... Deveney out as Registrar of Motor Vehicles ...... DeLeo: "For those who rely on the MBTA the system is in crisis" ...... Walsh, other mayors ending June with four-day climate conference in Honolulu ...... Polling shows division, strong feelings over supervised injection sites ...... Former US Transportation Secretary LaHood helping lead examination of MBTA safety record ...... Branches advance temporary budget while annual plan remains holed up in conference committee ...... Enviro groups lament end of electric vehicle rebate program ...... Amid council uproar over prosecutor nominee, Baker asks to keep psychology expert Bonner on Parole Board ...... Vineyard Wind moves proposed sites of three wind turbines nearest to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard ...... Coonamessett River restoration project in Falmouth nets $360,000 federal grant ...... Galvin to display "original copy" of Declaration of Independence on Fourth of July ...... Tax revenue growth in fiscal 2019 could surpass revenue estimate for 2020 budget ...... South Shore lawmakers to discuss non-binding air quality monitoring ballot questions ...... Senate Revenue Working Group to hold open meeting June 25 in Lawrence with Commissioner Harding ...... DEP hits Southbridge landfill operator with $136,500 penalty for odor, waste discharge violations ...... Ethics Commission outlines conflict of interest case against Norwood Selectwoman Helen Donohue ...... Laws passed this year: conversion therapy ban, transpo bond, cap on kids lift ...... June 25 DPU public hearing planned on lost gas reporting requirements ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (formal)

LATEST AID IN DYING BILL FRAMED AS QUESTION OF CHOICE

Massachusetts lawmakers are once again debating the ethical questions around medical aid in dying, and advocates turned out in droves Tuesday to make their voices heard with emotional testimony from both sides of what's become a perennial public policy issue. Read More

Former NPR talk show host Diane Rehm recounted the story of her late husband, who suffered from Parkinson's disease and died after starving himself for 10 days. Rehm testified in support of aid-in-dying legislation before the Public Health Committee alongside Rep. Dylan Fernandes of Falmouth. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

REPORT LINKS HOUSING TRENDS TO RACIAL SEGREGATION

While experts and advocates have long warned that the region faces low housing supply and high costs, a new report found that economic trends and zoning laws around Greater Boston likely contribute to racial segregation. Read More


WARREN OFFERS VOTING REFORMS, PLANS TRIP TO NEVADA

With her stock rising in recent polls and a new voting reform plan in hand, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced Tuesday night that she plans to spend the days leading up to July 4 in Nevada. Read More


MEDIAN HOME, CONDO SALE PRICES BOTH ABOVE $400,000

Massachusetts home sales surged 7.3 percent in May compared to May 2018 and buyers paid record prices for their new places. Read More


MORE MASS. EMPLOYERS OFFERING HEALTH INSURANCE

Seventy-one percent of Massachusetts employers offered health insurance to their employees in 2018, up from 65 percent in 2016, according to a new report. Read More


RMV CHIEF RESIGNS AS INFO IS REVEALED ABOUT DRIVER IN N.H. CRASH

There's a change in leadership at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the new registrar will lead a review of state-to-state data sharing processes after agency officials failed to pick up a May operating under the influence charge involving the truck driver accused in a New Hampshire crash that killed seven people. Read More


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

BAKER FILES $50M BILL FOR MBTA ACCELERATED IMPROVEMENT PLAN

Gov. Charlie Baker did not wait long to put his plan to accelerate investments in the MBTA into action, filing a budget bill Tuesday afternoon that would make $50 million available to the T to hire additional engineers, inspectors, consultants and bus drivers to shuttle passengers during expected night and weekend closures. Read More


SOLAR INDUSTRY SEEKS HELP OVERCOMING "EXISTENTIAL THREAT"

Massachusetts has lost thousands of solar jobs over the last few years, and challenges connecting to the grid represent an existential threat, according to industry officials who urged lawmakers to open up access to solar energy generation. Read More


MBTA SERVICE DISRUPTIONS NEEDED TO SPEED IMPROVEMENTS

One night last week, Gov. Charlie Baker had wrapped up his final event of the evening and decided to go visit the station where a Red Line train had derailed a week earlier. Read More

Transportation chief Stephanie Pollack said, "We a

Transportation chief Stephanie Pollack said, "We are going to be asking every contractor, 'Can you move the milestones up?'" [Photo: Matt Murphy/SHNS] | Hi-Res


VIOLENCE EDUCATION PITCHED IN "SAVE STUDENTS ACT"

Mark Barden held up a photo of his son Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, for the entire Joint Committee on Education to see. Read More

Mark Barden held up a photo of his son Daniel, who

Mark Barden held up a photo of his son Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting six years ago, while advocating at an Education Committee hearing Tuesday for required violence and suicide prevention training in Massachusetts schools. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HEMP GROWERS ALARMED BY STATE'S NEW CBD GUIDANCE

It has popped up on convenience store shelves, as a pricey add-on at trendy coffee and smoothie places, and as a purported cure-all pitched by social media influencers. But the legality of CBD is murky and hemp farmers say new state guidelines will effectively kneecap their industry in Massachusetts. Read More

Julia Agron, a hemp farmer and organizer of the Ma

Julia Agron, a hemp farmer and organizer of the Mass. Hemp Coalition, said Monday that her plans to grow hemp and process it into tinctures, topicals, edible products and more have been thrown into question by new guidance from a state agency essentially prohibiting products that contain CBD. [Photo: Colin A. Young/SHNS] | Hi-Res


RILEY

BOARD PRAISES ED COMMISSIONER, GIVES HIM A RAISE

[Coverage Developing] The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday approved a 2 percent salary increase for Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley after his first year on the job, describing his performance as "positive and inspiring." Read More


ELECTRIC VEHICLE REBATE PROGRAM WILL END IN SEPTEMBER

The Baker administration plans to pull the plug this fall on a rebate program designed to spur electric vehicle sales in Massachusetts, drawing jeers from clean energy advocates. With funding for the program running out, officials announced at a Zero Emission Vehicle Commission meeting Monday that the MOR-EV program will be extended for the last time to cover electric vehicle purchases made through Sept. 30, 2019. Read More


CANADIAN HYDROPOWER CONTRACTS APPROVED BY STATE UTILITY REGULATORS

The Department of Public Utilities has approved the long-term contracts for hydropower from Quebec, the only Massachusetts approval needed for the New England Clean Energy Connect project to deliver to the Bay State about 9.45 terawatt-hours per year of clean hydropower for 20 years. Read More


EASTHAMPTON MAKES PUSH FOR RANKED CHOICE VOTING

Easthampton officials are appealing to state lawmakers to let the city of 16,000 decide whether to adopt ranked choice voting and extend the mayor's term from two to four years. Read More


LAWMAKERS HEAR SUPPORT FOR NATIVE MASCOT BAN

One year after similar legislation died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Native American leaders and advocates renewed calls Tuesday for a statewide ban on schools using Native mascots. Read More

Claudia Fox Tree, a teacher and member of the Araw

Claudia Fox Tree, a teacher and member of the Arawak Nation, told the Education Committee on Tuesday that public schools using Native American mascots cause Native youth to see only a "one-dimensional stereotype" of their history. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


CCC POISED TO RELEASE UPDATED RULES FOR MARIJUANA INDUSTRY

State marijuana regulators spent Tuesday hashing out final details of the new rules governing both the medical and non-medical marijuana sectors, and plan to reconvene Thursday to vote to accept the draft regulations. Read More


PAROLE BOARD NOMINEE VOTE SET FOR WEDNESDAY

The Governor's Council will meet as planned on Wednesday and a vote is expected on Springfield prosecutor Karen McCarthy's nomination by Gov. Charlie Baker to join the Parole Board, according to the governor's office. Read More


RILEY'S ROADMAP OUTLINES VISION FOR EDUCATION

High but stagnant national assessment scores, coupled with persistent gaps that mean poor students, English language learners and students with disabilities don't experience the same success as their peers, have Education Commissioner Jeff Riley worried about becoming "like Blockbuster Video in 1992." Read More

Education Commissioner Jeff Riley. <span style='wh

Education Commissioner Jeff Riley. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019] | Hi-Res


GUV'S LONDON TRIP ADDS TO INTRIGUE OVER PAROLE BOARD NOMINEE

With Gov. Charlie Baker leaving for London and unable to help break a potential tie on the Governor's Council, the administration is weighing how to proceed with the confirmation process for Springfield prosecutor and Parole Board nominee Karen McCarthy. Read More


JUDD-STEIN IN NO HURRY ON SOUTHEAST CASINO OPTION

With the state's second resort casino now open, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected this week to get an update on the possibility of a third casino, though Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein suggested last week that she wants to see how things go with two casinos before considering a third. Read More

Gaming Commission Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein at a

Gaming Commission Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein at a January news conference. Judd-Stein said Thursday that "some time" would be needed before licensing of a third casino in the Bay State. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File] | Hi-Res


DESPERATE GROTON RESIDENTS APPEAL FOR FLOOD RELIEF

Groton residents got a small dose of relief Tuesday as a legislative committee advanced a bill authorizing a land swap needed to build a retention pond and prevent the continued flooding of condo units. Read More


BAKER

GOV. BAKER SPENDING REST OF THE WEEK IN LONDON

Gov. Charlie Baker is spending the rest of the week in London, where he will deliver the keynote address at an offshore wind energy conference. Read More


Monday, June 24, 2019

BAKER RENOMINATES PSYCHOLOGIST TO PAROLE BOARD AFTER BACKLASH TO PROSECUTOR

With one of his nominees to the Parole Board in jeopardy of losing a confirmation vote this week due to her background as a prosecutor, Gov. Charlie Baker asked the Governor's Council on Monday to keep a psychology expert on the board who has been waiting more than a year to be reappointed. Read More


STILL NO CERTAINTY ON TIMING FOR ED REFORM BILL

Education Committee Co-Chair Sen. Jason Lewis said last month that his committee was aiming for a June release of a consensus bill overhauling the state's school funding formula, and now, in the final week of June, Senate President Karen Spilka said she's hoping that timeline is still possible. Read More


SAFETY CONCERNS SPUR MBTA TO FORM REVIEW PANEL

With the cause of a June 11 Red Line derailment still a mystery and as customers question the safety of the trains they rely on, the MBTA's oversight board on Monday announced the formation of a panel that includes a former U.S. transportation secretary to review MBTA safety practices and incidents. Read More


TOP JUDGE: 18-YEAR-OLDS "NOT A MATCH" FOR JUVENILE COURT

A panel studying whether the state should expand its juvenile justice system beyond the age of 17 heard Monday from Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy Nechtem, who said such a move would not be a good match for the court. Read More

Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy Nechtem participa

Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy Nechtem participated in a task force roundtable meeting Monday at the State House. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


TOWNS GET $$$ FOR CLIMATE CHANGE PLANNING

Seventy-one percent of the state's 351 cities and towns have now received state grants to identify and address their climate change vulnerabilities, the Baker administration announced last week as it awarded municipalities $12 million. Read More


THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR EVERETT CASINO OPENING

Two hours after Encore Boston Harbor ceremoniously threw open its doors Sunday and welcomed gamblers to the first eastern Massachusetts casino, more than 5,000 people were still waiting in line to get into the Everett gambling palace. Read More


GOVERNOR HAS PRIVACY CONCERNS WITH UNION DUES BILL

Gov. Charlie Baker is voicing concerns with a bill teed up for Senate debate later this week as a response to the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that public employees who don't belong to a union cannot be forced to pay union fees or dues. Read More


DeLEO

SPEAKER PREDICTS BUDGET TALKS WILL SPILL PAST JULY 1

A final state budget will "probably not" be in place by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Monday. Read More


IN QUINCY, NEW HOUSING FOR THOSE IN "FORGOTTEN MIDDLE"

Public officials traveled to Quincy Monday to celebrate new workforce housing, and all but one of the new workforce units are rented already. Read More


MORE CAN BE DONE TO HELP MISSING CHILDREN, ADVOCATES SAY

As advocates gathered to remember children who have gone missing, legislators and law enforcement said they would continue to fight to try to make sure it doesn't happen to more children in Massachusetts. Read More


SENATE SESSION - MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019

The Senate on Monday passed a $5 billion interim budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, approving the bill (H 3910) about an hour after it cleared the House. Final votes in both branches will be necessary to send the bill to Gov. Charlie Baker, and the House and Senate both meet next on Thursday, June 27, though only the Senate has a full formal session planned. Read More


PUBLIC SPLIT OVER IDEA OF SUPERVISED INJECTION SITES

While 92 percent of Massachusetts residents think addiction to heroin or opiates is either a crisis or a major problem, support and opposition to supervised drug injection sites is closely divided, a new poll found. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019

While six legislators continue to negotiate a compromise version of the state's fiscal year 2020 budget that is supposed to be in place when the new fiscal year begins next Monday, the Massachusetts House on Monday morning took steps to ensure that state government will continue to operate in lieu of a full-year budget. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service