... New Jersey Gov. Murphy featured at major regional offshore wind forum next week in NYC ...... Should Oak Bluffs ban commercial moped rentals? Lawmakers to weigh home rule petition Tuesday ...... Michlewitz budget will shed light on how far House Dems are willing to go on tax hikes ...... Higher education campus sexual assault, climate survey bills up for public hearing next week ...... Income surtax hearing is next week, but will Dems go for tax increases before 2023? ...... Lawmakers to confront nursing home closure crisis with hearing Tuesday on bills to bail out the industry ...... FRRACS plans documentary on health issues facing people in industrial area near proposed compressor station ...... Weymouth Republican Sen. O'Connor featured at event calling for 100 percent renewable energy push ...... Big March tax haul puts revenues over benchmark with three months left in fiscal 2019 ...... Healey, Baker to address New England Council at separate events next week ...... Partners hosting World Medical Innovation Forum in Boston April 8-10 ...... MBTA train riders will see fare hikes July 1, the same date that paid leave payroll taxes begin ...... Democratic Party releases 2020 DNC delegate section plan, vote planned at April 6 meeting ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 10 a.m. (formal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.
STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


  • BAKER: "I LOVE MY SON, BUT THIS REVIEW NEEDS TO BE DONE"

  • NATIONAL GRID: UNIONS REJECTED "FAIR AND BALANCED" OFFER

  • LATE AGAIN? LAWMAKERS, BAKER TEE UP INTERIM BUDGET

  • GLX GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR 11 A.M. IN SOMERVILLE

  • SENATE RESPONDING TO PUSH FOR HIGH-DEF COMMUNITY ACCESS TV

BAKER: "I LOVE MY SON, BUT THIS REVIEW NEEDS TO BE DONE"
[Developing] The U.S. Attorney's office is reviewing allegations that Gov. Charlie Baker's son A.J. groped a women on a plane last week, and state authorities are not involved, the governor said Monday morning. Speaking briefly to reporters in his office lobby, Baker did not discuss details of the allegations and said A.J. would cooperate "with any review of the matter." "Look, I love my son, but this review needs to be done by the U.S. Attorney's Office," Baker said. "A.J. needs to cooperate, and we expect that that's what's going to happen." WBZ-TV reported on Friday night that a woman aboard a JetBlue Flight from Washington, D.C. to Boston on June 20 told State Police that A.J. Baker groped her breast and refused to stop touching her. Police took him off the plane and he was not arrested or summonsed to court, the TV station reported. "My family and I expect a thorough review to take place," Gov. Baker said Monday. "We also expect the review will be fair and completely independent from this office." - Katie Lannan/SHNS

Gov. Charlie Baker briefly spoke to reporters in his office on Monday morning. [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS]

NATIONAL GRID: UNIONS REJECTED "FAIR AND BALANCED" OFFER
About 1,100 gas workers were locked out of their National Grid work sites Monday, according to the heads of two United Steel Workers locals. "We regret that the unions have rejected our fair and balanced final offer," National Grid said in a statement to the News Service Monday. "Due to the inability of the company to reach a tentative agreement, we have activated this plan for the safety of our employees, customers, the communities we serve, and the general public. We value all of our employees and the expertise and dedication they bring to their jobs. It is our hope that a resolution can be reached so that they return to work as soon as possible." The lockout comes a day after the contract between the utility and the two locals expired. USW Local 12003 President Joe Kirylo and Local 12012 President John Buonopane said in a joint statement that National Grid has refused their requests to allow members to work while bargaining. "National Grid is jeopardizing the safety of our communities by locking out 1,100 of its most experienced employees who are critical to ensuring safe and quality gas work in Massachusetts," Kirylo and Buonopane said. "These workers not only protect and maintain key infrastructure, they repair dangerous gas leaks in dozens of cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth." According to a statement the gas workers put out on June 20 after voting to authorize a strike, National Grid has been seeking to cut health care benefits, change how overtime is allocated and outsource certain work like meter changes. Earlier in June, gas workers rallied at the State House to air their complaints with the ongoing contract negotiations. - Katie Lannan/SHNS

LATE AGAIN? LAWMAKERS, BAKER TEE UP INTERIM BUDGET
With the new fiscal year less than a week away and a budget vigil underway, the House Ways and Means is getting the week started by approving an interim budget to keep government running in the absence of an annual budget. Most states already have budgets in place for fiscal 2019, which begins on July 1. But in Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker kicked off the latest budget cycle in January, budget negotiations are continuing behind closed doors. A six-member conference - four Democrats and two Republicans - are working on a spending plan that will top $41 billion. Baker last week filed a $5 billion temporary budget to keep government operations running through July, a month when the governor is hoping lawmakers can get separation from the budget and take up some of his legislative priorities, such as a bill to address the opioid addiction crisis and his legislation to boost housing construction. House Ways and Means Committee members were given until 10:15 a.m. to vote on an interim budget (H 4650), which could move through the Legislature during sessions planned for Monday. - Michael P. Norton/SHNS

GLX GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR 11 A.M. IN SOMERVILLE
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will visit Somerville late Monday morning for a celebration of the start of the biggest MBTA transit expansion in years, and one that itself took many years to get to this point. Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Congressman Michael Capuano, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone will all attend the Green Line extension event. Escalating costs led the Baker administration to throw the brakes on the massive project in 2015, and after cutting out some project features and lining up funding commitments, the administration resumed work on the $2.3 billion endeavor. Cambridge and Somerville plan to kick in a combined $75 million for the project extending the trolley from East Cambridge, through Somerville, to Medford. The event will be held near the Union Square spur at 36 Prospect St., Somerville, at 11 a.m. - Andy Metzger/SHNS

SENATE RESPONDING TO PUSH FOR HIGH-DEF COMMUNITY ACCESS TV
More than half of senators recently asked their Ways and Means chairwoman to advance a bill they say will put community access television on a more even footing with other channels. On Monday, it looks like their request will be granted. Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, on June 5 sent chairwoman Karen Spilka a letter signed by 15 other Democrats and five Republicans, asking her to bring to the floor his bill (S 1857) that would require cable companies to provide high-definition capability to public, educational and government (PEG) access channels and include detailed programming information for those channels in their electronic guides. A committee spokeswoman said the panel is voting on the bill Monday morning. Bills polled out of Ways and Means often clear the full Senate soon after. The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee endorsed Keenan's bill on March 1 and referred it to Senate Ways and Means, where it has remained. The letter said that many PEG stations already record and produce their programs in HD format, and allowing them to broadcast in HD "would simply be the correct response to the investment already made by these stations." - Michael P. Norton/SHNS

-END-
6/25/2018


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