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Today on Beacon Hill

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11:00am JVS Bridges to College Graduation, Great Hall

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

12:00pm Joint Committee on Public Service, Public Hearing

3:00pm Swearing-in Ceremony for Register of Deeds Stephen Murphy, Grand Staircase

5:30pm 2016 Year-End Celebration with Attorney General Maura Healey

Must-Reads

From Senator Warren, a regret » Boston Globe Elizabeth Warren is still mad as hell at the Wall Street takeover of the next White House. But she's also a little mad at herself.…

Donald Trump is leaving his critics in the dust » Boston Globe The mosquito swarm of critics around President-elect Donald Trump's head are buzzing over how often he gets briefed on intelligence matters. With all the ruckus, it might surprise you to learn that Pr…

Layoffs not in offing after 900 state workers take buyouts » State House News Service STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 14, 2016.....The Baker administration will not seek government layoffs to address a persistent budget gap after 900 employees took a buyout offer resulting in $12 million in …

Ever Hear the One About Chris Sununu, Kitty Dukakis and a Chocolate Mr. T Head? » New Hampshire Public Radio Let's set the scene: Chris Sununu was a boy. His father, John H. Sununu, was New Hampshire's governor. Kitty Dukakis was First Lady of Massachusetts. The Bridges House was down on its heels. And a cho…

Democrats open to replacing Obamacare » Politico A surprising number of lawmakers in the minority say they'd play ball if the changes aren't too far-reaching.…

Center for American Progress focuses on anti-Trump efforts » Politico Looking to build itself into a nerve center for the anti-Donald Trump resistance, the liberal Center for American Progress think tank is relaunching its advocacy-focused arm Thursday and bringing on a…

DONG, Eversource form Bay State Wind » Commonwealth Magazine DONG ENERGY, one of three companies vying for offshore wind contracts from Massachusetts, on Tuesday announced a 50-50 partnership with Eversource Energy, a well-connected regional utility that has cr…

With Budget Tight, Lawmakers Consider How Much Infrastructure Mass. Can Afford » WGBH News State lawmakers are considering spending more on infrastructure projects for things like roads, bridges, parks and other government assets, but a tight annual budget means there may not be enough cash…

My President Was Black » The Atlantic A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next…

“The purpose of the project overall is to identify best practices in other states . . . to identify ways of organizing and delivering service in ways that are more cost-effective than perhaps what we are doing here in the Commonwealth,”

Senate President Stan Rosenberg

Speaking about his trip to Minnesota to learn about the states' innovative health care system.

News By Category
Business

Leggat McCall bets on urban development » Boston Globe When Eric Sheffels joined Leggat McCall Properties more than 30 years ago, his Boston firm's development team focused on the suburbs. …

As pot becomes legal, head shops can drop the smoke screen » Boston Globe Of course it was for marijuana. All of it. The cheapo metal one-hitters that are supposed to look like a cigarette. The glass shelves lined with pocket vaporizers. The $175 Magic Butter machine. All o…

Siemens will invest $300 million in Walpole complex, potentially doubling headcount » Boston Business Journal Siemens has finalized a plan to invest $300 million in its laboratory diagnostics manufacturing and research and development complex in Walpole, Mass., a project that the German company says could dou…

How Legalized Marijuana Is Playing Out In The State That Started It All » WBUR Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts. As of 12:01 Thursday morning, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana on their person, and have another 9 ounces for personal use ke…

Federal Reserve Raises Key Interest Rate In First Move Since 2015 » WBUR America's central bank is nudging its benchmark interest rate higher, announcing a move from the current 0.25-0.50 percent to a range of 0.50 and 0.75 percent. The decision emerged from a session of t…

Next Year, Boston Businesses Can Host Acoustic Performances Without A Permit » WBUR The Boston City Council on Wednesday gave the unanimous go-ahead to a one-year pilot program allowing businesses to bypass the permitting process to host certain live acoustic performances.…

Income Inequality's Past, Present And Pending Future » WBUR Income inequality in the United States continues to deepen. We'll lay out the baseline for the Trump years.…

With marijuana officially legal, smoke and pipe shops expect spark in sales » Berkshire Eagle Syed Jamal reached Wednesday for a box waiting to be unpacked at the back of his Berkshire Mall store. He hefted it up onto a glass display case and with gentle hands teased away layers of wrapping. …

Massachusetts law enforcement adapting to new reality of legal pot » Berkshire Eagle Starting today, it's not whether a person possesses marijuana, but how much, how old you are and where you try to use it. That's the watershed moment for police, who hit their beats today facing a n…

Yellen signals caution about Trump's economic plan » Sentinel & Enterprise President-elect Donald Trump has pledged deep tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending to restore lost jobs, accelerate the economy and bring prosperity to more Americans. Janet Yellen has her …

Boston's first cat cafe receives approval from zoning board » Boston Globe Purr, a cat cafe that has been eyeing a Boston location, has been given approval to move forward.…

Congressional delegation visits New Balance factory » Lowell Sun The director of manufacturing at New Balance says a "Made-in-USA" provision for athletic footwear for military recruits could mean an additional 250,000 sneakers a year. Brendan Melley touted the fig…

With help from MassDevelopment, GE finalizes $83M Boston HQ site purchase » Boston Business Journal

Citizens underwrites $90M package to facilitate GE move » Lowell Sun

With Pot Legal In MA, Dispensary Giving Away Seeds For Free » CBS Boston

Crimes

Framingham massage parlor part of multi-state trafficking ring, AG says » Wicked Local Framingham A Union Avenue massage parlor is one of several locations involved in a multi-state human trafficking ring that led to four arrests Tuesday, according to state law enforcement authorities.…

Education

State Sen. Eric Lesser helps out with Ludlow student film competiton » Mass Live Middle school student filmmakers recently got a hand from state Sen. Eric Lesser, who appeared in their submissions for a C-SPAN documentary competition.…

Health Care

On health care, Mass. looks to Minn. for some new ideas » Boston Globe It's the birthplace of Garrison Keillor and Prince, the land of 10,000 lakes, and home to some of the cruelest winters in America.…

Minnesota trip could lead to health care cost legislation » Lowell Sun Senators traveling to Minnesota this week said Tuesday they are eyeing long-term solutions rather than a quick fix to rising health care costs, noting that significant savings have not yet been achiev…

State senators seek long-term solutions for health-care costs » Sentinel & Enterprise State senators traveling to Minnesota this week said they're eyeing long-term solutions rather than a quick fix to rising health-care costs.…

Housing

Homeowners to get a break in property tax exemptions » Dorchester Reporter

Human Services

State funding comes through for Craig's Place; Amherst homeless shelter to remain open » Mass Live Craig's Place, the town's homeless shelter, will stay open this winter after officials Tuesday received word that state funding will come through.…

State, city spending $1M to add shelter beds » Boston Herald The state and the city of Boston together are spending $1 million to add beds at local shelters as temperatures plunge well below freezing — a development that comes shortly after the administr…

Joseph Gallant; led effort to overhaul welfare in Mass. » Boston Globe A state social worker in the 1960s, Joseph V. Gallant Jr. also worked nights and weekends stocking store shelves so he could afford to send his five children to parochial schools in Revere. …

Senator flanagan announces bill to establish a commission on malnutrition prevention among older adults » The Landmark Sen. Jennifer Flanagan Flanagan (D-Leominster) recently announced that S.2499, "An Act Establishing A Commission on Malnutrition Prevention Among Older Adults," has been signed into law by Gov. Charli…

Gap In Food Program For Poor Can Put Families At Risk » WBUR Many low-income families struggle to afford enough food. Moms and kids who qualify can participate in a federal program geared toward early development. Once kids turn 5 years old, though, they are no…

State investigating abuse claims against Judge Rotenberg employees » Patriot Ledger Two men are charged with beating and spitting on a mentally disabled patient in the center's Randolph facility where they worked.…

Groups urge House to rescue adult foster care » State House News Service Upset with Gov. Charlie Baker's unilateral budget cuts and warning they could do severe harm to the program, a coalition of some of the state's largest human services associations on Tuesday sent a le…

Cuts could hurt elders wanting to stay in own homes » Wicked Local Braintree

Judiciary

Baker nominates Tabit for superior court judgeship » Andover Townsman Attorney Sal Tabit, who has handled many high-profile cases involving Lawrence clients, has been nominated for a superior court judgeship by Gov. Charlie Baker.…

Hearings Dive Into Ex-State Chemist's Drug Abuse, And What The AG's Office Knew » WBUR After Rolando Penate of Springfield was arrested on charges of selling heroin, the job of making sure it really was heroin went to chemist Sonja Farak at the state drug lab in Amherst. But on the day …

Mass. should compensate those wrongfully convicted » Boston Globe MARK SCHAND spent 27 years behind bars before his wrongful conviction was overturned. He had been found guilty of fatally shooting a 25-year-old woman outside a Springfield nightclub in 1986 and sente…

Judge questions assignment of inexperienced assistant AG to handle Sonja Farak drug lab scandal fallout » The Republican Suzanne Reardon, an assistant state attorney general, testified Wednesday she assigned a brand new employee to try to quash subpoenas in appeals of drug cases stemming from the Sonja Farak state drug …

Fees add to hurdles facing ex-inmates, district court chief says » State House News Service

Labor

Jobless rate falls to lowest level since January 2001 » State House News Service The November unemployment rate in Massachusetts sank to 2.9 percent, two points lower than a year ago at this time and the lowest level since January 2001.…

Massachusetts unemployment rate falls below 3 percent » Boston Business Journal The Bay State's unemployment rate dropped to 2.9 percent in November, marking the first time it has dipped below 3 percent since the beginning of the century.…

Legislative

Milford: Fernandes pleased with service » Wicked Local Milford John Fernandes sat back in his chair behind his desk in his Main Street law office Wednesday, detailing his busy December and his last gasps of legislative efforts before he leaves the Statehouse.…

Legislative leaders are hopeful Baker will approve pay raise » Sentinel & Enterprise The eyes of the Legislature are beginning to focus on the Corner Office, where Gov. Charlie Baker is due to rule by early January on whether the 200 elected state lawmakers will get a raise in 2017.…

STATE REP. JENNIFER BENSON: Visiting events throughout the 37th Middlesex District » Wicked Local Clinton I was fortunate to be able to go to several events in and around the 37th Middlesex District last month. First, I hosted a group of Cub Scouts from Lunenburg's Pack 1728 at my district office, where I…

Local Government

In Ashland, records requests piling up » Wicked Local Ashland As Town Manager Michael Herbert spoke in his office Tuesday afternoon about upcoming changes to the state's public records law, he remembered something.…

Selectmen say no delay on marijuana sales » Wicked Local Wareham The Wareham Board of Selectmen wants the town to reap the benefits of marijuana sales sooner rather than later.…

Mayor wants to study options for Fitchburg City Hall » Worcester Telegram The city's 166-year-old City Hall is not yet ready to be added to the city's list of buildings to be demolished, but it is vacant and considered unsafe for habitation.…

City Council votes down 2 percent tax on alcohol » Boston Herald The City Council shot down a proposed 2 percent tax on all alcohol sales in the city yesterday that two councilors argued was critical to support addiction treatment services, because councilors worri…

Cariddi Has Breakfast With CT Plunkett Students » iBerkshires State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi had breakfast with third-graders at C.T. Plunkett School on Tuesday to see the free breakfast program in action. Cariddi visited Beth Bourdon's third-grade class with Tow…

Quincy planning official says downtown needs affordable housing » Patriot Ledger A city planning board member says the next residential project in Quincy Center should include some apartments that are more affordable for working-class residents.…

Newton clarifies practices as some push for 'sanctuary city' protections » Wicked Local Newton Some councilors and activists are advocating for passage of a city ordinance that would limit Newton Police cooperation with federal immigration authorities – but the mayor and police chief fee…

Interfaith leaders rally behind Springfield City Council for defending Muslims » Boston Globe Thirty-eight interfaith leaders and organizations have signed a letter of gratitude to the City Council for taking a formal stand against hate aimed at Muslims and said they find it "deeply disturbing…

Politics Column: State Democratic leaders attempt to assuage, empower at Brookline Town Hall » Wicked Local Brookline

Opinion

Democrats should have secured their e-mail from hacking » Boston Globe SURELY IT is the responsibility of the Democratic National Committee and and all involved in the Hillary Clinton campaign to ensure that they secured their e-mail from hacking.…

New Red Line cars are a welcome boost, but state must invest more » Boston Globe COULD GREATER Boston get a better holiday gift than news of 134 new Red Line cars (“T gets OK for another 134 cars,” Page A1, Dec. 13)?…

Taking issue with editorial about AG Healey's fight with Exxon Mobil » Sentinel & Enterprise In attacking Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Elizabeth Warren in your Dec. 11 editorial, "AG Healey's blowing smoke on transparency," you've pitted yourself against two of the …

Our view: Questions abound as marijuana is legalized in Massachusetts » Gloucester Times Recreational use of marijuana by adults is now legal in Massachusetts. …

Other

Warren gets spot on Armed Services Committee » Boston Globe Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has landed a spot on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a high-profile perch on one of the chamber's most powerful committees that will allow the former law pr…

President-Elect Trump Breaks With Long History Of Press Conferences » WBUR This was to be the day President-elect Donald Trump would hold his first press conference since winning the presidency last month. It was supposed to be about how he would address his potential busine…

Politics

Tito Jackson shows more signs of challenging Mayor Walsh » Boston Globe The monotony of a City Council meeting gave way to a rare moment of discord recently, when Councilor Tito Jackson rose to excoriate the administration of Mayor Martin J. Walsh over what he described a…

Where did Massachusetts residents vote early? » Mass Live The pockets of Massachusetts with the highest percentages of early voting were in the suburbs northwest of Boston and in towns in southeastern Massachusetts, according to data released by the office o…

An unlikely Boston connection to Israel's flag » Boston Globe It is a potent symbol of national identity, instantly recognizable around the world, a blue Star of David on a white ground, framed by two horizontal blue stripes: the flag of Israel. And it has an un…

Whitney Tilson email explains Warren dust-up » Commonwealth Magazine NEW YORK HEDGE fund manager Whitney Tilson has found himself at the center of a high-profile dust-up with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who teed him in a recent Facebook post. Warren called out Tilson for be…

Pollster ramping up new PAC to promote Greek-American candidates » State House News Service

Public Health

Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Massachusetts » iBerkshires Recreational marijuana use is now legal for adults in Massachusetts.…

Marlborough: Schools to apply for opioid prevention grant » Wicked Local Marlborough Aiming to educate students on the dangers of opioid use and addiction, school officials are applying for a state youth opioid prevention grant to fund a life skills program and a part-time drug and al…

It's official: Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts » Boston Globe It was 1911. The New England Watch and Ward Society (née the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice) was battling against drugs and other “special evils.” …

Public Safety

State rules aim to prevent drownings at municipal day camps » Boston Globe Ever since 4-year-old Christian Frechette drowned at a municipal day camp in Sturbridge nine years ago, his grief-stricken father has worked to prevent other children from meeting the same fate.…

Unintended Effect of Privacy Law Brought Police Log Errors » WHAV The unintended consequences of a 2014 state law, designed to protect victims of domestic abuse, played a role in the release of an erroneous Haverhill Police log this week.…

Legal pot leaves "complex web" for cops, safety secretary says » State House News Service On the eve of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett on Wednesday sent an eight-page letter to law enforcement leaders around the state to help…

Environmental police curb overtime shifts after investigation » Boston Globe The Massachusetts Environmental Police has changed its policy on overtime, in response to an investigation by WCVB's Channel 5.…

City spends $1.5 million to defend cop cocaine test » Boston Herald The city has doled out more than $1.5 million in legal fees over the past decade defending a controversial hair test for cocaine use that critics claim discriminates against black officers.…

With marijuana legal, many police dogs are now overqualified » Patriot Ledger Before he was cleared to join the force, the newest dog at the Quincy Police Department was brought into a room with than 200 pounds of marijuana so his handler could see what he would do.…

Dracut officer alleges in lawsuit colleagues, informant involved in sex and drug parties » Lowell Sun A longtime Dracut police detective says he is a whistleblower on police corruption and cronyism and is being retaliated against because of it.…

Now that marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, can you smoke it in your car? » Boston Globe Any police officer who sees a driver or passenger smoking marijuana in a motor vehicle can stop the vehicle and potentially issue a citation. Marijuana for adults over the age of 21 becomes broadly l…

State Finance

L'Italien blasts Baker for $100K cut for downtown planning » Andover Townsman Democratic State Sen. Barbara L'Italien lashed out at Republican Gov. Charlie Baker last week for $98 million in cuts aimed at balancing the budget ahead of a projected revenue shortfall.…

Hearing: State spending pivots on needs, affordability » Worcester Telegram The House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets called Tuesday's hearing and Chairman Rep. Antonio Cabral of New Bedford asked those who testified to address the following questi…

State Government

Gov. Baker cuts Tourism Trust Fund in half » Martha's Vineyard Times Last week Governor Charlie Baker cleaned out the remaining $3 million in the Tourism Trust Fund, cutting in half the monies set aside for regional tourism councils and chambers of commerce to market a…

Updated Massachusetts public records law effective Jan. 1 » Wicked Local Middleton The first installment in a series of new state laws is to become effective Jan. 1, 2017.…

900 state workers OK taking buyouts » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker is ruling out “across-the-board” layoffs after 900 state workers agreed to take buyouts, saving less than half of what administration officials hoped for but enough, app…

WPI, Gov. Baker build Israeli ties » Worcester Mag It is not misstating the facts to say the relationship between Israel and the U.S. has been nothing short of strained.…

Massachusetts State Auditor examines cost of early voting » WWLP 22 Massachusetts saw a record voter turnout last month, with more than 3.3 million ballots cast in the 2016 elections. About one-third of those residents voted before Election Day.…

Lack of funding for regulation complicates pot legalization » Politico Although marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, Treasurer Deb Goldberg is in a tough spot.…

900 state workers take buyout, saving $12 million this year » Boston Globe A voluntary buyout program has resulted in 900 Massachusetts state government employees leaving state service, but the program will save just half the money that administration officials hoped for. S…

Innovation in Massachusetts goes beyond Kendall Square, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said, awarding grants at WorcShop in Worcester » Boston Globe

Transportation

Baker talks immigrants, new licenses & multilingual RMV » Bay State Banner Federal REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses are coming to Massachusetts, with rollout anticipated for 2018, according to Erin Deveney, Registrar of Motor Vehicles. …

Report proposes major overhaul of retirement benefits for new MBTA employees » Boston Globe A Boston think tank is proposing an overhaul of retirement benefits the MBTA offers new employees, to cut costs and bring the transit workers' pensions in line with those other state employees receive…

NEW: Will commuter rail pilot program be derailed? » Foxboro Reporter Timilty, D-Walpole, said he believes the MBTA fiscal management control board and Department of Transportation directors dropped a planned presentation on the subject a week before their joint meeting…

Winter reliability efforts go only so far » Commonwealth Magazine ISO NEW ENGLAND, the operator of the region's power system, recently announced that electricity supplies should be sufficient to meet the region's demand for electricity this…

Utilities

Eversource buys 50 percent stake in Bay State Wind » South Coast Today In a move that may signal a turning point in traditional power companies' embrace of offshore wind, utility company Eversource has purchased a 50 percent ownership stake in one of three offshore wind …

Energy Provider And Offshore Wind Producer Team Up To Build Wind Farm Off Martha's Vineyard » WBUR New England's largest energy provider and the world's largest producer of offshore wind have teamed up to build a wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.…

Social Media Spotlight

State Senator Mike Barrett

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Congresswoman Niki Tsongas

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@DeniseProvost1

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@SenStan


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Press Releases

Partners HealthCare Launches New Center of Excellence » Partners Healthcare

How Can a 'Biological Opinion' Help North Atlantic Right Whales? » Conservation Law Foundation

Cleantech Open Northeast Accelerator Program Awards 2018’s Top Cleantech and Energy Startups » Northeast Clean Energy Council

U.S. SETS NEW RECORD FOR OIL PRODUCTION IN SEPTEMBER MEETING VIRTUALLY ALL GLOBAL DEMAND GROWTH » Mass. Petroleum Council

MassDOT Commits Funds to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » MassDOT

How Small Businesses Can Sell Products on Amazon » National Federation of Independent Business

More than Two Dozen NFIB Members Are Running for Office Across the Country » National Federation of Independent Business

Lt. Governor Polito Hosts Roundtable on Dangerousness » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Baker-Polito Administration Further Expands Access to Opioid Reversal Medication » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Warren, Markey Query Columbia Gas On Uninhabitable Homes Following Merrimack Valley Disaster » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Commends MassDOT Commitment to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Urges FDA to Deny Approval of Powerful Opioid Dsuvia, Cites Warning of Committee Chair » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senators Press for Full Disclosure of Trump Family Business Ties to Saudi Arabia » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced Suspending Military Aid & Sales to Saudi Government following Khashoggi Disappearance » Congressman Jim McGovern

McGovern Statement on Apparent Murder of Jamal Khashoggi » Congressman Jim McGovern

Educators' Voices Are Influential on Ballot Questions » Massachusetts Teachers Association

CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COST LOCAL BREWERIES, WINERIES » Climate Action Business Association


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