... Mass. economy "continuing to stand tall," Rodrigues says as he touts $43.1 billion budget ...... House prevails over Senate, Baker as new taxes on vaping, opioid manufacturers are left out of budget ...... DPH report rise in foodborne illness caused by Cyclospora ...... DEP offers draft air monitoring network plan ...... Vineyard Wind says project challenged unless it gets key fed determination by end of August ...... KCST USA, while filed for bankruptcy in connection with MassBroadband 123, says it is emerging from Chapter 11 ...... Baker attending RGA meetings in Colorado, does not plan to attend NGA meetings this week in Salt Lake City ...... Senate buckles on UMass tuition freeze bid, tuition hikes appear likely result of state budget accord ...... House rejects Baker's Janus bill amendment designed to protect employee cellphone numbers ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 1 p.m. (formal)

LATEST UMASS TUITION FREEZE DIES IN HOUSE-SENATE BUDGET TALKS

The approval Monday of a $43.1 billion state budget resolves a question that had kept University of Massachusetts officials from setting tuition rates for this fall, though students will have longer still to wait before they know what their final cost will be. Read More

SPEAKER'S CLIMATE CHANGE BILL TO GET HOUSE VOTE WEDNESDAY

The House is expected on Wednesday to debate and vote on legislation Speaker Robert DeLeo has championed to provide $1 billion over 10 years to help cities and towns prepare for and adjust to climate change. Read More


LAWMAKERS SEND $43.1 BILLION BUDGET TO GOV. BAKER

The House and Senate on Monday adopted a $43.1 billion annual budget that lawmakers said offers the largest annual increase ever in K-12 education spending, a $269 million boost. House budget chief Rep. Aaron Michlewitz said the budget raises spending by $1.6 billion, or 4 percent over fiscal 2019, with the education investments coming as lawmakers continue work on an education funding bill. Read More

Representatives were in the House Chamber on Monda

Representatives were in the House Chamber on Monday to vote on the state budget for fiscal 2020, which started 22 days ago. [Photo: Courtesy/Rep. Tami Gouveia/Twitter] | Hi-Res


EQUIFAX COULD PAY $700 MILLION IN DATA BREACH SETTLEMENT

Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, as part of a settlement with federal regulators in connection with its 2017 data breach that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says affected about 147 million people. Read More


SURPLUS, FEE REVENUES TO FEED COMMUNITY PRESERVATION

State accountants have not yet verified how much money is left over from above-expectation tax collections in fiscal year 2019, but lawmakers have already decided how to spend the first $30 million of it. Read More


HOUSE REJECTS BAKER AMENDMENT TO JANUS BILL

The House on Monday rejected Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed privacy amendments to legislation pitched in response to last year's Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision. Read More


POFTAK

POFTAK OFFERS UPDATE ON RED LINE REPAIRS

Repairs on the Red Line, where a derailed train wiped out key infrastructure on June 11, are moving along, although service delays will continue. Read More


LOOSE DAMPENER CAUSED BLUE LINE POWER OUTAGE

The power failure that crippled Blue Line service last week was caused by a loose rubberized noise dampener between the Government Center and Aquarium stops, MBTA General Manager Steven Poftak said Monday. Read More


BUDGET SEEKS BLUE LINE EXTENSION STUDY BY MARCH 2020

The MBTA is struggling to deliver satisfactory service within its core area, but lawmakers are poised to ask the transit authority to study more expansion. Read More


NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOCUS ON WELL-BEING OF LAWYERS

A panel of legal experts last week issued recommendations for ways that the justice system can help lawyers in all fields of practice be better about taking care of their mental health and well-being. Read More


GROUPS TO CALL FOR LOW-INCOME T FARE

MBTA riders frustrated with fare hikes and unreliable service plan to gather ahead of Monday's T oversight board meeting to "demand" that the T implement a reduced fare for riders with low incomes. Read More


MASSDOT BOARD TO BE BRIEFED ON RMV AUDIT IN SEPTEMBER

The acting registrar of the RMV, Jamey Tesler, spoke to the MassDOT board about the failures of the office to process out of state license violations for the first time since the issues were revealed. Read More


SENATE SESSION #2 - MONDAY, JULY 22, 2019

The Senate voted 39-1 to approve a $43.1 billion spending plan Monday for the 2020 fiscal year, just about 24 hours after a six-member conference committee that had been negotiating the budget for weeks submitted its final report. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – MONDAY, JULY 22, 2019

Meeting in a formal session for the first time in more than a month, the Massachusetts House on Monday passed a $43.1 billion annual budget for Fiscal Year 2020, which began on July 1. Lawmakers involved in crafting the compromise budget said it included the largest annual increase ever ($269 million) in K-12 education spending support through the state's Chapter 70 account. Read More


CCC'S OFFICES CLOSED DUE TO "BUILDING DAMAGE"

The Cannabis Control Commission's temporary home is temporarily inaccessible due to building damage, forcing the agency to shutter its offices Monday and Tuesday. Read More


LAWMAKERS HIT SNAG IN BID TO PROBE RMV

Frustrated lawmakers will consider subpoenas and other options to compel testimony from Baker administration witnesses who ignored requests to participate Monday in a legislative oversight hearing about failures at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Read More

Rep. William Straus (right) and Sen. Joseph Boncor

Rep. William Straus (right) and Sen. Joseph Boncore (far left), co-chairmen of the Transportation Committee, expressed frustration Monday that the majority of their invited witnesses did not attend a Registry of Motor Vehicles oversight hearing. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


LAWMAKERS ADOPT BUDGET THAT INVESTS IN EDUCATION, RAINY DAY FUND

The House and Senate on Monday adopted a $43.1 billion annual budget after lawmakers said it offers the largest annual increase ever in K-12 education spending support through the state's Chapter 70 account, a $269 million boost. Read More


REVENUE MARKUP DRAWS FISCAL ALLIANCE'S ATTENTION

In one account after another, state budget negotiators this year agreed to the higher appropriation when settling differences between House and Senate budgets and in some cases, the six-member conference committee went even higher than the spending levels recommended by either branch. Read More


SENATE SESSION #1 - MONDAY, JULY 22, 2019

The Senate met in an informal session Monday morning to set up the full formal session later in the day, where senators are expected to approve the $43.1 billion state budget. The afternoon session is set to begin at 1 p.m., the same time Senate Democrats are set to caucus privately in Senate President Karen Spilka's office. Read More


YOUNG ADULT RE-ENTRY GRANTS INCLUDED IN BUDGET

Advocates are cheering a new grant program included in the final version of this year's budget, calling it another step forward after the sweeping criminal justice reform law passed last year. Read More


MORSE

HOLYOKE MAYOR LAUNCHING CHALLENGE TO CONGRESSMAN NEAL

Morse plans to announce his decision to run on Monday morning with a video that tells the story of his parents climbing out of poverty and his ascent into politics in western Massachusetts. His decision to run against Neal comes one cycle after U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley knocked off incumbent Michael Capuano, showing that in the right district and with the right candidate even the advantages of money, clout and name recognition can be overcome. Read More


Sunday, July 21, 2019

DRUG PRICE CONTROLS INCLUDED IN $43.1 BIL BUDGET ACCORD

Three weeks after the start of the new fiscal year, Democratic leaders finalized a fiscal 2020 budget agreement over the weekend to end a weeks-long stalemate and authorize $43.1 billion in state government spending over the next year. Read More


Friday, July 19, 2019

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - THE HEAT IS ON

The mercury is rising, optimism is growing and lawmakers now have a buckeye on their back after Ohio beat them to a two-year budget accord that Gov. Mike DeWine inked his name to on Thursday. Read More

After near-empty sessions and long recesses over t

After near-empty sessions and long recesses over the last three weeks while budget negotiators blew past their July 1 deadline, the Legislature plans to meet Monday with a final budget accord finally on the horizon. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER BILL TOUGHENS RULES FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS

Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled legislation Friday aimed at strengthening safety restrictions on commercial driver's licenses, measures pitched as a response to an ongoing scandal at the Registry of Motor Vehicles set off by a deadly crash. Read More


BUDGET WATCH ELEVATED AS HOUSE SCHEDULES FORMAL SESSION

Signaling that a deal could be close on the now 19-day overdue state budget, the House on Friday afternoon scheduled a formal session for Monday, with recorded roll call votes set to begin at 1 p.m. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

Signaling that a deal could be close on the now 19-day overdue state budget, the House on Friday afternoon scheduled a formal session for Monday, with recorded roll call votes set to begin at 1 p.m. Read More


SANDWICH REP. RANDY HUNT NOT SEEKING REELECTION

Rep. Randy Hunt, a Sandwich Republican who has served in the Massachusetts House since 2011, will not seek reelection next year, he announced in the Cape Cod Times. Read More

Rep. Randy Hunt of Sandwich. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHN

Rep. Randy Hunt of Sandwich. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File] | Hi-Res


ADVANCES - WEEK OF JULY 21, 2019

It's earnings season across America and while state government doesn't post a quarterly report, the state is swimming in surplus revenues, encountering turbulence within its governance structure, and facing taxpayers who are being left to wonder why Beacon Hill leaders can't pull the trigger on key decisions. Read More


MBTA RELEASES DERAILMENT VIDEO AFTER PUBLIC INFO REQUEST

The MBTA released video Friday of a June 11 Red Line derailment that officials say will continue to cause delays through most of the summer, the same day T officials said service on a stretch of track will return to normal two weeks earlier than expected. Read More

Video showing the June 11 Red Line derailment at J

Video showing the June 11 Red Line derailment at JFK/UMass Station was released by the MBTA on Friday afternoon. [MBTA] | Hi-Res


MARKEY: TRUMP "RACE-BAITING" AS PART OF REELECTION STRATEGY

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey on Friday condemned U.S policies at the country's southern border as well as President Donald Trump's attacks on Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Read More


BAKER ADMIN OFFICIALS TO TESTIFY MONDAY ON RMV PROBLEMS

Seven witnesses, including top Baker administration transportation officials and the leader of an outside audit team, have been asked to testify Monday morning about failures at the Registry of Motor Vehicles to process out-of-state driver violation notices. Read More

Sen. Joseph Boncore and Rep. William Straus, co-ch

Sen. Joseph Boncore and Rep. William Straus, co-chairmen of the Transportation Committee, questioned Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack at a March hearing on the governor's road safety bill. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019] | Hi-Res


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service