... Premium pay fight renewed on Beacon Hill ...... To tax or to borrow? Baker and DeLeo take different approaches to pay for climate projects ...... Poll: Mass. voters want regulation of government's use of face recognition technology ...... Senate Revenue Working Group to hold open meeting June 25 in Lawrence with Commissioner Harding ...... Massachusetts gas prices fall another 4 cents, to an average of $2.67 per gallon ...... Liss-Riordan announces endorsements from six IBEW locals ...... RGGI states welcome New Jersey as regional compact's newest member ...... MGM Springfield posted its third best month so far in May ...... State promulgates ambient air quality standard regulations ...... DEP hits Southbridge landfill operator with $136,500 penalty for odor, waste discharge violations ...... Ethics Commission outlines conflict of interest case against Norwood Selectwoman Helen Donohue ...... Laws passed this year: conversion therapy ban, transpo bond, cap on kids lift ...... More than half of new laws approved in 2019 create special benefits for ill state employees ...... June 25 DPU public hearing planned on lost gas reporting requirements ...... Mass. lawmakers reject changes, advance income surtax constitutional amendment 147-48 ...... Straus, Wagner, Whelan join Boncore, Brownsberger, Tran on hands-free bill conference committee ...... House Rules Committee appoints John McLafferty as first equal employment opportunity officer ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Wednesday at 11 a.m. (formal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

LATEST CLIMATE BILLS HINGE ON $1 BIL IN TAXES, OR BORROWING

The governor and the speaker of the House -- two of Beacon Hill's most powerful figures -- saw their competing proposals to spend $1 billion or more over the next decade fighting the effects of climate change go head-to-head Tuesday for the attention of lawmakers. Read More

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, testifying before the Revenue Committee with Gov. Charlie Baker, said the state has 370 miles of seawall, and thousands of culverts, small bridges, and dams that will require investment in the coming years. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

SUBMINIMUM WAGE PITCHED AS SOLUTION TO DECLINING TEEN EMPLOYMENT

As high-school students begin their summer vacations, fewer teenagers in Massachusetts will be working part-time, seasonal jobs than in previous decades, part of an ongoing trend across the country. Read More

Beverly City Council President Paul Guanci, who ow

Beverly City Council President Paul Guanci, who owns a local sub shop, told lawmakers that he has had to scale back how many high-school students he hires as part-time employees because of the higher minimum wage. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


PREMIUM PAY FIGHT RENEWED ON BEACON HILL

After lawmakers last year agreed to phase out the requirement for time-and-a-half pay on Sundays and certain holidays, unions and advocates for workers are lobbying for lawmakers to reconsider and keep the requirement while business groups plead for the Legislature to honor its word. Read More

"We call ourselves progressives in Massachusetts?

"We call ourselves progressives in Massachusetts? A blue state? Give me a break," Rep. Antonio Cabral said Tuesday, calling for reinstatement of premium pay on Sundays and holidays. Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (below center) said lawmakers should honor last year's bargain, which phased out premium pay. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


NON-PROFITS SEE DROP IN GIVING AS "WARNING SIGNAL"

New numbers showing a drop in charitable giving nationwide represent a "warning signal" and could spell trouble for the many non-profits in Massachusetts that rely on donors, according to an industry insider. Read More


POLL: VOTERS WANT CHECKS ON FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY

Nearly eight in ten Massachusetts voters would support a moratorium on government use of face recognition surveillance, according to poll results released Tuesday. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019

... The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus has a new executive director ... There's a new chair of the Mass. High Technology Council ... The Mass. Nonprofit Network has three new board members ... The LiveableStreets Alliance has some personnel changes ... The Catholic Archdiocese has a new point person on housing and planning ... Auditor Bump has a new fiscal affairs director ... UMass Dartmouth's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has a new director ... The Department of Developmental Services has a new chief of staff ... The longtime CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay is retiring ... And MassVentures's president and CEO plans to step down in August ... Please enjoy the Personnel File ... Read More


PIGNATELLI TOUTS BAKER SUPPORT FOR COMMERCIAL HEMP BILL

Supporters of a hemp production bill that's expected to clear the House Wednesday are counting Gov. Charlie Baker among the legislation's proponents. Read More


TIPPED WORKERS PRESS FOR "ONE FAIR" MINIMUM WAGE

Eliminating the separate, lower minimum wage for tipped employees would help workers achieve greater financial stability and reduce exposure to harassment, advocates said Tuesday. Read More

Sen. Patricia Jehlen (center), Rep. Tricia Farley-

Sen. Patricia Jehlen (center), Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (right), and U.S. Senate candidate Shannon Liss Riordan (left) rallied with activists in front of the State House on Tuesday in support of applying the standard minimum wage to tipped workers. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


STATE COMMISSION WOULD LOOK AT GAP IN NEWS REPORTING

Local news outlets are being "shuttered" across the Commonwealth, and if they don't get assistance, it's Massachusetts residents who will suffer, advocates said Tuesday. Read More


SAUGUS NURSING HOME WORKERS NOW EXPECT CONTRACT

Saugus nursing home workers have scrapped a strike planned for later this week, and their union said they now expect to have a contract in place by June 26. Read More


BIG DEPOSIT PUSHES RAINY DAY FUND PAST $2.6 BILLION

The state's "rainy day" fund has eclipsed the $2.6 billion mark, according to the Baker administration, growing by more than $1 billion in less than five years fueled by growth in tax collections on capital gains income. Read More

End-of-fiscal-year balances of the state's "rainy

End-of-fiscal-year balances of the state's "rainy day" fund, from fiscal 1986 to the projected close of fiscal 2019. [Comptroller's Office; ANF] | Hi-Res


STATE RAISES PAID LEAVE TAX RATE

The payroll tax intended to fund paid family and medical leave benefits will kick in later than first expected and at a higher rate than initially authorized by the Legislature. Read More


"FOOD IS MEDICINE" REPORT OUTLINES MENU OF OPTIONS

At a time when consumers are paying more attention to nutrition and the source of their food, the state could do more to integrate food into health care as a way to address chronic conditions and avoid some health care spending, a new report found. Read More


WITH NO MCAS, ALLIANCE ASKS 'WHAT WOULD A DIPLOMA MEAN?'

Proposals to suspend or eliminate the use of the MCAS test as a graduation requirement or for teacher evaluations would "disproportionately harm our most vulnerable students," according to the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. Read More


Monday, June 17, 2019

PLAN APPROVED TO SPEND $18B ON TRANSPO OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS

Transportation officials took a key step toward implementing promised improvements Monday by approving a five-year, $18.3 billion capital investment plan. Read More


RED LINE SOLUTIONS, DERAILMENT CAUSE STILL FUZZY

Although officials have now planned two separate outside reviews of the MBTA to examine derailments and broader safety questions, they still have not yet determined what caused a Red Line train to careen off the tracks six days ago or how long delays will persist. Read More

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak (right), seated

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak (right), seated next to Deputy GM Jeff Gonneville at a Monday board meeting, said commuters should expect an additional 20-30 minutes of travel time on the Red Line while crews work to repair the signal system. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


TWO YEARS PREDICTED BEFORE HOV LANE RESTORED ON I-93

A high-occupancy vehicle lane that state transportation officials opened to all traffic in response to construction on the Tobin Bridge will likely remain converted for two straight construction seasons, despite traffic concerns raised by advocates. Read More


SENATE IN RECEIPT OF INFO IN BRADY CASE

The Senate president's office now has the information about Sen. Michael Brady's drunken driving plea that it's been waiting for and the Senate could decide "soon" whether to open its own investigation. Read More

Sen. Michael Brady appeared in Quincy District Cou

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


MGM SPRINGFIELD POSTS THIRD BEST MONTH

MGM Springfield counted $22.29 million in revenue from its slot machines and tables games last month and the slots at Plainridge Park Casino generated $14.84 million in revenue in May, a cumulative total of $12.84 million of which will flow to the state. Read More


UBER INTEGRATING TRANSIT INFO INTO ITS APP

It's been a frequent sight in the days since a Red Line derailment brought parts of the MBTA to a crawl: would-be public transit users on an MBTA platform searching for a lift from an on-demand ride service rather than waiting for the T. Read More


REPORT SIZES UP SCHOOL AID FUNDING INCREASES

The degree of funding boosts for low-income students is a key difference between one pending school finance proposal that would lead to $460 million in additional district funding by fiscal 2026 and another Beacon Hill plan that would result in $1.4 billion, according to a new analysis. Read More


BAKER TO TESTIFY ON HIS TAX BILL TO SUPPORT CLIMATE ADAPTATION

Gov. Charlie Baker and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides will testify Tuesday in support of the governor's bill to raise $1 billion in new revenue over the next decade to invest in climate adaption infrastructure. Read More


MAYOR WANTS BOSTON TO HAVE GREATER SAY IN MBTA MANAGEMENT

By the time the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board wraps up its work next year, officials hope to have established another group to succeed it. But how that next board will be composed remains a subject of debate. Read More


ABORTION ACCESS BILL DRAWS BIG CROWDS TO STATE HOUSE

It's been held up as a bulwark against the conservative forces determined to overturn Roe V. Wade and decried as an opening to legalized "infanticide." Read More

Pro-life activists rallied in front of the State H

Pro-life activists rallied in front of the State House Monday morning ahead of a public hearing on the so-called ROE Act, which would legalize abortions after 24 weeks under certain circumstances. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


JANUS, DANGEROUSNESS BILLS ON LEGISLATIVE RADAR

Expect votes this summer on a dangerousness bill in the House and a bill dealing with union representation of non-members in the Senate, legislative leaders said Monday. House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka sketched out pieces of their near-term agendas after meeting privately with Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More


MBTA TOUTS ON-TIME COMMUTER RAIL PERFORMANCE

The commuter rail system recently enjoyed its best stretch of on-time performance in at least five years, but the numbers do not capture recent delays caused by a Red Line derailment that has affected the entire transit network, officials said. Read More


HOUSE DEMS PLAN FUNDRAISER AFTER WEDNESDAY'S SESSION

House members have been summoned to the State House Wednesday by Speaker Robert DeLeo to take up bills dealing with appraisal management companies and agriculture preservation restrictions for hemp cultivation. Read More


FOCUS ON MCAS KNOCKED AS BAD FOR EDUCATION

Educators and advocates on Monday urged lawmakers to press the pause button on the use of the state's standardized test program as a graduation requirement and a component of school accountability measures. Read More


SENATE SESSION – MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019

Monday was a sick leave bank kind of a day for the Massachusetts Senate. In a brief session interrupted by a recess of about an hour, senators dealt with seven different bills allowing state employees to donate their sick, personal or vacation days to ill colleagues -- one was sent to the governor to become law, four were ordered to a third reading and two were referred to the Committee on Public Service. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019

The House met for just more than 10 minutes Monday before adjourning until Wednesday when a formal session is scheduled to consider bills dealing with appraisal management companies (H 1114) and agriculture preservation restrictions for hemp cultivation (H 3535). Read More


Sunday, June 16, 2019

THIRTEEN MORE HIGH SCHOOLS GET EARLY COLLEGE DESIGNATIONS

High school students in 13 more Massachusetts cities and towns next fall will be able to start earning college credits at a rate that could enable them to enter higher education with a semester under their belt, for free. Read More


MICROCHIP MAKER ASSESSED FOR CHEMICAL DISPOSAL VIOLATIONS

A company that emptied containers of acids down the drain and into the municipal sewer system in Worcester faces a $9,505assessment for the infraction and several other hazardous waste regulation violations. Read More


PROGRESS ON RED LINE REPAIRS; SLOWER COMMUTES LIKELY

Five days after a train derailed while approaching JFK-UMass station on the Red Line, the MBTA on Sunday said it has resumed seamless service to Quincy and Braintree stops but asked customers to build an extra 20 minutes into their planned travel times as they begin another work week. Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service