... DeLeo: House will wait for Baker to make budget fixes ...... Murray sees "a lot of local stuff" moving in session's final weeks ...... House approves local tax transparency bill after adopted Dempsey amendment ...... House passed Worcester DCU bill ...... Accosting and annoying legislation clears House ...... Boston special events fund legislation (H 4530) approved in House ...... Senate rejects proposal to force examination of efficiency, budget growth at CHIA ...... Ebola survivor to join guv at State House Tuesday to announce new grant ...... Baker names banking executive Ron Walker as labor and workforce development secretary ...... Senate passes legislation establishing task force to protect children against sexual abuse ...
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House:
ADJOURNED to meet Monday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED to meet Monday at 11 a.m.

ADVANCES - WEEK OF DEC. 21, 2014

"A lot of local stuff." ?That's how Senate President Therese Murray described the remaining legislative agenda when asked about it earlier this week. ?With less than three weeks left on her long Senate career and the 2013-2014 session, legislative leaders this week lowered expectations for those hoping for a surge in activity akin to the recent passage in the lame-duck Congress of a $1.1 trillion spending bill. ?But the assessment from Murray, who still hasn't announced her next career move, isn't entirely accurate. Aware that all pending bills are about to expire, lawmakers are not focused only on local bills. ?The House for instance quietly advanced legislation this week lifting the sunset clause on an prescription drug coupon program that critics say drives up overall health care costs. Here's a look at the storylines heading into Christmas week: Read More


NO OUTAGES AT HEALTH WEBSITE AS MAJOR DEADLINE NEARS

The state's revamped health care website has seen 1.5 million unique visits in the last four weeks, a number that is expected to grow given the looming Dec. 23 deadline for people to pick a health care plan and pay for it, state officials said Friday. ...3:37 PMRead More


STATE WORKER INSURANCE PROGRAM RUNNING $120 MIL SHORT

The state commission that oversees public employee health insurance coverage will likely need at least $120 million in additional funding this fiscal year, a request that would contribute to ongoing state budget problems. "It's probably going to be north of $120 million," Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Executive Director Dolores Mitchell told the News Service after a meeting on Friday morning. Read More


KENNEDY TO TOUR PLAINRIDGE CASINO

Congressman Joe Kennedy plans Friday afternoon to visit Plainville and the Plainridge Park Casino development. Penn National Gaming is forging ahead with construction of the slots parlor at the harness track after Massachusetts voters last month rejected a ballot question repealing the 2011 law authorizing up to three casinos and one slot parlor. Kennedy and Rep. Shawn Dooley are set to visit Plainridge at 2:30 p.m. In October, Plainridge reported receiving 2,500 applications for 500 jobs at the casino. ...10:30 AMRead More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR

Locked in a state of limbo, one eye on the present the other on the future, Beacon Hill's elves found themselves this week straddling two administrations and a pending change in legislative leadership with major budgetary challenges hanging like poisonous mistletoe under the dome. Read More


STATE WORKERS INSURANCE WILL COVER GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

The organization that oversees insurance for state workers will begin covering medically necessary gender reassignment surgery for all of its members in July. ...2:23 PMRead More


CITY CLEARS PATH FOR MASSDOT MOVE TO ROXBURY

City officials on Thursday night agreed to revise the designation of a parcel in Roxbury to pave the way for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to develop 1 million square feet of space for a new state transportation building, museum and retail space. According to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, its board and the Economic Development Industrial Corporation also approved projects that will create 178 units of housing in Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Hyde Park, as well as a 97-room expansion of the Bayside DoubleTree Hotel in Dorchester. Read More


GUV TO HOST AFTERNOON CABINET MEETING

Gov. Deval Patrick will host an afternoon Cabinet meeting at the State House on Friday after morning photo sessions with judges he recently appointed to the bench. The Cabinet meeting is set for 12:15 p.m. in Patrick's office. Read More


Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN CLASS ACTION SUIT OVER HOTEL SHELTERS

Homeless families living in motels or hotels will be allowed to have babysitters, visitors, and other privacy rights after a housing court judge in Springfield approved a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit filed by housing advocates against the state. ...6:00 PMRead More


PATRICK GETS POST-ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL BILL

Lawmakers on Thursday sent to Gov. Deval Patrick's a bill aiming to provide post-acute care hospitals with "equitable treatment." ...5:04 PMRead More


HOUSE ADVANCES BILL LIFTING SUNSET ON DRUG COUPON LAW

Coupons and rebates for brand-name prescriptions offered by drug makers would remain legal in Massachusetts beyond 2017 under a bill House lawmakers are moving toward passage. Prior to 2012, Massachusetts was the only state that did not allow consumers to use coupons and rebates for prescriptions. Read More


FALCHUK, FISHER IN "DECEMBER'S GREAT DEBATE"

Governor-elect Charlie Baker is still three weeks away from taking office and already two of his former campaign rivals are getting back into the ring to work on their debate skills. ...3:11 PMRead More


STATE MAY SELL TRANSPO BUILDING, MOVE AGENCY TO ROXBURY

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wants to move its headquarters across town, aiming to help spur development in Roxbury. The plan would relocate the agency's staff and meeting rooms from a large building next to Boston Common, and set the center of decision-making for the state's roads and rails in a new development planned across Tremont Street from the Boston Police Department headquarters. Read More


HOUSE EYES TRAINING PROGRAM FOR HEAD INJURIES

State health officials would develop an interscholastic athletic head injury safety training program that all public, private, and charter schools would participate in, under legislation (H 3806) that cleared the House on Thursday. ...12:45 PMRead More


POLITO SEES LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE AS ASSET

During her time in the Legislature and as a candidate for state treasurer in 2010, Karyn Polito often didn't hesitate before taking partisan shots at Democrats, including her 2010 opponent Steven Grossman. Now, as she prepares to be sworn in as lieutenant governor next month, Polito is emphasizing her experience in government as an asset as she looks ahead to dealings with her former colleagues. ...11:48 AMRead More


MASS. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 5.8 PERCENT

The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped down to run level with the national rate at 5.8 percent in November as the Bay State added 13,500 jobs, according to Thursday's jobs report. The Bay State's unemployment rate had been running a tick or two above the national rate in September and October. In November the state caught up with the national level dropping from 6 percent in October to 5.8 percent. ...9:26 AMRead More


DA: HERNANDEZ TRIAL "READY" AHEAD OF DEPARTURE

After winning election as Fall River mayor in a recall Tuesday night, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said he has someone in mind to succeed him. ...7:50 AMRead More


IN NEAR TERM, PATRICK SEES "PORTFOLIO OF THINGS"

Gov. Deval Patrick may try to hit the speech circuit and cobble together different projects before landing his next big job. ...5:10 PMRead More


GAMING COMMISSION SEEKS RELAXATION OF CORI STANDARD

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators are interested in re-opening the 2011 law that authorized up to three casinos, saying the statute is inconsistent with reforms to criminal records standards. Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said the statute the commission operates under has a "very strict" background check requirement and some believe it is too "rigid" for potential low-level gaming facility employees with criminal records. Read More


PATRICK TOUTS IMPACT OF CRIMINAL RECORD REFORMS

A web-based system for criminal background checks is helping ex-offenders in Massachusetts apply for jobs and other opportunities without being automatically disqualified, while sentencing reform has led to nearly 400 inmates serving drug offense sentences getting released to parole, according to state officials. Since a new criminal offender record information (CORI) system was rolled out in May 2012, after legislators passed a CORI reform law in 2010, the system has seen 334,987 access requests, according to Executive Office of Public Safety data released at a criminal justice summit. Read More


OBAMA SURPRISES GOVERNOR WITH RADIO SHOW CALL

Appearing for the last time on the monthly radio call-in show that he's done for the past eight years, Gov. Deval Patrick took a special call Thursday from the president of the United States. "This is Barack Obama formerly of Somerville," the president said. "I've got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood. But I've moved down south since that time." Read More


PATRICK WANTS TO APPOINT NEXT BRISTOL DA

Gov. Deval Patrick would like to name a Bristol County District Attorney to replace Sam Sutter, he told reporters Thursday. Sutter was elected Tuesday as the next mayor of Fall River after voters recalled current Mayor William Flanagan. ...1:05 PMRead More


REPORT MEASURES IMPACTS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT LAW

New state-mandated health coverage benefits beginning in 2015 for services such as alcohol and drug counseling or abuse-deterrent opioids will add roughly $2 to $18 a year to the cost of an annual policy, according to a report published Thursday by state health officials. The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) on Thursday released its benefit review of the new mandates for health coverage included in the 2014 law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick to increase opportunities for substance abuse recovery. Read More


TWO NEW JUDGES APPROVED FOR BMC

The Boston Municipal Court will get two new judges after the Governor's Council voted unanimously to appoint Paul McManus and David Breen to the bench. ...10:57 AMRead More


COALITION URGES GOVERNORS TO EMBRACE ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker and his counterparts in 10 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states are being newly pressured to get behind policies that support electric vehicles. ...8:34 AMRead More


Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

WOMAN VICTIMIZED BY BURGLARY BACKS PERPETRATOR'S REQUEST FOR PARDON

A woman whose Plum Island home was burglarized by a man now seeking a pardon for the crime spoke on Wednesday in favor of granting him clemency. Lynn Mather, and her husband Gordon, drove from Buffalo, N.Y. so she could express her support for a pardon for Thomas Schoolcraft, who was 18 years old when he broke into her home and stole a pair of binoculars while on a spree of home burglaries in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Read More


PHARMACIST'S LAWYER ACCUSES PROSECUTION OF CRIMINALIZING AN ACCIDENT

A lawyer for one of the pharmacists accused of second-degree murder accused federal prosecutors of exploiting "terrible human tragedy" for publicity on Wednesday. ...6:17 PMRead More


NO NEW LIFE SCIENCES PRESIDENT, BUT "SPIDER-MAN" JOINS BOARD

The board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center on Wednesday agreed to forfeit $3.5 million in funding to help close the state's budget shortfall as officials indicated the search for a new chief executive would spill over into the new year. MLSC President and CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister announced in May her desire to wrap up a six-year tenure as head of the agency with the Patrick administration, but at the last meeting of the year for the board Windham-Bannister's replacement has not yet been found. Read More


UMASS PRESIDENT LEAVING FOR "HOME SYSTEM"

University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret has accepted a job at the University of Maryland but plans to remain in Massachusetts for several months to assist with the leadership transition at UMass. ...4:31 PMRead More


UMASS PRESIDENT MAY LEAVE FOR MARYLAND

University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret is in job talks that could take him back to Maryland, where he was president of Towson University from 2003 until 2011. UMass spokesman Robert Connolly acknowledged Wednesday afternoon that Caret is in talks with the University of Maryland. Read More


STATE COUNCIL APPROVES COMMUTATION, TWO PARDONS

Massachusetts officials on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of a woman serving time for drug convictions, and agreed to pardons for two men. Deanne Hamilton, 49, is immediately eligible for parole in the wake of the Governor's Council vote Wednesday to approve her commutation, which was recommended by Gov. Deval Patrick. Read More

Deanne Hamilton appeared before the Governor

Deanne Hamilton appeared before the Governor's Council on Dec. 8 in her bid for clemency. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ENERGY OFFICIAL TAKING PRIVATE SOLAR JOB

The Patrick administration's undersecretary for energy has agreed to join Boston-based BlueWave Capital as managing director in January, according to his office. Mark Sylvia, a Fairhaven resident, joined the Patrick administration in 2009 as green communities division director and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) commissioner, helping to oversee and implement Gov. Deval Patrick's renewable energy goals. ...11:57 AMRead More


FRAMINGHAM PHARMACY OWNERS ARRESTED

After arresting 14 people associated with the Framingham pharmacy blamed for tainted drugs that caused a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, federal officials plan a press conference later Wednesday morning. There was widespread coverage of the early morning arrests on television and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office confirmed that 14 people were arrested including the owners of the former pharmacy. Read More


UMASS CHAIR TO CALL SPECIAL MEETING

In the wake of UMass President Robert Caret's sudden announcement that he's leaving for a new job, the chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees indicated late Wednesday his plans to call a special board meeting. ...6:20 PMRead More


FEDS HIT TWO FORMER NECC OFFICIALS WITH 25 MURDER CHARGES

Two pharmacists whose alleged disregard for human life resulted in contaminated steroids at a Framingham pharmacy were charged by federal prosecutors on Wednesday with 25 second-degree murders, representing less than half the deaths caused by the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. Barry Cadden, a 48-year-old Wrentham man who was president of the New England Compounding Center, and Glenn Chin, a 46-year-old Canton man who became supervisory pharmacist in 2010, are both accused of murder as part of racketeering charges. Read More


BAKER FILLING OUT SENIOR STAFF

Governor-elect Charlie Baker has begun to round out his senior staff, bringing on board a mix of campaign aides and outside professionals to fill roles in his executive team. Among the new aides set to join the Baker administration, longtime Republican fixture Dean Serpa will become director of operations. Serpa currently runs his own event management and design company Full Impact Productions, and has worked in the cabinets of former Govs. William Weld, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift. Serpa also worked as deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2002. Read More


MBTA LAWYER MAKES BID FOR LYNN JUDGESHIP

William Fitzpatrick, who is vying for a judgeship on the Lynn District Court, said he does not have a sentencing philosophy "just yet." He would consider each case individually, and develop his thoughts as a judge with experience, he told members of the Governor's Council Wednesday during his confirmation hearing. Read More


BOSTON MAYOR OPTIMISTIC ON OLYMPICS BID

Back from California where he helped make the pitch for Boston to host the 2024 summer Olympics, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on Wednesday said proponents put on a "strong performance" but added that bringing the games to the Bay State is not his top priority. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are competing to become the first U.S. city to host the Olympics since Atlanta in 1996. After listening to presentations on Tuesday, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) voted to pursue a submission of a U.S. city hosting the Olympics. Read More


POLITO: SPENDING, MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS DRIVING BUDGET CRISIS

Noting incoming governor Charlie Baker may face an immediate $1 billion budget problem, much larger than Beacon Hill Democrats have acknowledged, Lt. Governor-elect Karyn Polito on Wednesday attributed the developing budget crisis to spending and management problems rather than a lack of revenue in state government. Calling it "eye-popping to us," Polito noted tax revenues are tracking near projections and have hit economic growth targets necessary to trigger an income tax cut on Jan. 1 from 5.2 to 5.15 percent. Read More


SHOR TAPPED FOR MIT FINANCE POST

Gov. Deval Patrick's budget chief is set to start in January at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as its next vice president for finance. ...1:20 PMRead More


BAKER FILLING OUT SENIOR STAFF

Governor-elect Charlie Baker has begun to round out his senior staff bringing onboard a mix of campaign aides and outside professionals to fill key roles in his executive team. ...12:43 PMRead More


SUTTER WINS ELECTION AS FALL RIVER MAYOR IN RECALL

Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter bested Fall River Mayor William Flanagan and six other candidates in a recall election for the mayoralty. ...11:04 AMRead More


WALSH BACK AFTER PITCH FOR OLYMPICS

Back from a trip to California where he helped make the pitch for Boston to host the 2024 summer Olympics, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh plans to visit the North End Wednesday at 10 a.m. for a ceremony to highlight a new solar panel at the North Bennett School. ...7:52 AMRead More


Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

MARKEY HAPPY LIGHT SHED ON CIA INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey suggested a recent report into the Central Intelligence Agency's enhanced interrogation program started under former President George W. Bush revealed violations of the law, and said he was glad it was released. ...5:49 PMRead More


BAKER: POLICE OVERTIME PART OF WHAT PROTESTS ARE ALL ABOUT

The nearly $2 million in public safety overtime the city of Boston and state have recently paid to cover protests of deadly police force are "part of what government and public protests are supposed to be all about," Governor-elect Charlie Baker said Tuesday. ...5:18 PMRead More


BAKER: OLYMPICS ARE OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE REGION

Governor-elect Charlie Baker on Tuesday expressed enthusiasm about the possibility of the Olympics coming to Massachusetts as backers of a Boston bid for the 2024 summer games prepared to make their case in California. "The big issue for me on the Olympic bid is if the (U.S. Olympic Committee) says yes, what they really do is they bless Massachusetts and Boston to make our case to the rest of the world," Baker said. "And it's this pretty unique opportunity to promote Massachusetts and Boston to the participating countries, I think there are 150 all in around the globe. But I think that's a great opportunity to sell the region that gets way beyond just the Olympics." Read More


FED COURT OVERTURNS RULING IN KOSILEK SEX CHANGE CASE

A federal appeals court on Tuesday issued a split decision overturning lower court rulings that entitled convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek to a taxpayer-funded sex change operation. The First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-2 on Tuesday that the treatment being afforded Kosilek, a transgendered inmate in Norfolk medium security prison, did not violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment. Read More


REPORT: MASS. LABOR FORCE GROWTH AIDING ECONOMIC PROSPECTS

Massachusetts has the fastest growing population among northeastern states, according to a report released Tuesday that called that development "striking" and a contributing factor to a growing labor force and optimism about the state's economic prospects. The MassBenchmarks report, summarizing the recent sentiments of area economists, attributed the growing population and labor force to international immigration and a "lower level of domestic net outmigration than has been experienced in recent recoveries." Read More


VIDEO | BUDGET, MARIJUANA, CONNECTOR ON BAKER'S MIND AS HE PREPS FOR OFFICE

In addition to immediately confronting a projected deficit in the state budget, Governor-elect Charlie Baker on Tuesday said his top priorities starting in January will be tackling the opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts and examining problems with the rollout of medical marijuana dispensaries and the Connector health insurance website. House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday told the News Service that he would wait until Baker assumed office in three weeks to formally consider how to close the remainder of a $329 million budget gap partially addressed by emergency budget cuts made by Gov. Deval Patrick. Read More

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Baker on his first 100 days, budget deficit plans | Video


BAKER OUTLINES INAUGURAL EVENTS

Governor-elect Charlie Baker plans to stick with tradition and hold most of his Jan. 8 inaugural events at the State House. ...12:52 PMRead More


MASS. GRANT TO HELP SPEED EBOLA DIAGNOSTIC TOOL DEVELOPMENT

Boosted by a $1 million state challenge grant, Massachusetts research institutions aim to quickly complete development of a cheap diagnostic tool they say will revolutionize Ebola testing in remote areas of West Africa. "Distinguishing between these fevers will be essential to eradicating Ebola out in the most remote districts," said Diagnostics for All President Marcus Lovell Smith. Read More

Life Sciences Center President Dr. Susan Widmer-Ba...

Life Sciences Center President Dr. Susan Widmer-Bannister (right) speaks at a State House event on new Ebola diagnosis tools with survivor Dr. Richard Sacra (left) and Gov. Deval Patrick (center). [Photo: M. Deehan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BUSH TO 'ACTIVELY EXPLORE' PRESIDENTIAL BID

After weeks of increasing speculation about his plans, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he will "actively explore" a possible bid for president in 2016. Bush made the announcement on Twitter and Facebook. He wrote on Facebook about spending time with his wife, Columba, children and grandchildren at Thanksgiving. Read More


POLS TOUT POTENTIAL OF DEEPER BOSTON HARBOR CHANNEL

Eager for bulkier container ships to fuel the state's economy, pols and businesspeople on Monday feted federal dollars that will help dredge a deeper channel in Boston Harbor. An expansion of the Panama Canal, which links the East Coast to the deep harbors of the West Coast and Asia, has set off a scramble for ports along the Atlantic to accommodate larger vessels. Read More


REPS SHARE LAUGHS AS THEY SAY GOODBYE

In their goodbye speeches to House colleagues on Tuesday, departing members recounted bicameral rivalries and bipartisan friendships along with ambitions stymied and fulfilled. With 20 new members preparing to join the House in January, 11 lawmakers gave farewell speeches on Tuesday, including two who have already left the House and others who are either retiring, moving on to the Senate or were defeated in their electoral quests this year. Read More


STATE LEADERS MARK FIRST NIGHT OF CHANUKAH

The annual State House Menorah was lit Tuesday afternoon. The ceremony over the years has traditionally attracted most of the state's top public officials, this year bringing Gov. Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Treasurer Steve Grossman, Auditor Suzanne Bump, Treasurer-elect Deb Goldberg and other officials to Nurse's Hall for the ceremony. Neither Senate President Therese Murray nor Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, Murray's expect successor who would be the first Jewish senate president, attended. The lighting of the 15-foot Chanukah Menorah marks the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday festival. Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman lead the ceremony among a chorus of children singing traditional songs. ...5:03 PMRead More

Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman (left) assisted Gov. Deval...

Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman (left) assisted Gov. Deval Patrick (center) and House Speaker Robert DeLeo (right) in lighting the first candle of the State House's menorah Tuesday evening, the first night of Chanukah. [Photo: SHNS/M. Deehan] | Hi-Res


PHARMACY, SHADE TREE BILLS ON THE MOVE

Legislation dealing with pharmacy audits, home improvement contractors, and the public shade tree law are up for votes ahead of Thursday's House session. ...4:19 PMRead More


EDUCATION BOARD VOTES TO LIMIT RESTRAINT TECHNIQUES

Public schools and specialized private schools in Massachusetts that educate children with behavioral or emotional issues will be required to follow new regulations when using restraint or seclusion techniques to control behavior. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in favor of regulation changes Tuesday. Read More


BAKER CALLS HIMSELF A "FAN" OF JEB BUSH

Governor-elect Charlie Baker on Tuesday offered warm words for a fellow Republican, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who said earlier in the day that he will "actively explore" a 2016 presidential run. "I'm certainly a fan of Jeb Bush. I'm a fan of the work he did as governor in the state of Florida," Baker said after meetings at the State House. "I'm a big fan of any Republican or Democratic governor who demonstrates an ability to get along with their legislature and get stuff done on behalf of the people of their community." Read More


EDUCATION SECRETARY PLANS CAREER DETOUR

Secretary of Education Matthew Malone will do something he has always wanted to do when he leaves office next month: become a butcher. Malone, 44, who describes himself as a "foodie" who loves to cook, plans to do an unpaid internship at Tony's Market in Roslindale Square to learn how to cut meat. Read More


FORMER METHUEN MAYOR TAKES HELM OF GAMING ADVISORY PANEL

The former mayor of Methuen on Tuesday was sworn in as the chair of an advisory panel to the state gaming commission. Dennis DiZoglio, who served as mayor from 1994 to 2000, is currently the executive director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. He has also worked as the MBTA's deputy general manager of planning, real estate and development. Read More


HOUSE OPENS SESSION WITH MOMENT FOR BINIENDA

The House opened a session that will feature remarks from departing members with a moment of silence for the late Rep. John Binienda, who passed away this year. ...12:25 PMRead More


DEMONSTRATION CLOSES STREETS NEAR BOSTON COMMON

Park Street and Tremont Street were temporarily closed Wednesday morning to make way for a demonstration. Protestors chanted, "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now." as they rounded the foot of Park Street onto Tremont Street at about 11:45 a.m. ...12:06 PMRead More

[Photo: Michael Norton/SHNS]...

[Photo: Michael Norton/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MASS. DOC CONFIRMED AS SURGEON GENERAL

Massachusetts Dr. Vivek Murthy won confirmation as surgeon general Monday, taking on a portfolio to combat Ebola worldwide and strengthen the health of Americans. A 2003 Yale University School of Medicine graduate, Murthy is the co-founder of Doctors for America and he is affiliated with Brigham & Women's Hospital and Faulkner Hospital, according to the state's Board of Registration in Medicine. Read More


Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

FBI INTRODUCES PUBLIC CORRUPTION TIP LINE

Citing past cases and expanded gambling's "fertile ground" for public corruption, FBI officials in Boston launched a toll-free tip line Monday and a billboard campaign that targets government wrongdoing. The number of public corruption cases hasn't dropped despite some recent convictions, according to Vincent Lisi, special agent in charge of the Boston office. Read More


APPEALS COURT DISMISSES LAWSUIT AGAINST DCF

A lawsuit filed by a national advocacy group seeking court-ordered reforms to the state's child welfare agency was dismissed on Monday by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The case, which became a heated point of contention during the governor's race this fall, was brought by Children's Rights seeking remuneration and improvements to the state's foster care system managed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). ...5:27 PMRead More


PATRICK LOOKS BACK ON TWO TERMS AS GOVERNOR

In three weeks, Gov. Deval Patrick will walk out of the front doors of the State House for the last time as the state's chief executive, eight years after rocketing to prominence as the first black governor of the state. While his future remains uncertain, Patrick on Monday said he will leave Massachusetts at a 25-year high in employment thanks to sectors like the life sciences and clean technology that are "on fire" and with near universal health care coverage and a collective student body leading the nation in achievement. Read More


BAKER MEETING WITH BUMP, GALVIN ON TUESDAY

Governor-elect Charlie Baker will be back in the State House on Tuesday. His schedule, released on Monday afternoon, includes meetings with Auditor Suzanne Bump and Secretary of State William Galvin. ...4:52 PMRead More


WALSH APPOINTEES WOULD CONTROL SPECIAL EVENTS FUND

Charlestown Rep. Dan Ryan's bid to create a special events fund controlled by appointees of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is getting a warm holiday season reception on Beacon Hill. ...3:51 PMRead More


HOUSE PASSES LOCAL "TAX TRANSPARENCY" BILL

In a late-session decision, the Massachusetts House has come around on the idea of requiring cities and towns to disclose tax breaks being delivered at the local level. ...3:35 PMRead More


SACRA TO JOIN GUV TO ANNOUNCE EBOLA GRANT

Dr. Richard Sacra, who was cured of Ebola after working in Liberia, is scheduled to visit the State House Tuesday and join Gov. Deval Patrick for the announcement of a grant designed to prevent the potentially deadly virus from spreading. ...12:53 PMRead More


KAPRIELIAN INTERESTED IN CHAMBER POST

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian has discussed with a recruiter the position of president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, she acknowledged in a November ethics disclosure filing. In a Nov. 21 filing aimed at dispelling the appearance of a conflict of interest, Kaprielian said a "third party recruiter" talked about the position with her and that she may apply for the job. Read More


AMID PROTESTS, PATRICK CALLS FOR BOTH SIDES TO LISTEN

After "die-ins" and "black lives matter" marches around the country and the state, Gov. Deval Patrick on TV Sunday expanded on his perspective that police and activists need to listen to each other and said protesters in Boston were not interested in coordinating with police. ...9:33 AMRead More


POLITO VISITING TAUNTON, WHERE CASINO HOPES LIVE ON

Lieutenant governor-elect Karyn Polito on Monday plans to visit Taunton, a city where voters have agreed to host a casino but which lags behind the rest of the state in the expanded gambling era. ...7:53 AMRead More


HOSPITAL SUPPORTERS WANT LEGAL ACTION TO PREVENT CLOSURE

Quincy Medical Center supporters plan a vigil Monday night where they will call on Attorney General Martha Coakley and elected officials to take action and stop the planned closure of the hospital. ...7:17 AMRead More


CAPUANO CAGEY ON HOW HE VOTED IN GUV'S RACE

Congressman Michael Capuano, who said he has known Governor-elect Charlie Baker more than 30 years, declined to tell reporters whether he crossed party lines and backed the Republican in the November election. ...5:29 PMRead More


VIDEO | DELEO: HOUSE WILL WAIT FOR BAKER TO MAKE BUDGET FIXES

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday pushed back the timeline for the House to consider budget-balancing legislation, indicating that he will now wait until after Governor-elect Charlie Baker takes office to deal with the problem. DeLeo, after meeting with Gov. Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray for the last time on Monday before the major shake-up of leadership on Beacon Hill next month, said he would not attempt to push through a bill this month during lightly attended informal sessions. Read More

Click to play video

Related Video | House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray spoke about the end of the legislative session. Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick are not returning next session. |


WARREN: "NO MEANS NO"

If Sen. Elizabeth Warren breaks from her firm public stance and runs for president, she will have the backing of Congressman Michael Capuano, who said Monday that he offered his assistance without "trying to pry" into her intentions. "I have spoken to her. I have not asked her for any response. I actually made it very clear I did not want a response. It was a one-sided offering of support," the Somerville Democrat told reporters after an event on a Boston Harbor pier. Capuano said, "She said nothing. And I told her I didn't want her to say anything, and she didn't. And even if she did, you know I wouldn't tell you." Read More

Warren arriving at Fish Pier for an event celebrat...

Warren arriving at Fish Pier for an event celebrating federal funding to dredge Boston Harbor Monday. [Photo: M. Deehan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SENATE REJECTS CALL TO EXAMINE CHIA

The Senate on Monday rejected a proposal to look into increases in spending at the state Center for Health Information and Analysis. ...3:12 PMRead More


STANLEY PREPS RACE FOR WALTHAM MAYOR

Rep. Thomas Stanley will run for mayor of Waltham next year, a race that will put him in contention with Mayor Jeannette McCarthy and her re-election bid but won't require him to give up his House seat. The Waltham Democrat told a crowd of supporters there needs to be change in the city, but that he cannot accomplish that change as state representative or city councilor, according to a video posted to Stanley's Facebook account Friday. ...11:15 AMRead More


ON TV, PATRICK PITCHES SELF AS "PRO-GROWTH PROGRESSIVE"

Dodging a question about whether U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren should launch a presidential bid, Gov. Deval Patrick on Sunday said Republicans were successful in the November elections due to Democrats running campaigns focused primarily on criticism. ...8:26 AMRead More


BATTLE FOR STATE REP BREWS IN EAST BOSTON

East Boston is bracing for a First Suffolk House brawl in early 2015, with Rep. Carlo Basile expected to leave for incoming Gov. Charlie Baker's administration in January and set off a special election to fill his seat. Three candidates, all Democrats, have already set up campaign committees, which gives them the opportunity to start fundraising before the end of 2014 and then go back to potential donors for another maximum contribution in 2015. Read More


Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

WARREN GETTING NEW COMMITTEE POST

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been pulled into the ranks of Senate leadership as populist groups like MoveOn.org urge her to run for president, announced Friday she'll be taking on new committee duties in the new Congress. Warren will join the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources when the Senate reconvenes next year under Republican control. ...6:02 PMRead More


WEEKLY ROUNDUP - HISTORY ENCASED IN STONE

Knowing now how the voters of 2014 bought into Governor-elect Charlie Baker's challenge to "Be Great," just exactly what that means and how the story will be told collided this week on two fronts. With Beacon Hill in full convulsions as one administration prepares to move in and another out, proponents and opponents of bringing the Olympics to Boston debated financial boondoggle versus showcase to the world. Read More


ADVANCES - WEEK OF DEC. 14, 2014

Departing House members say goodbye next week as the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center gets an update on its search for a president and the penultimate jobs report reflecting on Gov. Deval Patrick's eight-year tenure is released. ?? Patrick next Thursday plans to take part in a criminal justice summit. State education officials are scheduled to tackle early literacy, standardized testing, and educator diversity issues. And Governor-elect Charlie Baker will continue to staff up his team. Read More



 
 
State House News Service