... Fraser, general counsel to Lottery Commission, nominated for district court judgeship ...... Mass. insurers ask Health Policy Commission for independent analysis of Question 1 ...... ACLU, Goodwin Procter sue Essex sheriff in bid to require medication for inmate with opioid use disorder ...... Moody's sees "little cushion" at NiSource for unforeseen events ...... Chairman Michlewitz and Baker's office still in contact about unresolved Airbnb bill ...... On overdue fiscal 2018 closeout/surplus budget, Spilka says, "I know that we will get it done as soon as we can" ...... DeLeo says "deficiency budget" is something that needs to be done ASAP ...... Unresolved fiscal 2018 budget issues came up at Monday's private meeting between Baker, legislators ...... Spilka sees joint House, Senate oversight hearing in wake of Merrimack Valley gas fires ...... DeLeo: state might take "step further" on gas safety statewide after learning initial findings ...... Baker: DPU takes safety complaints "tremendously seriously," usually has 8-12 inspectors ...... Gonzalez would replace DPU members ...... Ashburton evacuated after contractor drills water line ...... NTSB report becomes "guidepost" for penalties, fines, other issues, Baker says ...... Deveney updates state on Real ID, wait time trends at Registry of Motor Vehicles ...... MGM Springfield generates nearly $10 mil in gross gaming revenue during first week ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST CITING FEARS, BOSTON COUNCIL AGREES TO GAS SAFETY HEARING

The Boston City Council ordered a hearing Wednesday on the city's natural gas infrastructure and plans for preventing a situation like the gas explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley from happening in Boston. Read More

Boston Councilor Matt O'Malley explained his order seeking a hearing on Boston's gas infrastructure while locked-out National Grid gas workers listened from the gallery. [Photo: Colin A. Young/SHNS] | Hi-Res

DeLEO CALLS FOR END TO NAT'L GRID LOCKOUT AFTER GAS EXPLOSIONS

House Speaker Robert DeLeo is attempting to use his clout and the attention on gas infrastructure after last week's devastating explosions in the Merrimack Valley to encourage a deal between National Grid and union gas workers, who have been locked out of the their jobs since late June over stalled contract negotiations. Read More


BOSTON COUNCIL RESOLUTION URGES YES VOTE ON QUESTION 3

Wading into a statewide ballot campaign, the Boston City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution urging Bostonians to vote in November to uphold the state's 2016 transgender anti-discrimination law. Read More


BAKER RIPS GONZALEZ'S ENDOWMENT TAX AS "BAD IDEA"

Democrat for governor Jay Gonzalez said his plan to tax the endowments of wealthy private universities should not inhibit schools like Harvard University from funding research and financial aid, two reasons Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren opposed the idea when President Trump offered it. Read More

Gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez discussed his

Gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez discussed his tax plan in Harvard Square on Wednesday alongside Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern (left) and lieutenant governor candidate Quentin Palfrey. [Photo: Matt Murphy/SHNS] | Hi-Res


POLL: VOTERS FAVOR NURSE STAFFING REQUIREMENTS, BAKER, WARREN

A majority of likely voters support the nurse staffing, campaign finance and transgender non-discrimination questions on November's ballot, along with backing Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in their re-election bids, according to a poll out Wednesday. Read More


GONZALEZ'S $1 BIL UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENT TAX WOULD FUND EDUCATION, TRANSPORTATION

Under pressure to deliver new revenues for promised education and transportation investments, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez on Tuesday will offer a 1.6 percent tax on certain private higher education endowments, a proposal he estimates would generate $1 billion. Read More


WARREN WARMS TO ENDOWMENT TAX FOR EDUCATION AND TRANSIT

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren last year ripped a Republican plan to tax university endowments to help pay for a tax reform package that she thought benefited the wealthy and corporations, but the Democrat softened her position Wednesday when candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez pitched the concept as a way to invest in education and transportation. Read More


MASS. INSURERS ASK HPC FOR ANALYSIS OF NURSE STAFFING QUESTION

Citing competing claims from both sides of a nurse staffing ballot question, health insurers on Wednesday asked a state agency to produce in the next month an independent analysis of the costs associated with Question 1. Read More


S&P: MASS. RESERVE CUSHION TOO THIN FOR A RECESSION

A decade after the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis it triggered, analysts say only 20 states are well-positioned to handle the first-year shock of a recession with their reserves -- and Massachusetts is not one of them. Read More


FRASER

LOTTERY GENERAL COUNSEL NOMINATED FOR JUDGESHIP

The general counsel and assistant executive director of the Massachusetts Lottery Commission was nominated for a judgeship on Wednesday. Read More


BU BUYING SOUTH DAKOTA WIND TO GO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE

Boston University announced this week that it will purchase enough wind power to meet its full annual electricity consumption, a move environmental advocates hope will spur the state to step up its own commitment to renewable power. Read More


OPIOID DISORDER MEDICATION ACCESS LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST SHERIFF

The sheriff of Essex County faces a new lawsuit claiming constitutional and other legal violations in connection with the denial of medication-assisted treatment to house of correction inmates with opioid use disorder. Read More


U.S. REPS JOIN CALL FOR GAS DISASTER HEARINGS

Reps. Joseph Kennedy III, Niki Tsongas and Seth Moulton have joined their U.S. Senate counterparts in urging Congressional committees to hold hearings on last week's fatal gas explosions and subsequent fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Read More


Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

HEALTH CARE PRICE TOOL AN INDUSTRY "GAME CHANGER," REP SAYS

A new state website designed for patients to compare health care provider prices launched earlier this year, but the head of the agency behind the tool said he thinks one of the site's features that goes beyond cost comparisons and quality metrics could ultimately make the most difference for patients. Read More

CHIA executive director Ray Campbell told lawmaker

CHIA executive director Ray Campbell told lawmakers Tuesday about the state's new health care cost comparison website. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


FOCUS TURNS TO $$$ AID TO VICTIMS OF NATURAL GAS EMERGENCY

As residents in the Merrimack Valley try to get back to normal life, state and local officials are eying ways to provide immediate financial aid to victims of the gas explosions and fires there last week while acknowledging it will be a long time before the recovery is complete. Read More


MOODY'S: "LITTLE CUSHION" AT NISOURCE FOR UNFORESEEN EVENTS

The natural gas-related explosions and fires last week in the Merrimack Valley are credit negative for Bay State Gas and NiSource, and could result in deteriorating finances at the companies, according to a leading credit rating agency. Read More


BAKER KEYNOTING LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS DINNER

With Massachusetts voters poised to deliver a verdict on a transgender rights law in November, Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver the keynote address next month at an annual gathering of pro-LGBT rights Republicans in Washington. Read More


MADARO

FED UP EAST BOSTON REP AIRS GRIEVANCES BEFORE T BOARD

Appearing before the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday, Rep. Adrian Madaro acknowledged the multiple times he's taken advantage of their public comment period might make him sound like "a broken record." Read More


DeLEO

HOUSE DEMOCRATS "ENERGETIC" IN THEIR SUPPORT FOR HIM, DeLEO SAYS

Their co-leadership of the Legislature got off to a rocky start in July, but House Speaker Robert DeLeo thinks Sen. Karen Spilka will be an "excellent" Senate president, in part because like DeLeo she chaired the Ways and Means Committee before ascending to the top job in her branch. Read More


COMMISSIONER OUTLINES PRIORITIES AT BOARD OF ED MEETING

Implementing a new history, social science and civics framework to the state's current curriculum and supporting continued talks about K-12 education funding are among Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley's priorities. Read More


SENATOR SEES WAVE OF ENERGY, CANDIDATES IN CLIMATE MOVEMENT

As local climate activists turn up the heat on state lawmakers, action from outside the Bay State's borders may also increase the pressure for additional steps on energy policy. Read More

Alyssa Rayman-Read of the Conservation Law Foundat

Alyssa Rayman-Read of the Conservation Law Foundation described climate change as a "borderless threat" that will "happen to everybody." [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MORE MARIJUANA LICENSES, BUT NO FINAL LICENSES ON CCC AGENDA

It appears that the Cannabis Control Commission's final go-ahead for a retail marijuana store to open will not come this week, pushing the opening of the first retail shop into at least October. Read More


BOSTON COUNCILORS WANT NATURAL GAS SAFETY HEARING

As House Speaker Robert DeLeo gives voice to an exploration of natural gas safety statewide, three Boston City Council members are hoping to bring their colleagues together for a hearing on Boston's natural gas infrastructure. Read More


SWEENEY

SWEENEY: SALES DROP INFLUENCED BY 2017 POWERBALL POT

Massachusetts Lottery sales and profits are both down over the first two months of the fiscal year but the Lottery head put a happy face on his monthly report to the Lottery Commission and said the numbers don't tell the entire story. Read More


COLUMBIA GAS CEO TO GIVE UPDATE WITH BAKER

Gov. Charlie Baker plans to join local officials on Lawrence to give a disaster relief update Tuesday, a day after the state's two U.S. senators urged Columbia Gas officials to provide them more information on the series of gas-related fires and explosions that rocked the Merrimack Valley last week. Read More


RIGHT-TO-REPAIR RETURNS WITH WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY BILL

Six years after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to pass a "right to repair" law, the coalition of auto repair and parts shops behind that effort is back, relaunching ahead of a push next session to update the law to address advances in car technology. Read More


Monday, Sept. 17, 2018

CONSTRUCTION CAUSING HEADACHES FOR CHELSEA BUS RIDERS

Frustrated Chelsea commuters on Monday brought their concerns before state transportation officials, asking for relief on a bus route they said was plagued by delays and congestion. Members of the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board, in turn, floated the idea of creating a task force to explore transportation needs in the city. Read More


LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MULLING RESPONSE TO GAS DISASTER

Once the recovery efforts in the Merrimack Valley are complete, Columbia Gas and its executives may have to face questioning about last week's gas explosions and fires from lawmakers at both the state and federal levels. Read More


TRAHAN EMERGES AS DEM PRIMARY WINNER IN THIRD CD

Thirteen days after an election that left her with a small advantage over Dan Koh, Lori Trahan of Westford emerged as the decisive winner Monday in the Third Congressional District Democratic primary, with Koh conceding as recount totals failed to alter the initial outcome. Read More


RMV CHIEF OUTLINES REAL ID, WAIT TIME TRENDS

More than four months after the state started issuing driver's licenses that comply with the federal Real ID security law, the standard license continues to be the most popular service option for customers at Registry of Motor Vehicles locations, according to data presented Monday. Read More


ASHBURTON EVACUATED AFTER CONTRACTOR DRILLS WATER LINE

Hundreds of state workers were evacuated onto the streets and sidewalks early Monday afternoon after a contractor drilled into a water line connected to a large state office building's fire suppression system, officials said. Read More

State employees streamed out of the McCormack offi

State employees streamed out of the McCormack office building into Ashburton Place during an evacuation Monday afternoon. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


LOCAL GAS PRICES NOT AFFECTED BY FLORENCE

Gas prices in Massachusetts are running 19 cents per gallon higher than this time last year and have so far not felt any effects from Hurricane Florence, according to AAA Northeast. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2018

The House gave final approval Monday to a bill governing payments from the Massport Employees' Retirement System to Jan Witkowski in connection with condition resulting from the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as legislation governing betterment assessments for private way improvements in Sandwich. Read More


RECOVERY EFFORTS, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS ON GUV'S AGENDA

A day after most residents affected by last Thursday's gas explosions and fires were allowed to return to their homes, Gov. Charlie Baker is meeting with relief organizations Monday morning to talk about aid programs for the Merrimack Valley residents. Read More


IN WAKE OF GAS FIRES, GONZALEZ SAYS HE'D SWEEP OUT DPU BOARD

Days after gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley destroyed homes and killed one young man from Lawrence, Democrat Jay Gonzalez criticized state officials responsible for overseeing gas infrastructure for being too "cozy" with utilities and lax in their investigation of safety complaints. Read More


LOTTERY CHIEF RILED AFTER ORRALL QUESTIONS AGENCY MOVES

The state comptroller and Massachusetts Lottery officials came to the defense of the treasurer and the Lottery Commission's handling of the relocation of Lottery operations during a Monday morning meeting when the treasurer's political opponent showed up to air concerns with the process. Read More


VIDEO | STILL NO CLEAR PLAN FOR FISCAL 2018 BUDGET SURPLUS

More than two months after the fiscal year ended, legislative leaders came out of a meeting with the governor Monday and said their budget chiefs are still talking about how to close the books on fiscal 2018 and spend surplus funds. Read More


GONZALEZ WOULD REPLACE DPU BOARD MEMBERS

[Coverage Developing] Days after a series of gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley destroyed homes and killed one young man from Lawrence, Democrat Jay Gonzalez criticized state officials responsible for overseeing gas infrastructure for being too "cozy" with utilities and lax in their investigation of safety complaints. Read More


SENATE SESSION - MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2018

Sick leave banks, a disability retirement, and local bills for six municipalities were on the Senate's menu Monday. Initial approval was granted to a bill facilitating electric vehicle charging stations at condo developments in Boston. Read More


JUDICIAL CONDUCT PANEL OFFERS COUNSEL AMENDMENT

State officials have opened up a comment period on regulations governing the appointment of counsel for judges who are the subjects of "judicial disability" complaints. Read More


TRANSPO ADMINISTRATORS GET 1 PERCENT PAY BUMP

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Board on Monday approved 1 percent raises for its four administrators in charge of the highway, Registry of Motor Vehicles, aeronautics and rail and transit divisions. Read More


MGM SPRINGFIELD SPINS OFF $2.36 MIL IN TAXES IN FIRST WEEK

In the first nine days that it was open, gamblers lost almost $10 million to the first full-scale casino to open under Massachusetts' 2011 expanded gaming law. Read More


TRAHAN

TRAHAN BUILDS LEAD AS RECOUNTS WIND DOWN

The recount in the Third Congressional District Democratic primary should conclude sometime Monday afternoon, Secretary of State William Galvin said, indicating that only seven smaller communities in the districts had recounts scheduled for Monday and two were already complete. Read More


NEWMAN: EXPO REDEVELOPMENT CRITICAL TO UMASS-BOSTON

UMass Boston is on the verge of a choice that Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman says will open "a new era in which UMass Boston becomes a fully realized partner in the state's thriving economy." Read More


GONZALEZ PLANS PRESSER ON PIPELINE OVERSIGHT

The state should increase oversight of natural gas pipelines, Democrat for governor Jay Gonzalez plans to say at a 1 p.m. press conference outside the State House. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service