ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

Annual State Financial Report “Exceptionally Late”

One of the state's primary financial reports is "exceptionally late," the comptroller said Wednesday, pinning the problem on tardy reporting from the State College Building Authority and the Department of Unemployment Assistance.

Advocates: Tenants At Legal Disadvantage In Housing Cases

Renters facing eviction and displacement should have increased access to legal representation in housing court, tenants rights advocates told the Joint Committee on Housing Wednesday, as the panel tries to find its footing amid a housing crisis.

Women’s Commission Lays Out Session Priorities

With the first all-woman team in the executive office and nearly one-third of the Legislature made up of women, including the Senate president, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women on Wednesday laid out its overarching goals for this legislative session to "advance equity for women, and ensure their rights and opportunities."

UMass Challenged By Cost, Enrollment Trends

Declining enrollment and swelling employee expenses are causing budget woes for the University of Massachusetts and financial help from Beacon Hill may be needed, according to a top university official.

Senate Plan May Hold Up Pilgrim Discharges Into Bay

After former Gov. Charlie Baker struck down a commission to examine the potential negative environmental effects of dumping radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay last fall, the Senate is seeking to revive the commission through their annual budget.

Report Forecasts 42,000 New Life Sciences Jobs By 2032

Aided by favorable state tax policies, the growing life sciences sector in Massachusetts now features 132,000 jobs and a new report predicts another 42,000 new jobs will come online in the industry over the next decade. The report touts a positive outlook for the industry that policymakers have embraced and incentivized, but also features more warning signs that demand for talent continues to outpace supply in Massachusetts.

Who’s On The Move?

... A former aide to several senators is taking on a job with a more international profile ... A communications aide to Attorney General Campbell has departed for a private sector posting ... An attorney and former aide to one of the Senate's three Republicans has joined the Senate Counsel's Office ... The chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a Gov. Baker appointee resigned last week, and Gov. Maura Healey is expected to make an appointment to that post ... A Cambridge banking executive has been named to the FDIC's Advisory Committee on Community Banking ...

Life Science Firms Tie 1,600 Jobs To Tax Incentives

Gov. Maura Healey and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced $24.4 million in tax incentive awards Tuesday that they expect will help 43 life sciences companies create nearly 1,600 new jobs, and officials teased more "exciting" life sciences news around the corner as the BIO International Convention lands in Boston next week.

Bill Eyes On-Campus Safety Net For Students In Recovery

On college campuses, where drinking and drugs are often a pervasive part of student culture, students recovering from addiction face high risks of relapse and social isolation, according to supporters of a bill that would create a safety net for these individuals.

Healey Signs Boston Council Bill

Beacon Hill did its part Tuesday to help City of Boston officials through their redistricting woes.

AG Clarifies Timeline On Pig Welfare Law

Restaurants and retailers might have another month to change the cuts of pork they stock.

O'Day: Shifting Landscape May Finally Lift Sex Ed Bill

Over the past decade, the Senate has passed a bill that would remodel what sex education looks like in Massachusetts on four occasions -- but House Democrats have never taken it up.

Lotto Sales Up, But Big Prizes Decrease Profits

Lottery sales continue to trend upward, but a larger-than-usual amount of prizes claimed last month cut into the increase in profits that steer money toward Massachusetts cities and towns, according to new data.

Advances - Week of May 28, 2023

Two House special elections are set to wrap up on Tuesday, the governor's housing secretary starts work Thursday, and state leaders next week will also nervously be eying Washington to see if officials there can cut through the partisan divide and avoid a U.S debt default.

Insurance Regulators Examining Point32Health Data Breach

State insurance regulators have opened an examination into a cyberattack on one of the state's largest health insurance providers.

Healey Again Points To New Secretariat As Housing Solution

A Boston Globe report that found the Democrat-dominated Legislature contains nearly twice as many landlords as it does lawmakers who rent their homes. The story generated significant buzz in Beacon Hill's orbit, but Gov. Maura Healey on Friday did not have all that much to say about the findings.

Senate Session Summary - Finishes Work on FY24 Budget Proposal

The Senate wrapped up work on its $55.9 billion fiscal year 2024 budget Thursday, capping off three days of deliberations that covered topics ranging from immigration to spiked drinks to birthing centers.

Senate Approves $56 Billion Annual State Budget

The annual state budget season moved to the next phase Thursday evening as the Senate unanimously approved a nearly $56 billion spending plan that ramps up spending while setting aside hundreds of millions of dollars for a tax relief plan that hasn't been unveiled.

Massachusetts Package Store Association Executive Director Robert Mellion (left) briefs lawmakers Wednesday on the group's priorities, including its opposition to extending takeout drink sales at bars and restaurants. He is joined by Huntington Wine and Spirits owner Steve Rubin (center) and Sav Mor owner Ben Weiner (right). [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Packies, Restaurants Divided Over Takeout Drinks

It's the restaurants versus the packies.

Consumer Protection Committee Co-chair Rep. Tackey Chan (right), flanked by fellow Co-chair Sen. John Cronin (left), laughs during a hearing Wednesday while Sen. Julian Cyr jokes about the Legislature's "younger fun contingent." [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Senator: Happy Hour Might Plug Mass. Fun, Affordability Gaps

There's little interest in the House in lifting the statewide ban on happy hour drink discounts amid an effort to revive the practice as a post-COVID economic boost, a top lawmaker said Wednesday.

Putnam Investments Sold For $925 Million

Great-West Lifeco has agreed to sell Boston-based Putnam Investments for $925 million to global asset manager Franklin Templeton.

Mass. Regulators Join Call For DOJ To Probe Offshore Gaming Sites

For decades, Massachusetts tolerated various forms of illegal gaming. Now that the state is openly regulating, taxing and promoting casino gaming and sports wagering, regulators here have agreed to join calls on the U.S. Justice Department to crack down on illegal operators that are out there.

House Session Summary - Advances Bills Affecting Boston, Sandisfield and Lanesborough

The House stamped its final approval Tuesday on legislation granting a one-time delay to the filing deadline for Boston City Council district candidates amid redistricting upheaval in the capital city.

Senate Session Summary - After One-Hour Session, Adjourns 'Til Thursday

The Senate held its session open into the afternoon Tuesday before sending Gov. Healey a one-month deadline extension for Boston district councilor candidates to file nomination papers. The Senate also gave initial approval to a Wakefield property tax exemption bill and a sick leave measure for a MassDOT employee.

Citing Employee Risks, Feds Demand New MBTA Safety Plan

The MBTA has until Monday to submit an updated plan for improving employee safety and preventing trains from striking workers after federal overseers, who still aren't satisfied with the T's staffing levels, deemed their initial proposal "insufficient."

Bureau Reports 200 Fraud Cases In First Quarter

A bureau charged with investigating public assistance fraud allegations identified fraud in 14 percent of the cases it examined between January and March.

Gas Prices Up Coming Off Holiday

As the long wait for targeted tax relief continues, Massachusetts gas prices are on the rise coming out of Memorial Day weekend.

Ahead of Memorial Day, more than 37,000 American flags are planted on Boston Common to honor fallen Massachusetts service members from the Revolutionary War to today. [Alison Kuznitz/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - The $56 Billion Bundle

The negotiators who will hammer out the annual state budget bill haven't been named, but the cards have now been dealt to their seats at the table.

Fare-Free MBTA Bus Pilot Sputters Out In Senate

A group of senators this week were unable to convince their colleagues to recommend money for the MBTA to run fare-free bus pilot programs.

Mass. Competitiveness Concerns Not Limited To Taxes

The Senate's top Republican opted against seeking a vote Thursday on a roughly $750 million tax relief proposal, but set off a debate that revealed some fault lines as senators prepare for action on a standalone tax bill that Democrats have promised is around the corner.

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