... 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 ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)
STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - TUESDAY, DEC. 26, 2017 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - TUESDAY, DEC. 26, 2017

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


  • AGRICULTURAL ADVOCATE GILLET PASSES AT 73

  • REPORT: MIN WAGE HIKES HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON TEEN JOBS

  • FORMER OPPONENT BACKS GREEN IN 3CD

REPORT: MIN WAGE HIKES HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON TEEN JOBS
Increasing the wage floor is not likely to have a significant effect on employment for teenagers, a cohort that makes up about three percent of the Massachusetts workforce and roughly 12 percent of state minimum wage earners, a new report found. There are about 104,000 workers aged 16 through 19 in Massachusetts and 82 percent of those workers earn at or near the $11 an hour minimum wage, according to a Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center report, "Teens, Employment, and the Minimum Wage," released Tuesday. Researchers from the left-leaning MassBudget said that "the most carefully designed studies" have found "little to no effect" on teen employment from minimum wage increases -- like the increase to $15 an hour by 2022 that activists are hoping will be on the 2018 ballot. "Teen employment rises when the economy is strong, and falls when it is weak," Nicole Rodriguez, a MassBudget senior policy analyst and author of the report, said in a statement. "We found that, following two years of minimum wage increases in Massachusetts, teen unemployment was at its lowest in 18 years. While minimum wage increases don't have a large effect on employment, they do have a significant effect on the wages and incomes of teens and their families." Though they are a small share of the total workforce, teens bring home 17.7 percent of the family income in households with a total annual family income under $47,000, MassBudget said, and 7.4 percent of household income on average. The proposed increase in the state wage floor would be phased in over four years and if lawmakers don't take action themselves by April 30, petitioners will need to gather at least 10,792 signatures by July 3, 2018 to put the question to voters in November 2018. - Colin A. Young/SHNS

FORMER OPPONENT BACKS GREEN IN 3CD
The Republican field for the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas got a little smaller Tuesday, with one contender dropping out and throwing his support behind another. Calling it "the best opportunity" the GOP has had in years to take the seat, Scott Gunderson of Groton said he is now backing Pepperell's Rick Green. "Rick Green has shown that he is in a position to use his leadership skills and business experience to give us the best chance to win the seat and deliver a government that works for the people of the 3rd district," Gunderson said in a statement distributed by the Green campaign. "For those reasons, I have decided to put personal aspirations aside and throw my full support behind Rick and to help him bring fiscal sanity and accountability back to the state." Green is the founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, and the CEO and president of 1A Auto, a company he started with his brother. Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat, announced in August she will not seek reelection, setting off a scramble for a rare open seat in Congress. Lou Marino of Fitchburg is also vying for the Republican nomination. Across the aisle, the pool of candidates has now stretched to 13. Keith St. John of Marlborough is the latest Democrat to announce a bid. - Katie Lannan/SHNS

AGRICULTURAL ADVOCATE GILLET PASSES AT 73


GILLET

Former state representative and agricultural lobbyist Henry Gillet, of Fall River, passed away last Thursday at the age of 73. The House adjourned Tuesday in his memory. Gillet served in the House from 1977 through 1978, and before that worked as a special assistant to Fall River Mayor Wilfred Driscoll. Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux called him "a wonderful friend and advocate" in a note. Gillet represented the interest of various agricultural organizations on Beacon Hill, and was registered to lobby for the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, the Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers, the Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers Association and the New England Brown Egg Council, among other groups. Gillet leaves behind a wife, Susan, two children and number of grandchildren. A funeral is planned for Wednesday at Holy Name Church in Fall River, with visitation hours on Tuesday evening at Auclair Funeral Home. - Matt Murphy/SHNS

-END-
12/26/2017


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