... Connector public records, open meeting law amendment fails in Senate on 16-23 vote ...... Senate agrees to Tarr budget amendment to improve sex offender tracking system ...... Senate rejects bid for high school CPR $$ after Rush says state needs more life-savers ...... Senate rejects funding amendment as MCAD copes with big case backlog ...... Boston Mayor Walsh touts progress in city efforts to meet housing production goals ...... State announces stakeholder group members in connection with Holyoke schools turnaround ...... Mass. jobless rate dipped to 4.7 percent in April ...... Sen. Lewis: Hinton Lab in "terrible shape," state scouting sites for new lab ...... L'Italien nabs $90,000 earmark for fire department costs associated with Tewksbury State Hospital ...... Timilty tacks police training insurance surcharge onto Senate budget ...... Lovely amendment requires post-partum depression pilotsin Holyoke, Jamaica Plain, Lynn and Worcester ...
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House:
ADJOURNED 'til Friday at 11 a.m.
Senate:

TOPSJC ASKED TO WEIGH IN ON HOUSE-SENATE TAX DISPUTE

The Massachusetts House on Friday asked the state's highest court to weigh in on whether the Senate abided by the constitution in proposing to freeze the income tax rate and add a tobacco tax through its version of the state budget. In a sparsely attended Friday morning session held only hours after the Senate approved its budget, the House adopted a Speaker Robert DeLeo order to seek an opinion from the Supreme Judicial Court. Read More

LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF MAY 24, 2015

With legislative leaders unable to agree on rules changes affecting the flow of bills, Massachusetts Senate leaders this week loaded up their fiscal 2016 state budget bill with legislative directives, adding to the usual high stakes nature of secret conference committee budget talks that will run deep into June, at least. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - TWO AGAINST ONE

Remember back in January, before the snow started falling, when the big question was how the new Republican governor might navigate through the forest of Democrats on Beacon Hill? Those were the good old days, at least for House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Baker appears to have found an ally in the fiscally conservative speaker, leaving Rosenberg to play the role of foil. Read More


SENATE TURNS DOWN $$$ TO ADDRESS BACKLOG OF DISCRIMINATION CASES

Before adopting a $38.1 billion budget, the Massachusetts Senate this week rejected a request for a $160,000 investment in the state's anti-discrimination agency after a Boston Democrat warned that a huge backlog of cases at the civil rights agency will grow longer without the additional funds. According to Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination investigators carry the nation's highest caseloads of about 300, compared to 50 to 75 for their counterparts at similar agencies in neighboring states. Read More


SENATE AGREES TO MBTA CONTROL BOARD, APPROVES $38.1 BIL BUDGET

The Massachusetts Senate late Thursday night agreed to put the MBTA under the management of a fiscal control board, tucking that measure into a $38.1 billion fiscal 2016 that was approved after midnight. Democrats and Republicans unanimously signed off on the control board compromise brokered between Sen. Thomas McGee and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, with input from the governor's office. Read More


ROSENBERG SAYS HOUSE TAX OBJECTIONS ARE DEPARTURE

With House leaders doubting that the tax provisions in the Senate budget are constitutional, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg accused his House counterparts of departing from tradition. Read More


AHEAD OF MEMORIAL DAY, POLS HONOR WAR DEAD

With tens of thousands of identical flags painting Boston Common red, white and blue, families and loved ones on Thursday read the names of individuals who have died over the past 14 years serving their country. Some voices caught with emotion as they reached the name of their loved one, and Gov. Charlie Baker said it is "one of the most poignant and meaningful declarations" of honor for members of the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Read More

Former Attorney General Martha Coakley spoke to Ca

Former Attorney General Martha Coakley spoke to Carlos Arredondo before a ceremony Thursday to honor service members who gave their lives for their country. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


Thursday, May. 21, 2015

DeLEO RELAYS HIGH SCHOOL LOCKDOWN EXPERIENCE

House Speaker Robert DeLeo was trapped inside Weymouth High School for about an hour on Thursday, after the building went into lockdown mode. "I was ushered into a room and just told I had to stay there and not go anywhere," said DeLeo (D-Winthrop). Read More


THOUSANDS OF FLAGS HONOR STATE'S WAR DEAD

[Developing] With tens of thousands of identical flags painting Boston Common red, white and blue on Thursday morning, families and loved ones read the names of individuals who have died over the past 14 years serving their country. Read More

Stephen Kerrigan, president of the Massachusetts M

Stephen Kerrigan, president of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, and Gov. Charlie Baker spoke before a ceremony to honor the state's war dead on Thursday morning. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WALSH BACKS T CONTROL BOARD, UNAWARE OF ARBITRATOR PROVISION

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who said he backs the governor's approach for fixing the MBTA, said Thursday he is unaware of a provision of the bill changing who has final say after labor negotiations enter arbitration. Filed in April after the recommendations of a task force, Gov. Charlie Baker's bill (H 3347) would allow a fiscal and management control board to determine whether to accept an arbitrator's award of a union contract. Read More


CLOCK TICKING ON SENATE'S MBTA MANAGEMENT TALKS

Senate leaders on Wednesday skipped over the MBTA fiscal control board amendment that's been a focus of behind the scenes talks all week, and senators are waiting to see whether Democratic leadership and Senate Republicans can find a way to compromise on a new management structure for the T. With the Senate moving toward the potential completion of its fiscal 2016 budget debate on Thursday, negotiations were continuing Thursday afternoon spurred by House Speaker Robert DeLeo's statement a day earlier that he is now committed to Gov. Charlie Baker's idea of putting the MBTA under the authority of a temporary control board. Read More


CENSUS BUREAU: BOSTON SEES POPULATION INCREASE

Boston's population rose by nearly 6,000 people between July 2013 and July 2014, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Boston gained 5,967 people, making it the Massachusetts municipality with the largest population increase. Read More


SENATE PASSES PLAN TO MAKE MORE ELIGIBLE FOR HOME CARE $$$

Home care industry officials are celebrating passage of a Senate budget amendment on Wednesday that they say will make assistance more accessible and enable more seniors to avoid nursing home care. Read More


CONNOLLY'S 1647 WILL FOCUS ON TEACHER HOME VISITS

A day after governor's race runner-up Martha Coakley shared new of her new job at a Boston law firm, Boston mayoral race runner-up John Connolly issued a campaign e-blast to elaborate on 1647, an education organization he's launching as co-founder and executive director. Read More


SENATE BUNDLING THURSDAY MORNING

Amendments bundled into groupings for passage or rejection will be available in the Senate Reading Room Thursday morning, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg told his colleagues Wednesday night. Read More


MEEHAN AGREES TO UMASS CONTRACT RUNNING INTO 2020

University of Massachusetts Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan has agreed to a five-year contract to lead the UMass system as its next president with an annual base salary that escalates from $525,000 starting in July to $602,500 in the final year. Meehan, the former Democratic Congressman from Lowell, was selected by the university trustees earlier this month to fill the presidency being vacated by UMass President Robert Caret, who is leaving to take over the University of Maryland system. Read More


TARR: MBTA AMENDMENTS 'STILL IN PLAY'

Senators broke just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, with amendments on the embattled MBTA still on the agenda as the Senate seeks to wrap up their fiscal 2016 budget debate. Read More


SECOND HEARING ON BAKER'S MBTA REFORM SET FOR NEXT WEEK

Gov. Charlie Baker's bill to reform the financial management of the MBTA will get a second public hearing next week. Transportation Committee chairs Rep. William Straus and Sen. Thomas McGee will hear the bill (H 3347) Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Tufts University's Cohen Auditorium. According to an aide for Straus, no invitations to testify have been sent and the hearing will be open to the public for comment. Baker's bill would create a new MBTA financial management board and loosen restrictions on privatization and union agreements. The committee first heard the bill May 11 at a packed Gardner Auditorium hearing where Baker himself testified in support of the changes. Read More


HEALEY SAYS CONNECTOR PROBE FOCUSED ON RELIEF FOR TAXPAYERS

Attorney General Maura Healey's investigation into the Health Connector is "separate and apart and different" from a federal probe that sent subpoenas to the Baker administration back in January, she told reporters Thursday. "Our focus in our office has been and will continue to be on securing relief for taxpayers," Healey said after attending a memorial for Massachusetts members of the military who gave their lives for their country. She said, "Any questions about the other really should be put to federal authorities. I'm just focused on our investigation and our look is separate and apart and different from that." Read More


ROSENBERG: SENATORS AGREE ON TRANSPO AMENDMENT

Senate leaders are drafting an "agreement" on a transportation amendment, Senate President Stan Rosenberg said just after 2:45 p.m. as senators filed back into the chamber to resume budget deliberations. Read More


SENATORS HANDLE 336 AMENDMENTS IN TWO VOTES

Tired of dispensing with budget amendments one by one, the Massachusetts Senate just after 1 p.m. adopted 123 amendments in a single vote and then rejected 213 amendments in bulk. Read More


SENATE ADDS $500K MIL FOR ADULT BASIC EDUCATION

The Massachusetts Senate voted Thursday to tack $500,000 onto its $38.1 billion state budget proposal to provide more adult basic education services. Sen. James Eldridge of Acton said 18,000 people are on a waiting list for services and said there's a high demand especially among people applying for the new high school equivalency exam. The Senate voted unanimously to pass the $5 million amendment. Read More


MASS. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO 4.7 PERCENT

The Bay State's unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent in April, the seventh consecutive month to see a decrease as Massachusetts picked up 10,100 jobs, according to preliminary state estimates. The April rate, as reported by the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday, comes in below the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. Read More


ROSENBERG: BUDGET COULD BE DONE THURSDAY NIGHT

After two long days and nights of dispensing with budget amendments one at a time, senators plan Thursday morning to meet in a room and begin sorting budget amendments into two groups - one that will be adopted on a single vote and one that will be rejected with one vote. Read More


SENATE TACKLES EARMARKS WEDNESDAY NIGHT

After dinner Wednesday, the Senate churned through more than 100 budget amendments in about two hours, dealing mostly with earmarks and engaging in no debate. Read More


Wednesday, May. 20, 2015

DeLEO COMES OUT FOR MBTA CONTROL BOARD AS SENATORS MULL AMENDMENT

House Speaker Robert DeLeo's mid-afternoon statement endorsing Gov. Charlie Baker's call for an MBTA control board added to the pressure facing senators who could weigh in on the issue later Wednesday during their annual budget debate. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr has filed an amendment to add an MBTA control board to the T reforms already included in the Senate budget proposal. Read More


SENATE REVERSES COURSE ON CHILD ADVOCATE AMENDMENT

After initially rejecting a bid to affirm the independence of a state office created in 2007 in the wake of child welfare tragedies, the Massachusetts Senate reversed course and later adopted the budget amendment. Read More


SENATE TAX PLAN ADDS COMPLEXITY TO MASS. BUDGET TALKS

In voting to freeze the income tax rate and offer a package of tax relief and tax credits to low-income workers, the Massachusetts Senate may have inserted language into its budget that the House objects to on procedural grounds. That thorny area is in turn compounded by disagreement over a priority that the new Senate president highlighted in his inaugural speech and the prickly issue of further changing a voter-approved income tax cut. Taken together, the issues could complicate efforts to deliver a final budget to the governor in time for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. Read More


SENATE ORDERS REPORT ON LAWS IN "NEVER NEVER LAND"

Some of the laws passing through the Massachusetts Legislature and being signed by governors are disappearing into a "never never land, according to Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler, who pushed through a budget amendment Wednesday calling on executive branch agencies to publish a list of statutes passed in the previous 24 months for which required regulations have not been adopted. Read More


BID FOR INSURANCE INFO ABOUT EMPLOYERS FAILS IN SENATE

Sen. John Keenan says a report on how many people in Massachusetts receiving health insurance through the state while employed by companies with 50 or more employees would be "very telling." But the Quincy Democrat came up short Wednesday in his quest to order such a report, which would give policymakers information to make sure state government isn't covering insurance costs for people who should be receiving insurance through their employers, he said. Keenan said the information has previously been available but is now "somewhat muddled." Senators rejected his budget amendment on a voice vote without debate. The amendment called for the Center for Health Information and Analysis to create the report annually. Read More


BAKER SAYS SENATE INCOME TAX CREDIT EXPANSION FALLS SHORT

A day after the state Senate took a major step towards accomplishing one of his tax policy priorities, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday expressed disappointment that they didn't match his own earned income tax credit expansion. Baker also reiterated his plan to phase out the film tax credit as a way to pay for his version of the earned income tax credit expansion - the Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment creating a commission to examine the film tax credit. Read More


SENATE REJECTS CONNECTOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

The Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposal calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Massachusetts Health Connector, which is already the subject of a federal probe. Health Care Financing Committee Co-chairman Sen. James Welch said a special prosecutor would be "duplicative" of work already being conducted by Attorney General Maura Healey. Read More


TIME CAPSULE TO BE REDEPOSITED JUNE 17

The time capsule extracted from a granite cornerstone of the State House with great fanfare late last year will be redeposited during a public ceremony planned for June 17. Read More


COAKLEY JOINING FOLEY HOAG NEXT WEEK

Former Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has been doing legal analysis for WCVB, plans to join the law firm Foley Hoag next week. Read More


SENATE NIXES POT, OYSTER AND TAX CUT PROPOSALS

Naming rights on New England's largest building, meals taxes on marijuana candy and a proposed study on whether oil industry profits should continue to fuel the state's pension fund all met their end without debate during Senate budget deliberations Tuesday. With Senate President Stanley Rosenberg wielding the gavel, the body also summarily dispatched a Sen. Richard Ross proposal to offer a modest tax credit to encourage the repurposing of old oyster shells. Read More


SENATORS MEET ON MBTA BUDGET ITEMS

Republican senators and Senate Transportation Chairman Tom McGee are "trying to find some common ground" on budget amendments that would alter the structure of the MBTA, Sen. Robert Hedlund told the News Service. Read More


SENATE BACKS CHECK ON SPENDING PUBLIC $$$ ON OLYMPICS

Olympics backers would need the passage of a special act of the Legislature before any state funds could be spent in relation to the bid or the potential hosting of the 2024 Summer Games, under a budget amendment adopted by the Senate Wednesday. Read More


COALITION URGES PASSAGE OF BAKER MBTA REFORMS

A coalition of business and community groups officials and mayors came together on Wednesday to back Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to overhaul the management structure of the MBTA and put the transit agency under the authority of a control board for the next three years. Read More


O'MALLEY HIRES FROM TREASURER'S OFFICE FOR N.H. PREZ CAMPAIGN

Democrat Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore, will turn to a Bay State communications veteran to help run his New Hampshire presidential campaign, according to a source with knowledge of the hiring. Matthew Sheaff plans to leave his job after next week as communication director for Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to become deputy New Hampshire state director for O'Malley's still unannounced campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Read More


SENATE REJECTS BID FOR CHILD ADVOCATE OFFICE INDEPENDENCE

The Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday turned down a bid to affirm the independence of a state office created in 2007 in the wake of child welfare tragedies. By voice vote, the Senate rejected a budget amendment offered by Sen. James Eldridge that the Acton Democrat said would ensure that the office operates independently of the executive branch. No one articulated an argument against the amendment, which Eldridge said would contribute to the office's ability to investigate and monitor child abuse in Massachusetts.
Read More


VIDEO | MASS. HIGHER ED BOARD TAPS DEPUTY FOR TOP POST

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education on Wednesday chose to elevate a senior deputy and former chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the post of higher education commissioner. Carlos Santiago, one of three finalists, is senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs at the state Department of Higher Education. Read More


DEPUTY SHACK NAMED MASSACHUSETTS COMPTROLLER

The governor filled a key state fiscal affairs post on Wednesday, naming the deputy comptroller to the office's top job to fill the post held until recently by former Comptroller Martin Benison. Thomas Shack, the deputy comptroller and chief financial and operations officer in the comptroller's office, was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker three weeks after Benison announced his plans to leave the office after 16 years in the job. Read More


SENATE REJECTS COLLEGE SAVINGS, DEATH TAX AMENDMENTS

The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday night turned back an attempt to abolish the "death tax" as well as a bid to create a tax incentive to boost college savings. Just before departing for the night, the Senate also rejected a Sen. Robert Hedlund amendment that the Weymouth Republican said would have fully funded a program that compensates cities and towns with payments to offset costs associated with property tax-exempt land tracts. Read More


SENATE REJECTS DELAY IN EARNED SICK TIME PENALTIES

Senators on Tuesday voted 10-28 to rebuff an attempt to delay the implementation of penalties in the earned sick time law voters approved in November. Read More


Tuesday, May. 19, 2015

SENATE APPROVES INCOME TAX FREEZE TO FUND TARGETED TAX RELIEF

The Senate on Tuesday approved a package of tax cuts aimed at helping the working poor and middle class, dismissing objections from Republicans and some Democrats that their vote would renege on a 15-year-old promise to voters to gradually roll back the income tax to 5 percent. To pay for increased personal tax exemptions for individuals and married couples and a 50 percent expansion of the earned income tax credit for low-income families, senators voted 29-11 to permanently freeze the income tax rate at its current 5.15 percent rate. Read More


BAKER NOT PLANNING TO ATTEND "HISTORIC" CASINO OPENING

While acknowledging its historical significance, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday he does not plan to attend next month's opening of the first gaming facility authorized under the 2011 casino law. Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, which won the sole slot parlor license available under the law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, plans to open its doors June 24, with state government set to begin reeling in a share of the facility's revenues. Read More


SENATE REJECTS PROPOSAL TO REDUCE BUSINESS FILING FEE

The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican proposal to reduce a filing fee paid by limited liability companies with six employees or fewer. Senators voted 12-27 against Sen. Bruce Tarr's amendment to bring the filing fee down to $250 from $500. Read More


STATE WORKER'S FALL LEAVES BLOODY SCENE OUTSIDE BAKER'S OFFICE

A woman was injured outside the office of Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday afternoon in an accident that left the marble floor outside the executive office suite splattered with blood. Read More

A State House worker cleans blood from behind the

A State House worker cleans blood from behind the State Police desk outside Baker's office. [Photo: M. Deehan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER REITERATES 1 PERCENT PLEDGE FOR ENVIRO BUDGET

Pressed about the state of the Massachusetts parks system, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday reiterated his pledge to eventually raise state spending on environmental programs to equal 1 percent of appropriations in the state's $38 billion budget. Read More


SENATE LEADERS PLAN INCOME TAX FREEZE TO PAY FOR MAJOR TAX CUTS

Massachusetts Senate leadership will back an expansion of the earned income tax credit for low-income families and an increase in the personal tax exemption for all taxpayers and plan to propose paying for the tax cuts by permanently freezing the income tax at 5.15 percent. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg on Tuesday morning planned to brief senators on the plan, which is expected to come up for discussion when the annual budget debate kicks off later in the day. Read More


SENATE BUDGET DEBATE SET TO BEGIN

With a $38 billion bill on the floor, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will preside over his first budget debate as president starting Tuesday. Read More


ACTIVISTS 'DIE-IN' FOR YOUTH JOBS FUNDS

Advocates for increased funding for youth jobs held a "die-in" at the State House Tuesday. The demonstrators marched to the front of the House chamber before collapsing on the floor in an effort to urge lawmakers to support the Senate Ways and Means Committee's proposal for youth jobs funding, which is higher than that preferred by the House. Read More

Advocates demonstrated outside the House chamber T

Advocates demonstrated outside the House chamber Tuesday. [Photo: M. Deehan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SENATE APPROVES EITC EXPANSION, INCOME TAX FREEZE

The Senate voted 29-11 Tuesday afternoon in favor of a budget amendment that would expand the earned income tax credit for low-income families and the personal tax exemption for all taxpayers in an effort by Democratic leaders to address what they described as growing income inequality in Massachusetts. While proponents argued in favor of the tax cuts to help grow the middle-class and address wage stagnation, Republicans chastised the leaders behind the effort for proposing to pay for the tax cuts by permanently freezing the income tax rate at 5.15 percent. Read More


BAKER: MBTA'S FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS ARE NOT DISPUTABLE

Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday that he's glad that his MBTA reform plan has attracted so much media attention, including coverage suggesting some of his task force's findings were overstated, but asserted fundamental claims about the T's problems are not disputable. During his monthly "Ask the Governor" segment on WGBH, Baker said the Carmen's Union, which represents T workers, has acknowledged a problem with absenteeism and medical leave act abuse. Baker repeated that the T has left capital money "on the table" despite infrastructure problems. Read More


JOVIAL START AS SENATE TO TAKE ON DIVISIVE ISSUES IN BUDGET

Bonhomie pervaded the Massachusetts Senate at the midday Tuesday start of its debate on the $38 billion fiscal 2016 budget, where proposals to freeze the income tax or install an MBTA control board could introduce disagreement further along. This week is the chamber's first budget with Stanley Rosenberg as Senate president and Karen Spilka as chairwoman of Senate Ways and Means and their Republican counterparts were effusive in praising them and their relatively frugal annual spending bill. Read More


DONATO DECIDES AGAINST MEDFORD MAYOR RUN

Medford Rep. Paul Donato will not join four of his colleagues who are looking to exit the Legislature and become mayors. Donato announced Tuesday that he won't run to succeed Mayor Michael McGlynn, who said in April that he would not seek reelection after nearly 30 years as mayor. Read More


REPORT: SOME OFFSHORED JOBS COMING BACK TO MID-SIZE US CITIES

Verizon consolidated nearly 1,500 finance operations staff from more than 300 U.S. locations into service centers in Lake Mary, Florida, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, indicative of a trend among companies placing business service operations in mid-size U.S. cities rather than offshore locations such as India, according to a new report. Read More


MASS. TRAILS NATION IN PLACING KIDS WITH FAMILIES

Massachusetts ranks below the national average in placing children in the child welfare system with members of their extended families, which in turn leads to more people aging out of the support system without families to help them through young adulthood, according to newly released report. Read More


Monday, May. 18, 2015

VIDEO | DEM LEADERS SEEK TO SOOTHE MBTA BILL CONCERNS

The Democratic heads of the House and Senate on Monday tried to quiet the concerns of lawmakers and advocates supportive of Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to put the MBTA under the authority of a control board, insisting that a final verdict on the proposal has not been rendered. Despite the fact that both the House budget and the budget proposal the Senate will begin debating Tuesday contain MBTA management reforms, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Speaker Robert DeLeo said discussions will continue at the committee level about possible further steps to overhaul management at the MBTA. Read More


BOSTON CITY COUNCILORS ASK FOR DETAIL ON BOSTON 2024

City officials on Monday questioned leaders from Boston 2024, the nonprofit group eyeing the city for the 2024 Summer Olympics, pressing them for details on their plans. Rich Davey, Boston 2024 CEO, said the group plans to release the "2.0 version of our plan" in June, focusing on venues and their potential locations in what they say will be a privately financed Olympic Games. Read More


HEALEY, BIZ AGREE TO SICK TIME TRANSITION PROVISION

Massachusetts businesses worried about running afoul of a new ballot law are applauding an earned sick time regulation addition they say will give some companies "breating room" to comply with the new statute. Attorney General Maura Healey's aides reported Sunday that the "safe harbor" provision will address some concerns by businesses about implementation while ensuring the law still takes effect on July 1, 2015 for 1 million workers who currently lack access to paid or unpaid earned sick time. Read More


TAX DEBATE ON TAP FIRST FOR SENATE TUESDAY

Senate Democrats will huddle first thing Tuesday morning for a private discussion about how to proceed with tax policy amendments to the $38 billion budget proposal slated for debate this week. Read More


SENATE USING PERISCOPE, OPENING EX-DOC ROOM FOR BUDGET DEBATE

The former "document room" on the fourth floor of the State House will be available as a place to watch the Senate debate this week. Read More


STATE OUTLINES SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION GRANTS

State public health officials on Monday awarded a $400,000 grant to the Boston Public Health Commission and a series of $100,000 grants to other communities with the goal of expanding substance abuse prevention services and programs. Read More


BAKER BACKERS ON MBTA REFORM POINT TO POLL RESULTS

Using poll results to bolster the case for Gov. Charlie Baker's MBTA reforms, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance was going door to door on Beacon Hill Monday with survey findings showing overwhelming support in Senate districts for the governor's plans. Alliance officials surveyed registered voters in 29 Senate districts Thursday and Friday using an automated poll with a single question: "Do you support Governor Baker's MBTA reform package or do you oppose it?" Alliance executive director Paul Craney told the News Service he expects polling will be conducted in the other 11 Senate districts. Read More


TREASURERS SEEK EASIER RULES ON INSURANCE DOLLARS

City and town treasurers seeking a freer hand spending insurance money visited the State House Monday to lobby for a bill to allow that as well as legislation providing stipends to assistant treasurers and collectors. Read More


AFTER MEETING T RIDERS, BAKER SAYS THEY "DREAD" NEXT WINTER

Keeping up pressure on senators resistant to his MBTA reforms, Gov. Charlie Baker met with three transit riders Monday morning and used their experiences to pepper his calls for action. "Winter is not exactly that far away and all of these people said that they dread next winter because they worry they're going to be dealing with the same issues with respect to the unpredictability, the lack of communication and the impact it has on their lives," Baker told reporters after the meeting. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito met w

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito met with MBTA riders Monday morning. The meeting was closed-press, but photographs and soundless video were permitted. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res



 
 
State House News Service