... Senate approves alcohol sales at farmers' markets ...... Markey: Glen "helped lift America�s gaze upwards to the constellation of possibilities � in space, in the halls of Congress, and in public life" ...... Concord, Andover attorneys nominated for Superior Court judgeships ...... Baker says he would reverse 9C cuts if revenues dramatically increased ...... NRC email renews concerns about safety of Pilgrim nuclear power plant ...... ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m.

LATEST ADVANCES - WEEK OF DEC. 11, 2016

The state's landmark marijuana legalization law, which reverses the long-running prohibition on the drug, is set to kick in Thursday now that the ballot law voting results are ready for certification. Gov. Charlie Baker, who opposed the ballot law, and many members of his administration are on an expenses-covered trade mission to Israel, with plans to return the day marijuana becomes legal. Read More

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - RIGHT AND WRONG

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and his band of not-so-merry Democrats tiptoed out on a limb this week made of brittle budget projections and the hopes of a snowless, crimeless, healthy winter full of Main Street shopping and large bonus checks. Read More


HIGH COURT AFFIRMS PRIVATIZATION IN CASE BROUGHT BY UNION

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Friday affirmed Auditor Suzanne Bump's approval of the privatization of government mental health services in southeastern Massachusetts, which Bump approved in March citing $7 million in savings. Read More


BAKER NIXES LEGISLATION AFFECTING SCHOOL HIRING, FIRING DECISIONS

Gov. Charlie Baker has vetoed a bill that would have exempted custodians, cafeteria employees and other non-teaching workers in public schools from a law giving principals and superintendents control over hiring and firing decisions, expressing concern that it would compete with the objectives of the state's 1993 education reform law. Read More


STATE HOUSE RALLY PLANNED TO PROTEST TRUMP PICKS

Fearful of potential discriminatory federal policies, Massachusetts college and high school students plan to protest President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks on Friday afternoon and urge Trump to withdraw them. Read More


POT LEGALIZATION ON TRACK FOR NEXT WEEK, VOTES READY FOR CERTIFICATION

While uncertainty remains around federal enforcement, Massachusetts is set to forge ahead next week on its own legalization of marijuana. Read More


WORCESTER REPS PROTEST BAKER BUDGET CUTS

Three state representatives from Worcester are hosting a press conference to highlight negative impacts of budget cuts made this week by Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More


HPC REVIEWING DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING VENTURE IN BERKSHIRE COUNTY

The impacts of a proposed joint venture between Shields Health Care Group and the Pittsfield-based Berkshire Medical Center are being measured by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. Read More


Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

CONNECTOR CHIEF SAYS COMMONWEALTH CARE $$$ "OUTSIDE MY PURVIEW"

More than $50 million intended to increase health insurance coverage has been targeted as a budget-balancing measure, and officials are tight-lipped on why that money is available for use. Read More


ROSENBERG SPOX SAYS NO EFFORT UNDERWAY TO BOOST LAWMAKER STIPENDS

Two years ago at this time the State House was flush with speculation that Democratic leadership could try to advance a lame-duck session package of pay raises to hike the salaries of top elected legislators, the governor and other constitutional officers. Read More


SENATE OKAYS ALCOHOL SALES AT FARMERS' MARKETS

Farmer brewers and farmer distillers would be permitted to sell their alcoholic beverage products at farmers' markets under legislation that cleared the Senate during a lightly attended session Thursday. Under the bill, farmers would be able to get a special license from their local licensing authority to sell their wine, malt beverages, or distilled spirits in sealed containers for off-premises consumption. Read More


BICKFORD

NEW DEM PARTY CHAIR SAYS BAKER SHOULD SKIP ISRAEL TRIP

Gov. Charlie Baker should skip his overseas trade mission and stay home to explain to Massachusetts residents the millions of dollars he cut from the state budget this week, according to the new Democratic Party chairman. Read More


SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY CLEARS FUNDRAISING GOAL

A fundraising campaign for Salem State University has surpassed its $25 million goal, officials reported this week. Read More


BRISTOL-MYERS SETTLES WITH STATES FOR $19.5M IN ABILIFY CASE

Massachusetts will receive almost $405,000 from a settlement reached by Attorney General Maura Healey and 41 other states with Bristol-Myers Squibb over the deceptive marketing of the pharmaceutical company's drug Abilify. Read More


NEW PILOT AIMS TO CURB OPIOID ADDICTION AMONG INJURED WORKERS

The Baker administration on Thursday launched a new initiative to combat the state's opioid abuse epidemic, this one with a focus on reducing the risk of addiction for workers who are injured on the job. Read More


CONNECTOR REPORTS INCREASE IN CONSUMERS SHOPPING FOR HEALTH PLANS

With major jumps in the prices of some health plans and lower subsidies on others this year, the Massachusetts Health Connector is seeing more of its members switching plans and shopping around than in the past. Read More


CONGRESSIONAL RACE RESULTS CERTIFIED, BALLOT QUESTIONS REMAIN

The Governor's Council on Wednesday afternoon certified the results of Nov. 8's Congressional contests, giving the official stamp of approval to the vote tallies that will return the entire delegation to Washington D.C. in January. But with just a week until the ballot law legalizing marijuana use in Massachusetts is set to take effect, the council has not yet certified the results of the state's four ballot questions. Read More


HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders [SHNS file photo]

HHS CHIEF OUTLINES GUV'S BUDGET CUTS IN CONFERENCE CALL

A day after Gov. Charlie Baker cut $98 million from the state budget to bring it into balance, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders held a conference call Wednesday to allay the concerns of service providers and activists. Read More


Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016

NEW JUDGE WEIGHING ARGUMENTS IN POLITICAL FINANCE CASE

A state judge could soon decide whether Massachusetts corporations should be free to make contributions to political candidates or administer their own political action committees after oral arguments were made in court Wednesday as part of a lawsuit brought by two local business owners. Read More


VIDEO | AFTER CUTS, BAKER GIVES VOICE TO RESTORING SERVICES IF REVENUES REBOUND

The sudden clash over budgeting between Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic leaders on Beacon Hill appears poised to spill into the new year after House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Wednesday he would look to restore the programs cut by the governor. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker addressed reporters' questions

Gov. Charlie Baker addressed reporters' questions about budget cuts and the status of the employee buyout program after speaking at an investors conference Wednesday. [Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


ANDOVER, CONCORD ATTORNEYS PICKED BY BAKER FOR SUPERIOR COURT

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday nominated two former assistant district attorneys to seats on the Massachusetts Superior Court bench, though councilors said the governor may have to re-nominate them come January. Read More


BAKER: MORE THAN 500 STATE WORKERS APPLIED FOR BUYOUTS

Nearly a month after the application deadline passed, the Baker administration on Wednesday gave its first indication of interest in a state employee buyout program they hope can lead to $25 million in budget savings. Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters at an investor conference in Boston that the number of applicants was "way north of 500." Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday attended the Treas

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday attended the Treasury's annual conference for investors. [ Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


VIDEO | ANALYST: MASS. GOVERNMENT "MODERATELY PREPARED" TO WEATHER RECESSION

After a slow economic recovery, state government in Massachusetts is "moderately prepared" to weather a recession, a credit analyst said Wednesday, attributing that status in part to the Baker administration's willingness to make spending cuts if necessary. Read More

Candida Wolff, executive vice president and head o

Candida Wolff, executive vice president and head of global government affairs for Citi, spoke to investors Wednesday, offering her take on the incoming Trump administration and what it might mean for future state investments. [Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Video


GROUP RIPS BAKER'S ORAL HEALTH, RX TRAINING CUTS

Gov. Charlie Baker's cuts to an oral care program for children, a dental program for individuals with disabilities, and a training program on cost-effective prescription drugs need to be reversed, according to a health care consumer organization. Read More


EMERGENCY RULES ADOPTED AS STATE EXPANDS EFILE TAX SYSTEM

The Department of Revenue on Monday promulgated at least five emergency regulations, each one taking effect immediately as the department's computerized tax system is made available to additional tax categories. Read More


NRC EMAIL FUELS CONCERNS ABOUT NUCLEAR PLANT'S SAFETY

Armed with an internal email documenting safety concerns, activists opposed to the continued operation of a Plymouth nuclear plant pressed Gov. Charlie Baker again on the issue and a senator from Cape Cod identified the plant as the state's "biggest public safety threat." Read More


LAWMAKERS EYE REVERSAL OF BAKER BUDGET CUTS

It looks like legislative leaders might restore budget funds cut on Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker, who said he could be amendable if proven wrong by revenue trends. Read More


STATIES TO HIGHLIGHT "DRIVE SOBER" HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN

The holiday season is kicking into a higher gear and so are traffic enforcement efforts at the State Police. Read More


AIDES RECEIVE TRAINING IN RESPONDING TO MENTAL ILLNESS

By Wednesday evening about 25 to 30 legislative staffers will have joined the more than 740,000 people nationwide certified to provide mental health first aid. Read More


Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

VIDEO | BAKER SLASHES SPENDING, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SAY CUTS PREMATURE

Lurching from one budget problem to another, Gov. Charlie Baker acted Tuesday to cut $98 million from the $39.25 billion state budget in an effort to match up sluggish state revenues with likely spending, including accounts he says the Legislature underfunded. Read More

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[Video: Antonio Caban/SHNS]


PENSION FUND MANAGER'S BONUS JUST SHY OF $160,000

Taking home a six-figure bonus on top of a $35,000 pay hike, the state's pension fund manager on Tuesday credited the fund's roughly three months of parental leave with helping keep his highly sought staff at the fund. Read More


A FRESH COAT FOR STATE HOUSE AUDITORIUM

Workers on Tuesday touched up the light-blue walls of the State House's largest meeting space and future temporary home of the Massachusetts Senate, as the Gardner Auditorium overhaul continued. Read More


WILMER HALE ATTORNEY NAMED FIRST ASSISTANT AG

Attorney General Maura Healey tapped a lawyer from her former law firm to fill the top post in her office. Read More


AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION EYED FOR MASSACHUSETTS

With early voting successfully implemented in Massachusetts, one of the state's leading election law reform advocacy groups plans to make automatic voter registration its next target. Read More

[File Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

[File Photo: Antonio Caban/SHNS] | Hi-Res


UMASS TRUSTEES BOARD INFUSED WITH NEW FACES

The UMass Board of Trustees got a makeover on Tuesday when Gov. Charlie Baker swore in five new members to replace several trustees closely allied with former Gov. Deval Patrick and elevated Robert Manning, a financial investor and alumnus, to the chairmanship. Read More


WALSH USES NEW LAW TO GIVE BOSTON HOMEOWNERS A BREAK

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on Tuesday proposed an increase in the city's residential property tax exemption, taking quick advantage of a law signed by the governor at the end of last week to save some city residents close to $300 a year. Read More


HEALEY

JUDGE DENIES HEALEY BID TO AVOID DEPOSITION IN TEXAS

A federal judge issued a decision Monday standing by his order for Attorney General Maura Healey to appear in a Texas court next week in connection with her investigation of ExxonMobil. U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade denied Healey's motion asking him to reconsider a Nov. 17 order that she appear in Dallas to give a deposition. Read More


KEOLIS GM SEES CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD FOR RAIL SERVICE

The MBTA's fleet of commuter rail locomotives, including 40 new cars, poses "challenges" for the vendor tasked with operating the 388-mile system that has an annual ridership of 35 million and ongoing reliability problems. Read More


UMASS LAW GETS FULL ACCREDITATION

The University of Massachusetts Law School has received full accreditation from the American Bar Association, according to a UMass official, marking a milestone for the six-year-old public law school as it looks to boost its standing in the field and financial footing. UMass President Martin Meehan plans to visit the law school in Dartmouth Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. media availability to discuss the latest development. Read More


MASS. BUSINESS CONFIDENCE HITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN A YEAR

Buoyed by rallying financial markets, the lowest state unemployment rate in more than 15 years and the election of Donald Trump, employer confidence in Massachusetts rose to its highest point in more than a year, Associated Industries of Massachusetts said Tuesday. AIM's Business Confidence Index rose 1.9 points to 58.1 in November, the third straight month of improved confidence and 1.2 points higher than a year ago. Read More


UMASS LAW GETS FULL ACCREDITATION

The University of Massachusetts Law School has received full accreditation from the American Bar Association, according to a UMass official. Read More


BLACK FAITH GROUP LEADS DIALOGUE ON ELECTING BOSTON'S MAYOR

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will stand for re-election next year, and a new faith-based group representing the city's black community wants to start the conversation now about what the city needs from its mayor. Read More


TRUMP TEAM TOUTS CABINET-MAKING SPEED

Defense Secretary pick General James Mattis will join President-elect Donald Trump on stage in North Carolina on Tuesday night following another day of transition meetings in New York City. Read More


STATE PENSION FUND DIRECTOR'S PAY BUMPED TO $430,000

The state's top in-house pension fund manager received another salary increase Tuesday, his annual pay elevated to $430,000. Michael Trotsky is executive director and chief investment officer of the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM). Tuesday's PRIM Board vote increased his salary from $395,000, which it had reached about a year ago, according to the meeting agenda. Read More


MEDICAL SOCIETY SEEKS SAFEGUARDS ON LEGAL POT

Now that voters have approved general adult use of marijuana, the Massachusetts Medical Society has shifted its focus from opposing legal pot to pressing for public health safeguards in the regulation of marijuana. Read More


GUV'S COUNCIL TO CERTIFY CONGRESSIONAL VOTES WEDNESDAY

The Governor's Council on Wednesday plans to certify the votes cast for members of Congress in this year's election. Read More


BOSTON'S TRAFFIC FATALITY REDUCTION PLAN NEEDS MORE $$$, COALITION SAYS

The City of Boston's 2015 plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious crashes by 2030 requires more funding and a more focused effort to redesign "hot spots," or areas where there have been a high number of crashes, according to a forthcoming report. Read More


FORECLOSURES UP NEARLY 50 PERCENT THROUGH OCTOBER

The nearly 10,000 foreclosure petitions filed over the first ten months of the year mark a 9.3 percent increase over the same period in 2015 and the more than 5,000 completed foreclosures year-to-date represent a more than 48 percent increase over 2015 numbers. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service