ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)
Sen. John Keenan, one of the sponsors of a bill to ban flavored nicotine products in Massachusetts, rallied with young activists outside the House Chamber on Tuesday to bring attention to youth nicotine addiction and call for a ban on all flavors, including menthol and mint.  The House passed such a ban on Wednesday, and it heads to the Senate next week for debate. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Changing Minds

Deval Patrick thinks there's a reason to believe.

Fentanyl, Assault Weapons Involved in Lawrence Area Sweep

A law enforcement sweep on Friday morning led to the arrests of 32 people and the removal of 79 guns, including assault weapons, in the Greater Lawrence area, according to federal prosecutors.

Bakers Spending Weekend in Vegas

Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker plan to spend the weekend in sunny Las Vegas.

Senate Session Summary - Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

After passing a prescription drug pricing and transparency bill on a 40-0 vote, the Senate acted on an Ethics Committee report filed Thursday evening and removed Brockton Sen. Michael Brady as chair of the Public Service Committee.

Senate Unanimously Approves Bill Targeting High Drug Prices

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday unanimously agreed to impose new oversight on the pharmaceutical industry and cap consumer costs for insulin.

Berry Institute of Politics Taking Shape at Salem State

A year after the death of former state Sen. Fred Berry, North Shore lawmakers are helping to build out the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics and Civic Engagement at Salem State University.

Cost of Budget Delay Surpassing $1 Million

Having watched another week go by without finalizing budget work left over from fiscal year 2019, the House and Senate now stand to forfeit more than $1 million in interest that the state could have earned had lawmakers completed their work on time.

Report: One In Four Nursing Homes at Risk of Closing

One quarter of the nursing homes in Massachusetts are at risk of closing, according to an industry trade group.

House Session Summary - Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

Now just three work days remain for the House before its winter recess, and the list of things many are hoping to see completed before the break did not get any shorter on Thursday.

Clark Offering Free Cannabis Certificate to Government Employees

Employees in municipal and state government in Massachusetts who have earned undergraduate degree may pursue a cannabis-related graduate certificate for free under a program announced this week by Clark University.

Baker: Prez Candidates "Get a Pass Out of the Gate"

He challenged him for the governorship here in 2010 and succeeded him in the corner office in 2015, but Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday he won't be weighing in on Deval Patrick's presidential run, at least not yet. "Look -- People who want to run for president, they get a pass out of the gate as far as I'm concerned," Baker said Thursday morning in the office that Patrick occupied for eight years. "That's just the way it works."

Senate to Vote on Flavor Ban, Vaping Tax Next Week

Gov. Charlie Baker could have a bill banning the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products and levying a tax on e-cigarettes on his desk by the time the Legislature leaves for its holiday recess next week.

Uncaptioned image for story:Patrick is Late Entry to Presidential Race

Patrick is Late Entry to Presidential Race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States, making him the second former Bay State governor and third candidate in the race from Massachusetts.

Lynch Associates Rebrands as Tenax Strategies

The well-known Beacon Hill lobbying firm Lynch Associates is rebranding itself as Tenax Strategies in a "top-to-bottom" face-lift that the company's two partners hope will reflect how the company has changed over nearly two decades.

Patrick To Appear On CBS With 2020 Run Expected

Former Gov. Deval Patrick will appear on CBS This Morning on Thursday after multiple reports that Patrick had spent the day Wednesday informing Democratic Party leaders that he had decided to enter the 2020 race for president.

House Session Summary - Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019

The House approved major legislation Wednesday that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products and imposes a 75 percent excise tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes.

Budget Holdup Blocking $20 Mil CPA Fund Distribution

Cities and towns across Massachusetts are about to feel a real consequence of the Legislature's inability to close the books on the fiscal year that ended in June.

Pesticide Bill Supporters Make Link Between Bees, Food

Citing the death of millions of bees worldwide each year, the advocacy group MASSPIRG is warning lawmakers that food supplies will be "dramatically affected" if action is not taken to protect the health of pollinators.

Sen. James Welch, who co-sponsored a bill to increase funding and create a new licensing process for home health care agencies, said close to 100 percent of residents would prefer to receive medical care in their homes if possible. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Licensing, Wage Supports Sought for Home Care

New licensing requirements and an increase in state funding for home care agencies would help both patients and workers in the state's fastest-growing health care sector, lawmakers and industry leaders said Wednesday.

Top Negotiators Say They Have Distracted Driving Bill Deal

House and Senate negotiators announced Friday they reached an agreement to resolve distracted driving legislation that has been stalled for months, but they declined to share details of the compromise.

Uncaptioned image for story:Cold Weather Puts Mosquito-borne Illness Threat on Ice

Cold Weather Puts Mosquito-borne Illness Threat on Ice

Mosquito-borne illness season is over in Massachusetts now that all parts of the state have experienced a hard frost.

Poll: Voters Split on Key Transpo Revenue Ideas

Massachusetts voters support raising new revenue to make transportation investments, but a new poll shows they are divided over some of the key methods that lawmakers are weighing to generate funding.

Sen. Michael Brady waited to appear in Quincy District Court on June 4. [Pool Photo/David L. Ryan/Boston Globe]

Mass. Senate Strips Sen. Brady's Committee Chairmanship

The Senate stripped Brockton Sen. Michael Brady of his $15,000-a-year post as Senate chairman of the Committee on Public Service on Thursday night as punishment for his conduct during his March 2018 drunk driving arrest, which was deemed to be a violation of the chamber's rules.

Speaker Robert DeLeo (right) said he is pushing the House's transportation funding debate into the new year, after consulting with his budget chief Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (left) and other key chairmen. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019]

House Kicking Transportation $$$ Debate Into 2020

With just days remaining until the Legislature recesses until 2020, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Thursday he's decided to push back his timeline for a hotly anticipated debate over new revenue for transportation until next year.

Uncaptioned image for story:Pacheco: Spilka Agrees to Climate Bill Vote in January

Pacheco: Spilka Agrees to Climate Bill Vote in January

After pressing his colleagues for weeks to take up a climate bill before breaking for their next recess -- and suggesting he'd use a procedural measure to bring one to the floor if he needed to -- Sen. Marc Pacheco on Thursday said he'd secured a commitment from Senate President Karen Spilka that a vote would happen in January.

C.J. Williams, David Ajemian, and Stephen Helfer stopped by the Judiciary Committee office Thursday to drop off more than 1,500 petition signatures opposed to the so-called ROE Act. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

ROE Act Opponents Visit Judiciary Committee

ROE Act opponents visited the Judiciary Committee Thursday to deliver signatures from people opposed to the bill, which was the subject of a long public hearing in June.

Uncaptioned image for story:Mass. Retailers Forecast "Solid" Holiday Season Sales

Mass. Retailers Forecast "Solid" Holiday Season Sales

Massachusetts retailers are predicting a 3 percent gain in sales during the upcoming holiday period.

Vaping products would be subject to an excise tax under a bill passed by the House Wednesday, which would also ban sales of all flavored nicotine products in Massachusetts. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

House Votes To Make State First To Ban Menthol Cigs

The Massachusetts House voted Wednesday to ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products – including mint and menthol cigarettes – and to impose an excise tax on e-cigarettes.

State Police Lt. Col. Christopher Mason, who on Friday takes the helm of the scandal-plagued agency as its colonel and superintendent, walked into a State House press conference Wednesday where he was introduced to reporters. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Trust Issues Linger as Mason Takes Helm of State Police

Within minutes of Gov. Charlie Baker announcing him as the next colonel and superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, Lt. Col. Christopher Mason began laying out some of the steps he plans to take to rebuild public trust in the beleaguered agency when he takes command.

Rep. Ruth Balser sponsored the House version of a bill that would allow those on pre-trial release conditions or probation to stay out of prison if they relapse or test positive for drugs or alcohol. [Photo: Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS]

Lawmakers Wrestle With Balance Between Treatment, Incarceration

Julie Eldred first tried an opiate at around 14-years-old to relieve a sense of not feeling comfortable in her skin.

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