... NOAA confirmed third known right whale mortality of 2018 ...... Tax collections keep state on track to lower income tax to 5.05 percent ...... With revenues running $323 mil over benchmarks, Baker administration sticks to original fiscal 2019 revenue estimate ...... Contractor working 24-7 to finish work on drawbridge project before planned June casino opening in Everett ...... House includes mysterious $2 million appropriation for Senate in redraft of Gov. Baker's supplemental budget ...... In endorsing Question 1, Mayor Walsh cites help of nurses during his battle with cancer ...... Salt prices down 20 percent compared to last year, highway chief Gulliver tells MassDOT Board ...... Legislative committee plans Oct. 30 oversight hearing on DDS policies governing sexual abuse reports ...... Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly rebrands as 2Life Communities ...... Area north of Boston in store for four major road and bridge projects ...... ...
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STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - TUESDAY, JAN. 23, 2018 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - TUESDAY, JAN. 23, 2018

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


  • GRID OVERSEER TO OUTLINE RELIABILITY CONCERNS TO US SENATE COMMITTEE

  • MASSBUDGET: TAX LAW DELIVERING $3 BIL IN RELIEF TO STATE'S HIGHEST EARNERS

GRID OVERSEER TO OUTLINE RELIABILITY CONCERNS TO US SENATE COMMITTEE
Less than a week after his organization released a study warning of the possibility of rolling blackouts, the chief of New England's electric grid is set to testify before a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday about system reliability. ISO-New England last week released results of its Operational Fuel Security Analysis, which highlighted the possibility that power plants won't have or be able to get the fuel they need to run, particularly in winter as "the foremost challenge to a reliable power grid in New England." The study examined 23 possible operational scenarios in New England for the winter 2024/2025. "The headline is that New England’s limited fuel infrastructure will eventually cause severe reliability issues if fuel security is not addressed. Suffice to say the severity of many of the results underscores the tremendous importance of improving fuel security arrangements in New England and the potential consequences for failing to act," Gordon van Welie, the electric grid chief, plans to tell members of Congress, according to his testimony. Emily Norton, chapter director for the Massachusetts Sierra Club, called the report "rigged against clean energy," echoing calls for the state to reduce its reliability on natural gas and oil-fired power plants. "This report inexplicably underestimates the amount of renewable energy -- i.e. solar and wind -- that we know will be coming online in coming years," Norton said. But until fuel security challenges are addressed, cold weather locally will present power reliability concerns and drive substantial increases in emissions and in the price of natural gas, according to van Welie. The US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources' 10 a.m. hearing was called to examine the performance of the power system during recent cold and storm conditions. - Michael P. Norton/SHNS

MASSBUDGET: TAX LAW DELIVERING $3 BIL IN RELIEF TO STATE'S HIGHEST EARNERS
The new federal tax law will reduce the taxes paid by the Bay State's top 1 percent of income earners by more than $2.96 billion in 2019, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which is also cautioning of a "gradual erosion" in value of the Earned Income Tax Credit and predicting a one-time temporary spike in capital gains tax revenue. MassBudget is one of 17 groups with representatives slated to testify at a Revenue Committee hearing Tuesday. Committee co-chairs Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Michael Brady called the hearing to gather information on how the new tax law will affect Massachusetts government, residents and municipalities and learn about ways the state might respond. The left-leaning MassBudget is using its testimony to plug a constitutional amendment leveling a 4 percent income surtax on households with income of $1 million or more per year. "If the people of Massachusetts determine that $2.96 billion could be better spent on investments in education and transportation, which could make our economy more productive and expand opportunity for our young people, the state could adjust our tax code in ways that would effectively redirect a portion of that $2.96 billion to those higher priority areas," MassBudget's Phineas Baxandall wrote in an analysis of the tax changes. "That could be done by raising state income taxes for our highest-income taxpayers, who will be receiving large federal income tax cuts and benefitting from large federal corporate tax cuts." The average cut for the highest-income 1 percent of Massachusetts tax filers will be $84,720 in 2019, while the middle 20 percent of filers will see an average cut of $1,090 and the bottom 20 percent will receive a cut of $90, MassBudget said. - Katie Lannan/SHNS

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1/23/2018


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