ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (Formal)

Senate Passes Budget Rider To Protect Abortion Providers

[Coverage Developing] Reproductive and gender-affirming health care providers in Massachusetts would gain new protections against legal action brought by other states, as would out-of-state residents who travel here to seek services including abortion, under a budget amendment the Senate adopted Wednesday.

GAO Report Questions Northeast Oil, Gas Reserves

A new review of the federal government's heating oil and gas reserves for the Northeast shows they hold only enough for two days' worth of consumption.

Chelsea Police Chief Kyes Nominated For U.S. Marshal

President Joe Biden late Wednesday announced his nomination of Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes to serve as U.S. marshal for Massachusetts.

Wind Contracts Below Price Cap, But Maybe Not Cheaper

Contracts for the state's next two offshore wind projects were filed Wednesday and while both projects legally comply with the state's offshore wind price cap, officials said the price of power might not actually be cheaper than the last project.

Santa Nominated For Five More Years On Parole Board

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday tapped Colette Santa for a second term on the state Parole Board, nominating the former corrections official to serve on the panel for another five years.

House Revenge Porn Bill Aims To Close Criminal Harassment Law Loophole

The House is set to vote Thursday on legislation aimed at preventing the dissemination of explicit images and video without a subject's consent, one of Gov. Charlie Baker's top priorities in his final year in office, but the version teed up Wednesday takes a different approach to criminalizing the practice than Baker proposed.

Graham, Sanders Feature in Debate Series Launch

With the nation gripped in a partisan divide, a coalition that includes the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is launching a series of Oxford-style debates, starting with a one-hour engagement on June 13 featuring Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

House Session Summary - Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The House on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill addressing teen "sexting" with educational programs and establishing criminal harassment penalties for the reckless dissemination without consent of nude images, also known as "revenge porn." The House scheduled a formal session for Thursday, when that bill is expected to be engrossed and sent on to the Senate. The House also advanced a handful of bills enabling certain communities to hand out more alcoholic beverage licenses to particular entities. - Michael P. Norton

Amore Raps Senate Decision Not To Supercharge Auditor’s Budget

The Republican candidate for auditor is knocking state senators for their budget-debate decision against adding roughly $24 million in extra funding for the office he hopes to hold.

Senate Session Summary - Tuesday, May 24

In its first day of debate on what began as a $49.7 billion spending plan for fiscal 2023, the Senate cruised through hundreds of amendments in a series of mostly voice votes. Throughout the day Tuesday, senators adopted 212 of the 1,178 amendments filed and rejected 302, and about another 90 were withdrawn by their sponsors, leaving fewer than 600 left to be considered. Republican-backed tax relief proposals are among those still pending. Most of the amendments were dispatched in two batches of bundles, in which senators adopt or reject a pile of amendments grouped together by leadership with a single "yes" or "no" vote.

Senate Adopts 96 Amendments in Second Batch of Bundles

[Coverage All Week] Senators sealed the fates of another 268 budget amendments in a matter of seconds Tuesday evening.

Food Delivery Reaching Most Americans, Uber Eats Says

On the heels of a recent Brookings Institution report examining the geography of "digital food services" like grocery pickup and delivery, meal kit companies and restaurant deliveries, officials at Uber Eats say their data show consistently high demand from low-income communities in Boston.

SJC Rejects Exxon Mobil Bid To Dismiss Climate Suit

The state's highest court ruled Tuesday that the Exxon Mobil Corporation is not entitled to the dismissal of a lawsuit that Attorney General Maura Healey brought alleging the oil and gas company misled investors about the climate change risks to its business and deceptively advertised its fossil fuel products to Massachusetts consumers.

B&W Nurses Ratify Contract, Warn Of ER Woes

Nurses from Brigham and Women's Hospital have ratified a new collective bargaining accord with the hospital, but are warning about worsening problems in the hospital's emergency department.

ELM Super PAC Putting $ Up For Healey, Dempsey and Campbell

A day after two of the three Democrats running for attorney general signed a pledge discouraging super PAC money in their race, the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund's independent expenditure committee reported the first such spending in the contest.

DESE: Boston Schools Failures Demand “Bold” Response

Boston Public Schools continues to fall short of an "acceptable minimum standard" in several critical areas, including transportation and special education, state education officials concluded in a withering new report that could reignite debate about potential state receivership of the largest pre-K-12 district in Massachusetts.

Revenue Panel Moves Up Baker Tax Relief Decision Deadline

Top Democrats who control the House and Senate are almost always more than happy to glide past deadlines or give themselves more time to make decisions. But for Gov. Charlie Baker's $700 million tax relief proposal, the Legislature on Monday took an unusual step: moving up a committee's due date.

Who’s On The Move?

... The Massachusetts Teachers Association selected its next president, who will take over in July ... Former Boston Mayor Janey will take the top job at an organization supporting people living in poverty ... Action for Boston Community Development's chief operating officer will step into the top role next month ... UMass Dartmouth turned to Texas to select its new provost ... Boston Public Schools added two graduates to its communications team ... A local communications firm has a new account executive ... Mass. Municipal brought on three more legislative analysts ... A longtime Baker administration aide is headed to the private sector ... Axios added a second reporter as it prepares to launch its Boston newsletter ...

Tax Relief Finds Support From Dems, But Not Enough

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr cautioned that the forecast on tax relief "doesn't look very good for the taxpayer" as Senate Democrats on Tuesday rejected his proposed package of tax breaks in favor of developing a different plan somewhere down the line.

Attorney General Maura Healey was joined by Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan, Sen. Julian Cyr, Geoff Beckwith from the Mass. Municipal Association, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts President Rich MacKinnon, and others to announce a lawsuit against 13 companies that manufactured "forever chemicals" used in firefighting foam. [Screenshot]

Suit Alleges Firefighting Foam Makers Hid Chemical Dangers

Attorney General Maura Healey is joining the nationwide tsunami of lawsuits against companies that manufacture ubiquitous forever chemicals contained in firefighting foam in hopes of getting the chemical companies to "pay back every last dollar our state has spent on their products to clean up the contamination."

Officials Decry Attacks On Asian Americans

Two years after lawmakers gathered in front of the State House to decry discrimination and hate speech against Asian Americans, many of the same officials returned to the front steps Wednesday to say that racist incidents have only intensified.

National Grid Completes Sale Of Rhode Island Operations

National Grid is moving out of the Rhode Island market with Wednesday's completion of the sale of Narragansett Electric Company (NECO).

Key Committee Advancing Sexting, “Revenge Porn” Bill

The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday is advancing a sexting and "revenge porn" bill that is among Gov. Charlie Baker's top legislative priorities.

Baker Meeting With RGA As GOP Eyes More Governorships

Gov. Charlie Baker departs Wednesday morning for Tennessee to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on Tuesday told the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that her administration would pursue "a hearing and due process" if the panel moves to place Boston Public Schools under state receivership. [Screenshot]

Wu Faces Sudden Pressure To Lay Out Schools Plan

The debate about a potential state takeover of Boston Public Schools reached such a furious pitch Tuesday that a state education board meeting featured two different invocations of a higher power.

Senators Dispense With 205 Amendments In Two Votes

[Coverage All Week] Let the bundling begin.

DEP Hits Springfield Plating Facility With Fine

State regulators on Tuesday slapped a Springfield metal plating facility with a $10,700 penalty for environmental and hazardous waste violations.

Muni Matters: Competitive Grants | Checking Out Library Courts | Environmental Justice

  • Building Trades Pitch Munis on Infrastructure Bill Partnerships
  • New Program Brings Virtual Court to the Library
  • National Group Offering Resources to Keep Equity Central to Climate Planning

Masks Required As Senate Starts Budget Debate

[Coverage All Week] More than two years into the pandemic, Senate leadership has recommended that senators limit the time they spend in the Senate Chamber for the debate on a $49.7 billion state budget plan this week as a steady stream of COVID-19 exposures collides with the busiest time of the legislative calendar.

Quentin Palfrey and Shannon Liss-Riordan, two of the three Democrats running for attorney general, sign a pact against using super PAC money for their campaigns at a news conference on the State House steps Monday. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Campbell Missing As Dem Rivals Sign Campaign $$$ Pledge

Democratic attorney general hopefuls Quentin Palfrey and Shannon Liss-Riordan on Monday signed a pledge aimed at keeping outside super PAC money out of their race, saying they hoped the move would encourage fellow candidate Andrea Campbell to do the same.

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