Featured at NCSL in Phoenix

One of the main architects of the state's new school finance law will discuss education reform Tuesday at a gathering of state lawmakers from around the country.


Supp Still Hung Up as New Deadline Nears

There was no apparent breakthrough over the weekend on prolonged state budget talks and the branches remain apart with just over 48 hours remaining before Comptroller Andrew Maylor takes matters into his own hands.


MBTA Examining Locomotive Failures, Orange Line Problems

[Story Developing] MBTA officials are taking a "hard look" at Orange Line service problems and locomotive failures on the commuter rail system.


Pressley, Clark to Join Harvard Grad Student Strike

Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Katherine Clark plan to join striking Harvard graduate students on the picket line Monday morning.


The budget impasse between the Senate and House continued this week.  President Karen Spilka and Speaker Robert DeLeo, two former chairs of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committees, met Monday with Gov. Charlie Baker, but it did not lead to a compromise. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - The Mystery Sessions

Day after day, a rotating cast of senators, not more than could be counted on one hand, gathered in their corner of the State House, gaveled into session and waited.


Group Insurance Commission Executive Director Roberta Herman testified at a January 2018 hearing that the agency's proposed health plan consolidation caused "overwhelming anxiety." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File]

GIC Chief Herman Departing for Private Sector

They won't say where she's going but executive director Roberta Herman is leaving the Group Insurance Commission Wednesday.


Sen. Brendan Crighton, sponsor of highway toll legislation at Thursday's hearing, said the Bay State's transportation woes translate into "serious challenges for our business community." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Alternatives To Gas Tax Pitched For Transpo Revenue

Supporters of increasing fees on ride-hailing trips, expanding highway tolls, and charging drivers for every mile they travel made their cases to lawmakers Thursday, each pitching their respective proposal as a necessary source of revenue to address the state's growing transportation needs.


Uncaptioned image for story:Straus on Pollack: "If She Didn't Know, She Should Have"

Straus on Pollack: “If She Didn’t Know, She Should Have”

The House Transportation Committee chair said Wednesday that key players in the Baker administration should have noticed the Registry of Motor Vehicles was falling behind on public safety-related tasks while it focused on reducing customer wait times, but conceded that investigators may never get a clear answer on who knew what.


Read more in the Monthly Digest

The SHNS Podcast

Twitter

 
State House News Service