... District court nominee Power dubious about field sobriety tests ...... Saturday deadline spurs OCPF to give candidates until Jan. 22 to file year-end reports ...... Sen. Warren urges more funding for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to fight harassment, discrimination ...... Third Congressional District candidate Beej Das reports $425,000 in donations during Q4 ...... Kevin Franck elevated by Setti Warren's guv campaign to deputy campaign manager ...... Doctors tell lawmakers they like guv's plan to make naloxone more widely available ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:

LATEST FIRST VOTES OF THE YEAR IN SENATE TACKLE HUNTING, REAL ESTATE

In Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler's first substantive formal session, the Senate passed bills affecting hunting, college financing, and real estate appraising. Read More

ENCOURAGED BAKER SAYS HE'LL WAIT TO HEAR FROM AMAZON

Amazon's inclusion of the Boston area in its list of 20 contenders for the site of its second headquarters makes a "terrific statement" about the quality of life in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker and his Housing and Economic De

Gov. Charlie Baker and his Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash (right) had not backed one particular site, but pitched Massachusetts as a whole for Amazon's second headquarters. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


NINE SENATORS NAMED TO REVIEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES

Nine senators were named Thursday to a special committee that will review the Senate's sexual harassment policies and procedures, a task they have about four months to complete. Read More


MASS. SENATE MARKS DATED ABORTION LAWS FOR REPEAL

The Massachusetts Senate plans to take up a bill next week that aims to wipe old and mostly forgotten abortion and contraception statutes from the lawbooks. Read More


STATE WORKERS FACE RESTRUCTURING OF HEALTH INSURANCE CHOICES

State employees will have fewer choices come July when the number of plans allowed to offer health insurance coverage through the Group Insurance Commission will be cut in half, a move designed to save the state an estimated $20.8 million next year. Read More


MARIJUANA REGULATOR "MISSPOKE," COMMISSION HAS CONTACTED U.S. ATTORNEY

As it turns out, the Cannabis Control Commission actually has reached out to the federal prosecutor who has the power to turn the state's nascent cannabis industry on its head and connected with his office Thursday morning. Read More

Cannabis Control Commission member Britte McBride

Cannabis Control Commission member Britte McBride (left) played phone tag with the U.S. attorney's office since last week, though Chairman Steven Hoffman (right) previously "misspoke" and said the CCC had not reached out. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WINTHROP'S BONCORE NAMED TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

His district includes airport runways and gangways, bridges and tunnels, and on Thursday Sen. Joseph Boncore's legislative purview expanded to encompass the transportation needs of the entire state. The Winthrop Democrat was Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler's choice to replace Tom McGee, who resigned his Senate seat and co-chairmanship of the Transportation Committee to become mayor of Lynn. Read More

Sen. Joseph Boncore picked up a second committee c

Sen. Joseph Boncore picked up a second committee chairmanship on Thursday as the Senate's point person on transportation. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


COMFORT LEVELS SHIFTING AS MARIJUANA LICENSE PERIOD APPROACHES

The new era of heightened federal scrutiny over state-sanctioned marijuana industries has cannabis entrepreneurs worrying about the future of their businesses and employees fearful that their jobs may put them in the crosshairs of a top federal prosecutor. Read More


HEARING, POSSIBLE BILL MAY FLOW FROM NEW NET NEUTRALITY COMMITTEE

The Massachusetts Senate created a special committee Thursday to develop legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality rules. Read More


SENATE SESSION – THURSDAY, JAN. 18, 2018

Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler presided over her first substantive formal session on Thursday. The Senate passed a hodgepodge of bills to allow more people to hunt with crossbows (S 429), establish a uniform financial aid information sheet for colleges (S 680), and expand requirements for property appraisers to be licensed (S 680). There was no vocal disagreement or debate over the bills, which passed unanimously or by voice vote. The Senate also set up to special committees to look into sexual harassment within the chamber and consider actions to respond to the Federal Communication Commission's net neutrality decision. The Senate teed up two bills for debate next week. One repeals old and unused statutes dealing with abortion (S 784) and the other (S 2139) would allow class 1 car dealerships that have invested more than $2.5 million in the construction or reconstruction of its facility to receive a vehicle inspection station license. Read More


ACCORD POINTS TO UNRESTRICTED LOCAL AID BOOST OF AT LEAST 3.5 PERCENT

If Gov. Charlie Baker sticks with his pledge to boost unrestricted local aid by the same rate of growth in state tax collections, then he will announce a planned increase in unrestricted aid of at least 3.5 percent on Friday. Read More


ONLINE RENTAL REGULATION FIGHT INTENSIFIES AMID "INERTIA"

Airbnb runs ads asking state government to tax their short-term rentals, the hotel industry wants an even regulatory playing field with competitors, and yet for three years Beacon Hill has been unable to reach a deal on legislation governing the online rental realm. Read More

Sen. Stanley Rosenberg and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz t

Sen. Stanley Rosenberg and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz talked about Airbnb regulations on Thursday with CommonWealth Magazine editor Bruce Mohl (left). [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ELECTED OFFICIALS BOND AROUND BOSTON AREA'S PITCH TO HOST AMAZON

With the Boston area one step closer to landing Amazon's massive second headquarters, the mayor and top state leaders celebrated Thursday and indicated they plan to involve themselves in the next steps of the process. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - THURSDAY, JAN. 18, 2018

The House on Thursday admitted new bills relative to motor vehicle price advertising, paint recycling, and expanding the use of video conferencing in certain mortgages. Reps also referred to committee a petition requiring food establishments to prepare seafood in separate fryers. A bill given initial approval Thursday would recognize the "unique historic character" of U.S. Route 20 across the continental United States, and legislation was advanced naming memorial bridges in Hudson, Fall River, and Chelsea. Members dealt with a stack of local bills affecting Ayer, Ipswich, and North Andover, before adjourning in memory of former Rep. Caroline Stouffer who served in the House from 1977-1978. The last formal House session to consider major bills in mid-November and the branch is in the midst of a prolonged period of relative inactivity. Read More


WARREN

BAKER HELPING FUND "ANTI-JOURNALISM PROPAGANDA," SETTI WARREN SAYS

Gov. Charlie Baker's political rivals are again linking him to national Republicans, this time alleging his fundraising arrangement with the party means the governor is helping to pay for "anti-journalism propaganda." Read More


MASS. EMPLOYERS ADDED 63,000 JOBS IN 2017

The state unemployment rate dropped slightly in the final month of 2017, falling by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5 percent despite a loss of 500 jobs, state officials announced Thursday. Read More


BOSTON MAKES LATEST CUT IN AMAZON HQ SWEEPSTAKES

There were 26 locations in Massachusetts vying to be the home of Amazon's second headquarters but only one, perhaps the obvious one, made it onto the internet giant's shortlist: Boston. Amazon on Thursday announced that it had selected 20 cities -- out of 238 proposals in all -- that will advance to the next step in the company's process of finding a home to complement its existing base in Seattle. Read More


ROSENBERG

ROSENBERG: SHORT-TERM RENTAL REGULATION "NOT ROCKET SCIENCE"

[Story Developing] Airbnb runs ads asking state government to tax their short-term rentals, the hotel industry wants their competitors subject to similar regulations, and yet for three years Beacon Hill has been unable to reach a deal on legislation governing the online rental realm. Read More


Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018

ABUSE PREVENTION A FOCUS FOR DISABILITY AGENCY

State officials whose agencies serve people with disabilities outlined for lawmakers Wednesday their efforts to prevent and respond to abuse against that population, particularly highlighting efforts to address sexual assault. Read More

Department of Developmental Services Acting Commis

Department of Developmental Services Acting Commissioner Jane Ryder testified Wednesday at a legislative committee oversight hearing. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


INSURANCE COVERAGE TOUR FEATURES INFORMATION, DONUTS

The last day for open enrollment in health insurance plans is Tuesday, Jan. 23 and state officials on Thursday plan a series of events to urge uninsured residents to sign up for coverage. Read More


DISTRICT COURT NOMINEE DUBIOUS ABOUT FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

Gov. Charlie Baker's nominee for a Westborough District Court judgeship takes a dim view of field sobriety tests and has a compassionate stance towards those unable to pay their court fees, he said Wednesday. Read More

Attorney Steven Power was interviewed Wednesday by

Attorney Steven Power was interviewed Wednesday by members of the Governor's Council. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


CANNABIS REGULATORS TALKING ABOUT TALKING TO LELLING

The Cannabis Control Commission has still not reached out to the U.S. prosecutor whose stance on federal marijuana law enforcement has shaken the nascent cannabis industry and is trying to determine whether it should at all. Read More

Chairman Steven Hoffman said the CCC is "talking a

Chairman Steven Hoffman said the CCC is "talking about" reaching out to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, "but we have no plans at this point." [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS]


JUDICIAL NOMINEE'S STINT ON SUPERIOR COURT BENCH WOULD RUN FOUR YEARS

Attorney Janice Howe has prosecuted child sex abuse and litigated pharmaceutical product liability for a major law firm. Now more than three decades into a legal career, Howe hopes to spend the next four years presiding in the Superior Court and the Governor's Council that vets judicial nominees appeared inclined to confirm her for the bench during her public interview Wednesday. Read More

North Andover attorney Janice Howe could potential

North Andover attorney Janice Howe could potentially be confirmed to the Superior Court bench as early as next Wednesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


APPLE SEES $350 BIL IN U.S. INVESTMENTS OVER FIVE YEARS

Describing itself as the nation's largest taxpayer, Apple announced plans to invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy over the next five years, including a $38 billion repatriation tax payment required under the new federal tax law. Read More


EDUCATION BILLS FLOW AS COMMITTEES FACE REPORTING DEADLINE

About two dozen bills – including legislation dealing with child care subsidies for homeless families, local control of school resource officers and financial literacy – won the endorsement of the Education Committee Tuesday as a legislative deadline approaches. Read More

The Education Committee reported out more than 20

The Education Committee reported out more than 20 bills Tuesday as the deadline for committees to report legislation – "Joint Rule 10 day" – nears on Feb. 6. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


COUNCIL OKAYS PAROLE BOARD, SUPERIOR COURT NOMINEES

The Governor's Council on Wednesday unanimously confirmed the reappointment of a Parole Board member and voted 6-2 in favor of a nominee for a Superior Court judgeship. Read More


TAX GROWTH GUESS SEEN AS CONSERVATIVE, BUT NOT COMPARED TO LAST TWO YEARS

As Gov. Charlie Baker begins to tease out his election year spending plans, the Republican governor and his partners in the Legislature are about to premise their budget proposals on the smallest projected rate increase in state tax collections in nine years. Read More


SALES TAX COLLECTIONS HANGING ON MASS. RULE, SCOTUS RULING

A dispute over whether states should be able to require online retailers to collect and remit state sales taxes is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Massachusetts' approach to the issue is being eyed as a new strategy in the event the court rules against the states. Read More


Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

LAWMAKERS VET BAKER'S LATEST BILL TARGETING OPIOID ADDICTION

Gov. Charlie Baker, entering the final year of his first term, pitched the Democrat-controlled Legislature Tuesday on the idea of working with him over the coming months to improve the state's drug addiction treatment and prevention system in what could quickly become one of the biggest debates of 2018. Read More

"The most fundamental truth of this particular epi

"The most fundamental truth of this particular epidemic was poor oversight and lax oversight of a number of players, but you can't get a prescription without someone writing it," Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. | Hi-Res


BAKER PLANNING A "BIT MORE" $$$ FOR OPIOID EDUCATION

[Story Developing] Gov. Charlie Baker, appearing before a legislative committee on Tuesday to pitch his newest opioid abuse treatment and prevention bill, told lawmakers the budget he intends to file next week will go beyond his initial $2 million pitch to help schools screen students for signs of addiction and educate them on the dangers of opioids. Read More


WALSH: "CLEARLY THERE'S SOME CHANGES HAPPENING AT GE"

Boston will "rise and fall with GE," Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday after news of major financial hit that could send the international manufacturing giant scrambling. Read More


REP: LAW NEEDED TO ADDRESS GENDER DISPARITY IN DISABILITY INSURANCE

Sponsors of a bill that has bipartisan support told lawmakers Tuesday that its passage would topple one of the last bastions of gender-based discrimination in the insurance industry. Read More

"We think it's discrimination.  We think it's bigo

"We think it's discrimination. We think it's bigotry," Rep. Ruth Balser said of the cost disparity between men's and women's disability insurance coverage. [Photo: File/SHNS]


SENATE SESSION – TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2018

Monday's session was a light one for the Senate, featuring action on mostly local bills important to people in Brookfield, Concord and Haverhill. The Senate also sent an employee safety bill back to the House with a further amendment, signaling the Senate's intention to push for its version of workplace safety legislation over the House's. The Senate is preparing for Thursday, when it plans to meet in a formal session to take up bills dealing with real estate appraisals, uniform financial aid information, and the enforcement of illegal hunting practices. Read More


GE TO MAKE $15 BIL IN CONTRIBUTIONS TO ADDRESS $6.2 BILLION Q4 CHARGE

General Electric will take an after-tax charge of $6.2 billion, a financial hit the company's CEO called "deeply disappointing," in connection with its insurance portfolio and reserves, the company announced Tuesday. Read More


L'ITALIEN

L'ITALIEN REPORTS $320K HAUL IN Q4

A third candidate in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in Congress has now announced a six-figure fundraising total for the final quarter of 2017. Read More


HOFFMAN

FED THREAT MAY MEAN BIGGER $$$ RETURNS IN POT MARKET, CHAIR SAYS

The abrupt change in the federal government's approach to marijuana law enforcement means investors in the state-sanctioned Massachusetts pot market could see bigger returns on their investments, according to the state's chief regulator. Read More


OFFICIALS CELEBRATE A RARITY: AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN DOWNTOWN BOSTON

A downtown Boston building dating back to the Grant administration will have a whole new use next year when it becomes home for people who have lacked a place of their own. Read More

Officials celebrated the start of construction at

Officials celebrated the start of construction at a Boylston Street building that will house the formerly homeless. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PERSONNEL FILE - TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2018

... Democrat for governor Setti Warren is making some moves within his campaign ... Gov. Baker on Tuesday tapped a bank CEO to join the MassHousing Board ... METCO has a new CEO who "has it all" ... the president of the Lee Chamber of Commerce has been named president and CEO of VNA Care, a home health and hospice provider. Read More


EARLY LITERACY BILL PROMOTED AT HEARING

Growing up in El Salvador, Guadalupe Panameno had limited access to books, attended a school without a library and didn't think of reading as a necessity. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2018

Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps Day would be observed every April under a bill the House passed Tuesday, when bills dealing with continuing education for insurance providers and property exemptions in Boston also advanced. The House kept its session open for much of the day, ultimately deciding to eschew a planned Wednesday formal session with a snowstorm in the forecast and adjourn until an informal session on Thursday. A Democratic caucus scheduled for Wednesday is also cancelled. Read More


YEAR-END OCPF REPORT DEADLINE IS JAN. 22 THIS YEAR

Since the deadline to file end-of-year campaign finance reports falls on a Saturday this year, the Office of Campaign and Political Financing is giving candidates and lawmakers until Monday, Jan. 22 to make their filings. Read More


FORECAST SPURS HOUSE TO POSTPONE WEDNESDAY SESSION

The Massachusetts House has yet to tackle any major legislative business in 2018 and on Tuesday postponed its first scheduled formal session of the new year. Read More


RILEY

STATE ANNOUNCES THREE FINALISTS FOR EDUCATION COMMISSIONER'S POST

The superintendent and receiver of the Lawrence school system and educators from New York and Texas are the finalists to become the next education commissioner in Massachusetts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Monday. Read More


SLOW DECEMBER, BUT PLAINRIDGE REVENUES UP 6.5 PERCENT IN 2017

Plainridge Park Casino ended 2017 with one of its weakest revenue months of the calendar year, having generated about $12.7 million in revenue last month, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced. Read More


MARKEY

MARKEY, SENATE DEMS PLAN TO FORCE NET NEUTRALITY VOTE

U.S. Senate Democrats are planning to force a vote this year on reversing the Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality rules and now need just one more of their Republican peers to join them for the legislation to pass the Senate, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey's office said. Read More


IRONWORKERS JOIN TEAMSTERS AMONG UNIONS BACKING TRAHAN

The union that Tony Loureiro belonged to during his career as a laborer and ironworker is backing his daughter, Lori Trahan, in the Third Congressional District campaign. Read More


MGM SAYS "TIRED" SPRINGFIELD OFFICE IS NOW "HIP, FLEXIBLE"

About 50 MGM Springfield executives have moved into new corporate offices at 95 State St., the company said Monday, but the address adjacent to what will soon be MGM Springfield's South End Market will be known as One MGM Way once the state's first resort casino opens its doors in September. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service