... Faith leaders make the rounds at the State House, urging lawmakers to pass ERPO bill ...... Baker, Margaret Marshall featured at Mass High Tech Council annual meeting June 19 ...... Baker nominates five for Housing Court: del Puerto, Salvidio, Sherring, Michaud and Bagdoian ...... Gov. Baker to speak at Mintz Levin pharmaceutical summit on May 8 ...... Student loan collection bill on Senate's agenda for Thursday ...... Senate supplemental budget (S 2481) likely to receive approval on Thursday ...... Judiciary Committee has until May 2 to vote on sexual harassment, drugged driving bills ...... Baker returns Garden of Peace proposal with amendment, cites constitutional concerns ...... Solomon McCown hosting May 1 panel on "Enlightened Leadership During This Cultural Reckoning" ...... Poll: nearly two thirds of U.S. adult citizens will stay away from polls for mid-term elections ...... Sabadosa to kick off campaign for House seat Sunday in Northampton ...... Scaccia: tax credits to "richest people" in film industry are denying state Treasury $818 million ...... Daily Show's Trevor Noah to perform at UMass Lowell on Oct. 5 ...... Baker, Walsh chairing Asian American Civic Association gala in Boston June 22 ...... Baker asks feds for longer lookback at driving records of commuter rail operators ...... AG Healey to address Greater Boston Chamber breakfast on Thursday morning ...... Eric Donovan of Dorchester is Baker's pick for clerk magistrate in Brighton court ...... Former Sen. Barrios pays $19,500 to General Fund to resolve campaign $$$ problems ...... Rep. Calter is latest to leave Legislature, will take town administrator's job in Kingston ...
Latest Headlines:
House:
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (formal)

TOPCITING MONEY WOES, SETTI WARREN DROPS BID FOR GOVERNOR

Democrat Setti Warren announced the end of his cam
Democrat Setti Warren announced the end of his campaign for governor on Thursday. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res

Reshaping the contest about five weeks before the party's nominating convention, former Newton mayor Setti Warren announced Thursday he is quitting the race for governor after conceding he could not raise the money necessary to unseat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. Read More

LATEST HOUSE AGREES TO EXPANSION OF CONSERVATION TAX CREDIT

The House on Thursday passed a major expansion of a tax credit aimed at putting more land into conservation. Read More

NEGOTIATORS AGREE TO ONE-YEAR $200 MIL ROAD FIX BILL

House and Senate negotiators on Thursday agreed to a one-year, $200 million authorization for local road repairs through the Chapter 90 program, opting against a multi-year bill favored by cities and towns. Read More

Transportation Committee counsel Josh Katz deliver

Transportation Committee counsel Josh Katz delivered the Chapter 90 conference report to the House clerk's office Thursday. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


BAKER

BAKER: NO SURE THINGS IN POLITICS

Democrat Setti Warren called his campaign's cash deficit to Gov. Charlie Baker's re-election war chest an "insurmountable" challenge on Thursday, but the Republican incumbent laughed off the notion that his fundraising advantage makes victory in November a sure bet. Read More


HOUSE POISED TO BOOST RTA FUNDS BY $2M

Regional transit authorities would see a slight boost under an amendment slated for approval in the House on Thursday. Read More


HOUSE SETS ASIDE CHAIR FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Less than five weeks after new protections for pregnant workers took effect in Massachusetts, a sign of the new law is visible outside the House chamber. Read More

A chair was reserved for pregnant women outside th

A chair was reserved for pregnant women outside the House Chamber on Wednesday where lobbyists and reporters gather during formal sessions. [Photo: Katie Lannan/SHNS] | Hi-Res


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HOUSE SESSION - 7 P.M. - 9:30 P.M. - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018

The House's fiscal 2019 budget deliberations will continue into Thursday. Meeting Wednesday evening, representatives added on $7 million in public health spending by unanimously adopting a consolidated amendment. Earlier in the day, two other consolidated amendments covering the topics of public safety and the judiciary and housing, mental health and disability services were also approved. Falmouth Republican Rep. David Vieira secured an amendment making residential treatment and other rehabilitative programs available to pretrial detainees. Talks began in the Members' Lounge on amendments dealing with labor and economic development, teeing those issues up for action on Thursday, when the House plans to reconvene at 10 a.m. Read More


ZAKIM: GALVIN SILENCE ON DEBATES "ARROGANT AND UNACCEPTABLE"

Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim is getting irritated at Secretary of State William Galvin's apparent reluctance to debate him. Read More


GOP SPLINTERS OVER LYONS IMMIGRATION AMENDMENT

Fewer than a third of House Republicans and only one Democrat backed up Republican Rep. Jim Lyons of Andover on Wednesday when he forced a vote on a controversial immigration budget amendment that would have authorized local police to enforce federal immigration law. Read More


VIDEO | NO COMMENTS ON HOGAN LOVELLS REPORT, BUT "THANKS FOR ASKING"

Senators said Wednesday they did not discuss the contents or timing of the release of a looming Ethics Committee report on the conduct of Sen. Stanley Rosenberg during a more than two-hour caucus on Wednesday, leaving lingering questions over when the potentially disruptive report will be released. Read More

Asked if he would say anything other than "no comm

Asked if he would say anything other than "no comment," Senate Ethics Chairman Michael Rodrigues said, "Some day." [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]


SENATE PLANS MAY 16 HEARING ON UMASS-MOUNT IDA DEAL

State senators plan to hold a May 16 oversight hearing to explore the planned acquisition of Newton's Mount Ida College by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Read More


MASS. HOUSE AGREES TO LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING OPTION

Cities and towns would have a new tool for financing transportation projects under a proposal adopted by the House on Tuesday that would allow municipalities to designate taxes from the rising value of real estate toward specific infrastructure endeavors. Read More


DEMS TAKE DIFFERENCES ON ROAD $$$ BILLS INTO PRIVATE CONFERENCE

As private talks continue this week on the House's fiscal 2019 spending plan, a group of lawmakers began its closed-door negotiations on another money matter – the financing of local road and bridge work. Read More

Lawmakers tasked with negotiating House and Senate

Lawmakers tasked with negotiating House and Senate versions of the Chapter 90 bill met on Tuesday for the first time. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS] | Hi-Res


HOUSE ADDS $32.6 MIL TO BUDGET OVER TWO DAYS

Through two days of largely private deliberations, the House has worked through more than 600 budget amendments and has added roughly $32.6 million in spending to the $40.9 billion budget recommended by its Ways and Means Committee. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - 10 A.M. - 7 P.M. - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018

In the third day of its fiscal 2019 budget deliberations, the House defeated a Rep. Jim Lyons amendment seeking to enable local police to enforce immigration law by a vote of 10-144. While the House spent most of the day in a lull, members returned to the chamber for the debate over Lyons's amendment. The House also unanimously adopted two consolidated amendments concerning housing, mental health and disability services and public safety and the judiciary. Read More


PEYSER

ED SECRETARY AMONG EXPERTS ON REGIONAL GUN PROJECT

Six states, including Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico announced the formation of a regional gun violence research partnership on Wednesday that governors said would fill a "void" left by the federal government's 1996 ban on federally funded gun violence research. Read More


SENATE BUDGET RELEASE TWO WEEKS AWAY

The House may still be in the throes of its annual budget debate, but the countdown can begin to the release of the Senate version of its spending plan for next year. Read More


FIELD SPLIT FOR BACK-TO-BACK CONGRESSIONAL DEBATES IN LOWELL

There aren't a lot of parallels to be drawn between the 13 Democrats running for Congress in the Third District, and the 17 Republicans who sought to become their party's nominee in the last presidential election. Read More


VIDEO | RETURNING AFTER ARREST, SENATOR SAYS HE'S "BEEN VERY FORTUNATE"

Almost a month after announcing plans to get treatment for alcohol use after a drunk driving arrest in Weymouth, Brockton Sen. Michael Brady returned to the State House on Wednesday and said he was focused on his work. Read More

Sen. Michael Brady spoke to reporters Wednesday af

Sen. Michael Brady spoke to reporters Wednesday after a caucus of Senate Democrats. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]


CLERGY LOBBY FOR "RED FLAG" BILL AS GOAL FLOATS COUNTER-PROPOSAL

Citing the "righteous impatience of our forebears," faith leaders from various denominations throughout Massachusetts joined gun control activists in making the rounds on Beacon Hill Wednesday, urging lawmakers to pass a "red flag" bill designed to reduce gun violence. Read More


IMMIGRANT DETAINER MEASURE FAILS TO MAKE CUT IN HOUSE TALKS

It was likely no surprise to Rep. James Lyons when the bundle of public safety budget amendments compiled by Democratic leadership for approval Wednesday was released without including one of his priorities. Read More


PERSONNEL FILE - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018

... The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has a new general counsel, and a new director of legislative affairs ... there's a new chief medical officer at the Commonwealth Care Alliance ... The Nature Conservancy has added to its government relations staff ... and Phil Johnston has three new board members at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation ... Enjoy the Personnel File ... Read More


LYONS

REP: SENATE PROBE UNDERSCORES NEED FOR RECORDS LAW CHANGE

As the Senate Ethics Committee nears the promised release of its probe of former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, a state representative says his pending budget amendment to lift the Legislature's public records law exemption would make public the type of information he believes is contained in that report. Read More


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

HOUSE SESSION – 6:45 PM to 8:20 PM – TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

After breaking for dinner, the House returned for a brief evening portion of the second day of consideration of a $40.9 billion fiscal year 2019 state budget. The House recessed intending to return at 6:45 p.m., but it was not until staff from the Ways and Means Committee brought a consolidated amendment dealing with health and human services and elder affairs to the chamber at about 7:30 p.m. that the House got down to business for the evening. After waiting the requisite 30 minutes following introduction of the amendment package that added $10.68 million to the spending plan, the House moved swiftly and adopted the amendment by a 153-1 vote. The House recessed for the night at 8:20 p.m. after taking up no additional business. Wednesday will begin with a private meeting for representatives to make the case for their amendments dealing with public health. The House will gavel in at 10 a.m. with roll call votes expected to begin at 11 a.m. Read More


EARLY VOTING, STORM RELIEF FUND AMONG SENATE BUDGET BILL AMENDMENTS

Sen. Barbara L'Italien plans to push budget amendments this week that would allow early voting ahead of the Sept. 4 primary elections in which she is running in a large field of Democrats seeking an open seat in Congress. Read More


PARK FUNDING BOOSTED BY HOUSE TO HIRE NEW STAFF

The House on Tuesday tacked on $5 million in new environmental and energy spending to its fiscal 2019 budget, approving an amendment one lawmaker said could translate to more staffing in state parks, along with funding boosts to "critical programs" throughout the state. Read More


MASSACHUSETTS LOTTERY PROFITS DOWN 8 PERCENT

Even with sales up more than 3 percent through nine months of the fiscal year, the Massachusetts Lottery has seen an almost 8 percent drop in profits so far this year, the executive director reported Tuesday. Read More


BRADY

BOSTON POPS BIZ DIRECTOR BRADY RUNNING FOR AUDITOR AS REPUBLICAN

A Concord Republican on Tuesday announced her bid for state auditor, pointing to her experience as a nonprofit executive and status as a "political outsider." Read More


HEFNER PLEADS NOT GUILTY, ORDERED TO STAY AWAY FROM STATE HOUSE

The man at the center of a scandal that has rocked the Massachusetts Senate appeared in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness and dissemination of an illicit nude photograph. Read More

Bryon Hefner pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning

Bryon Hefner pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning to all 10 charges at his arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court. [Pool Photo/Jonathan Wiggs] | Hi-Res


COMMITTEE AGREES ON BILL ADDRESSING ORAL HEALTH CRISIS

Lawmakers believe they have landed a deal to create a new mid-level dental therapist profession that could expand access to oral health care by increasing the number of providers and requiring them to serve harder-to-reach populations. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - 10 A.M. - 7 P.M. - TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

The House resumed its annual budget debate on Tuesday morning, a candy-fueled affair that so far has been marked by a lot of down time in the chamber as large amendments consolidated by subject matter are negotiated off the floor. The House did pass two consolidated amendments relating to energy and the environment and social services and veterans, boosting funding for the state parks. Rep. John Barrett of North Adams also made his maiden speech in the House in support of an amendment he filed, which was subsequently adopted, naming the vistor center at Mt. Greylock after the late Rep. Gailanne Cariddi. The proceedings will continue into the evening Tuesday after a dinner break Read More


HOUSE AGREES TO EXTRA AID FOR BABIES BORN ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

The Massachusetts House on Wednesday approved legislation doing away with a restriction that prohibits families from receiving an extra $100 per-month cash assistance for a baby conceived while the family was receiving public assistance. Read More


FIVE NOMINEES OFFERED TO EXPAND REACH OF HOUSING COURT

Judicial nominees usually come in dribs and drabs but Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday offered a wave of picks for the state Housing Court. Read More

del PUERTO / SALVIDIO / SHERRING

del PUERTO / SALVIDIO / SHERRING


JUSTICE BUDD

MASS. HIGH COURT REJECTS CHALLENGE TO CHARTER SCHOOL CAP

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of a case challenging the state's cap on charter schools, delivering another blow to advocates for publicly funded alternatives to traditional public schools. Read More


CCC CONTINUES TO PROCESS MARIJUANA APPLICATIONS

Nineteen businesses have submitted an application for a marijuana license and more than 150 more applications are in the works with 38 days until the Cannabis Control Commission can issue the first Massachusetts pot license. Read More


ROAD FUNDING CONFERENCE MEETING AT 2 P.M.

Legislative negotiators tasked with ironing out the differences in overdue House and Senate bills financing local road repairs plan to hold their first meeting Tuesday afternoon. Read More


MOST BUDGET AMENDMENTS DISAPPEARING IN BACKROOM TALKS

House lawmakers dispensed with roughly 20 percent of the 1,400 budget amendments in the first day of deliberations on Monday and kicked off Tuesday's session with more closed-door talks on health, human services and elder affairs. Read More


Monday, April 23, 2018

MICELI FUNERAL SET FOR FRIDAY

The late Rep. Jim Miceli will be remembered with a wake on Thursday and a funeral Mass on Friday, according to his obituary. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - 7 P.M. - 10 P.M. - MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018

The House adopted its first consolidated amendment to the fiscal 2019 budget, adding roughly $14 million in spending on the first night of budget deliberations. There was no actual debate on the consolidated amendment for education and local aid – though some members argued in favor of proposals not included in the package. Rep. Lyons argued in favor of making certain MassHealth recipients pay $2,000 to help provide relief to property taxpayers via a major increase in local aid. Before breaking for the evening at 9:46 p.m., the House adopted the consolidated amendment on a 155 to 0 vote. On Tuesday morning, members will be able to discuss their Health and Human Services amendments, Rep. Donato said from the rostrum. Reps had a chance Monday night to talk about veterans and social services. Tuesday's session will start at 10 a.m. with roll calls expected to begin at 11 a.m., Rep. Donato said. Read More


GANNON MURDER SPURS SENATORS TO SEEK OVERSIGHT HEARING

Cape and Islands lawmakers are asking two legislative committees to quickly convene a hearing to explore how someone with a rap sheet as long as Thomas Latanowich's eluded extended prison time, making him free to allegedly commit the murder of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon. Read More


HOUSE REJECTS MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN INCOME, SALES TAXES

The House rejected a pair of major tax cuts on Monday, including one that may be headed for this year's ballot. Read More


ROSENBERG

SENATE OFFICIAL: ROSENBERG PROBE IN "END PHASE"

The Senate Ethics Committee's investigation into Sen. Stanley Rosenberg appears to be entering its final stages, but the exact timing of the committee's report remains a matter of much speculation after the Senate last week made its first, and perhaps final, payment to the law firm hired to conduct the probe. Read More


MAJORITY IN HOUSE SUPPORT MAJOR WELFARE SYSTEM CHANGES

More than half of House lawmakers are backing an additional boost to welfare funding in next year's state budget, along with a policy change that would extend benefits to all children in a family. Read More


EVANGELIDIS, FATTMANS BACK KINGSTON FOR SENATE

John Kingston, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has tied up some support from central Massachusetts pols ahead of his party's convention in Worcester on Saturday. Read More


EVERSOURCE CHOPPER WILL SURVEY HIGH VOLTAGE TOWERS

Helicopters hovering over high voltage electric equipment this week should not be a cause for concern, according to one of the area's leading utilities. Read More


MASS. GAS PRICES RISE TO THREE-YEAR HIGH

In a possible sign that summer driving could be more expensive this year, the demand for gasoline has hit a high never before recorded in April. Read More

Thirteen percent of gas stations in the country ha

Thirteen percent of gas stations in the country have pump prices set to $3 or greater. [Photo: Craig Sandler/File/SHNS]


SANCHEZ

SANCHEZ: MASSHEALTH IS STATE'S "LARGEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE"

The architect of the House's $40.9 billion state budget touted MassHealth as a major economic development initiative and said the spending plan invests in the people of Massachusetts while recognizing the "fragility" of revenues and uncertainty in Washington, D.C. Read More


ED ACTIVISTS PLAN TO JAM STATE HOUSE PHONE LINES IN NOON HOUR

Operators, take your positions. As the Massachusetts House sets out to finalize its fiscal 2019 state budget, hundreds of public education activists plan to flood the phone lines of the House of Representatives at noon Monday to make "an all-out push" for representatives to increase school funding. Read More


DOZENS OF MASS. COMMUNITIES APPLY FOR "OPPORTUNITY ZONE" DESIGNATIONS

The Baker administration and municipal officials across Massachusetts expect to hear from the federal government within 30 days about their newly-submitted request for approval of 138 zones where new federal tax incentives could be used to spark investment in rural and low-income communities. Read More


HOUSE ADDS $14M IN ED SPENDING TO ANNUAL BUDGET

The House added $14.089 million in spending on education, libraries and some other local programs to its $40.9 billion annual budget on Monday night while dispatching with other proposals to increase school funding. Read More


HOUSE SESSION - 10 A.M. - 7 P.M. - MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018

The House's debate over fiscal year 2019 spending kicked off Monday as it always does with consideration of revenue amendments, but House Democrats predictably beat back efforts by Republicans to lower the sales and income tax rates. Apart from new House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Sanchez's explanation of the budget and a back-and-forth between Rep. Angelo Scaccia and Majority Leader Ron Mariano over the merits of the film tax credit, debate has been limited and intermittent on the first day of deliberation. The first consolidated amendment that could emerge from private, Members Lounge discussions between lawmakers and leadership deals with education and local aid. Those talks began shortly before 11 a.m., while lawmakers interested in dicussing amendments related to the energy and environment were invited into the Lounge just after 4 p.m. Debate for the night is expected to resume after 7:15 p.m. Read More


SELECTION OF OFFSHORE WIND PROVIDERS DELAYED ONE MONTH

Faced with a Monday deadline to select a project that can deliver between 400 and 800 megawatts of offshore wind energy to the Bay State, utility companies working with the state instead have extended their deadline a month, until May 23. Read More


OFFSHORE WIND SELECTION DELAYED A MONTH

As bidders awaited word on which projects might be selected to lead Massachusetts into offshore wind energy, the Baker administration on Monday announced a last-minute, one-month extension of the process. Read More


LaNATRA

KINGSTON SELECTWOMAN RUNNING FOR OPEN REP SEAT

A Kingston selectwoman on Monday announced her campaign for the House seat Rep. Thomas Calter plans to resign. Read More


WALSH SIGNS ORDINANCE TO BOOST VOTER REGISTRATION

Library card applicants in Boston will receive a voter registration form and the city's high schools will provide forms and information to all students eligible to pre-register to vote, under an ordinance signed Monday by Mayor Martin Walsh. Read More


SENATE PAYS $230,000 TO FIRM INVESTIGATING ROSENBERG

The Senate paid the law firm assisting with an investigation of Sen. Stanley Rosenberg nearly $230,000 in April, according to state spending records, the first recorded payments since the independent team was brought on in December. Read More

Attorneys Anthony Fuller, Jody Newman and Natashia

Attorneys Anthony Fuller, Jody Newman and Natashia Tidwell have been leading the Rosenberg investigation for Hogan Lovells. [Courtesy/Hogan Lovells]


SENATE SESSION – MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018

With the House opening its annual budget debate on the other side of the building, the Senate on Monday teed up a Sen. William Brownsberger bill protecting borrowers from "bureaucratic overreach" in the collection of student loan debt (S 2266) and a Ways and Means redrafted supplemental budget for fiscal 2018 (S 2481) that will both be debated on Thursday. Sen. Joe Boncore chaired Monday's half-hour session during which the Committees on the Judiciary and Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy were granted extensions to report on 24 bills still pending before the panels, including bills dealing with renewable energy, sexual harassment and drugged driving. Gov. Baker's amendment to legislation previously enacted concerning the Garden of Peace was sent to committee. The branch returns Thursday when it also plans to debate its version of House-approved legislation that would prohibit credit reporting agencies from charging consumers to place a security freeze on their credit and a redraft (S 2454) of a bill dealing with veterans' benefits and burial expenses. Read More


SALES TAX CUT WILL FORCE LAYOFFS AND SERVICE CUTS, NEW OPPO GROUP SAYS

A new group made up largely of organized labor has formed to oppose a proposed ballot question that would reduce the state sales tax by 20 percent, further solidifying the campaign as one pitting unions against Bay State retailers. Read More


MASS. JOBLESS RATE HAS HELD AT 3.5 PERCENT FOR SIX MONTHS

The state unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 percent again in March, even as the state added an estimated 4,700 jobs, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced on Friday. Read More


GARDEN OF PEACE BILL RETURNED TO LEGISLATURE

Citing constitutional concerns but recommending a solution, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday returned to the Legislature a bill aimed at having the state take over management of the Garden of Peace, a public memorial to more than 1,000 homicide victims in Boston. The proposed transfer of the memorial on the plaza at 100 Cambridge Street would move it from the oversight of a non-profit to the state Victim and Witness Assistance Board. Read More

Fourteen years after the Garden of Peace opened as

Fourteen years after the Garden of Peace opened as a homicide memorial, it now bears 1,000 stones engraved with names of victims. [Photo: Sam Doran/File/SHNS] | Hi-Res


Read more in the Monthly Digest


 
 
State House News Service