... MBTA's latest woe: power problem snags Wednesday morning commute on Blue Line ...... House leaders seem to be playing long game as talks on overdue budget drag on ...... Mass. schools lacking on carbon monoxide detection ...... DeLeo wants another interim budget, a sign that fiscal 2020 budget accord not likely near ...... Mass. spending down its interim budget with House and Senate Dems locked in a quiet quarrel over annual budget ...... Harness racing, simulcast wagering sites at risk without extension of gaming laws due to expire July 31 ...... Budget impasse causes UMass to postpone decision on fall tuition and fee rates ...... Opponents of NU project in Nahant say it's time for a law overriding the Dover Amendment ...... Central Maine Power opponents say opposition growing in Maine to transmission project ...... Student transportation commission scheduled to meet on July 19 ...... ACLU sues MassDOT, alleges agency failed to respond to its face surveillance public records requests ...... Baker returns Janus bill with amendment designed to protect employee cellphone numbers ...... Transportation emission reductions will be focus of workshops July 18, July 23, July 25 ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST POWER PROBLEM WRECKS MORNING COMMUTE ON BLUE LINE

While the MBTA works through the summer to get its Red Line back to normal service levels following a derailment last month, the battered public transit system's Blue Line left commuters looking for another way to get to work when it partially shut down Wednesday morning. Read More

An MBTA shuttle bus pulled up in front of Government Center Station on Wednesday morning amid a partial Blue Line shutdown. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

AUTHORITY RAISING $300 MIL FOR SCHOOL PROJECTS

State officials are going to the bond market Wednesday to begin raising $300 million for school construction projects. Read More


CONSUMER GROUPS FLAG PROBLEMS WITH CAR SALES BILL

Consumer groups are urging lawmakers to reject a bill they say would allow Massachusetts car dealers to sell used vehicles with unrepaired safety recall defects. Read More


SENATE SESSION - WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2019

The Senate continue its light July workload, as Democrats continue extended talks on the state budget and a distracted driving bill. Legislative leaders appear content to keep a limited agenda while waiting for those bills to emerge from conference committees. At a session that most senators skipped, the Senate recognized guests, sent a bill to committee, then agreed to return for another informal session Thursday. - Chris Lisinski Read More


WALSH APPEALS TO MBTA FOR SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS

[Story Developing] Boston Mayor Marty Walsh urged the MBTA Wednesday to increase frequency of Red Line and commuter rail trains in the wake of last month's derailment that continues to cause delays. Read More


BEE-KILLING PESTICIDES TARGETED IN PETITION SIGNED BY 20,000

With bee colonies in distress, grassroots support appears to be growing for legislative intervention. Read More


CAUCUS BACKS PRESSLEY, DENOUNCES TRUMP TWEETS

The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus is standing in support of U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and the three other Democratic congresswomen of color whom President Donald Trump has targeted in recent tweets. Read More


RANKED CHOICE PITCHED AS INCLUSIVE ELECTION REFORM

Activists met at the State House to celebrate progress on ranked choice voting efforts and highlight bills that would allow municipalities to enact the voting reform at the local level, and legalize the process statewide. "We're all here in this shared effort to ensure that every vote in Massachusetts has a greater voice when they go to the polls," said Mac D'Alessandro, state director for Voter Choice Massachusetts, which organized the event. Read More


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

FEDS SHARE "FAIR AMOUNT OF GUIDANCE" WITH STATE, VINEYARD WIND

Days after the Trump administration injected a level of uncertainty into the Vineyard Wind project planned off of Martha's Vineyard, Gov. Charlie Baker said the federal government has given his administration and the company a "fair amount of guidance" about the decision to delay a key permit. Read More


TOBACCO, VAPING PRODUCTS TARGETED WITH FLAVOR BAN

As more and more young people begin to use e-cigarettes and other vapor products with nicotine, often initially tempted by an appealing flavor, students and lawmakers made their push Tuesday for Massachusetts to ban the sale of almost all flavored tobacco and tobacco products, including mentholated cigarettes and some of the most popular vape products. Read More

Sen. John Keenan and an aide picked up side-by-sid

Sen. John Keenan and an aide picked up side-by-side comparisons of vintage cigarette ads and modern e-cig marketing materials. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


NEW MASS. BUDGET TIMELINE IS NEXT WEEK, "HOPEFULLY"

It's only Tuesday and hopes are already fading for a deal this week on the overdue state budget. Breaking a two-week pattern, the House adjourned Tuesday morning without plans to meet on Wednesday. Since July 1, the budget's due date, both branches have been holding near-daily sessions while they await a report from the six lawmakers charged in early June with coming up with the final fiscal 2020 spending plan. Read More


ED FUNDING BILL TIMELINE NOW "THE NEAR FUTURE"

The fiscal year 2020 budget is not the only long-expected Beacon Hill legislation running late: after initially suggesting a K-12 education funding bill would be released in June, Education Committee co-chair Sen. Jason Lewis said Tuesday that he now expects the work to be completed "in the near future." Read More


BROAD SUPPORT FOR WELFARE CASH ASSISTANCE INCREASE

Activists, physicians and social workers urged lawmakers Tuesday to expand a state welfare program helping low-income parents, arguing existing cash grants are insufficient to meet growing costs and leave many children stuck in poverty. Read More

Rep. Marjorie Decker (left), who filed legislation

Rep. Marjorie Decker (left), who filed legislation with Sen. Sal DiDomenico (right) to increase the cash benefits low-income parents can receive, said the existing funding leaves many people "drowning" under growing costs. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


SENATE SESSION – TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019

The legislative pace has slowed as House and Senate Democrats continue to struggle to complete work on the annual state budget. The Senate met for less than five minutes on Tuesday to deal with local issues and a bill to allow state employees to donate their sick, personal or vacation time to an ill colleague. Read More


CCC EXTENDS BOSTON LEASE AT NEARLY $27,000 A MONTH

The Cannabis Control Commission has re-upped the lease for its temporary digs in the Financial District, but expects to move into its Boston satellite office next month and get settled into its new Worcester headquarters by the end of 2019. Read More


GOVS. BAKER, LAMONT, RAIMONDO HUDDLE OVER REGIONAL ISSUES

Gov. Charlie Baker came looking to check in on a regional initiative to wring carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker met with neighboring state exec

Gov. Charlie Baker met with neighboring state executives Ned Lamont of Connecticut (center) and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island (right) on Tuesday at Eastern Connecticut State University. [Photo: Matt Murphy/SHNS] | Hi-Res


MASS. SCHOOLS LACKING IN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTION

Fire chiefs renewed warnings Tuesday that students across the state face risks of carbon monoxide poisoning because of a gap in regulations that effectively allows many older school buildings not to install detectors. Read More

Monson Fire Chief Laurent McDonald, Douglas Fire C

Monson Fire Chief Laurent McDonald, Douglas Fire Chief Kent Vinson, and Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts government affairs director Bill Scoble testified Tuesday in support of legislation to require all schools in the state to install carbon-monoxide detectors. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


GOVS. BAKER, LAMONT, RAIMONDO GATHER IN CONNECTICUT

Gov. Charlie Baker came looking to check in on a regional initiative to wring carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019

The House dealt with a pack of municipal bills and sick leave banks on Tuesday, before adjourning until later this week - without any immediate plans to take up a deal from fiscal 2020 budget negotiators, who are now on Day 47 of private meetings. Read More


VAPING FIGHT PITS STUDENTS AGAINST STORE OWNERS

[Story Developing] High school and college students who say the use of nicotine vapor products has become a widespread aspect of student life will urge lawmakers Tuesday to impose an outright ban on flavored tobacco and vape products. Read More


NAHANT BRINGS DOVER AMENDMENT APPEAL TO LEGISLATURE

Bonded by opposition to a Northeastern University project, Nahant residents packed a State House auditorium Tuesday and asked lawmakers to essentially lift a 69-year-old law that can enable religious or education non-profits to bypass local environmental regulations. Read More


HOUSE LEADER NOW EYES BUDGET DEAL NEXT WEEK

It's only Tuesday, and hopes are already fading for a deal this week on the overdue state budget. Read More


CARBON MONOXIDE DEATHS, AUTO INDUSTRY TARGETED IN NEW BILL

Auto manufacturers, dealers, and rental companies in Massachusetts would be required to ensure that vehicles with keyless ignitions are equipped with auto-stop technology under new legislation aimed at preventing carbon monoxide deaths. Read More


FOSTER NOMINATED FOR SOMERVILLE COURT POST

Kimberly Foster, an attorney with public and private sector experience, will serve as clerk magistrate of the Somerville District Court if her nomination is confirmed by the Governor's Council. Read More


Monday, July 15, 2019

BREWERS AND DISTRIBUTORS RENEW THEIR QUARREL OVER EXCLUSIVE CONTRACTS

Brewers and beer distributors are renewing the effort to create new pathways out of their business partnerships, but a "compromise" bill put forward by distributors has already been rejected by brewers, who are offering a plan they said would be "painful" for them but still preferable to the distributors' option. Read More

Supporters of a bill promoted by beer distributors

Supporters of a bill promoted by beer distributors packed a State House hearing room Monday, clad in blue T-shirts that called their bill "the fair compromise." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HOUSE SESSION - MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019

The House met in informal session Monday for the sixth straight weekday as it awaits a fiscal year 2020 budget deal from conference committee negotiators, but no report came despite holding the session open into the afternoon. Read More


BAKER: TRUMP TWEETS SEND 'HORRID, DEBILITATING, HATEFUL MESSAGE'

President Donald Trump on Monday doubled down on his criticism of several minority congresswomen, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who he said should "go back" to the countries they came from, standing by his weekend comments that Gov. Charlie Baker called "shameful and racist." Read More

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley at a Boston City Hal

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley at a Boston City Hall rally in 2018. On Capitol Hill Monday, Pressley told people to not "take the bait" the president posted to Twitter over the weekend. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018] | Hi-Res


WAIT CONTINUES FOR BUDGET AFTER WEEKEND TALKS

The third week of the 2020 fiscal year began Monday with no annual spending plan in place as six lawmakers tasked with reaching a deal have yet to find consensus. Read More


BE READY FOR WIND AND FLOODS, MEMA SAYS DURING HURRICANE PREP WEEK

On the heels of Hurricane Barry making landfall in Louisiana over the weekend, Gov. Charlie Baker has proclaimed this Hurricane Preparedness Week in Massachusetts. Read More


HIGH COST OF TREATING DISORDER LEAVES FAMILIES IN BIND

Tiffany Uttam was facing every parent's nightmare. Her nine-year-old son became abruptly ill, and no one could seem to help. Read More


BAKER TO JOIN TWO OTHER N.E. GUVS FOR CONNECTICUT SIT-DOWN

Gov. Charlie Baker will sit down on Tuesday in Connecticut with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to discuss "regional policy issues," which are expected to include transportation, energy and infrastructure, according to the governor's office. Read More


PUSH FOR PLAINRIDGE TABLE GAMES MEETS RESISTANCE FROM HOPKINTON FAMILY

Eight years after Massachusetts legalized casino gambling and while lawmakers are weighing further expansions of gaming, a Hopkinton couple told lawmakers the story of how "the spread of commercialized gambling" has turned their lives and business upside down, and warned lawmakers against further promoting gambling. Read More

Rep. Jeff Roy and a panel of southeastern Massachu

Rep. Jeff Roy and a panel of southeastern Massachusetts officials touted positive impacts of Plainridge Park Casino on their communities and urged lawmakers to support beefing up the facility with table games and additional slot machines. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


DeLEO CALLS FOR INTERIM AUGUST BUDGET AMID PROLONGED NEGOTIATIONS

With the annual state budget now 15 days late and negotiators acknowledging still-unresolved issues, House Speaker Robert DeLeo indicated concern Monday that a compromise might not be within reach this month and said the governor should file legislation that would ensure government continues to operate into August. Read More


EVERETT CASINO GENERATES $4.2M IN TAX REVENUE IN OPENING WEEK

In the first eight days that Encore Boston Harbor was open, gamblers wagered more than $93.5 million on the slot machines alone at the Everett casino and the Wynn Resorts operation counted $16.79 million in total revenue, or more than $2 million a day. Read More


UMASS TUITION VOTE CANCELED AS BUDGET IMPASSE DRAGS ON

With a state budget not yet in place two weeks into the fiscal year, votes planned for Tuesday on undergraduate tuition rates at the University of Massachusetts have been canceled. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019

... Mayor Walsh's intergovernmental relations department has a new chief of staff ... Mike Levine is returning to MassHealth and a top finance job there ... the Danish offshore wind developer Ørsted reached into the Senate to hire its new communications point person ... Congressman Moulton has a new regional director ... Committee on Cannabis Policy Co-chair Rep. David Rogers is staffing up, hiring legal counsel and a legislative and research director ... Tim Foley was elected executive vice president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East ... the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation Board has new appointees, courtesy of Gov. Charlie Baker ... the president of Eastern Bank has joined the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ... Please enjoy the Personnel File ... Read More


SENATE SESSION – MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019

The Senate sent the governor a bill naming certain bridges in memory of military service members from Massachusetts who died in the line of duty and passed a bill dealing with the Holliston Conservation Commission in a brief informal session held as Beacon Hill awaits a budget that's more than two weeks late. Read More


WARREN SEES POSSIBLE CONFLICT WITH ACTING DEFENSE SEC

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is asking the country's acting defense secretary to take steps to clear up what she described as an "ethics cloud" around his former lobbying work for Raytheon. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service