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

Senator: “Hey Sam Is Saving Young People’s Lives”

A confidential texting hotline for young people in need of support reported resounding success after its first full year in operation, but after Gov. Maura Healey proposed dropping state funding for the new lifeline, one senator said advocates need to "dig deep and push hard" to pack the $1 million back into the budget this spring.

DTA In Battle With Public Benefit Thieves

Facing a "substantial increase" in people being robbed of their public benefits by fraudsters and scammers, Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan asked lawmakers Tuesday to support a proposal in Gov. Maura Healey's budget that would allow the Department of Transitional Assistance to offer recipients a new way to protect their accounts.

Rail Supporters Demand Connection To Eastern Mass.

Gina Nortonsmith got a promotion, and so now she expects she'll need to make the trek from her home in Northampton to Northeastern University's Boston campus more frequently.

DPU Quickly Approves National Grid Rate Reduction

In 41 days, National Grid customers will start getting relief from soaring electric rates.

State Funding May Rise With Refugee, Immigrant Arrivals

The Office for Refugees and Immigrants would see a $1 million boost in state funding to increase capacity and oversight, if the Legislature agrees with Gov. Maura Healey's budget recommendation.

Social Workers Press For Sex Ed, School Meals

During her previous career as a third-grade teacher, Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley always made a point to keep snacks in her classroom. She knew that her students came to school hungry some days and did not have access to a meal once they got there, making it harder to focus on the lesson at hand. One student, Fluker Oakley recalled, would ask to be excused to go get a drink of water by saying he needed "oxygen for my brain."

House Session Summary - Quick Adjournment As Transpo Funding Bill Remains In Committee

The House gaveled in Tuesday in the hopes that a borrowing bill financing local road and bridge repairs might be ready to tee up on the floor, but after waiting around for nine minutes, representatives gaveled out to try again Wednesday.

Realtors Group Reports Sharp Decline In February Home Sales

Completed single-family home sales were down 20 percent in Massachusetts last month, but the Massachusetts Association of Realtors pointed to the fact that the percentage decrease was not as severe as previous months as an optimistic signal.

Eviction Prevention Policy Set To Expire March 31

More than one hundred organizations endorsed a call Monday for lawmakers to extend a pandemic-era eviction prevention policy, warning that the looming March 31 expiration will displace Bay Staters and stymie other efforts to keep people in their homes.

Committee Bulks Up Roads Bill With $150 Mil In Grants

Lawmakers advanced an annual bill Monday to provide cities and towns with $200 million in state borrowing for local road and bridge maintenance, in the process reshaping Gov. Maura Healey's proposal and putting it in contention for a full House vote later this week.

Women’s Caucus Lays Out Objectives For New Session

Now counting nearly one-third of the Legislature as members, the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators on Monday identified its top five legislative priorities and laid out the three overarching priorities that will guide its work for the new two-year session.

Senate Session Summary - Sleepy Session, But Another Scheduled For Wednesday

The Senate reworked its schedule for the week Monday, voting to hold a previously-unscheduled session on Wednesday this week.

Banking Sector Rattled By Another “Emergency Rescue”

The banking sector was roiled Sunday by another "emergency rescue," Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the weekend asked federal officials to open an investigation into bank management and regulatory problems that she said resulted in this month's failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said recent upheaval in the industry has commanded the attention of the Healey administration.

Slow Zones To Continue On MBTA

One-quarter of the entire MBTA subway system will still be subject to more-sluggish-than-usual travel once the agency lifts end-to-end speed restrictions on the Green Line.

Advances - The Week Ahead

As spring arrives on Monday, there's a feeling that something's got to give soon on Beacon Hill. The session began in early January with proclamations about readiness to address persistent and serious problems but since then the focus has centered on process. The first two-plus months of all-Democrat rule have been marked by heightened attention on the state's housing affordability and cost of living problems, the return of heavy traffic on the state's roads, and the realization that MBTA service appears to be worsening. There's growing frustration, if not on Beacon Hill then certainly off of it, that affordability and transit woes are reaching a breaking point. If the feeling is shared among elected officials, they have had a funny way of showing it.

Healey Adds $734 Million To Expanding Spending Agenda

Gov. Maura Healey has now proposed over $56.5 billion in state spending since taking office, adding a $734 million supplemental budget request to her agenda on Friday.

New Coalition Targets Pharmacy Benefit Managers

A new group of patient advocates, business leaders and independent pharmacists will wade into debate this term over the role of pharmacy benefit managers at a time when prescription drug prices are on the rise.

MBTA Mum As Slow Zones Marking One-Week Anniversary

The MBTA lifted an end-to-end speed restriction on the Mattapan Line trolley early Thursday morning, but there's still no official timeline for ending mandatory slowdowns across the entire Green Line and pockets of the Red, Blue and Orange Lines.

Logan Airport's passenger volume is trending upward, but full recovery is not expected until after fiscal year 2023. [Michael P. Norton/SHNS File]

Logan Passenger Numbers Rebounding, But Not Back To Pre-COVID

Traffic in the Bay State may have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, but not as many people are flying in and out of Boston as they did before COVID-19 disrupted airports and the travel industry, according to the state's port authority.

METCO students prepare to sing on the Grand Staircase during a lobbying day for the voluntary school integration program. Rep. Chris Worrell, a METCO graduate, poses for a photo with them. [Sam Drysdale/SHNS]

METCO Turns To Legislature To Help Grow Program

Hundreds of students and parents roamed the halls of the State House on Tuesday to ask state lawmakers to support increased funding for the largest school integration program in the country.

Veterans' Home in Holyoke Superintendent Michael Lazo (left), Secretary of Veterans' Services Jon Santiago (center) and Assistant Secretary of Veterans' Homes and Housing Robert Engell, who is serving as interim superintendent at the Veterans' Home in Chelsea, detailed changes at the state-run veterans' homes Tuesday before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. [Screenshot]

Santiago Frames Veterans Post As “Turnaround” Opportunity

Three weeks into the job, Secretary of Veterans' Services Jon Santiago told his former legislative colleagues Tuesday that he views the challenge of implementing reforms at his department similar to leading a business startup or turnaround, and highlighted how things have changed at the state's troubled veterans' homes.

Legislative Committees Blow Past Rules Deadlines

Thousands of bills have been filed, they've been sent to committees, and the next step is to let the public weigh in. But out of 33 committees, all 33 are delinquent on an initial step in setting up shop for the two-year term. After they take their seats, committee chairs have four weeks to develop internal rules that will direct the flow of business before their panels over the following 22 or so months.

House Session Summary - Another Supp Budget Put Under Review

The House accepted Gov. Healey's newest supplemental budget and passed it along to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday morning.

Uncaptioned image for story:Healey Brings On Palfrey In $160K Federal Funds Post

Healey Brings On Palfrey In $160K Federal Funds Post

After running for statewide offices in each of the last two cycles, Quentin Palfrey started working for the Healey administration Monday as the head of an interagency task force meant to deploy a new strategy for competing for federal money.

Uncaptioned image for story:Slow Zones Reduced To Some Stretches Of Green Line

Slow Zones Reduced To Some Stretches Of Green Line

It took about a day and a half longer than the best-case forecast, but the MBTA on Sunday evening shifted from slowing down the entire Green Line to speed restrictions on a vaguely defined series of Green Line stretches. About 18 percent of the Green Line is now subject to slow zones, and similar blocks remain in place on the Red, Orange, Blue and Mattapan Lines.

Driscoll Pivots To GM Search When Asked About T Fixes

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll didn't have any answers Sunday about immediate fixes to problems that continue to afflict the MBTA, but said Gov. Maura Healey's administration is "really close" to finally finding a new leader of the transit authority.

Housing activists organized by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization rally Thursday at the State House, calling for action to fix the state's aging stock of affordable housing and invest in more units to prevent high costs from forcing Bay Staters out of their homes. "I can't afford to live here," one homemade sign reads. [Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - You Can Bank On It

Three years ago this week marked a hard shift into a new era as government leaders focused on "stopping the spread." Now, here we are in 2023 with elected officials, regulators, and business people worried about containing "contagion."

Average Energy Bill Could Drop $115 Under National Grid Summer Rates

Bay Staters who get their electricity through National Grid's basic service could see their monthly bill drop by more than $100 under a new rate that would take effect in May, but the cost of power will still be higher than last summer.

Massport Puts $500+ Mil Towards Net-Zero Goal

A year after Massport announced it intends to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero across all its facilities by 2031, the port authority board voted Thursday to approve a $500 million-plus investment in emissions reduction projects over the next five years. Last year, the agency estimated that it would spend $1 billion in carbon emissions reduction projects to reach its goal in under a decade.

A 107-meter blade built for General Electric's Haliade-X turbines was on display in 2019 when it was delivered to MassCEC's Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown for testing. The Healey administration is pursuing an expansion of the testing center to accommodate larger blades. [Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019]

Healey Admin Eyes “Bigger Place” For Wind Blade Testing

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper said Thursday that the Healey administration is going to pursue an expansion of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, picking up on an idea that the Baker administration did not get across the goal line.

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