... DGA: Mass. voters "will not forget that their governor helped contribute to Roy Moore's embarrassment of a campaign" ...... Return of medical device tax, set for Jan. 1, causing a stir in Massachusetts ...... Galvin throws up caution flag on Bitcoin ...... Massachusetts joins regional group that supports public high schools ...... Top health ranking triggers sharp words over nurse staffing proposal ...... Open enrollment, federal policy updates on Connector Authority agenda Thursday ...... Consumer price index is up 2.9 percent in Boston area over past 12 months, feds say ...... State says early education and care programs will receive 2 percent rate increase ...... Open enrollment update on Connector Authority agenda for Thursday ...... No response from Dems on allegedly corrupt coffee cash revealed in Joyce indictment ...... Chandler staying behind but staff moving into former Senate President Rosenberg's old suite ...... ACLU in new voter education effort with report card on district attorneys ...... Rep. Moran backing Matias in Third Congressional District race ...... In appeal to motorists, Green pledges to fix Concord Rotary if elected to Congress ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - THE OBVIOUS AND NOT SO OBVIOUS

The 2016 election left many wondering if all political norms had been shattered. President Donald Trump won despite saying and doing things that made the photo-op of Michael Dukakis riding in a tank look a genius stroke. Then along rode in Roy Moore, on a horse named Sassy. Read More

<strong>DOWN THE HALL:</strong> After Acting Senat

DOWN THE HALL: After Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler's staff moved next door to the president's office, a new sign this week directed visitors from her old majority leader's office. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS BAND TOGETHER AGAINST HOSPITAL MERGER

A group of 46 community advocates from eastern Massachusetts is joining forces to oppose a major hospital merger proposed for their part of the state, arguing it would negatively affect communities of color. Read More


ADVANCES - WEEK OF DEC. 17, 2017

The Senate Ethics Committee on Dec. 5 said it planned to hire an independent investigator to look into former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg within two weeks, or by this coming Tuesday. Read More


COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS BAND TOGETHER AGAINST HOSPITAL MERGER

A group of 46 community advocates from eastern Massachusetts is joining forces to oppose a major hospital merger proposed for their part of the state, arguing it would negatively affect communities of color. Read More


LELLING

SENATE CONFIRMS NEW FED PROSECUTOR FOR MASS.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed President Trump's nomination of Andrew Lelling as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, clearing the way for a new top federal prosecutor to set up shop in Boston. Read More


SÁNCHEZ OPPONENT SAYS DISTRICT AT ODDS WITH DeLEO'S HOUSE

An attorney who has worked in non-profits and a state senator's office wants to give Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, a Jamaica Plain Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, his first competitive primary since 2010. Nika Elugardo, a former aide to Jamaica Plain Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, said she was dissatisfied by Sánchez's alliance with House leadership and she thinks others in the district are too. Read More

ELUGARDO / SÁNCHEZ

ELUGARDO / SÁNCHEZ


Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

BAKER ADMIN PREPARING TO STRETCH CHIP DOLLARS AS IT WAITS FOR CONGRESS

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders has a Christmas wish: that Congress will again fund the Children's Health Insurance Program. Read More


MASS. TROOPERS HEADING TO PUERTO RICO

Fourteen state troopers will be spending Christmas in Puerto Rico, and another 25 will be ringing in the New Year on the island. Read More


CONNECTOR SHEDDING MEMBERS, BRACING FOR FEDERAL POLICY SHIFTS

As a hazy federal forecast leaves questions around the future of health policy, officials at the Massachusetts Health Connector say they're planning for possibilities including the permanent loss of federal subsidies to insurers and a potential repeal of the individual health insurance mandate. Read More


HARVEST CUP SET TO SHOWCASE MARIJUANA CONTEST, 100-FOOT JOINT

One year after it became legal for adults to possess and use marijuana in Massachusetts, cannabis aficionados will gather in Worcester this weekend to show off some of the best locally-sourced ganja and edibles, and to try to put a welcoming face on the world of weed. Read More


HOUSE SESSION – THURSDAY, DEC. 14, 2017

The House on Thursday gave initial approval to bills dealing shellfish reefs and water quality, the Fort Devens Museum and a counterfeit airbag prohibition. At a session attended by about half a dozen reps, Gov. Baker's newly filed bill to boost housing production was sent to the Housing Committee for review and a Rep. Marjorie Decker bill establishing a Massachusetts Robotics Center was sent to the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee. The House meets next on Monday at 11 a.m. in another informal session. Read More


BAKER HAS TWO WEEKS TO DECIDE ON FIRSTNET

Once his holiday shopping is complete, Gov. Charlie Baker will still have one more thing to cross off his list this month: decide whether to opt into a federal emergency response communications program or establish a similar network just for Massachusetts. Read More


PATIENTS SAY INSURERS IMPEDING EFFECTIVE CARE

[Developing] The insurance companies that pay for medical treatment often stand in the way of the most effective drugs, physicians and patients told lawmakers Thursday, asking them to require exceptions to the usual protocols. Read More


HEALEY SUES FCC, EDUCATION DEPT. BRINGING HER LAWSUIT TALLY TO 23

Attorney General Maura Healey joined a cadre of other state attorneys general who plan to file suit against the Federal Communications Commission over its split decision to roll back Obama-era net neutrality protections. Read More


PATIENTS, DOCS SAY STEP THERAPY IS TRIPPING THEM UP

The insurance companies that pay for medical treatment often stand in the way of the most effective drugs, physicians and patients told lawmakers Thursday, asking them to require exceptions to the usual protocols. Read More


HEROUX

HEROUX SETTLES OCPF VIOLATIONS, DISCUSSES RESIGNATION PLAN

Rep. Paul Heroux, the Attleboro mayor-elect, has resolved a series of campaign finance violations that included prohibited business donations, the use of campaign funds for personal use and undisclosed contributions to his campaign. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance said Thursday that Heroux agreed to pay $1,435 in personal money to the state's general fund and to reimburse his committee $1,065 for the personal use of campaign funds. Read More


SENATE SESSION – THURSDAY, DEC. 14, 2017

The Senate on Thursday made quick work of local bills and legislation allowing state employees to donate their sick time to ill colleagues before breaking for the weekend. The Senate also referred legislation filed Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker (S 2236) to create a Uniform Code of Military Justice for Massachusetts and to increase the minimum daily pay for soldiers and airmen on state active duty to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The Senate will meet again on Monday at 11 a.m. The week was a quiet one in the Senate after a tumultuous day on Dec. 4 when Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler was elected to lead the chamber and Sen. Stanley Rosenberg took a "leave of absence" from the presidency during a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. Senator-elect Dean Tran, a Republican from Fitchburg, is scheduled to be sworn in to the Senate on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at noon. Read More


INSURE MANDATE REPEAL COULD HAVE RIPPLE EFFECT, CONNECTOR SAYS

The tax reform bill agreed to by negotiators in Congress repeals the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate and even though Massachusetts has its own mandate in place under state law, state officials have identified two ways that the move could hit home, including the operations of health insurers. Read More


Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

SJC HOPEFUL CONFIRMED TO SUPERIOR COURT BENCH

A career business attorney was cleared to join the Superior Court on Wednesday and a career corrections official won confirmation to join the Parole Board. The Governor's Council, an 8-member elected body that vets the governor's judicial nominations, voted 6-1 to confirm Debra Squires-Lee for a Superior Court judgeship, and voted 5-2 to confirm Colette Santa for the Parole Board. Read More

Attorney Debra Squires-Lee was confirmed Wednesday

Attorney Debra Squires-Lee was confirmed Wednesday to the Superior Court bench. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


FORMER DCF ATTORNEY NOMINATED FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY JUDGESHIP

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday selected a longtime Department of Children and Families attorney who currently works in Plymouth Juvenile Court for a Suffolk County Juvenile Court judgeship. Read More


AFTER COMING UP SHORT, ABORTION FUNDING ACTIVISTS SAY THEY'LL TRY AGAIN

While opponents of an abortion funding initiative petition cheered the news that question would not make its way before voters, backers say they're encouraged by the response they received and plan to try again in the future. Read More


MASS. JOINS REGIONAL GROUP THAT SUPPORTS HIGH SCHOOLS

Massachusetts is the last New England state to join a regional group that shares ideas about supporting public high schools. Read More


HEALTH RANKING TRIGGERS SHARP WORDS OVER NURSE STAFFING PROPOSAL

As nurses seek to convince voters that patient safety is at risk without nurse staffing mandates, opponents of their proposed 2018 ballot question are pointing to new rankings that determined Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the nation. Read More


GALVIN

GALVIN THROWS UP CAUTION FLAG ON BITCOIN

The state's top financial regulator is warning investors to pump the brakes on the excitement around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, warning that their "unregulated and ambiguous nature" welcomes fraud. Read More


JOYCE

NO RESPONSE FROM DEMS ON ALLEGEDLY CORRUPT COFFEE CASH

Amid eye-grabbing allegations about the hundreds of pounds of free coffee former Democratic Sen. Brian Joyce corruptly accepted, federal prosecutors claim Joyce directed his coffee supply man to give $10,000 to the Massachusetts Democratic Party in order to "conceal his corrupt relationship." Read More


ACLU RELEASES DA REPORT CARD RUBRIC

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts plans to grade the state's district attorneys on transparency, fairness, racial justice and other matters as part of a new education campaign aiming to inform voters about the roles that elected prosecutors play in the justice system. Read More


MORAN BACKING MATIAS IN PACKED 3CD DEM PRIMARY FIELD

State Rep. Juana Matias, a candidate for Congress, is now running with an endorsement of a fellow Lawrence lawmaker. Read More


RETURN OF MEDICAL DEVICE TAX CAUSING A STIR

The failure of Republicans in Congress this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act means that a controversial tax on medical device sales will return in 2018 unless legislators intervene in the next couple weeks, putting a major Bay State industry on edge. Read More


LEXINGTON HOUSE SEAT DRAWING SIGNIFICANT INTEREST

Lexington Democrats are lining up to succeed Rep. Jay Kaufman, whose House seat is opening up in 2018 for the first time in 24 years. Kaufman in November announced plans to retire after his current term. Read More


REPORT: MASS. ANTI-SMOKING EFFORTS TRAIL OTHER STATES

At $3.51 per pack, the cigarette tax in Massachusetts is considered high, but a new report places the Bay State among the states spending the least to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers stop. Read More


TRAN

GOP'S TRAN TO JOIN RANKS OF SENATE NEXT WEDNESDAY

Dean Tran will be sworn in as the seventh Republican member of the Massachusetts Senate next week, but the customary full Senate welcome won't be held until early next month. Read More


NATIONAL GUARD DAILY PAY WOULD DOUBLE TO $200 UNDER BAKER BILL

The minimum daily pay for soldiers and airmen performing state active duty in the National Guard would double to a highest in the nation $200 under legislation filed Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker presented awards to National Gu

Gov. Charlie Baker presented awards to National Guard members on Wednesday including a commendation medal to Capt. David Wilson (right) for his heroism evacuating a crashed school bus in January. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SENATE HOLIDAY PARTY CANCELED, BUT DECORATED OFFICE OPENS TO PUBLIC

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the state Senate president's office, but there will be no holiday party this year for senators and staff. Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler "made the determination that a holiday party would not be appropriate" this year after speaking with other members of Senate leadership, Chandler spokesman Kevin Connor told the News Service. Read More

The Senate president's office, bedecked with everg

The Senate president's office, bedecked with evergreens and lights, was open to visitors on Wednesday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GREEN

GREEN PROMISES VOTERS HE'LL FIX CONGESTED CONCORD ROTARY

Republican Rick Green of Pepperell is appealing to frustrated drivers in his candidacy for Congress, pledging to address traffic congestion at a heavily traveled rotary in the Third Congressional District. Read More


MASS. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE WOULD REMAIN IF FED MANDATE IS REPEALED

Massachusetts officials remain on alert for attempts in Washington to squeeze the northward flow of federal health care funds, but the so-called individual mandate to purchase health insurance, an important ingredient of Obamacare, is not a top concern within the Bay State. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service