... Performance metrics for RTAs? Pollack could establish them under governor's budget ...... Rental voucher spending up 34 percent since FY 2015 under Baker's budget ...... Governor sees $80 million in savings from MassHealth pharmacy benefit changes ...... Baker eyes $14 million from new tax on gross receipts of opioid manufacturers ...... Carol Mici appointed new commissioner of Department of Correction ...... Baker proposes another tax, this one on manufacturers of opioids ...... Education funding debate underway as Baker offers seven-year, $1.1 billion plan ...... Baker includes primary enforcement of seat belt law in road safety bill ...... Transit advocates plan Friday event to mark 50th anniversary of highway expansion ...... Rep. Adam Schiff to address "Politics & Eggs" in N.H. on Feb. 4 ...... Wage law delay request pits interests of tipped workers, restaurant industry ...... ...... ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

TOPVIDEO | PRESSURE POINTS IN BAKER ED BILL: $$$, TIMEFRAME, REFORMS

Gov. Charlie Baker's plan would give Education Com
Gov. Charlie Baker's plan would give Education Commissioner Jeff Riley new authority around underperforming schools. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday rolled out a seven-year plan to boost school funding by more than $1 billion dollars, including what his education secretary described as a "historic investment" in communities where students are facing achievement gaps. Read More

LATEST VIDEO | BAKER TAXES HELP FUEL $42.7 BILLION BUDGET BILL

Gov. Charlie Baker filed a $42.7 billion budget on Thursday that features the biggest overhaul to public education funding in decades and proposes new taxes on electronic nicotine products and on pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for opioid addiction services. Read More

Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed fiscal 2020 budget would up spending by 1.5 percent over the current fiscal year. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res

SCOOTER RULES CRITICAL TO "FUTURE MOBILITY," BAKER SAYS

The communal rental scooters that began to pop up in cities around Boston over the last year as a new means of shared transportation would be treated as bicycles under the road safety bill Gov. Charlie Baker filed Tuesday, and riders would have to follow the same rules as bicyclists when they scoot around Massachusetts roads. Read More


LAWMAKERS PUSH BILL MAKING UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ELIGIBLE FOR DRIVER'S LICENSES

Lawmakers are renewing a push to pass legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants residing in the state to acquire driver's licenses, despite the failure of similar legislation in the past and opposition from Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More

Sen. Brendan Crighton, Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier,

Sen. Brendan Crighton, Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and Rep. Christine Barber, backed by advocates, unveiled legislation Wednesday that would allow undocumented immigrants to acquire standard Massachusetts driver's licenses. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


WAGE LAW DELAY REQUEST PITS INTERESTS OF TIPPED WORKERS, RESTAURANTS

The coalition behind last year's successful bill raising the minimum wage says the restaurant industry is trying to backtrack on part of the legal agreement, which an industry official says has created a "logistical nightmare." Read More


LICENSES FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WOULD MAKE ROADS SAFER, LAWMAKERS SAY

Lawmakers are renewing a push for legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants residing in the state to acquire drivers licenses, despite the failure of similar legislation in the past and opposition from Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More


LAWMAKERS SEEK EMERGENCY TASK FORCE ON SHUTDOWN

With the ongoing government shutdown now a month old, two western Massachusetts lawmakers are calling for the creation of a "bipartisan emergency task force" to seek out ways the state can help federal workers who have been going without pay. Read More


MEDIAN HOME, CONDO SALE PRICES REACH NEW HIGHS

There were fewer single-family homes sold in Massachusetts in 2018 than in the last three years, but the median sale price for single-family homes and condominiums reached all-time highs in 2018. It's a mix one analyst said could be an early sign of a softening market. Read More


BAKER WANTS LAW APPLYING OUI STATUTES TO MARIJUANA

As the number of stores selling marijuana in Massachusetts grows, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday announced he'll ask lawmakers to adopt the recommendations of a special commission that studied ways to deal with operating under the influence. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23, 2019

... There's a new acting secretary of elder affairs, and a new undersecretary of homeland security ... Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and state Sen. Barry Finegold are staffed up ... Walter Sullivan, who has held numerous roles in state government, is starting his own law and government affairs firm ... CommonWealth magazine has two new reporters ... There's a new policy coordinator at the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth ... The state's former top human resources official is filling that same role at the Trial Court ... Please enjoy the Personnel File ... Read More


MICI

CAROL MICI NAMED CORRECTION COMMISSIONER

Carol Mici, who started her career as a correction officer in 1987, was named Wednesday to manage 16 correctional facilities that employ 4,500 staff members and house 8,500 inmates. Read More


TAX ON OPIOIDS, ONLINE RETAIL REFORMS INCLUDED IN BAKER BUDGET

Gov. Charlie Baker filed a $42.7 billion budget on Thursday that features the biggest overhaul to public education funding in decades and proposes new taxes on pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for opioid addiction services. Read More


BAKER

BAKER OFFERS SEVEN-YEAR, $1.1 BILLION K-12 EDUCATION PLAN

A seven-year education funding reform plan Gov. Charlie Baker is filing Wednesday would increase K-12 school funding by more than $1 billion, phasing in new money to address special education, employee health care, and the costs of educating low-income students and English language learners. Read More


TRAHAN, PRESSLEY JOIN EDUCATION, OVERSIGHT PANELS, RESPECTIVELY

The two freshman congresswomen from Massachusetts were named to influential committees Tuesday, with Lori Trahan joining the House Committee on Education and Labor and Ayanna Pressley joining the House's Committee on Oversight and Reform. Read More


DeLEO EYES RETROACTIVE LIFT OF WELFARE $$$ CAP

Advocates renewing the push to lift a cap on family welfare benefits will have an ally this cycle in House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The House and Senate last summer, as part of this year's budget, sent Gov. Charlie Baker language that would repeal what advocates refer to as the "cap on kids" -- a limit that precludes additional benefits for families that have another child while already receiving aid. Read More


AGREEMENT AIMS TO PROTECT RIGHT WHALES DURING ENERGY PROJECTS

Officials in the offshore wind energy industry plan on Wednesday to announce an agreement with Vineyard Wind to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales during the construction and operation of the company’s 84-turbine project off the Massachusetts coast. Read More


Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

IMPAIRED DRIVING THE NEXT TARGET FOR BAKER

Gov. Charlie Baker will follow up his Tuesday filing of legislation to require drivers to use hands-free cell phone technology by taking part in a lobbying event at the State House to push his bill and announce additional legislation "regarding operating under the influence and impaired driving." Read More


SEAT BELTS, DEVICE USE ARE FOCUSES IN GUV'S ROAD SAFETY BILL

Gov. Charlie Baker has some advice for Massachusetts drivers: Buckle up and put your phone down. The governor on Tuesday proposed his most sweeping set of road safety rules yet, calling for Massachusetts to join 16 other states in requiring hands-free cell phone use while driving and proposing to allow police to stop motorists for not wearing a seat belt. Read More


CLT RIPS BAKER'S "BREACH OF TRUST" ON TAX INCREASES

An anti-tax group lashed out at Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday, calling the Republican governor "a disappointment" after he rolled out a plan last week to generate about $1 billion over the next decade by hiking the excise tax paid on real estate transfers. Read More


GROWERS TURNING UP LEGAL PRESSURE ON CANNABIS COMMISSION

A group representing Massachusetts marijuana growers officially petitioned the Cannabis Control Commission last week to review and regulate the statutorily-required agreements between marijuana businesses and their host towns, and says it plans to sue the commission if it does not act. Read More


POFTAK

POFTAK WAXES ON HIS DELAY-FREE COMMUTE, POSSIBLE DISRUPTIONS

Plunging temperatures and service delays led to frustrated MBTA riders again this week but the new head of the transit agency says he's had a delay-free January so far. Read More


ON DAY 32, TRAHAN WARNS OF SHUTDOWN'S GROWING ECONOMIC TOLL

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan was invited to the New England Council's breakfast Tuesday to discuss her legislative priorities, and she did, highlighting the importance of the defense industry in her district as well as her support for vocational schools and apprenticeships. Read More

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan addressed the audience at th

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan addressed the audience at the New England Council's Congressional Roundtable on Tuesday. [Photo: Chris Lisinski/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HOUSE SESSION - TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2019

Back from a long weekend, the House met for four minutes Tuesday as representatives await a debate over rules and committee assignments for the now 20-day-old session. While the committees have not yet been stocked with members, the House sent the governor's sport betting bill to the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, which last session was chaired by Rep. Joseph Wagner. Gov. Baker's bill proposing to authorize $200 million in spending through Chapter 90 on municipal roads and bridges was also sent to the Transportation Committee, which last session was chaired by Rep. William Straus. The governor's road funding bill also includes authorization for $1.5 billion for "federally-aided highway projects" and $200 million for "rail and transit projects to ensure continuity in the Department of Transportation's capital program," according to the governor's filing letter. The House plans another informal session on Thursday. - Matt Murphy Read More


GOLDBERG: ONLINE LOTTERY MUST ADVANCE WITH SPORTS BETTING

If Massachusetts lawmakers are going to legalize sports betting and allow people to place wagers online or through smartphone apps, the Massachusetts Lottery must also be granted the authority to sell its gaming products online, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said Tuesday. Read More


COALITION TURNS UP PRESSURE FOR WINTER HEATING AID $$$

Citing temperatures that dropped down to single digits in the early part of this week, community action agencies and lawmakers are continuing to push for the state to provide additional funding for home heating assistance. Read More


BOARD OF ED OKAYS NEIGHBORHOOD ZONE CHARTER SCHOOL

A New Bedford charter school will be able to expand as part of a collaborative effort with city and school district officials there, under a plan approved Tuesday that education officials said could serve as a model for future endeavors elsewhere in the state. Read More


DPH TO MARK ITS 150TH BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is marking its 150th anniversary with a new logo, kicking off a year of celebrations that will include events at the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury this summer and commemorations during April's National Public Health Week. Read More


SOME McCORMACK WORKERS TOLD NOT TO REPORT

Employees who work on five floors of the state office building at One Ashburton Place, the 22-story building adjacent to the State House, were told not to report to work Tuesday due to concerns about heat in the building. Read More


SEAT BELT, HANDS-FREE MEASURES IN GUV'S ROAD SAFETY BILL

[Story Developing] Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday proposed his most sweeping set of road safety rules yet, calling for Massachusetts to join 16 other states in requiring hands-free cell phone use while driving and proposing to allow police to stop motorists for not wearing a seat belt. Read More


SENATE SESSION - TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2019

Coming off a long weekend, the Senate got a late start Tuesday, then met for three minutes and referred Gov. Charlie Baker's "dangerous persons" bill to the Judiciary Committee. Baker's bill would allow judges to consider a person's full criminal record when deciding whether to hold them before trial as a danger to society. Senate leaders have not yet appointed members to committees. The Senate also passed a resolution in honor of former Rep. Jay Kaufman, whose farewell party will be held Saturday in Lexington, and placed on file a report from Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe stating his office did not apply for any wiretaps under state law in calendar year 2018. - Sam Doran Read More


NATIONAL GRID PENALIZED $750,000 FOR 2017 STORM RESPONSE

Regulators slapped National Grid with a $750,000 penalty Tuesday, saying the utility failed to comply with state guidelines or their own emergency response plan when faced with an 2017 windstorm that affected electric customers in 166 communities. Read More


SOUTHEAST CASINO, WYNN LAWSUIT ON GAMING COMM. AGENDA

The possibility of a third resort casino will be on the table Thursday when state officials meet to discuss how they might move forward with re-starting the bidding process for the southeastern Massachusetts casino license. Read More


EDU BOARD APPROVES NEW BEDFORD CHARTER EXPANSION

[Coverage Developing] The state Board of Education on Tuesday voted 9-1 to approve a charter school expansion in New Bedford that Commissioner Jeff Riley described as a "hopeful and important proof point for the commonwealth." Read More


COLLEGE CLOSURE THREAT GROWING, STATE SEEKING NEW POWERS

Citing a need to boost confidence in higher education, state officials are ready to begin erecting a new process to screen, monitor and, if necessary, intervene to protect students when officials determine a private college or university in Massachusetts is at risk of closing within 18 months. Read More


Monday, Jan. 21, 2019

TAX REBOUND PREDICTION NOT EVIDENT IN MID-JANUARY NUMBERS

The state revenue commissioner in early January said it was likely that a deep drop in December tax receipts would correct itself during January due to a shift in income tax estimated payments from December to January. The early returns for the year's first month don't show that, and point instead to a worsening situation. Read More


LYONS WANTS MASSGOP TO RE-ENGAGE IN URBAN AREAS

New Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Jim Lyons is making urban communities an early focus of his tenure, as he looks to unite and build a party that has lost tens of thousand of members over decades. Read More


WARREN VISITING SOUTH CAROLINA ON WEDNESDAY

Iowa, New Hampshire and now South Carolina. Read More


"NOT JUST WHAT YOUR MOUTH SAYS": BU CENTER GOES BEYOND CONSCIOUS RESPONSES

The basement of the Boston University Communication Research Center, where the phone banks and focus-group space used to be, contains a room that doesn't exist. Or does it? Read More


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service