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

Baker Tax Relief Bill Clears Committee Mostly Intact

The Legislature's Revenue Committee advanced a $600 million tax relief package on Friday, but the panel's House chairman said the measure remains a work in progress.

The Advances: Look At The Week Ahead

As the calendar turns to the session's final month of formal meetings, House and Senate Democrats are growing more mindful that in addition to their own desire, or unwillingness, to compromise, time is also now becoming a potential enemy of the substantial work product they've left to the proverbial last minute.

Guidance Issued In Wake Of New York Gun Law Ruling

The attorney general's office and the Baker administration's public safety arm have spelled out for licensing authorities and law enforcement agencies how the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that struck down New York's concealed-carry gun licensing law applies to Massachusetts law.

Uncaptioned image for story:SJC To Weigh Mail-In Voting Law Challenge Next Week

SJC To Weigh Mail-In Voting Law Challenge Next Week

What better way for a constitutional law scholar to spend the Fourth of July than preparing briefs that could determine the future of a major state expansion of voting rights?

Senate Session Summary - Thursday, June 30

Senators on Thursday waded into a handful of topics, passing bills addressing protection of vulnerable children, access to HIV prevention medications, rights of foster parents, civil asset forfeiture, and judicial diversion programs for juveniles. Senators pitched the juvenile diversion bill as a follow-up to the 2018 criminal justice reform law, and said the asset forfeiture reforms would raise the evidence standard so it's more in line with those in other states.

Gregoire, Brownsberger To Lead Talks On $5 Bil Capital Bill

The pile of major legislative proposals headed for private House-Senate negotiations grew Thursday with the addition of a borrowing bill designed to fund improvements in government infrastructure and operations.

Senate Seeks New Standard In Asset Forfeiture Cases

Law enforcement agencies would face a more stringent standard to seize personal property in connection with criminal activity, under a bill the Senate passed Thursday.

Disabilities Lobby Pressing For Training Bill Votes

With the final month for significant lawmaking now upon Beacon Hill, people with disabilities, their advocates and the providers that serve them are making a late-session push to get lawmakers to act on two bills they say will transform how health care is delivered to people with disabilities.

State Sets Carbon Targets For 2025, 2030

Massachusetts is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent compared to 1990 levels by the middle of this decade and by the minimum 50 percent required under law by 2030, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card announced Thursday as she set requirements for the next steps towards Massachusetts being a net-zero emissions state by 2050.

Seven Officers Won’t Be Recertified On Friday

Out of more than 8,500 law enforcement officers who must meet the state's new policing standards by Friday, at least seven will not be approved for recertification by the new Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission and could be barred from the profession in Massachusetts.

House Session Summary - Thursday, June 30

Representatives approved local bills Thursday before the House adjourned for an extra-long holiday weekend, guaranteeing that the fiscal year calendar will flip to 2023 on Friday without a finalized budget in place. Lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Baker lightened the pressure on negotiators, who will now deliver another late spending plan, by enacting an interim budget set to run through the end of July, and members of the budget conference committee have offered little insight into their private discussions.

Muni Matters: Will LG Hopefuls Follow Polito’s Lead on Local Relations?

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito often highlights the fact that her almost eight years in office has brought her to visit each and every one of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns. But not all of the Bay State's lieutenant governors have billed themselves as champions of local government.

House Session Summary - Wednesday, June 29

Less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the national right to an abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade, the House passed a major response bill aimed at ensuring that Massachusetts residents and those who travel here from other states can continue to access reproductive and gender-affirming health care without legal repercussions.

House Passes Sweeping Reproductive Rights Bill

More than a dozen representatives, most of them women, took to the House floor one-by-one Wednesday afternoon to argue in favor of a bill designed to ensure access to reproductive health care, to support the patients who need it and to protect its providers in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that erases the nearly 50-year-old right to an abortion.

Health Care Agenda Features Big Moving Pieces

House lawmakers on Wednesday crossed one item off their health care agenda by passing a bill limiting the power of insurers in prescription decisions, and as the Legislature runs up against the deadline for action on major bills, key Democrats have also identified other areas where movement could be possible.

Senate Approves Bill Waiving Juvenile Bail Fee

Juveniles who become entangled in the criminal justice system would no longer face a financial charge to get released on bail or personal recognizance, under a bill the Senate approved Wednesday.

Kelcourse Resignation Drops House GOP Ranks To 27

James Kelcourse officially made the jump Wednesday from serving in the House of Representatives to being a member of the Massachusetts Parole Board, shifting to a new job after nearly four terms in the House.

House Votes To Restrict Insurers' Power Over Prescriptions

Representatives pointed to "compelling and emotional testimony" from patients who have been made to try and fail on insurance-preferred treatments before their insurer would approve the more expensive treatment prescribed by a doctor as they voted unanimously Wednesday to put restrictions on the practice known as step therapy.

Baker Nominates Pair For District Court

Continuing to make his mark on the judiciary during his last year in office, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday nominated criminal defense attorneys Jason Yu-Ting Chan and Nicole Colby Longton to serve as judges on the District Court.

Senate Session Summary - Wednesday, June 29

Returning to a bill that never emerged despite featuring in last week's plans, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation reforming the bail process for young people entangled in the criminal justice system. The bill (S 2943) would eliminate a $40 bail fee youth must pay, an amount that Sen. Adam Gomez of Springfield said "means a great deal for many people in our commonwealth," and would allow bail fees to be paid through virtual or mobile options.

Uncaptioned image for story:Tran Indicted In Firearm Case Involving Former Constituent

Tran Indicted In Firearm Case Involving Former Constituent

Former state senator and current Congressional candidate Dean Tran was indicted Friday on charges that he stole a Colt .45 gun from an elderly constituent and then misled the investigation into the incident, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday.

Beacon Hill legislative aides escalated their unionization push this week with a press conference at the front steps of the State House. Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, a former senator, called for legislative leadership to voluntarily recognize the union, which is organizing with IBEW Local 2222. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Slipping Into the Future

Time always operates in a strange way inside the halls of the State House, and the oddity only ramps up as the session's end approaches. Just look at the contrast of the past week.

Sen. Jason Lewis, who co-chairs the Education Committee, said a new early education and care bill the Senate will debate next week would help "make sure our most needy children and families have access to the care they need." [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Senate Bill Eyes Major New Early Education Commitment

Senate Democrats on Thursday added to the end-of-term flurry an early education and child care bill they said would help more families deal with rampant costs, boost provider capacity and increase quality-of-life for a depleted workforce, but with just one month left to wrap up major business, a top House leader is already concerned about the "challenging timeline."

[Sam Doran/SHNS]

Mental Health Talks May Lead To “Important Changes”

House-Senate negotiations toward a compromise mental health care legislation kicked off in the House Members' Lounge on Thursday afternoon led by Rep. Adrian Madaro (left) and Sen. Julian Cyr (right). "There's just a lot of good here. There's a lot of agreement even in the bills that we're starting," Cyr said.

Mary Skipper. [Courtesy/Boston Public Schools]

Wu: Skipper Ready For One Of City’s “Hardest Jobs”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Thursday she is "absolutely thrilled with where the School Committee landed" in its selection of Mary Skipper as the district's next superintendent.

Uncaptioned image for story:Wu Names Burke As New Boston Fire Commissioner

Wu Names Burke As New Boston Fire Commissioner

Hours after introducing the city's next superintendent of schools, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on Thursday named longtime Boston firefighter Paul Burke as commissioner of the Boston Fire Department.

State House legislative staff renewed their call for union recognition at the building's front steps Wednesday joined by union leaders and a few lawmakers. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Frustrated Staffers Escalate Union Push

Legislative aides escalated a unionization push Wednesday with a news conference in front of the State House, marking three months since Senate staff sought union recognition from President Karen Spilka -- and one month until the end of formal sessions shuffles the deck on paths forward.

Uncaptioned image for story:Final Report: State Wasn't Ready For Pandemic

Final Report: State Wasn’t Ready For Pandemic

Following a year and a half of work, nine hearings and six listening sessions, the Legislature's COVID-19 committee this week released a report and 16 recommendations that members said would put Massachusetts on a better footing to deal with future calamities.

Health Insurer Weaves Major Provider’s Name Into Rebrand

Insurer AllWays Health Partners announced a rebrand on Wednesday, with plans to launch its new name Mass General Brigham Health Plan on Jan. 1, 2023.

Mental Health Conferees To Start Talks Thursday

Lawmakers tasked with producing a final accord on mental health access legislation will kick off their negotiations with exactly one month remaining for major business in the 2021-2022 session.

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