... Worcester-based Amazon HQ could boost east-west rail plans, Setti Warren says ...... Baker aide texted Newton mayor Thursday night to ask for Amazon ideas to put into state's bid, Warren says ...... "God bless 'em. Go for it," Baker tells locals interested in hosting Amazon's second headquarters ...... As summer ends, Rosenberg says major bills will be unveiled in coming weeks ...... Senate planning to release transportation plan this fall, but debate on bill not expected, Rosenberg says ...... Source: AG Healey to endorse Mayor Walsh Friday ...... Baker: Graham-Cassidy will force coverage retreat or major search for new revenue ...... Baker headed back to Washington as debate rages over health care, opioids ...... Worcester Sheriff Evangelidis appointed chairman of Massport Board ...... Pair of South Shore attorneys nominated by governor for Superior Court judgeships ...... Only 5 percent of 600,000 mattresses discarded annually are recycled, activists say ...... In Boston visit, AG sessions pledges crackdown on transnational gangs, fight against opioids ...... Common Cause: Facebook's Russian ads disclosure should spur Congress to enhance transparency on online political ads ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF SEPT. 24, 2017

Another perilous week for health care policy is taking shape, and the Massachusetts House and Senate will each have formal sessions on their agenda, the first time since late July that both branches are doing so. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: "DID YOU EVER HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND?"

Storm clouds were moving in, literally and figuratively, when Gov. Charlie Baker walked out of Faneuil Hall and met the quartet of reporters waiting by his car Wednesday morning. Read More

<strong>'MAKE PURPLE'  |</strong>  "Enough!" shout

'MAKE PURPLE' | "Enough!" shouted dancers at the State House Thursday after an artistic portrayal of government polarity. Sharply divided into "blue" and "red" factions, members of The Moving Company from Great Barrington glared and wrestled before dancing together in a bipartisan shade of purple. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WARREN

WORCESTER-BASED AMAZON COULD BOOST RAIL PLAN, SETTI WARREN SAYS

Worcester is the ideal Massachusetts location for Amazon to build a second headquarters and the technology company could help pay for high-speed rail linking both ends of the state, gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren said Friday. "We should urge Amazon to come to Worcester," the Newton mayor, a Democrat, told reporters in a conference call. He said, "It needs to be combined with high-speed rail." Read More


UNION PUSHING PETITION CALLING FOR BOARD OF ED CHAIR'S FIRING

Teachers are keeping up their calls for Gov. Charlie Baker to dismiss state Board of Education Chairman Paul Sagan, citing his role in a dark money scandal that recently led to the largest fine in state campaign finance regulation history. Read More


HOME CARE GROUP WARNS OF SERVICE CUTS

Six thousand elderly and disabled individuals in Massachusetts could lose access to in-home daily services under Baker administration regulations that could take effect as early as Nov. 1, according to a home care advocacy group. Read More


Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

BAKER: FED BILL WOULD FORCE MASS. COVERAGE RETREAT, OR REVENUE SEARCH

Passage of the Graham-Cassidy health care reform bill in Congress would force Massachusetts to either "dramatically step back" from its decades-long commitment to expanding coverage or find huge sums of new revenue or money within the budget to keep programming going, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday. Read More


BAKER: ENGLISH INSTRUCTION WORKING "FOR A LOT OF KIDS"

English language learning instruction works for a good number of non-native speaking students, according to Gov. Charlie Baker, who said Thursday he does not want to see efforts to improve the system lead to the end of strategies that work for some children. Read More


ASSISTED DYING OPPONENTS WARN IT COULD BECOME "CHEAPEST TREATMENT"

Ahead of next week's public hearing on physician-assisted dying, advocates for people with disabilities urged lawmakers to consider the impacts such a law could have on vulnerable populations that are poorly served by health providers. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - THURSDAY, SEPT. 21, 2017

There's change afoot at the highest level of The Home for Little Wanderers ... A Tighe & Bond official has joined the state board that oversees the hazardous waste cleanup industry ... the Department of Higher Education has a new director of government relations ... The New York Times has hired a Boston Globe reporter ... A former local official with 32BJ SEIU has taken a national role with the union ... And a person with deep local ties has joined the Arizona Board of Regents. Read More


TAX COLLECTIONS SHOW GROWTH OVER FIRST HALF OF SEPTEMBER

Mid-month tax collections for September might be an unreliable predictor for what's to come by the end of the important benchmark month for state budget targets, but the $1.48 billion collected over the first 15 days of the month may give lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Baker reason to be optimistic. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – THURSDAY, SEPT. 21, 2017

After a 12-minute session on Monday, the House met for 11 minutes Thursday before gaveling out for the weekend. In his opening prayer, Father Rick Walsh noted the anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938 that swept up the Connecticut River Valley and caused widespread destruction in Massachusetts, killing 99 people. "We pray that the engineering efforts to protect our Massachusetts coast and our cities and towns in advance of future storms and rising sea levels will be sufficient," Father Walsh said. The only bills on the move Thursday pertained to local affairs in the towns of Harvard, Milford and Barnstable and the boat excise tax in Chatham. After the session, House Speaker Pro Tem. Patricia Haddad told the News Service that next week's House plans would likely be discussed during a House leadership meeting on Monday. Read More


RETAILERS PLAN TO PRESS FORWARD WITH 5 PERCENT SALES TAX QUESTION

Retailers plan to gather signatures and move forward with a potential 2018 ballot question reducing the sales tax to 5 percent and instituting an annual sales tax holiday, the News Service has confirmed. Read More


WORCESTER SHERIFF NAMED CHAIRMAN OF MASSPORT BOARD

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis of Rutland, a former prosecutor and Republican state legislator, was elected Wednesday by the Massachusetts Port Authority as chairman of its seven-member board of directors. Read More

Lew Evangelidis, then a state representative, talk

Lew Evangelidis, then a state representative, talked with Westminster police officers after a ceremony in 2010. [Photo: File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


IN BIDS FOR AMAZON, BAKER URGES LOCALS TO "GO FOR IT"

Gov. Charlie Baker wants Amazon to build its second headquarters somewhere in Massachusetts, but he said he is not playing favorites, leaving it to local officials to try to woo the corporate giant to their particular city or area. Read More


ROSENBERG SKETCHES OUT FALL PRIORITIES

Add millennials and transportation issues to the Senate's fall agenda, along with long-awaited legislation addressing health care and criminal justice reform. Read More


BAKER

BAKER AGAIN HEADED TO D.C. AS OPIOID, HEALTH CARE DEBATES RAGE

Gov. Charlie Baker will head to Washington, D.C. next week to attend a meeting of a national opioid commission and he expects a final report from the group "out soon," he said Thursday. "It's my hope they take the final report and run with it," Baker said during his monthly appearance on WGBH's Boston Public Radio. Read More


ROSENBERG: IMMIGRANT PROTECTIONS NEEDED BEYOND LUNN CASE

A major court ruling in Massachusetts addressed some concerns of immigrants fearing deportation efforts, according to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, but further changes in law remain under discussion and Rosenberg is hoping a bill will emerge before a February 2018 deadline. Read More


FIRST OF TWO ROUTE 3 BRIDGE REPLACEMENTS PLANNED THIS WEEKEND

Drivers this weekend should avoid Route 3 in Braintree, normally a heavily traveled area, while the Department of Transportation works to replace a bridge just south of the Braintree split. Read More

Preparations for the bridge replacements have been

Preparations for the bridge replacements have been ongoing since the spring. [Courtesy/MassDOT]


SENATE SESSION - THURSDAY, SEPT. 21, 2017

The Senate on Thursday extended its summer recess through the last day of summer. During a 12-minute session, the Senate tended to local bills, advancing a new draft of legislation establishing a town manager in West Newbury. The branch also approved a bill regarding special police officers in Canton, observed the upcoming Mass. Fire Prevention Week, and adjourned in memory of a longtime Peabody policeman. The Senate last held a formal session in late July. Read More


McGOVERN

McGOVERN LAYS OUT HYPOTHETICAL DEM AGENDA FOR 2019

If Congressman Jim McGovern were in the majority next session, the U.S. House agenda would likely address climate change, pay disparities between men and women, and the high cost of higher education, the Worcester Democrat told local business leaders. Read More


WOMEN ENTERING LIFE SCIENCES, BUT FEW HOLD TOP-LEVEL POSITIONS

Men and women enter the life sciences in roughly equal proportions, but a gender gap emerges at more senior career levels with women filling a significantly smaller share of top posts, according to a new report from the state's biotechnology trade group. Read More


Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

WOLF

BAKER TO VISIT WOLF AT CAPE AIR ON THURSDAY

Former senator and Cape Air founder and CEO Dan Wolf will host Gov. Charlie Baker in Hyannis on Thursday as the governor heads to the Cape to meet with Wolf, President Linda Markham and employees of the regional airline. Read More


BAKER CRAFTING SECOND BILL TO ADDRESS OPIOID CRISIS

About two years after working with the Legislature to pass an opioid bill that has become a model for other states, Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is preparing to file new legislation this fall to deal with the opioid epidemic. Read More


DEM-CONTROLLED PANEL EMBRACES TAX CREDITS TO BOOST MASS. HOUSING

A $1.7 billion bond bill that unanimously cleared a legislative committee Wednesday afternoon expands eligibility for one tax credit program dealing with brownfields redevelopment and adds $5 million to another focusing on preserving public housing. Read More


BAKER

BAKER ON FENCE AS $15 MINIMUM WAGE DEBATE HEATS UP

Activists are threatening to go directly to the voters absent legislative action to raise the state's minimum wage and employers argue that the increase would spell their demise. Gov. Charlie Baker is not ready to take a position just yet. Read More


WARREN WORRIED ABOUT VOTE SHIFT AS US SENATE TEES UP HEALTH BILL

With a redrafted Obamacare repeal bill on its way to the Senate floor in Washington, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday called the Graham-Cassidy bill a "staggeringly irresponsible" measure with the potential to disrupt the health care system and the nation's economy. Read More

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren led a roundtable discus

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren led a roundtable discussion Wednesday with clinicians and administrators of the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center on potential impacts to the clinic from the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. [Photo: Matt Murphy/SHNS]


BAKER NOMINATES SOUTH SHORE ATTORNEYS FOR SUPERIOR COURT

Two South Shore attorneys with experience in civil litigation were nominated Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker for Superior Court judgeships. Read More


MORRONGIELLO

FOCUSING ON DeLEO, FRANKLIN ACTIVIST HOPES TO STIR DEMS, REFORMERS

A grassroots campaign organizing in communities southwest of Boston hopes to draw attention to what its founder calls a "third-rail" issue: the level of influence House Speaker Robert DeLeo holds over his chamber. Read More


HEROUX / DUMAS

HEROUX, DUMAS SEPARATED BY 251 VOTES IN ATTLEBORO MAYORAL PRELIM

Rep. Paul Heroux topped the ticket in Attleboro's preliminary mayoral election Tuesday, setting up a November showdown with incumbent Mayor Kevin Dumas. Read More


CLIMATE SUMMIT, MLK MEMORIAL ON WALSH'S AGENDA

[Story Developing] Boston will build parks to buffer rising seas, memorialize the most powerful civil rights leader in generations and host an international climate summit, Mayor Marty Walsh told the city's business community Wednesday. Read More


VOTERS NARROW FIELD IN BRISTOL AND NORFOLK SENATE SPECIAL

Party officials are rallying around Democrat Paul Feeney of Foxborough and Republican Jacob Ventura of Attleboro as they look ahead to the Oct. 17 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated earlier this year by James Timilty of Walpole. Feeney beat Edward Philips of Sharon in Tuesday's Democratic primary and Ventura defeated three opponents in the Republican primary. Read More


KARAM, TOLMAN NAMED UMASS TRUSTEES BY BAKER

Gov. Charlie Baker named AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman and Karam Financial Group principal Steve Karam to the UMass Board of Trustees on Wednesday, replacing two of the board's 22-members whose terms had expired. Read More

Steve Tolman spoke at a press conference Tuesday a

Steve Tolman spoke at a press conference Tuesday at the State House about raising the minimum wage. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SESSIONS

SESSIONS TO ADDRESS LAW ENFORCEMENT IN BOSTON VISIT

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will visit Boston on Thursday to speak to federal law enforcement officers about transnational criminal organizations. Read More


REP: EMERGENCY TRAINING BILL FOR AIRPORT WORKERS A "NO-BRAINER"

After a gunman killed five people at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January, the union representing airport workers said the lack of emergency training for baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants and others contributed to the chaos. Read More

"If we don't force them to do it, it will not get

"If we don't force them to do it, it will not get done," Sen. Joseph Boncore said of a proposal to mandate emergency preparedness training for airport workers. Boncore and Rep. Adrian Madaro (left) held a briefing Wednesday with members of 32BJ. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


CANNABIS COMMISSION POSTPONES MEETING

A Cannabis Control Commission meeting called for Thursday has been pushed off until next week, so the agency in charge of standing up a legal marijuana industry under a tight deadline will go two weeks between public sessions. Read More


WALSH TALKS PARKS, HOME-SHARE, AMAZON AT BIZ BREAKFAST

Boston will build parks to buffer rising seas, memorialize the most powerful civil rights leader in generations and host an international climate summit, Mayor Marty Walsh told the city's business community Wednesday. The city will partner with The Trustees of Reservations to build parkland all around Fort Point Channel that can absorb storm surges, the mayor announced, saying that could include filling in parts of the waterway. Read More

Fort Point Channel, as seen from InterContinental

Fort Point Channel, as seen from InterContinental Boston, will be ringed with parkland that can absorb storm surges, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Wednesday. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


CANNABIS COMMISSION TO MEET THURSDAY

Chief marijuana regulator Steve Hoffman will update the Cannabis Control Commission on what he's been up to in his dual role of commission chairman and interim/acting executive director on Thursday. Read More


Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017

CROSBY: EMPOWER GAMING PANEL TO ADDRESS HORSE RACING

The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission pressed lawmakers Tuesday to give the commission the ability to restructure oversight of the horse racing industry in hopes of a sparking a revitalization. Read More


TENSION BETWEEN LOTTERY AND RETAILERS OVER IDEA OF MIGRATING TO THE INTERNET

The Lottery says it could stop being successful unless the bill becomes law, while retailers say their future success hinges on the bill not becoming law. Now the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection will weigh the benefits and drawbacks of an online lottery. Read More

Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Michael S

Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney (right) and former commissioner of the Michigan Lottery Scott Bowen testified in support of a proposal to allow the Lottery to sell its products over the internet. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER: CODFATHER WINDFALL SHOULD FUND ELECTRONIC MONITORING

The conviction of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos "The Codfather" Rafael was a black stain on the iconic Massachusetts seafaring industry. But Gov. Charlie Baker is urging restitution that some believe could help turn rotten fish into sushi. Read More


HEALEY WILL LEAD PUSH TO ELECT MORE WOMEN AG'S

Attorney General Maura Healey is taking on a new cause that will require her to expand her scope nationally. Read More


HEALEY

INVESTIGATION OF OPIOID MARKETING, DISTRIBUTION EXPANDED

Naming five manufacturers and three distributors, Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday that prosecutors in the states are expanding their investigation into opioid sales and marketing to determine whether profits were put above the importance of describing the potential dangers and risks associated with prescription painkillers. Read More


TAX CREDIT EXTENSIONS INCLUDED IN $1.7 BIL HOUSING BOND

A $1.7 billion long-term spending bill for housing in Massachusetts is expected to be released on Wednesday by the Housing Committee, and will likely include extensions of a number of tax credit programs for low-income housing and brownfield redevelopment. Read More


MEMA ACTIVATING EMERGENCY OPS CENTER

With Hurricane Jose chugging north through the Atlantic towards New England, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will activate its emergency operations center Tuesday night. Read More


BILL WOULD ERASE FOSSIL FUELS FROM STATE'S ENERGY MIX

Nearly two-thirds of electricity in Massachusetts comes from natural gas, a dynamic that environmental groups and clean energy advocates said Tuesday must change soon. Read More

Rep. Sean Garballey, who sponsored a bill to move

Rep. Sean Garballey, who sponsored a bill to move the state to 100 percent renewable-source electricity by 2035, talked to activists at a rally before Tuesday's hearing. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MINIMUM WAGE BATTLE UNDERWAY, WITH BALLOT FIGHT POSSIBLE

A debate over adequate worker compensation that was waged before a legislative committee Tuesday and could be headed to the ballot next November has pitted two struggling groups against one another. Read More

Sen. Cindy Friedman (left) has taken up the minimu

Sen. Cindy Friedman (left) has taken up the minimum wage cause championed by her predecessor, the late Sen. Ken Donnelly. Rep. Dan Donahue (right) co-sponsors the bill to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2021. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


VIDEO | MARKEY: SENATE DEMS UNSURE IF THEY CAN BLOCK GOP ON HEALTH CARE

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey came out last week in support of a single payer health care bill sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders. But on Monday in Boston, Markey wasn't really interested in talking about that plan. Read More

 The U.S. Senate Democrats' Twitter account Monday

The U.S. Senate Democrats' Twitter account Monday featured a clip of Gov. Baker's Congressional testimony in a short video. [Twitter] | Hi-Res


MINIMUM WAGE HIKE "IRRESPONSIBLE," SMALL BIZ GROUP SAYS

[Story Developing] Low-wage workers are fired up about the potential for a big increase in the minimum wage, but small business owners see legislatively mandated pay hikes as "irresponsible and prohibitive" and adding to the burden of high health care and energy costs. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service