... Baker signs clean energy, opioid, environmental bond bills ...... Dems call on Baker to face voters by scheduling his own "town hall" event ...... HPC report highlights "staggering" growth of urgent care centers, retail health clinics ...... Big names in former Sen. Rosenberg's district rallying around write-in candidate Comerford ...... IBEW Local 103 endorses Zakim for secretary of state ...... Emerita pay bump of $35,000 limits former Senate President Chandler's pay cut to $10,000 ...... The state's first resort casino, MGM Springfield, is set to open Aug. 24 ...... Senate Ways and Means chair vacant as Spilka leaves vice chair Sen. Lovely to carry out duties ...... Homes placed under sales agreements in July were up 14 percent over July 2017 ...... AG, state officials issue public safety notice concerning 3D printing of weapons ...... Galvin's "People's Pledge" challenge, Zakim's debate challenge color secretary's race ...... RGA-backed superpac spends heavily on pre-primary pro-Baker TV ad ...... Human Rights Campaign stays out of 10-person Merrimack Valley Democratic Congressional primary ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


  • TOP OFFICIALS HELP LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • REPORT: STUDENT COSTS SURGE AS PUBLIC HIGHER ED SUPPORT FALLS

  • SPORTS BETTING COULD FOLLOW CASINO, MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

TOP OFFICIALS HELP LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
[Developing] Gov. Charlie Baker grew up in a household where his mother and father "treated each other as equals," the governor said Thursday, acknowledging that many people have not grown up in households with that kind of harmony. "I consider myself in some ways to be one of the lucky ones," Baker said at an event in Nurses Hall to promote the 11th Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, which advocates against domestic violence. Last year there were 28 domestic violence deaths, and there have been three so far in 2018, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said. "Every life lost serves as an inspiration to all of us that we have a lot of work to do together," Polito said. The day's events are being hosted by Jane Doe Inc., a coalition against sexual and domestic violence, which said the necessity of the campaign "is evidenced by the daily reporting of gender-based violence - from sexual harassment in the workplace to rape on college campuses and intimate partner violence in homes throughout the Commonwealth." Several major media outlets are partnering with Jane Doe this year to feature sports anchors in #ReimagineManhood public service announcements that will air throughout March. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation also plans to use its electronic billboards to bring attention to the campaign. - Andy Metzger/SHNS

REPORT: STUDENT COSTS SURGE AS PUBLIC HIGHER ED SUPPORT FALLS
Tuition and fees for students at Massachusetts public colleges and universities have climbed by $4,600 since 2001 as the state has cut its funding for public higher education by 14 percent and enrollment has increased, according to a new report out Thursday. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center report said that when adjusted for inflation, students at the state's 15 community colleges have experienced a $2,800 tuition and fee increase since fiscal 2001, while the costs rose $5,400 for students at the nine state universities and $5,600 at the four undergraduate University of Massachusetts campuses. State scholarship funding has also fallen during the same time period, by 32 percent, the report said, leaving students and families to take on more debt and/or work more to pay their bills. Students graduated from four-year public institutions in Massachusetts with the second-lowest debt in the country in 2004, an inflation adjusted $17,000, MassBudget said. By 2016, the debt load for a Massachusetts public university graduate was the 10th highest in the country, at an average of just over $30,000. On Wednesday, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce officials said the average age of a first-time homebuyer is 32 and rising largely due to costs that make it difficult to save for a downpayment. Those costs include rising student debt - chamber officials said the average debt for graduates of Massachusetts colleges is nearly $32,000. In his fiscal 2019 spending plan, Gov. Charlie Baker proposed increasing funding by 1 percent for the University of Massachusetts system, state universities and community colleges. The House budget is due out in April. - Katie Lannan/SHNS

SPORTS BETTING COULD FOLLOW CASINO, MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
[Coverage Developing] If lawmakers decide to make sports betting legal in Massachusetts, wagers might generate as little as $8.6 million in tax revenue under the most restrictive structure and as much as $61.3 million in the most permissive model presented in a Gaming Commission white paper Thursday. States are waiting to learn if the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down any or all of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which limits which states can offer legal sports betting. A decision could come as soon as next week and states are trying to position themselves to jump at any opportunity presented by legal sports betting. In a white paper presented to the Legislature on Thursday, the Gaming Commission laid out issues for lawmakers to weigh if they consider legalizing betting -- like whether the federal Wire Act may still constrain legal betting regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, whether to allow only existing gaming licensees to take bets or if the market should be opened to newcomers, and whether Massachusetts would accept bets online. "The introduction of a new aspect of the emerging gaming industry in Massachusetts presents an opportunity to bring a significant amount of gaming activity and revenues out of the shadows and into the legal market," the commission wrote. "With that transition would come the opportunity to cultivate the associated economic benefits -- including tax revenues -- while providing consumers of sports betting with protections not afforded them by illegal bookmakers." The commission cited an Oxford Economics for the American Gaming Association study last year that estimated Massachusetts would collect $8.6 million in annual tax revenue if it allowed betting at brick and mortar casinos only and taxed the sportsbook's gross gaming revenue at a "low tax" rate of 6.75 percent. The state might collect $61.3 million if it allows betting at casinos, retail locations and online, and agrees to a "high tax" rate of 15 percent. Justin Stempeck, the commission's associate counsel, told the commission on Thursday morning that the white paper does not prescribe an approach to the issue. The paper "remains generally agnostic as to what is the best approach," he said. "We're really giving a menu of the variety of approaches." The commission said the state's three licensed casino operators -- MGM, Wynn Resorts and Penn National Gaming -- would be interested in taking wagers if Massachusetts makes betting legal. - Colin A. Young/SHNS

-END-
3/1/2018


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