... House advances electronic polling books bill ...... Lovely, Kocot to lead public records conference with Kulik, Muratore, Lewis and Humason ...... Rosenberg: Mass. Republicans "cringe" over Trump ...... House adjourns in memory of former Rep. William Glodis ...... Massachusetts Peace Action endorses Senate Sanders for president ...... Povich, Dacier to head special panel seeking SJC candidates, with applicants due by March 18 ...... Enviro group sees Supreme Court decision on Clean Power Plan as "temporary setback" ...... SJC bleeding justices as Cordy, Spina and Duffly all will step down this summer ...... Senate condo bill aims to force associations to produce records sought by unit owners ...... House recess will extend until after school vacation week, with next formal on Feb. 24 ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m.

LATEST VIDEO | CHARTER SCHOOL CAMP LAUNCHES "FACTS" CAMPAIGN

Arguing that the debate over expanding access to charter schools in Massachusetts has been characterized by misinformation and misleading statements, charter supporters on Friday launched a new campaign they say debunks myths about the schools. The center of the "Fact Check: Public Charter Schools in Massachusetts" campaign is a new website, unveiled Friday, that showcases research and data analysis supporting charter schools. Read More

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video

GUV: CREWS INSPECTING MANHOLES AFTER "BIZARRE" ACCIDENT

A bizarre and tragic accident that killed a woman on Interstate 93 Monday was unique in the memory of people who work for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday. Read More


AFTER EMERGENCY CUTS, BAKER REQUESTS $170 MIL IN NEW SPENDING

A month after slashing $49 million from the state budget in a bid to address a deficit, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday asked for $169.5 million in new appropriations and urged lawmakers to pass his bill quickly since many state accounts will need cash infusions by the end of March. Read More


BAKER TO HELP LAUNCH INFORMATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

Days after his critics alleged that he's overly focused on charter schools, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday plans to join others who favor more charters to launch a "fact check" campaign. Charter proponents and opponents in Massachusetts have engaged in a bitter debate for years, looking at the same education landscape and drawing vastly different opinions and facts to make their cases for an against additional charters, which operate independently from local school committee oversight. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker signs a banner brought to the S

Gov. Charlie Baker signs a banner brought to the State House for an event organized in January by Great Schools Massachusetts. [Photo File: Jan. 19, 2016/ Antonio Caban/SHNS]


BAKER SEEKS ROOM UNDER DEBT CEILING IN $200 MIL ROAD REPAIR BILL

Three days after saying he would file a multiyear local road funding bill, Gov. Charlie Baker submitted a one-year, $200 million borrowing bill that includes $50 million for a five-year small bridge program. Read More


CONFERENCE COMMITTEE SCORECARD

With the appointment of negotiators to reconcile differences between House and Senate bills to reform the state's public records laws on Thursday, the Legislature now has four issues in conference committee. Read More


Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

U.S. Deputy Labor Sec. Chris Lu participated in panel discussion and subsequent press conference on paid family leave and remarked on President Obama's commitment to the policy issue. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

VIDEO | PAID LEAVE BENEFIT FOR WORKERS RAISES KEY QUESTION: WHO PAYS?

Though supporters of legislation that would establish a paid family and medical leave requirement in Massachusetts hope to see a version of the bill signed into law this session, key details of the proposed policy -- including who would pay for it -- are still up for discussion. "I think there are nuances to the bill that have to be worked out," Sen. Daniel Wolf, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, said during a press conference on Thursday. "Is it employee paid or is it employer paid? What does the benefit actually represent and for whom?" Read More

Sen. Dan Wolf, Senate chair of the Joint Committee

Sen. Dan Wolf, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, at a Thursday press conference said he's hopeful a measure to establish paid family leave will pass this session. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


SENATE TACKS GUN MEASURE ONTO BILL TARGETING POACHERS

An amendment tacked on to a Senate anti-poaching bill Thursday would allow hunters to carry an unloaded gun on a recreational vehicle, making the process of transporting themselves and their game out of the woods far simpler. The Senate covered a lot of ground in its brief session, passing bills concerning illegal hunting, whooping cough, condo associations and accounting firms before breaking for the holiday weekend. Read More


WITH ENROLLMENT WRAPPING UP, CONNECTOR EYES AFFORDABILITY DISCUSSION

Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez has moved from advent calendar analogies to automotive metaphors, as his first full period of open enrollment is "in the rearview mirror now." The Connector on Thursday reported 201,000 members enrolled in plans for 2016 with more than 36,000 of them new members. The 201,000 compares to about 124,000 as of March 1 of last year when open enrollment ended, according to the Connector. Read More


MASS. DELEGATION BULLISH ON $265M DEFENSE INVESTMENT IN LINCOLN LABS

Members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation are celebrating a $265 million investment in facilities at Hanscom Air Force Base, although the funds still need to get the green light from Congress. Read More


WANTED: THREE HIGH COURT JUDGES TO REPLACE 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Unlike a sports team that loses some of its top players to free agency, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court can't take a year to regroup, make a few roster moves and get the team back into contention the following year, regardless of how many rookies will be pressed into the starting lineup. Read More


ROSENBERG

ROSENBERG: MASS. REPUBLICANS "CRINGE" OVER TRUMP

Massachusetts Republicans are cringing over Donald Trump's success in the Republican presidential primary race and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will do "very well" in the March 1 Democratic presidential primary, according to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Read More


TRANSIT ACTIVISTS BLAST BAKER OVER FARE HIKES

A transit activist took aim at Gov. Charlie Baker and the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board over proposed fare hikes on Wednesday. Read More


FRIDAY: FIXING ROADS AND BRIDGES OF ALL SIZES

The fine print on a mid-year spending bill Gov. Charlie Baker intends to file was not quite ready on Thursday, so expect the Baker budget team to release that supplemental budget on Friday along with a companion bill that will include $50 million to repair small, structurally deficient bridges on municipally owned roads. Read More


CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES CALL BAKER BUDGET "SMALL BUT IMPORTANT STEP" TOWARD FAMILY STABILITY

Advocates pressing for greater funding for stabilization and support services for families involved with the Department of Children and Families said Thursday that Gov. Charlie Baker's fiscal 2017 budget would take a step in the right direction. Baker's budget proposal appropriates more than $938 million for DCF. That total includes approximately $47 million for the family stabilization and support line item, up from the $45.5 million budgeted this year. Read More


NECESSITY OF CAGE PROTECTIONS FOR MASS. FARM ANIMALS QUESTIONED

Farmers and veterinarians seeking better living conditions for the creatures raised for eggs, pork and veal encountered a skeptical committee chairwoman Thursday, who questioned whether new requirements are necessary in Massachusetts. "We don't have factory farms in Massachusetts," Sen. Anne Gobi, a Spencer Democrat and co-chair of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, told supporters of anti-constrictive caging legislation. Gobi said, "Massachusetts farmers are very ethical and we do not use gestation crates in Massachusetts." Read More


VIDEO | DENTAL SCHOOLS TO INTRODUCE TRAINING ON OPIOID ABUSE

As he waits on the Legislature to compromise over opioid abuse prevention strategies, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday detailed an agreement reached with the deans of the state's three dental medicine schools to introduce training for opioid abuse prevention and management into their core curriculums. Read More

Gov. Baker and health administration officials joi

Gov. Baker and health administration officials joined heads of local dental medicine schools Thursday to announce an agreement on new educational standards that introduce training for opioid abuse prevention and management into their core curriculums. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


PUBLIC RECORDS BILL NEGOTIATORS NAMED

Add public records to the list of bills that have cleared both branches and which await resolution before a conference committee. Read More


CONDO, HUNTING, WHOOPING COUGH BILLS CLEAR SENATE

[Story Developing] In a compact session that lasted just more than an hour, the Senate passed four bills on a wide array of topics, including whooping cough, illegal hunting, condo associations and accounting firms. Read More


HEALTH CONNECTOR REPORTS 36,000 NEW ENROLLEES

[Story Developing] Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez has moved from advent calendar analogies to automotive metaphors, as his first full period of open enrollment is "in the rearview mirror now." Read More


BAKER TO INCLUDE SMALL BRIDGE FIX PROGRAM IN LARGER REPAIR BILL

A new state program targeted at helping Massachusetts cities and towns fix or replace small, municipally owned bridges that have fallen into disrepair will be part of spending bill Gov. Charlie Baker intends to file Thursday as communities also await a larger road and bridge repair package. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said that in her travels across the state she has heard from numerous local officials concerned about affording the design, engineering and replacement of bridges that cover short spans of 10 to 20 feet. Read More


BAKER DOESN'T THINK HE'LL ENDORSE AGAIN IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

With his chosen candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie out of the presidential race, Gov. Charlie Baker doesn't think he will endorse again before the Massachusetts primary in less than a month. Baker, in a telephone interview Wednesday evening, said he had been "very impressed" with Christie's campaign despite the blunt-talking governor's disappointing sixth place finish in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary that ultimately drove him from the race a day later. Read More

BAKER

BAKER


Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016

THURSDAY: PRACTICE WHAT YOU TEACH

If Gov. Charlie Baker is getting impatient with the pace of action in the Legislature on opioids, Thursday could be his chance to air it out. Read More


VIDEO | SENATORS LAUNCH EFFORT TO ADDRESS "DISCONNECT" WITH MILLENNIALS

When Sen. Eric Lesser was sworn into office at the age of 29, he went up to his new desk in the State House, opened his laptop to begin work and found there was no wireless Internet for him to connect to. Read More

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


MBTA BIZ OPS CHANGES SPUR BACKLASH FROM UNION

The MBTA's plans for a dramatic reduction in its business-side workforce through outsourcing of cash handling and fare gates generated a forceful rebuttal from transit unions at a Wednesday meeting. "A big part of this is to improve performance," Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve told reporters. He said there are 165 employees in the T's money room - located in Charlestown's Sullivan Square - and 37 are eligible to retire. Read More


CONDO RECORDS BILL TEED UP FOR SENATE VOTE ON THURSDAY

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday is poised to take up legislation aimed at addressing what critics call a "toothless tiger" - the state law requiring condominium boards to produce records for any condo unit owner who requests them. The bill (S 723), filed by Sen. Daniel Wolf of Harwich, would update a law that went into place 52 years ago, according to Meredith Keane, a Yarmouth condo owner who has been advocating for the changes. Read More


BAKER NAMES SPECIAL PANEL AS THIRD HIGH COURT JUSTICE PLANS TO RETIRE

Setting the stage for significant turnover on the state's highest court, another Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court member on Wednesday announced plans to retire before the next full session of the court begins, the third retirement announcement in a week. Read More

Within the span of a week, Supreme Judicial Court

Within the span of a week, Supreme Judicial Court judges Robert Cordy (left); Fernande Duffly (middle); and Francis Spina (right) have announced their retirements. | Hi-Res


BAKER EYES NH IN 2020, BUT JUST TO "WATCH"

Gov. Charlie Baker didn't mind his trip to New Hampshire Saturday to campaign for his preferred presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.   Seems he rather enjoyed himself. Read More


BROWN SAYS HE HELPED ROUND UP TRUMP'S GROUND GAME

While Gov. Charlie Baker's candidate Chris Christie finished sixth in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown was lined up behind the winner, Donald Trump, and took credit for helping the political novice to victory after Trump was a runner-up in the Iowa caucuses. Read More


VIDEO | OFFICIAL: BAKER HAS INFO THAT MAY GIVE PEOPLE "PAUSE" ON POT LEGALIZATION

Opponents of marijuana legalization, including lawmakers and police officials, laid out their case against a ballot question to end the prohibition on marijuana Wednesday, and an administration official pledged that Gov. Charlie Baker will speak out more on the issue. Read More

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


JAYWALKING FINES IN WORCESTER STEEPER THAN WHAT BILL WOULD IMPOSE

Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler urged her colleagues Wednesday to raise jaywalking fines across the state, but her home city of Worcester has already increased fines beyond what Chandler's bill proposes. Read More


VIDEO | FED LAW COULD PROMPT MASS. TO RETHINK EDUCATION APPROACHES

A new federal education law that shifts some control from Washington D.C. to individual states will give Massachusetts a chance to reconsider several pieces of its education system, a policy expert told lawmakers Wednesday. Passed in December, the Every Student Succeeds Act replaces No Child Left Behind as the latest reauthorization of the 50-year-old national education law originally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Read More

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


COUNCILOR-LOBBYIST READY TO SWITCH GEARS IF HE WINS LYNN REP SEAT

If Lynn City Council President Dan Cahill succeeds in a special House election this spring he will leave his Boston law and lobbying firm and set up a general practice law office in his home city, he told the News Service. Read More


ON JAYWALKING, SENATOR SAYS "IT'S TIME TO USE THE STICK APPROACH"

Astounded that the fine for jaywalking is $1 and convinced that cutting down on the behavior would increase pedestrian safety, Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler on Wednesday asked lawmakers to increase penalties for errant street-crossing. Read More


TRANSGENDER GROUP TO LOBBY IN STATE HOUSE WEDNESDAY

Transgender people and parents of transgender children will lobby House lawmakers Wednesday to push for passage of a controversial bill that would allow transgender people to use public restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity but not their anatomical sex. Read More


HOUSING COMMITTEE CHAIRS PRAISE KNEELAND STREET REDEVELOPMENT

The state highway building officials are seeking to redevelop was built by one of the pioneering computer companies before it was repurposed for the Big Dig, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Read More


T AD REVENUES BOOSTED BY DIGITAL MARKETING

Capital One, Coca Cola and JetBlue are among the companies that have helped the MBTA far outpace its ad revenue from a year ago. Read More


BAKER PROPERTY MEASURE STIRS DEBATE, GUV WANTS SINGLE MUNI-REFORM BILL

The lieutenant governor, Baker administration officials and municipal administrators on Tuesday testified in support of reforms that they said would give municipal government officials in Massachusetts more flexibility and control. Read More


BAKER

WITH BIG $$$ ON THE LINE, BAKER LOOKS TO REOPEN HEALTH CARE DEAL

With billions of dollars on the line, Gov. Charlie Baker hopes to renegotiate a federal Medicaid waiver with the Obama administration by this summer, he said Tuesday. In October 2014, the Patrick administration secured a five-year deal with the Obama administration worth $41.4 billion that did not fund the state's safety net care pool in the fourth and fifth years. Read More


Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

WEDNESDAY: THE HOUSE'S TURN TO LEARN FROM COLORADO

House Speaker Robert DeLeo last month wished a group a senators traveling to Colorado well as they sought to bring back helpful information from the Rockies should Massachusetts voters elect to legalize recreational marijuana in November. Read More


Mount Washington Selectman and Local Government Advisory Commission member Jim Lovejoy urges Gov. Baker to file a multi-year Chapter 90 bill at LGAC meeting. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

BAKER COMMITS TO FILING MULTI-YEAR ROAD REPAIR FUNDING BILL DESPITE LEGISLATIVE DOUBTS

Pressed by local officials Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker said he will file a bill requesting multiple years of road and bridge repair money for municipalities, despite acknowledging that the Legislature is unlikely to support the idea. Read More


INSIDERS GIVE CITIZENS TIPS ON EFFECTIVE LOBBYING TACTICS

Before embarking on their annual day of drop-in lobbying at lawmakers' State House offices Tuesday, about 100 members of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts huddled with a House member, a senator and a lobbyist to find out what tactics are effective in getting a bill passed. Read More


PHOTOS | SCHOOL OFFICIALS TELL GUV THEY'RE DISAPPOINTED IN EDUCATION APPROACH

Local school officials directly challenged Gov. Charlie Baker's commitment to traditional public education on Tuesday, confronting him over his administration's focus on expanding access to public charter schools and drawing a strong rebuke from the governor. Baker's budget proposal for next year would increase local Chapter 70 education funding by 1.6 percent, despite 4.3 percent projected growth in state tax revenues. Unrestricted local aid would grow at the same rate as revenue in Baker's budget, but other accounts for special education and school transportation would be level funded. Read More

Framingham School Committee Chair Beverly Hugo and

Framingham School Committee Chair Beverly Hugo and King Phillip Regional School Committee member Patrick Francomano challenge Baker's education budget at LGAC meeting. | Photo Gallery


WEDNESDAY IS MASS. PREZ PRIMARY REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Wednesday is the last day for people to register to vote or change their registration status for the March 1 presidential primary. Read More


VIDEO | BAKER ON TRUMP DIG: "DID HE REALLY SAY THAT?"

Gov. Charlie Baker reacted with disbelief on Tuesday when told Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used a vulgar word to describe one of his chief rivals. On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Trump was at a rally dinging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for his nuanced stance on waterboarding. A woman in the audience yelled an insult that Trump quickly picked up on and repeated from podium. Read More

[Video: Gintautas Dumcius/MassLive]

[Video: Gintautas Dumcius/MassLive] | Video


WIND ENERGY COMPANY EXPANDING U.S. FOOTPRINT TO WATERS OFF NEW JERSEY

The Danish energy company that owns the lease to develop an off-shore wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard has obtained the development rights for a new project in the waters off of New Jersey. DONG Energy, which lays claim to the largest off-shore wind farm in the world in the Irish Sea, entered the United States market last spring by securing through auction the rights to develop a 1,000 megawatt wind farm 15 miles off the southern coast of the Vineyard. Read More


HEALTH CARE COMMITTEE CHAIR WEIGHING ACTION ON PRICE VARIATION

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing plans a March hearing on a citizen petition seeking to restructure hospital pricing, its chairman said Tuesday. Read More


WOLF

VIDEO | SENATOR PUSHING $15 AN HOUR DESCRIBES HIS "AWKWARD" REALITY

As a legislative committee heard testimony on the pros and cons of setting a $15 hourly pay floor for Logan Airport workers, its Senate chairman repeatedly described the day as an "awkward" moment for him, as both a supporter of the higher minimum wage and an airline CEO who can't currently afford to pay that wage to all employees. Read More

Members of SEIU 32BJ and Logan Airport workers hol

Members of SEIU 32BJ and Logan Airport workers hold a Tuesday rally outside the State House in support for bill that would raise worker wages to $15. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Hi-Res


30-YEAR-OLD SENATOR TO CHAIR SENATE'S MILLENNIALS INITIATIVE

Two senators plan a press conference Wednesday to outline plans to listen to the concerns of Americans born between 1982 and 2000. Sen. Eric Lesser, who at the age of 30 falls squarely within the group known as Millennials, plans to join Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, 66, in the Senate Reading Room at 3 p.m. to discuss the Senate Millennial Engagement Initiative. According to an advisory, Millennials are concerned about "student debt, the gig economy, housing" and many other issues. Read More


STATE, CITY LOOK TO REDEVELOP MASSDOT SITE AT EDGE OF CHINATOWN

Planning to move state highway offices from their perch above Boston's Big Dig, city and state officials want to develop a large area at the edge of Chinatown, they announced Tuesday. Read More

A steam plant and highway offices overlooking the

A steam plant and highway offices overlooking the Expressway could make way for a mixed-use development at the edge of Boston's Chinatown. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


LEOMINSTER REP NOT RUNNING FOR FIFTH TERM

Rep. Dennis Rosa does not plan to seek re-election in the fall but will "enthusiastically complete" the rest of his term, the Leominster Democrat announced Tuesday. Read More


FORMER VERIZON OFFICIAL TO HELM STATE TRADE, INVESTMENT OFFICE

A Walpole resident and the recent managing director of Verizon's office in Italy was named Tuesday by the Baker administration to lead the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). Read More


SENATE ADDS WHOOPING COUGH BILL TO ITS AGENDA

Hospitals in Massachusetts would be required to provide new parents educational materials on pertussis and the availability of a vaccine to protect against the respiratory disease also known as whooping cough, under a bill that could surface for a Senate vote this week. Read More


EVERETT CASINO DEVELOPER PLANS EARNINGS CALL THURSDAY

Wynn Resorts, which recently came to agreement with the city of Boston for a casino in Everett, will announce its fourth quarter 2015 financial results and hold a conference call on Thursday afternoon. Read More


ANTI-HUNGER GROUPS IN PUSH FOR $3 MIL FUNDING INCREASE

Food bank and charity representatives plan to visit the State House Tuesday to seek increased funding for the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program. Read More


REPORT OFFERS NEW SNAPSHOT OF HEALTH CARE COST DRIVERS

The rising cost and use of brand name prescription drugs has emerged over the past two years as the one of the newest consensus drivers of health care spending in Massachusetts, according to a new analysis that found price increases, rather than increased utilization of services, as a major contributor to spending growth. Two years ago, Freedman HealthCare did an analysis for the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans reviewing 16 state reports on health care spending to identify trends within the findings. Read More

(left to right) Executive Dir. David Seltz of the

(left to right) Executive Dir. David Seltz of the Health Policy Commissioner; Executive Dir.Aron Boros of CHIA; Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, House chair of the Health Care Financing Committee; and Assistant Attorney General Karen Tseng discuss findings of new health care cost report Wednesday at UMass Club. [Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service