... HCFA's Rosman: state spending on MassHealth is 24 percent of budget, fed $$$ raise it up to 40 percent ...... Affordability - for the state budget, and for low-income residents - at center of MassHealth reform debate ...... Baker plans to take corrective budget actions if his MassHealth plan isn't passed by Sept. 14 ...... MTF: Baker vetoed nine outside sections, amended 25 out of 150 total budget sections ...... Seventeen of returned budget sections deal with employer assessments or unemployment insurance rates ...... Baker vetoed $320 mil in 169 line items, with $202 million in vetoes associated with MassHealth reforms ...... Legislative earmarks worth $42 million are carved out of budget by Baker vetoes ...... Baker: Legislature's budget underfunds accounts, overestimates revenues by about $100 million ...... Property tax bill will help elderly, disabled, veterans, Rosenberg tells Herald Radio ...... Goldberg says she has "no idea" about retail pot sales timeline, but leaders say July 2018 doable ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (w/ calendar)

LATEST BAKER OPPOSES "SKINNY REPEAL" HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL

In the midst of a health care showdown with lawmakers at home, Gov. Charlie Baker again weighed in on federal health policy, joining nine of his colleagues on a letter to U.S. Senate leaders asking them to work with governors from both parties to find insurance reforms instead of passing a House-backed health care bill or repealing elements of the Affordable Care Act. Read More

BAKER

MASS. LAWMAKERS STRAYING FROM ENGLISH IMMERSION BALLOT LAW

Senators on Thursday plan to vote on legislation upending a 2002 ballot law that requires English-immersion instruction for public school students, including those not yet fluent in the nation's predominant language. The bill backed by Everett Democrat Sen. Sal DiDomenico does away with the requirement that "absent a waiver all students must be taught in English and through sheltered English immersion," according to a summary. Read More


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BAKER

BAKER DRAFTING BILL IN WAKE OF SJC IMMIGRANT DETENTION RULING

In response to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling this week, Gov. Charlie Baker is crafting legislation that would allow the State Police to hold some individuals on federal immigration detainers after they post bail for a state crime or if they've previously been convicted of a violent crime such as murder or rape. Read More


PASSING ON BAKER'S MASSHEALTH PLAN, DEMS SAY THEY'LL WORK ON THEIR OWN

House and Senate Democrats, insisting they needed more time to consider strategies to control cost growth in MassHealth and the broader health care system, turned aside Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed Medicaid reforms on Wednesday as they worked to return to him a $200 million assessment on employers needed to balance the budget. Read More


AMID FLURRY OF ACTION, LAWMAKERS SAY SUMMER RECESS IN SIGHT

After rejecting Gov. Charlie Baker's health care reforms, House members were told there would be no more recorded votes Wednesday and only an informal session Thursday. As reps filed out of the State House, several said they believed the summer recess may have begun. Read More


VIDEO | DISRUPTION LEADS TO ROCKY ROLLOUT OF IMMIGRATION BILL

A press conference called by Republican lawmakers to outline new immigration enforcement legislation devolved into shouting Wednesday as activists opposed to the measure interrupted the event, drawing the attention of a county sheriff who supports the bill. Read More

Rep. James Lyons and other Republican representati

Rep. James Lyons and other Republican representatives, including Reps. Marc Lombardo (left) and Shaunna O'Connell (right), unveiled an immigration enforcement bill Wednesday morning. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


ELIAS [LinkedIn]

CONVENTION CENTER'S ELIAS HIRED AS STATE HOUSE SECURITY CHIEF

Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders have poached the head of safety at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to take a new position as director of State House security. Read More


MARKEY

MARKEY EXPLAINS NO-DEBATE VOTE, SAYING ANY GOP BILL IS "TERRIBLE"

Shortly after Sen. John McCain made a dramatic return to the Senate and called on his colleagues to "trust each other" and work in bipartisan fashion, Sen. Edward Markey voted against proceeding to a debate on health care reform legislation, prejudging any Republican-sponsored bill as "terrible." Read More


MASS. HOSPITALS FEELING SURGE IN HEROIN-RELATED VISITS, DATA SHOWS

Heroin-related hospital visits in Massachusetts grew by 256 percent from 2011 to 2015, with the sharpest increase among patients between the ages of 25 and 34, according to data set to be released Wednesday. Read More


SCOPE OF PRACTICE ON TABLE IN HEALTH COST BATTLE

Optometrists want to treat glaucoma. Nurse anesthetists want to practice with more freedom. And podiatrists want legislative approval to perform amputations, which can occur when foot doctors are removing dead or damaged tissue in a procedure known as a debridement. Read More


BILL TO EXTEND SIMULCASTING NEARS GOV. BAKER'S DESK

The status quo is poised to prevail for another year as the Legislature on Wednesday approved another one-year extension of the current simulcasting arrangement, despite opposition from horsemen and state gaming regulators. Read More


JEHLEN

SENATOR WHO LED MARIJUANA TALKS PROMOTED TO ASSISTANT MAJORITY LEADER

With a new member joining their ranks on Wednesday and immediately receiving a chairmanship, senators signed off on a series of new appointments, including a promotion into senior leadership for Somerville Sen. Patricia Jehlen. Read More


BAKER DEPUTIES OUTLINE APPROACH TO TRANSPORTATION SPENDING

Top state transportation officials on Wednesday detailed for lawmakers their plans to spend more than $17 billion in state and federal money over five years, with most of the investment going towards making the state's roads, bridges and rail systems more reliable rather than expanding the state's transportation network. Read More

House Bonding Committee Chairman Antonio Cabral ta

House Bonding Committee Chairman Antonio Cabral talked with Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack before Wednesday's hearing. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HOUSE REJECTS BAKER'S HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL

Describing it as a three-legged stool, House Minority Leader Brad Jones said it appears "the game plan is written" as lawmakers were on the verge Wednesday of sending Gov. Charlie Baker $200 million in new employer health care fees and a reduction in a planned unemployment insurance (UI) rate hike, but not the MassHealth reforms that Baker says are critical. Read More


TRUMP [Wikimedia]

PRESIDENT: MILITARY WON'T ALLOW TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS TO SERVE

Transgender individuals will be banned from serving in the military, President Donald Trump declared in a policy directive announced on Twitter. Read More


FRIEDMAN SWORN INTO SENATE AHEAD OF FINAL TWO SUMMER SESSIONS

Fresh off her Tuesday night special election victory, Arlington Democrat Cindy Friedman is the newest state senator after she took the oath of office Wednesday afternoon in time to cast her first votes later in the day. Read More

Newly-minted Sen. Cindy Friedman shook hands with

Newly-minted Sen. Cindy Friedman shook hands with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito after being sworn into office Wednesday while Senate President Stanley Rosenberg looked on. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SIMULCASTING, MASSHEALTH AND ICE BUCKETS ON WEDNESDAY AGENDA

Both branches of the Legislature have formal sessions scheduled for Wednesday, with plans to take up matters dealing with health care, simulcasting and declaring an "Ice Bucket Challenge Week." Read More


FRIEDMAN WIN WILL BOOST DEM WOMEN IN SENATE TO 13

Arlington Democrat Cindy Friedman is poised to join the Senate after her 4th Middlesex District special election win on Tuesday. Read More


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RESISTANT TO MASSHEALTH CHANGES, LAWMAKERS SET UP SHOWDOWN WITH BAKER

Baker administration officials on Tuesday urged lawmakers to get on board with reforms to rein in costs at MassHealth, but the House is poised on Wednesday to create a showdown with the governor by sending him back a $200 million package of new employer assessments and unemployment insurance rate relief without the MassHealth changes, according to two senior House officials. Read More

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, and outgoing Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore represented the Baker administration at Tuesday's hearing on proposed MassHealth reforms. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


CHILD PROTECTION BILL TARGETS SMOKING IN CARS

If a driver is spotted texting behind the wheel, a law enforcement officer can pull them over and issue a fine. A bill considered Tuesday would give officers that same authority in connection with a cause that many health professionals say is just as deadly -- exposing young children to secondhand smoke by smoking while they are in the car. Read More

Sana Raoof of Harvard Medical School and Rep. Paul

Sana Raoof of Harvard Medical School and Rep. Paul Heroux testified Tuesday in support of a bill that would ban smoking in a car with a child in a car seat. [Photo: Stephanie Murray/SHNS]


BOSTON PRESSES TO USE CONVENTION FUNDS FOR EARLY ED

Duck Boat sightseers would help float Boston’s pre-kindergarten education under a proposed scheme to redirect surplus tourism fees from the city’s convention center to classrooms that serve some of the state's youngest learners. Read More


BAKER DEPUTIES PRESS HEALTH CARE REFORMS AT HEARING

[Story Developing] As lawmakers expressed concerns about potential negative impacts on low-income people, three top Baker administration officials urged the Legislature to agree to the governor's MassHealth reforms, saying the program must be put on a more sustainable financial path and the state needs to act quickly to address growing costs. Read More


TOBACCO RETAILER SAYS STATEWIDE REGULATION NEEDED

Calling for more "common sense" in state tobacco laws, a retailer asked the Joint Committee on Public Health Tuesday to consider legislation that would regulate sales statewide instead of within cities and towns. Read More


HOUSING BOND PITCHED AS "ENGINE" IN CLIMATE MARKED BY RISING PRICES

Describing it as "the biggest thing that we all do together related to affordable housing development," a top Baker administration official on Tuesday asked lawmakers to support a five-year $1.3 billion bond bill that she said will create both affordable housing and jobs. Read More


COMMISSION OUTLINES OPTIONS FOR ONLINE GAMING REGULATION

Industry officials and a lawmaker cried foul Tuesday over a commission's recommendation that the Legislature legalize daily fantasy sports but lump the contests into a broad definition of "online gaming," a categorization they said could stunt the industry's growth. Read More

The special commission on online gaming and fantas

The special commission on online gaming and fantasy sports, chaired by Rep. Joseph Wagner and Sen. Eileen Donoghue, released a draft report on Tuesday. Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby (left) also sits on the panel. [Photo: File/Sam Doran/SHNS]


BROCKTON OFFICIALS AMONG THOSE CHALLENGING EDUCATION FUNDING ADEQUACY

Rep. Michelle DuBois, who graduated high school just before the 1993 education reform law, said the cash-strapped state of Brockton schools today is reminiscent of her days in classrooms packed with around 50 students. Read More


MILFORD GEARS UP FOR POTENTIAL WATER COMPANY PURCHASE

Officials in the town of Milford are tending to the same responsibilities as those in the state's other 350 cities and towns. They're also attempting to buy a water department. Read More


SEXUAL VIOLENCE BILL AIMS TO STRENGTHEN PROTECTIONS AT COLLEGES

With an eye on Washington, the Massachusetts Senate on Monday gave initial approval to a bill that would cement Title IX statutes in Massachusetts and take protections for college students who are victims of sexual violence a step further. Read More


DELEGATION BRING RAIL SYSTEM WIRELESS CONCERNS TO FCC

Members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation say they support enhanced wireless service for MBTA commuter rail riders, but have concerns with infrastructure plans that are central to achieving that goal. Read More


DRAFT KINGS DISGRUNTLED WITH ONLINE GAMING PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS

[Coverage Developing] The panel that has been studying the emerging online gaming industries on Tuesday recommended that the Legislature broadly define "online gaming" and permanently legalize daily fantasy sports, but hold off on allowing other forms of online gambling for now. Read More


MASS. HOME, CONDO PRICES AND SALES CONTINUE STEADY ASCENT

The median prices for a single-family home or condominium in Massachusetts hit their highest marks ever for the month of June but analysts warn that prices may be approaching unsustainable highs, according to a report out Tuesday. Read More


Monday, July 24, 2017

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE STRUCK DOWN BY JUDGE

A Superior Court judge, in a ruling bound for appeal, found on Monday that the state's voter registration deadline is unconstitutional. Read More


SLOW GROWTH, TIGHT BUDGETS LIKELY TO CONTINUE, S&P PREDICTS

The rate of job creation will likely slow and budget problems could trickle down from the state to the local level as the plodding economic recovery from the recession that began nearly a decade ago persists through 2018, S&P Global Ratings said in a new forecast. Read More


LYONS

REPS WILL FILE BILL TO COUNTER SJC IMMIGRATION RULING

After the state's highest court ruled there is no authority for officials to hold immigrants solely at the request of federal authorities, three Republican House members are working to gather momentum behind legalizing those types of detentions. Read More


DiDOMENICO

SENATOR: VETO MEANS KIDS COULD DIE ON WAITLIST FOR SERVICES

An attempt to end a waiting list for palliative care services for children may have been stymied by Gov. Charlie Baker's veto pen, according to a lawmaker who backed the effort. Read More


BAKER

BAKER SEEKING TRUMP ADMIN APPROVAL FOR FLEXIBILITY FROM ACA

As it simultaneoulsy pursues Medicaid reform proposals in the state Legislature, the Baker administration has taken the first steps toward seeking approval of health care policy changes from the Trump administration. Read More


McMAHON [Courtesy]

GOP ATTORNEY FROM BOURNE POISED TO LAUNCH AG CAMPAIGN

While some Democrats continue to watch Attorney General Maura Healey for signs that she'll change her mind about running for governor, Healey has drawn her first challenger for re-election in 2018. Read More


STATE GRANT SEEN AS PIVOTAL FOR WINTHROP BUSINESS DISTRICT

With his health care reforms pending before the House and just prior to embarking on an out of state trip, Gov. Charlie Baker traveled on Friday to Winthrop where he announced a $2.38 million state grant to make water, sewer, roadway, sidewalk and streetscape improvements in the community's business district. Read More


BOSTON SCHOOLS SELECTED FOR SOCIAL LEARNING INITIATIVE

About 15,000 Boston Public Schools children in kindergarten through fifth grade will receive social and emotional learning services, part of "groundbreaking work" that supporters say can lead to positive results in the classroom and outside of school. Read More


SOME SENATORS LOOKING TO EXPAND SCOPE OF PROP TAX BILL

Senators have filed more than two dozen amendments to the property tax bill expected to be debated Thursday in the Senate. Read More


MASS. MUST ACT TO SEIZE CLEAN ENERGY MANTLE, FRESHMAN REP SAYS

A first-term representative is asking his colleagues to act swiftly on his clean energy legislation, saying passing it this year could help position the state as an industry leader and alleviate lawmakers' concerns about potential political consequences. Read More


BUS MAINTENANCE PRIVATIZATION MAY BE NEXT CHAPTER IN MBTA REFORM

The MBTA has begun soliciting bids from private companies to provide maintenance of T buses at a third of the MBTA's bus maintenance facilities, the latest salvo in what has now been a two-year skirmish over privatization at the transit agency. Read More

MBTA bus maintenance workers rallied last week as

MBTA bus maintenance workers rallied last week as they launched an anti-privatization campaign. [Photo: File/Colin Young/SHNS]


NO BUDGET INCREASE FOR STATE ETHICS COMMISSION

The State Ethics Commission's annual budget isn't being cut or increased, a status its executive director said reflects a statewide "climate of austerity." Read More


HIGH COURT RULES DETENTIONS FOR ICE NOT SUPPORTED BY LAW

State law does not permit officials to detain immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday, putting up a legal barrier to a long-running component of immigration enforcement. In the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn, the court concluded that "nothing in the statutes or common law of Massachusetts authorizes court officers to make a civil arrest in these circumstances." Read More

The SJC's ruling Monday in Commonwealth v. Lunn co

The SJC's ruling Monday in Commonwealth v. Lunn could stir the churning immigration debate playing out in Congress and at federal courthouses. [Photo: File/Sam Doran/SHNS]


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service