... Immigrant activists to target Baker at protest on Tuesday ...... Tsongas will not seek reelection, creating a rarity: an open Congressional seat well ahead of the election ...... DCR, Fish and Game plan public meeting to hold public meeting Aug. 23 on outcomes of deer management plan ...... CPCS cites "profoundly flawed" eyewitness identification evidence in highlighting court decision to vacate Frederick Clay's 1979 murder conviction ...... AG: Wilmington company cited more than $100,000 for intentionally failing to properly pay employees ...... New grant will pay for writing, publishing of Mass. Wetlands Buffer Zones Guidebook ...... New hires, daily spending may be tracked with Shack's expansion of state comptroller's CTHRU site ...... House chairman "certain" that sales tax holiday bill won't pass this month ...... Cambridge moves to restrict short-term rentals as bill languishes in Legislature ...... Boston groundbreaking on Harmon Apartments, which features housing for adults with disabilities ...... Worcester, Pioneer Valley seeing more mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus ...... Baker's MassHealth reforms on ice as lawmakers break for summer recess ...... Legal marijuana supporters highlight Cape case that may have involved fentanyl-laced pot ...... Nate Bryant named chief of staff to Salem State President John Keenan ...... MAPC hosting clean energy forum Oct. 11 at District Hall in Boston ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (w/out a calendar)

LATEST ACCESS WOES COMPLICATE HEIGHTENED FOCUS ON BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

A lack of access to providers can pose barriers for people needing behavioral health care, according to industry officials who on Thursday suggested expanding access to telemedicine services. Read More

MARIJUANA INDUSTRY AWAITS AS STATE REGULATORS GEAR UP

As the state builds its regulatory framework for the new legal marijuana industry, businesses and entrepreneurs are chomping at the bit to do business here and attorneys around the state are helping businesses navigate the nascent regulatory maze. Read More


VIDEO | MASS. SENDS TRUMP RESOLUTION PROMOTING "CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL"

On the heels of a racially charged protest in Virginia and just days away from a "free speech" rally planned in Boston, Gov. Charlie Baker signed and the Legislature endorsed a joint proclamation and resolution denouncing white nationalist and neo-Nazi beliefs. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker signed a proclamation Thursday

Gov. Charlie Baker signed a proclamation Thursday condemning white nationalist hate groups. Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo signed identical joint resolutions. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Photo Gallery


EYE DOCS: ENJOY THE ECLIPSE, WITH EYE PROTECTION

The moon will pass between the sun and Earth early Monday afternoon, blocking the sun's light for a few minutes and treating the contiguous United States with its first total solar eclipse since 1979. Read More


BAKER, LAWMAKERS TO DENOUNCE NEO-NAZIS

The three most powerful figures in Massachusetts government will jointly denounce the white nationalist and neo-Nazi movements and urge law enforcement at levels to protect targeted communities at an 11 a.m. event Thursday morning. Read More


POLLACK ON MOVE HIGHLIGHTING TRANSPO SPENDING

State transportation officials plan to tour three central Massachusetts locations Thursday to highlight government spending on infrastructure projects. Read More


FIFTH DIVISION WILL TARGET EXTREMISTS, NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS

A new division of the State Police has been formed to address threats posed by "extremists and narcotics traffickers," according to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who plans to highlight the new homeland security unit at an event Thursday afternoon. Read More


REPORT EXAMINES INSURANCE HURDLES FACING LOWER-WAGE WORKERS

Workers at lower-wage companies are less likely to be enrolled in health insurance through their employer than their peers at other businesses, and those who do often have higher premiums and deductibles, according to a new state report. Read More


STUDY ESTIMATES BOSTON RAIL LINK COSTS AT $4 BIL TO $6 BIL

Depending on its scope, a nearly three-mile underground rail line connecting North Station and South Station, the two rail hubs in downtown Boston, would cost between $4 billion and $6 billion, according to a study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School students and faculty. Read More


SCALING UP OF MASSHEALTH ACO MODEL WILL AFFECT 850,000

As lawmakers work on a counter-proposal to Gov. Charlie Baker's MassHealth reform legislation, Baker administration health care officials are preparing to vastly expand their internal restructuring of the massive program. Read More


STUDY ESTIMATES RAIL LINK COST AT $4 BIL TO $6 BIL

[Story Developing] Depending on its scope, an underground rail line connecting North Station and South Station, the two rail hubs in downtown Boston, would cost between $4 billion and $6 billion, according to a study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School students and faculty. Read More


UMASS ONLINE COURSE REVENUES ECLIPSE $100 MILLION

Online courses at the University of Massachusetts attracted more than 75,000 enrollees and revenues from those courses surpassed $100 million for the first time, the university announced on Thursday. Read More


UNEMPLOYMENT HELD AT 4.3 PERCENT IN JULY, MATCHES NATIONAL RATE

The state's unemployment rate remained steady at 4.3 percent in July, matching the national rate for the first time in nearly a decade. The last time the Massachusetts figure mirrored the national one was April 2008, when both were at 5 percent, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Read More


CRANBERRY CROP PROJECTED TO BE DOWN 4 PERCENT THIS YEAR

Massachusetts cranberry growers are looking forward to a solid harvest this year, and though the total yield may be slightly less than last year the Bay State is poised to provide almost a quarter of the country's cranberries. Read More

The national cranberry crop is projected to be dow

The national cranberry crop is projected to be down 2 percent from last year's harvest. [Photo: Courtesy/EEA]


FIRST EEE MOSQUITO OF YEAR FOUND IN WESTPORT

Eastern Equine Encephalitis was detected in a mosquito in Bristol County this week for the first time this season, according to state health officials who said the finding does not indicate an elevated risk. Read More

The positive test for EEE was from a mosquito coll

The positive test for EEE was from a mosquito collected Monday in Westport. [Photo: Courtesy/DPH]


Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

APPEALS FOR PEACE, TOLERANCE AHEAD OF BOSTON "FREE SPEECH" EVENT

With shovels, speeches and prayer, politicians and community leaders broadcast peace and tolerance during events on Wednesday. Outside City Hall, Mayor Martin Walsh held hands with those beside him as clergy - at sometimes earsplitting decibels - pleaded for divine intervention to quell the turbulent times. Read More

Rev. Arlene Hall led Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and

Rev. Arlene Hall led Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and others in prayer outside Boston City Hall on Wednesday. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS]


NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED FOR POT, HEMP ALSO GETTING OVERSIGHT

While the governor, treasurer and attorney general work to put in place a regulatory system for legal marijuana in Massachusetts, the Department of Agricultural Resources is establishing a new office to oversee the newly-legalized industrial hemp industry. Read More


MINUTEMAN CAN'T MEET DEADLINE TO OFFER HEALTH PLANS NEXT YEAR

The health insurance company that executives hoped to build from the ashes of Minuteman Health failed to meet a key licensing deadline Thursday that would have allowed it to begin offering low-cost plans through the Massachusetts Health Connector next year. Read More


PHARMACIES ALARMED BY BOSTON NEEDLE DISPOSAL PROPOSAL

The opioid epidemic has left a trail of death and despair in its wake and scattered hypodermic needles across playgrounds, alleyways and front stoops throughout some of Boston's neighborhoods. Read More


MANY LAWMAKER WARCHESTS IN THE RED A YEAR OUT FROM ELECTIONS

One of the perks of incumbency is the ability of public office holders to consistently raise money, building a bulwark against potential challengers and an advantage over anyone who may choose to try to knock them from office. Some Massachusetts lawmakers, however, seem more willing or able to wield this power than others, according to a review of campaign finance records. Read More

State legislators' campaign accounts range from Se

State legislators' campaign accounts range from Sen. Mark Montigny's $932,988 to Rep. Stephan Hay's $110. [Photos: File/SHNS]


UMASS PREPARING FOR NEW YEAR IN WAKE OF CHARLOTTESVILLE

Cautioning that the university is likely to face challenges in the new school year, the UMass Amherst chancellor called on the campus to "reject hatred in all its forms." Read More


MOULTON OFFERS TAKE ON CONGRESS, POLITICS AT BEDFORD TOWN HALL

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton told constituents he's setting his sights on health care, Social Security and new leadership in the Democratic Party. At a town hall event that drew more than 200 people for an hourlong question-and-answer session. Moulton, elected to represent the state's sixth district in 2014, said his priorities in Congress have shifted to include a greater focus on President Donald Trump and his administration. Read More

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton spoke at a town hall event

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton spoke at a town hall event in Bedford on Monday. [Photo: Stephanie Murray/SHNS]


STATE TOUTS ACCESS TO CHILD VACCINES AT PHARMACIES

For the first time, children ages 9 and up can get their flu vaccines at a pharmacy instead of from a primary care doctor this year, a change that officials say will make the vaccination process easier and more convenient for families. Read More


NINETEEN CHOSEN TO COMPETE FOR TOP BIZ GROWTH HONORS

Nineteen companies from across the state have been selected to compete for the 2017 Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, MassEcon announced Wednesday. Read More


PETER PAN SETTLES OVER INVESTIGATION INTO WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY

Springfield-based Peter Pan Bus Lines will retrain employees and begin to test wheelchair lifts on its buses weekly after entering into a settlement agreement with the U.S. attorney's office Wednesday to resolve allegations that the bus line violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read More


STUDENT TIES TO FREE SPEECH RALLY DRAWS RESPONSE FROM FITCHBURG U.

In an attempt to distance Fitchburg State University from a senior student among the organizers of Saturday's Boston Free Speech rally, the university's president says the institution has "zero tolerance for bigotry and violence." Read More


BAKER STICKS WITH OPIOID COMMISSION DESPITE DIFFERENCES WITH TRUMP

Gov. Charlie Baker proclaimed himself "deeply disappointed" in President Donald Trump's response to the white nationalist violence in Virginia over the weekend, but the Republican governor's office said he would continue to serve on the White House's opioid task force in spite of his differences with the president. Read More


LYNCH

LYNCH SKEPTICAL OF NEW MBTA CHIEF'S CREDENTIALS

Congressman Stephen Lynch drew a parallel Wednesday between the MBTA's incoming general manager and President Donald Trump, noting that both came to their posts from outside the field. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack on Tuesday named Luis Ramírez, who runs a Texas-based turnaround consulting firm, as the transit agency's new general manager and CEO. Read More


REPORT: BAKER FUNDRAISING FOR R.I. GOP DESPITE FRIENDSHIP WITH GUV

Though he has had a friendly relationship with Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker later this month will headline a fundraiser for the Rhode Island GOP, Rhode Island Public Radio reported Wednesday. Read More

BAKER / RAIMONDO

BAKER / RAIMONDO


BLOG OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO NEW MBTA GENERAL MANAGER

The next general manager and CEO of the MBTA may not have prior experience running a transit system, but his writings portray a man interested in topics far afield of his day job and willing to offer his opinion on them. As founder and CEO of the Dallas-based turnaround consulting firm TodoModo Group, Luis Ramírez kept a blog titled "The Charge" where he wrote about and shared his opinions on topics ranging from Brexit and British political leadership to Tiger Woods and John Hurt. Read More

Incoming MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez entered

Incoming MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez entered the MassDOT board room on Tuesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]


STATE MOVING AHEAD ON STUDENT ASSESSMENTS DESPITE FUNDING SHORTFALL

This year's state budget underfunds the account for student assessments by about $4 million, according to education officials who expressed optimism that additional money would be appropriated. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff outlined this year's budget picture at a board meeting Tuesday, highlighting the assessment funding as one challenge in an overall tight year financially. Read More


BAKER

BAKER DISAPPOINTED BY TRUMP'S COMMENTS ON CHARLOTTESVILLE

Gov. Charlie Baker voiced disappointment with President Donald Trump's most recent comments about the deadly clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville Saturday, after the president on Tuesday said both sides of the issue shared some blame. Read More


FED ORDER TO STREAMLINE ENVIRO REVIEW, PERMITTING ON BIG PROJECTS

Saying the status quo is holding down economic and job growth, President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at streamlining environmental reviews and permitting of major infrastructure projects and establishing a two-year goal for such processes. Read More


KATHY KELLEY, 72, WAS FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD BOSTON TEACHERS UNION

Labor officials this week will mourn Kathy Kelley, who was president of the Boston Teachers Union and the longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers chapter in Massachusetts. Kelley died Sunday at the age of 72. There will be a wake Thursday and a funeral Mass on Friday in Dorchester. Read More


Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

BCBS OF MASS. REPORTS SECOND QUARTER NET LOSS

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which provides health coverage for 25,000 Bay State employers, experienced an after-tax net loss of $7.7 million in the second quarter, which the insurer said follows its expectations. Read More


STATE TURNS TO TEXAS EXEC RAMÍREZ TO FIX THE MBTA

Luis Ramírez, who handled a $3.5 billion line of business for General Electric and runs his own turnaround consulting firm based in Texas, will take the reins as the new general manager and CEO of the MBTA, charged with bringing "transformative and lasting change" to the transit agency. Read More

Incoming MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez will ta

Incoming MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez will take over Sept. 12 from interim GM Steve Poftak (right). [Photo Gallery: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PLAINRIDGE POSTS BIGGEST $$$ MONTH SINCE ITS JULY 2015 OPENER

Bettors wagered more than ever before at the state's lone slots parlor in July -- approaching $200 million -- helping Plainridge Park Casino post its second strongest month yet. Read More


BOSTON HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL VANDALIZED AGAIN, POLICE SAY

The New England Holocaust Memorial has been vandalized for the second time this summer, according to the Boston Police. Boston Police said a witness on Monday evening saw a 17-year-old Malden man throw what appeared to be a rock at one of the glass panels that memorializes Jews murdered by genocidal Nazi Germany more than seven decades ago. Read More

A glass panel at the Holocaust Memorial was smashe

A glass panel at the Holocaust Memorial was smashed earlier this summer. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File/June 28]


MOORE

MISDEMEANOR TICKETING BILL WOULD GIVE POLICE FLEXIBILITY, SENATOR SAYS

A police officer would be able to issue a ticket instead of criminal charges for offenses like disorderly conduct, public drinking and littering under a bill endorsed last month by a legislative committee. Read More


PALMER COUNCIL SUPPORTIVE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWER

A Colorado-based company planning a $5 million medical marijuana growing and processing facility in Massachusetts cleared a key hurdle with the Palmer Town Council on Monday night. Read More


ED BOARD HOPES TO FIND NEXT COMMISSIONER BY YEAR'S END

The state education board is embarking on its first search for a new elementary and secondary education commissioner in a decade, with top officials hoping to land on a candidate by the end of the year. Read More


SECURITIES DIVISION INVESTIGATING BROKER DEALER PRACTICES

State officials have opened an investigation into broker dealer practices, including potential conflicts of interest associated with the practice of routing orders to exchanges that offer rebates, securities regulators announced Tuesday. Read More


GAS HOLDS AT $2.29 PER GALLON

Gas prices held at an average of $2.29 per gallon over the past week, or 25 cents a gallon more than at this time last year, according to AAA Northeast. Read More


MOULTON

MOULTON: 'WE NEED PATRIOTS' AT HOME

[Developing] U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton called on constituents to be "patriots" and stand up to racism after a protest in Virginia turned deadly over the weekend and sparked national outcry. Moulton held a town hall event in Bedford on Monday night and then attended a vigil for the violence in Charlottesville. Read More


Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

VIDEO | WALSH URGES "FREE SPEECH" RALLIERS TO STAY AWAY AFTER VIRGINIA VIOLENCE

State and city officials on Monday denounced the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend and pledged to keep Boston safe during a planned rally this Saturday, while acknowledging they know very little about the event or its organizers. Read More

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh held a press conference

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh held a press conference Monday after meeting with state and local officials, community leaders, and clergy about a rally slated to take place in the city on Saturday. [Photo Gallery: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Video


MARKEY

MARKEY KNOCKS TRUMP ON NORTH KOREA, PLANS TO VISIT CHINA

With tensions high and lingering between the United States and North Korea, the inflamatory rhetoric emanating from the White House makes it imperative that Congress pass a law barring any president from using nuclear weapons preemptively before an attack on the country or one of its allies, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Monday. Read More


INTEREST LEVEL DOWN AS LOW-NUMBER PLATE LOTTERY NEARS

Massachusetts drivers who want a low number license plate -- a status symbol to some -- could have better odds this year than most, the Registry of Motor Vehicles said, since fewer applications have come in than usual. Read More


MBTA AGREES TO PILOT REGULAR SERVICE TO FOXBOROUGH

[Coverage Developing] Regular daily commuter rail service will run to Foxborough beginning in the spring of 2019 under a controversial pilot program approved by the MBTA Control Board on Monday. Read More


HUIZENGA

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER, SOUTHBRIDGE RECEIVER ON BOARD OF ED AGENDA

The search for a new state education commissioner and the status of Southbridge Public Schools after their state-appointed receiver resigned last month are on the agenda for Tuesday's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting. Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson has been leading the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education since June 27, a day after the death of longtime Commissioner Mitchell Chester. Read More


MBTA AGREES TO TEST REGULAR SERVICE TO FOXBOROUGH

Regular daily commuter rail service will run to Foxborough beginning in the spring of 2019 under a pilot program that critics say could diminish service in Boston. The MBTA Control Board approved the pilot on Monday, saying it represents an opportunity to fill empty seats with fare-paying customers. Read More

A pilot program will bring passenger rail service

A pilot program will bring passenger rail service to Foxboro Station starting in spring 2019. [Rendering: Courtesy/MBTA]


MAJOR NORTH SHORE LINE REOPENS WEEKDAY RAIL SERVICE

Full weekday service along a coastal North Shore commuter rail line resumed Monday after a portion of the line was shut down to replace the 132-year-old Beverly drawbridge that runs over the Danvers River. Read More

The Beverly drawbridge's old span was floated out

The Beverly drawbridge's old span was floated out of the way on a barge during this summer's replacement project. [Photo: Courtesy/MBTA]


POWERBALL POT PROGRESSES TO $430 MILLION

The Massachusetts Lottery loves growing jackpots that drive up sales, profits, and local aid to cities and towns. Read More


WALSH, BAKER PLAN TO DISCUSS RALLY SAFETY CONCERNS

As the Department of Justice opens a civil rights investigation, the Massachusetts Senate on Monday memorialized the victims of racial and political violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia with a moment of silence and statements decrying intolerance. Read More


ANTI-RACISM GROUPS TURN TO CITY AHEAD OF "FREE SPEECH" RALLY

Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, set Americans on edge over the weekend as officials in Boston cast a wary eye on a rally planned for Boston Common this Saturday. In a letter Monday, anti-racism groups called upon Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to develop a public safety plan to address Saturday's rally and sought an "emergency meeting" with the mayor. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service