... Warren, Rep. Cummings to hold student debt forum at UMass-Boston ...... UMass prez search panel looking at "prospects," eyes final decision by June ...... House-Senate agree to $363 million spending bill, rush it to Baker's desk ...... Hamburg, one of Boston's rivals for Olympics, builds biking into its bid ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED Tuesday until 11 a.m. Thursday
Senate:
ADJOURNED Tuesday until 2 p.m. Wednesday

MCCA CHIEF ROONEY WILL STEP DOWN TO TAKE BOSTON CHAMBER POST

James Rooney, who has led the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority for more than a decade and before that played a role in assembling the Big Dig financing plan, is leaving the authority to succeed Paul Guzzi as president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Rooney plans to start July 1, according to the chamber, which has long represented business industry interests on Beacon Hill while also playing a role in facilitating public policy conversations. Guzzi has led the chamber of commerce for 19 years and Rooney has worked as executive director of the authority since 2003. Read More


REP SEES BROAD BASE OF FILM TAX CREDIT SUPPORT IN HOUSE

Lawmakers could hardly have been more upbeat about Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal to expand the earned income tax credit for low-income families on Tuesday, but the governor's recommendation to pay for the program by eliminating tax incentives for the film industry has found many skeptics. While the effectiveness of film tax credits has come under scrutiny around the country, the tax breaks for the burgeoning film production industry in Massachusetts have many defenders on Beacon Hill, including powerful House Democrats who say they've seen the benefits in their communities. Read More


BAKER SHAKES UP REGIONAL BIZ DEVELOPMENT OFFICES

Five of the six regional directors at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development were fired on Friday by the Baker administration, which says it's looking to move in a "different direction" while maintaining the office. Secretary of House and Economic Development Jay Ash confirmed that all regional directors, with the exception of Northeast Director Peter Milano, were dismissed, and said some offers have already been made to hire their replacements. Read More


Richard Bonanno, MA Farm Bureau Federation president, with wife LuAnne and daughter Heather on Agriculture Day [Photo: C. Quinn/SHNS]

FARMERS PUSH LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES ON BEACON HILL

As more Massachusetts residents buy their food directly from local farmers, farmers want state lawmakers and regulators to help them keep up with the demand. Massachusetts ranks fifth in the nation for direct sales from farmers to consumers, according to Sen. Anne Gobi, a Democrat from Spencer. Gathered for the annual Agriculture Day at the State House, farmers and others in the agriculture business drew attention Tuesday to their industry and some of the problems farmers face in Massachusetts. Read More


BOSTON OLYMPICS RIVAL BUILDS BIKING INTO ITS BID

It is "too early to tell" whether the group seeking to bring the Olympics to Boston will invest its dollars in bicycle infrastructure in the vein of a rival Olympic bid by Germany, Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey told reporters. Transportation activist Rafael Mares is trying to leverage Hamburg's bicycle-centric plans for the 2024 summer games to encourage Boston's Olympics proponents to follow suit. Read More


MASSDOT TO ROLL OUT PERMANENT TRAFFIC SIGNS

State officials plan to begin installing permanent traffic congestion forecasting signage on state highways as a way to encourage drivers to avoid contributing to jams. Read More


SEARCH PANEL EYES NEW UMASS PRESIDENT BY JUNE

The search panel hunting for the next University of Massachusetts president touted the public portion of its process Tuesday before voting to meet in a secret session to discuss "prospects" for the high-profile and high-paying job. "Clearly this is one of the more visible searches in the country. There's been a great deal of interest in it," consultant Robert Sullivan of Korn Ferry, which the university has hired to assist in the search process, told the panel during a meeting at the offices of outgoing president Robert Caret. Read More


CONFEREES AGREE TO $363 MILLION BILL

Lawmakers broke an impasse over a spending bill Tuesday, with a six-member conference committee signing off on a $363 million budget. The bill includes $51.5 million for emergency assistance programs that serve the homeless, $190 million for the Group Insurance Commission, $50 million for snow and ice removal costs, $34.7 million to cover public counsel costs, and $27.4 million for congregate care costs. Read More


DOR SAYS EITC EXPANSION WILL BOOST DISPOSABLE INCOME BY $198 MIL

The Baker administration will be armed with some new statistics when it makes the case to lawmakers Tuesday to double the earned income tax credit. Read More


WALSH TO CHAIR TREASURER'S COMMITTEE ON WAGE EQUALITY

Seeking to make good on a campaign theme, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg on Tuesday plans to detail the creation of a new committee to help her develop a state-run website and other tools for government and private business to achieve wage equality. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will serve as the honorary chair of the advisory committee that will bring together leaders from business, government and academia to develop solutions to level the wage gap between men and women. Read More


WARREN, CUMMINGS TO HOST STUDENT DEBT FORUM AT UMASS-BOSTON

Students grappling with higher education costs plan to join Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland for a Congressional forum Thursday at UMass-Boston. According to Warren's office, total student debt has risen to $1.3 trillion and nearly a million borrowers have fallen behind on loan payments in the last year alone. The 2 p.m. event is part of a Middle Class Prosperity Project launched by members of Congress in February. Read More


UNION CHIEF BLASTS MBTA MANAGEMENT OF COMMUTER RAIL

A transportation union chief laid into the MBTA on Tuesday, referring to new equipment as "wrecks on wheels" and charging the transit agency with micro-managing the commuter rail system. Thomas Murray, president of Transport Workers Union Local 2054, told lawmakers on the Joint Transportation Committee that the commuter rail system's ability to fight back against the winter storms was hampered by a "dysfunctional" management system. Read More


LAWMAKERS PUSH PRE-K BILL AS WAY TO CLOSE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

Young children who live in communities with under-performing schools could get increased opportunities to attend pre-kindergarten, under legislation being pushed by two lawmakers who say the plan will help close the academic achievement gap. Backers of a bill that would increase state grants to expand pre-school programs say there is momentum on Beacon Hill to get more children enrolled in pre-kindergarten, despite a $1.8 billion budget deficit projected for fiscal year 2016. Read More


LEGISLATURE APPROVES $363 MILLION BUDGET BILL

The Legislature late Tuesday approved and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk a $363 million spending bill agreed to hours earlier by a six-member conference committee. Read More


POLLACK: "HEMORRHAGING" MBTA NEEDS TOURNIQUET, AND A FIX

The MBTA has an estimated 535 employees on its debt-funded capital budget and without state budget help will run a $187 million deficit next fiscal year, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told lawmakers Tuesday. Pollack told lawmakers the $187 million request in Gov. Charlie Baker's fiscal 2016 budget proposal would help the T prepare for next winter and it would be consistent with the 2013 law that raised the gas tax 3 cents per gallon, required the transit system to increase its own revenues and anticipated rising amounts of additional state funding. Read More

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack briefed

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack briefed lawmakers on the budgetary requests of the MBTA and Mass DOT at Methuen High School. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


VIDEO | MARKEY TOUTS SCHUMER, MAKES THE ROUNDS AT STATE HOUSE

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey was in the State House Tuesday to meet with top lawmakers about federal policy. "Just, you know, moving around, talking to people," Markey told the News Service Tuesday morning. Read More


INDUSTRY: BAKER BILL WOULD "DESTROY" GROWING FILM SECTOR

Industry officials are gearing up to defend a tax incentive program that they say makes Massachusetts fertile territory for film and TV work and the jobs that go with that. Read More


FORECLOSURE DEEDS FALL FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE MONTH

Foreclosures in Massachusetts decreased for the second consecutive month, according to data released Tuesday by The Warren Group. Read More


DEM LEADERS HUNG UP ON SPENDING BILL DETAILS

They've often touted their ability to get along in pursuit of the common good but Democratic legislative leaders on Beacon Hill this year have been unable to reach agreement on funding needed to run homeless shelters. Read More


Monday, Mar. 30, 2015

Public Service co-chairs Rep. Murphy and Sen. Timilty heard testimony Monday.

LEPORE DEFENDS BAKER'S EARLY RETIREMENT PROGRAM

An early retirement incentive package aimed an enticing 4,500 state employees to leave the state payroll by this summer came under scrutiny on Monday from several senators who questioned whether the Baker administration was prepared for too few or too many employees opting into the program. Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore told the Joint Committee on Public Service that she was "very confident" the administration could achieve the desired budget savings of more than $170 million with "minimal disruption" to state services. Read More

Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepor

Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore (right), alongside council Bob Ross (left) testifies before the Public Service Committee Monday morning on Gov. Charlie Baker's cost-saving plan to allow eligible state employees to retire early. [Photo: M. Deehan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


KENNEDY TO DISCUSS IMMIGRATION ISSUES

Congressman Joe Kennedy will be the featured speaker Thursday morning at the Irish International Immigrant Center's 6th Annual Business Leaders Breakfast in Boston. Read More


BOSTON 2024, STATE LEADERS HUDDLING

Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic legislative leaders and officials pushing the Boston Olympics bid held a private meeting in House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office Monday afternoon. Read More


KEOLIS GM REFLECTS AS COMMUTER RAIL RETURNS TO FULL SCHEDULE

With the MBTA's commuter rail system back to full service Monday for the first time in weeks, the top private sector official in charge of the railroad is considering a number of options to avoid a repeat of this winter's service failures. Gerald Francis, who took over as general manager of Keolis Commuter Services mid-February, said officials at his company are looking at potential capital improvements, different approaches toward repairing traction motors and ways to give commuters more advance notice about schedule changes. Read More


OBAMA TO ATTEND ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUMMIT IN AFRICA

President Barack Obama plans to visit Kenya in July to hold bilateral meetings and participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the White House announced Monday. The event is designed to connect emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from business, government and international organizations, according to the White House, which noted it's the first time the GES will be held in sub-Saharan Africa. Read More


JUVENILE RECORDS BRIEFING SET FOR TUESDAY

Lawmakers will hear from experts and advocates of criminal justice reform on Tuesday, with a focus on the sealing of juvenile records. Read More


TRANSPO OFFICIALS TO DEVELOP SNOW SCHEDULES FOR NEXT YEAR

After improvising through much of the historically harsh February storms, the MBTA plans to develop reduced trip snow schedules for next year and to purchase snow-clearing equipment, officials said after an oversight hearing Monday. Those ideas came about through a peer-review process with transit officials from New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Philadelphia and Chicago, other cities that face challenges from snow and cold. Read More


ROSENBERG: BUDGET BILL STILL BEING NEGOTIATED

House and Senate leaders are still negotiating a midyear spending bill but plan to resolve their differences "soon," according to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Read More


VIDEO | BOSTON 2024 BACKERS BRIEF STATE OFFICIALS

Backers of the bid for Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics privately briefed Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders Monday on the bid's costs, venues and revenue projections. Read More

Boston 2024 CEO Richard Davey and supporter Steve

Boston 2024 CEO Richard Davey and supporter Steve Pagliuca discuss their meeting with Gov. Baker and legislative leaders. | Video


SPENDING BILL ADVANCES AGAIN, THEN HITS SNAG

The House and Senate on Monday again agreed on a midyear spending bill, but the bill hit a mid-afternoon snag.
The $402 million bill includes funds for emergency shelters, which have run out of state funding. Read More


POLLACK TO DISCUSS COMMUTER RAIL

State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, who stopped taking the commuter rail this winter to important appointments because she feared she'd be late, will address current system operations on Monday. Read More


Senate Ways and Means Chairman Karen Spilka

MASS. SENATE OKAYS $$$ TO ADDRESS HOMELESS SHELTERS

With accounts to fund homeless shelters in Massachusetts running out of money, the Massachusetts Senate on Monday attached spending authorizations to an off-track betting bill in a bid to divorce supplemental appropriations from controversy between House and Senate over policy matters. "The House is reviewing it," Medford Rep. Paul Donato told the News Service after the House recessed its session to examine Senate additions to a bill allowing Suffolk Downs to continue off-track betting without live racing until April 30. "We're trying to see what the impact is and then make a decision." Read More


OFFICIALS GATHER FOR KENNEDY INSTITUTE DEDICATION

Top elected officials on Monday assembled in Dorchester Monday morning for the dedication of an institute focused on the U.S. Senate and named for the late Edward Kennedy. Read More

The colors are presented to open the dedication ce

The colors are presented to open the dedication ceremony for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.


Friday, Mar. 27, 2015

Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey

BAKER BACKS NOVEMBER 2016 FOR TIMING OF OLYMPIC BALLOT QUESTION

Top Boston 2024 brass briefed Gov. Charlie Baker and his Cabinet Friday afternoon on their vision to bring the summer Olympics to Boston, delivering what Baker described as a "high-level" and "helpful" overview of their plans for organization, activities and venues. Boston 2024 chairman John Fish and the group's CEO Richard Davey met for over an hour with senior Baker administration officials for a briefing that had been scheduled weeks ago. Davey, after the meeting, said the governor's team gave the Olympic organizers a "warm" reception, and he anticipates being back in the future to provide further updates. Read More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - VOTERS GONNA VOTE

The Olympics and marijuana appear to have at least one thing in common. They're both likely headed to the ballot sometime in 2016. Lessons learned this week on the roads from Beacon Hill to Greenfield: Gov. Charlie Baker hates surprises almost as much as the district attorneys hate pot; the Legislature appears willing to give the Republican governor at least a few early wins; and lawmakers remain deeply distrustful of the Olympics, or at least John Fish's gang's ability to privately finance the games. Read More


OLYMPIC LEADERS MEETING IN BAKER'S OFFICE

Top officials from Boston 2024, including Boston 2024 chairman John Fish and the group's CEO Richard Davey, were meeting Friday afternoon with Gov. Charlie Baker and his Cabinet to brief the administration "on their plan to bring the games to Boston," according to a Baker spokesman. Read More


OSBORNE NAMED MASS. REHAB COMMISSIONER

The Baker administration on Friday named Adelaide "Nicky" Osborne to helm the 800-employee Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Read More


LOCAL ROADS FUNDING BILL BEFORE COMMITTEE FRIDAY

With roadways ravaged by a particularly harsh winter, the Senate Bonding Committee may advance a $200 million local road funding bill on Friday, two days after the House unanimously passed the legislation and two weeks after the governor filed it. Read More


MASS. FIRMS RAKE IN MILLIONS LOBBYING ON BEACON HILL

Some of the businesses that profit off influencing the deliberations of government hauled in millions of dollars last legislative session. The seven highest-grossing lobbying firms earned more than $3 million apiece over the 2013-2014 session, according to data supplied to the News Service by the office of Secretary of State William Galvin, which oversees the lobbying industry. Read More


ADVANCES - WEEK OF MARCH 29, 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker has made clear that he's against raising taxes or creating new ones but he's not opposed to making changes in the current tax code. Baker wants to put in place an expanded credit to deliver tax relief to more low-income families and to strip off the books a tax break that supporters say has drawn film industry work to Massachusetts. Those tax proposals, along with Baker's budget and proposed early retirement program, are set to be placed under the legislative microscope at a series of public hearings early next week. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash plans to make the case for the governor's tax law changes during a hearing on Tuesday. Read More


BAKER SEEKS EMERGENCY DECLARATION FOR FEBRUARY SNOW

Citing 25 weather-related deaths, nearly non-stop snow and freezing temperatures and initial cost estimates of around $400 million, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for the 28-day period starting Jan. 26. Read More


REPORT: SUPER PACS SPENT MORE ON GUV'S RACE THAN CANDIDATES DID

Super PACS and other independent groups spent $20.4 million in the 2014 Massachusetts election cycle, the first in which they played a role, with outside spending on the governor's race accounting for more than the two major party candidates spent themselves. Read More


LOCAL ROADS BILL COULD BE BEFORE SENATE WEDNESDAY

The Senate could pass a $200 million local road funding bill and deliver it to the governor by late next week, according to the chairman of a committee that reviewed the bill Friday. Read More


BUDGET CONFERENCE TO MEET FRIDAY

Lawmakers assigned to negotiate a compromise midyear budget bill will waste little time getting started, planning a meeting for Friday afternoon just a day after the Senate named its appointees to hash out a $350 million spending bill with the House. The conference committee will convene at 1 p.m. in House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey's office. Read More


Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015

SENATE TO MOVE ON EARLY RETIREMENT BILL IN NEXT TWO WEEKS

The Senate will take up the early retirement bill aimed at realizing $173 million in savings either next week or the week after, according to a spokesman for Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Read More


TARR: SENATE SESSIONS IN DORCHESTER "NOT UNLIKELY"

It is "not unlikely" that the 40-member Massachusetts Senate might meet at a new scale model representation of the U.S. Senate on Dorchester's Columbia Point when the chamber in the State House undergoes renovations, according to a top Senate Republican. The state Senate on Thursday received a presentation from Boston Olympics bid backers at the soon-to-be-opened Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. Last summer lawmakers authorized $20 million to renovate the Massachusetts Senate chamber and facilities, and another $20 million for repairs and renovations to the Massachusetts House. Read More


FITCHBURG STATE REP RUNNING FOR MAYOR

Rep. Stephen DiNatale will run for mayor of Fitchburg, saying he feels obligated to make a difference in the city he has lived in for nearly four decades. DiNatale, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007, plans to officially launch his campaign on April 6 after pulling nomination papers to run. Read More


GOLDBERG PROXY VOTING INITIATIVE SEEKS TO INFLUENCE CORPORATE BOARDS

Signaling a more activist era at the state pension fund, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg on Thursday proposed using the $61 billion fund to make a stand on corporate diversity, environmental stewardship and wage equality issues. A subcommittee of the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board signed off Thursday on a new policy developed by Goldberg that would direct the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board to use its proxy vote as an investor to oppose nominees to corporate boards unless at least 25 percent of a board's membership is made up of women and minorities. Read More


CONFERENCE COMMITTEE SET FOR MIDYEAR SPENDING BILL

After loading up a time-sensitive spending bill with policy matters, Democratic legislative leaders are unable to reach a consensus informally and have appointed a six-member conference committee to try to reach an accord. Read More


HOUSE IN BID TO AID SUFFOLK DOWNS

With just days until a license is set to expire for Suffolk Downs, the House passed a bill Thursday giving the racetrack another month to simulcast races while lawmakers continue work on legislation allowing live racing to continue for the next two years at the track. Read More


MASS. HOMELESS SHELTER FUNDING RUNNING OUT

Emergency shelters across Massachusetts will run out of money on Saturday, according to the Baker administration and legislative officials, who say they are taking steps to ensure that the family shelters for the homeless do not close their doors or cut back on services. The situation has come about due to an impasse between the House and Senate on a roughly $350 million spending bill loaded with outside policy sections that have nothing to do with funding homeless shelters. Both branches approved tens of millions of dollars in their respective bills (H 65/ S21) to finance the shelters. Read More


STATE PENSION FUND BOARD EYEING SMALLER BUDGET

State officials who oversee the $61 billion state pension fund on Thursday offered preliminary approval for a smaller operating budget in fiscal year 2016. The administration and audit committee of the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board advanced a $347.7 million fiscal 2016 budget, a decrease of $12 million, or 3.3 percent, from fiscal 2015. The pension fund is projected to increase to $66.1 billion. Read More


NUNNELLY NAMED REVENUE COMMISSIONER

The Baker administration on Thursday introduced a former managing director of Bain Capital as the state's next revenue commissioner. Read More


TEEN PARENTS PRESS FOR BUDGET SUPPORT

When Ciara Mejia became pregnant at 16 years old, she could not understand why people were not happy for her. Read More


Gov. Charlie Baker

BAKER SHEDS LIGHT ON APPROACH TO COMMUNICATIONS

Buttering up his "terrific" partners in the Democrat-controlled Legislature, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker shed light Wednesday on a critical but sometimes overlooked aspect of governing - communications. The 58-year-old governor is not a newbie in this area. He held two Cabinet posts in state government during the 1990s, was president of a major health insurance company, has two campaigns for governor under his belt, and started his tenure with a battery of snow emergency press conferences. So he has a lot of experience both dealing with reporters, communications aides and overseeing large organizations. Read More


TOP COURT OFFICIALS SOUND ALARM OVER BAKER BUDGET

Gov. Charlie Baker's budget would lead to more severe service cuts in the Judiciary than during the "darkest days" of the Great Recession, requiring hundreds of layoffs and court closures, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants told House and Senate budget writers Wednesday. "It would be even worse than the darkest days of the last financial crisis, when one in three of our courthouses had to restrict public hours just to process cases," Gants warned at a hearing at Quinsigamond Community College. Read More


Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2015

HEALEY OBJECTS TO FEE HIKES FOR "LAST RESORT" AUTO POLICIES

Car owners with insurance policies issued through the state's "market of last resort" will likely face higher fees for late payment or bounced checks starting next week, despite objections from Attorney General Maura Healey. The policyholders, a large percentage of whom live in urban and low-income communities, are insured through the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP) run by the industry-operated Commonwealth Automobile Reinsurers (CAR). The MAIP program exists for drivers who cannot otherwise obtain insurance through the voluntary market. Read More


PROSECUTORS USE BUDGET HEARING TO MAKE APPEAL ON MARIJUANA

Appearing on a panel before a legislative proponent of marijuana legalization, top prosecutors on Wednesday made impassioned appeals against loosening restrictions on the substance. "We ought to turn ourselves into Denver, Colorado, where gummy bears are littering the streets that are made of marijuana?" asked Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe. Read More


HOUSE APPOINTS CONFEREES FOR BUDGET BILL

Unable over the past several days to informally reach an agreement with the Senate on a midyear spending bill worth about $350 million, the House on Wednesday appointed Reps. Brian Dempsey, Stephen Kulik and Todd Smola to a conference committee to negotiate a final bill. Read More


REPS BOLT WORCESTER HEARING FOR BEACON HILL

With votes scheduled on road repair and early retirement bills, House members missed out on the latter portion of a budget hearing held by the House and Senate committees on Ways and Means on Wednesday. Read More


STATE TO MOVE INMATES OUT OF NORFOLK PRISON

Seeking to reduce expenses, the Department of Correction in early April will begin moving inmates out of Bay State Correctional Center, a medium security prison in Norfolk. The effort is part of $21 million in spending cuts needed to keep the agency's budget funded at the same level while staffing and medical expenses increase, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett told legislative budget writers Wednesday. Read More

Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennet

Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett said the Department of Correction will move inmates out of a medium security prison in April. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


TRIAL COURT CHIEF SAYS JUDICIARY COULDN'T HANDLE EARLY RETIREMENTS

With House lawmakers readying to debate Gov. Charlie Baker's early retirement incentive program, Court Administrator Harry Spence said Wednesday that the Trial Court would be unable to continue operating if the incentives were extended to the Judiciary branch. Spence said a court analysis revealed about 400 court employees would participate in an early retirement program. Read More


LAWMAKERS EYEING FOSTER CARE IMPROVEMENTS

Lawmakers who grew up in foster care talked Wednesday about the continued need to protect children in the system. Read More


FRANKLIN SITE MAY BE ADDED TO MOST SERIOUS HAZ WASTE SITES

A former manufacturing site in Franklin may be added to the national list of complex, abandoned hazardous waste sites targeted for cleanup in the coming years. Read More


RETIREMENT, ROADS BILLS COULD CLEAR HOUSE WEDNESDAY

When Speaker Robert DeLeo puts a major bill on the House floor for a vote it usually passes in short order. Read More


Education Secretary James Peyser

BAKER'S EDUCATION BUDGET DRAWS RANGE OF CONCERNS

Favored spending initiatives that help reduce the strain on Massachusetts schools did not make it into Gov. Charlie Baker's annual budget proposal at levels desired by some of the lawmakers who will play key roles crafting next year's final budget. Baker's budget proposal consolidates grants offered to school districts and eliminates a grant program for kindergarten expansion while increasing the state's funding for local schools. Read More


EARLY RETIREMENT BILL SAILS THROUGH HOUSE

An early retirement incentive plan proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker passed unanimously in the House Wednesday afternoon in an effort to save $173 million in next year's state budget by trimming payroll. An estimated 4,500 state workers in the executive branch who are 55 or older or have 20 years of service would need to be enticed to participate in the pension sweetening program for the state to meet it's savings goals. Read More


KAPRIELIAN NAMED REGIONAL HHS DIRECTOR

Former state Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian has been appointed to a top federal health and human services post. Kaprielian, a former state representative who went on to serve in Gov. Deval Patrick's administration, will serve as Health and Human Services regional director for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, President Obama's health chief said Wednesday. Read More


POLICYMAKERS KEY ON PREPARATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Fewer lobsters, but more scup and black sea bass? That's a possibility for Massachusetts's marine fisheries. "Whether it's caused by climate change or the water temperature rising, we're seeing more and more southern species of fish off of our shores earlier in the year and in more abundance," Fish and Game Commissioner George Peterson said. Read More


BAKER: WINTER STORM RELIEF REQUEST COULD BE FILED FRIDAY

In the wake of record snow this winter, Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration would probably file a request for emergency aid on Friday and believes the federal government wants to be "helpful," but expects debate about the extent of the assistance. Read More


BAKER: LEGALIZED MARIJUANA WORTH STUDYING DESPITE OPPOSITION

Gov. Charlie Baker's support for a Senate review of the issues associated with legalizing marijuana should not be construed as an openness toward legalization, the governor said Wednesday during a live radio interview. "I'm opposed and I swill stay opposed," Baker told "Boston Public Radio" hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH radio. Read More


BAKER ON OLYMPICS: "THERE SHOULD BE ONE BALLOT QUESTION"

The state Legislature can agree on the language of a proposed 2016 ballot question regarding hosting the summer Olympics in Boston in 2024, which would obviate the need for activists to gather signatures, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday. Read More


BAKER: CONNECTOR FIXES "GOING TO TAKE A WHILE"

A caller to an afternoon radio show said she still didn't have health insurance after extensive efforts to navigate government channels, prompting Gov. Charlie Baker to make a plea for patience. Read More


BAKER EXPECTS DRAFT REPORT ON MBTA NEXT WEEK

Gov. Charlie Baker hopes to have a draft report from his MBTA task force next week, and said Wednesday that "hopefully" a report will be ready for public release the following week. During an appearance on "Ask the Governor" Wednesday afternoon on WGBH, Baker said the task force was in the midst of a "terrific process," had met with many people, and that he had sat in on some of the meetings. Read More


DEBATE ON TAX BILLS EXPECTED AT TUESDAY HEARING

Lawmakers have reserved the State House's largest meeting room for what could be the most extensive discussion of tax policy so far this session. Read More


GOLDBERG BACK FROM D.C. TALKS ON FINANCIAL LITERACY, MUNI BONDS

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is back in the state after spending two days at a national conference in Washington, D.C. where she said she pressed White House officials on the need to support aging public transit systems and infrastructure in states like Massachusetts. Goldberg also met with Treasury Department officials about federal efforts to improve financial literacy and retirement savings and talked with members of the state's Congressional delegation about the importance of protecting the tax deductible status of municipal bonds. Read More


BAKER TO DEM PARTY: TALK TO LAWMAKERS ON PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS BILL

Massachusetts Democratic Party officials sought to pressure Gov. Charlie Baker this week to support a change to a public accommodation laws that they said would protect the transgender community from discrimination. Baker responded by telling party officials to talk with their colleagues in the Legislature, who dominate both the House and Senate through overwhelming majorities. Read More


BAKER TO APPEAR ON 'ASK THE GOV'

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday afternoon will appear on WGBH radio for "Ask the Governor." Read More



 
 
State House News Service