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Today on Beacon Hill

11:00am Celebration of Christmas, Great Hall

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

12:00pm Joint Committee on State Administration & Regulatory Oversight, Public Hearing

Birthdays: Senator James Welch

Must-Reads

Charlie Baker not asked to weigh in on Ortiz successor » Boston Herald President-elect Donald Trump has not asked the Baker administration for help in identifying candidates for the state's U.S. attorney, leaving it unclear if the White House — which in the past h…

Brianna Wu, Boston game developer and critic of GamerGate, to run for Congress » Boston Globe Brianna Wu, the cofounder of a Boston company who has made headlines in recent years for being targeted by the GamerGate movement, says she is launching a campaign to run for Congress in 2018. …

The Push For Criminal Justice Review And Reform in Mass. » WBUR Last year, state leaders announced a review of the criminal justice system in Massachusetts that Senate President Stan Rosenberg said would help the state be "both tough and smart on crime." …

Health Exchange Enrollment Jumps, Even as G.O.P. Pledges Repeal » New York Times The Obama administration said 6.4 million people had signed up so far for 2017 health insurance, an increase of 400,000 over a similar point last year.…

DSCC Names First Female Executive Director » Roll Call Veteran operative Mindy Myers has been named the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's new executive director, becoming the first woman to lead the organization. …

Harsh 1980s laws, meet cautious 2016 politics » Boston Globe Massachusetts is in danger of taking an overly modest approach to criminal justice reform, missing a great opportunity to bury some of the worst legacies of the “tough-on-crime” era. …

Focus on supervision and not sentencing a flash point in draft justice report » State House News Service Expanding access to programs and services for people in prison, hiring more probation officers and using community correction centers to help provide behavioral health services were among policy ideas…

Legislature urged to fight budget cuts » The Salem News Advocates say Governor's mid-year cuts will hurt state's most vulnerable residents, hobble economic growth …

How Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert blazed a trail for Trump » Columbia Journalism Review OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, the drawing of historical analogy has become a small cottage industry, the analogies becoming darker as a Trump presidency went from being an unthinkable outcome to an unthin…

Seven State Policy Issues to Watch in 2017 » CQ Roll Call During 2016 campaigns, Republicans championing the party's traditional pledge to cut taxes won both legislative chambers in 32 states and installed GOP governors in 33 states. …

"The revenue isn't there to support the level of funding and spending that the Legislature appropriated,” Baker told reporters recently, responding to Democrats' complaints. "We did everything we could to protect and preserve existing programs.”

Governor Charlie Baker

Speaking about the mid year budget cuts and local advocate's opposition.

News By Category
Business

Seaport condo tower wins key OK from state » Boston Globe State environmental regulators Wednesday gave the green light to a controversial building proposed along the Boston Waterfront on Seaport Boulevard.…

A mall in Harvard Square? Not if some neighbors get their way » Boston Globe The endless skirmish over the soul of Harvard Square is heating up again.…

Mass. will be home to America's largest medical marijuana facility » Boston Business Journal Denver-based medical marijuana facility developer AmeriCann (OTCQX: ACAN) has named Campanelli Construction the general contractor for the first phase of its planned 1 million-square-foot Massachusett…

Worcester City Council increases tax burden on businesses » Worcester Business Journal In a 7-4 vote on Tuesday night, the Worcester City Council approved a 2017 tax plan that will further increase the gap between the rates of business property owners vs. residential property owners, ce…

Crimes

AG: Time to crack down on sex trafficking » Metro Sex trafficking is a lot more prevalent in Massachusetts than many think, and Attorney General Maura Healey wants to start cracking down.…

Education

Worcester school enrollment back up after dip in 2015 » Worcester Telegram After experiencing a sharp decrease in enrollment a year ago, the Worcester schools this fall saw their largest student population in years.…

Plan could boost kids' chances to go to college » Boston Herald State education leaders want to let as many as 16,000 Massachusetts high school students take part in college-level courses in a bid to steer more poor and minority kids toward universities and better…

Environment

AVIS receives state grant to support purchase on Merrimack River » Andover Townsman The Division of Conservation Services of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced Dec. 8 an award of $85,000 to The Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS), …

Federal

Ortiz stepping down early » Commonwealth Magazine U.S. ATTORNEY Carmen Ortiz, the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as the top federal prosecutor in the district of Massachusetts, will leave her post in three weeks, clearing the way for Preside…

Federal Authorities Are Still Arresting Immigrants Who Aren't Top Priorities For Deportation » WBUR In 2014, the Obama administration issued a federal memo aiming to put an end to random deportations of people living illegally in the U.S. who aren't criminals. But a closer look finds that there are …

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz To Step Down » WBUR United States Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, who prosecuted the high-profile cases of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, is stepping down. Or…

Housing

Homeless aid renewed for Berkshires » Berkshire Eagle Programs that provide long-term housing for the homeless in Berkshire County this week secured renewals of federal grants worth more than $1 million. …

Bristol County achieves governor's goal of no homeless families in motels » South Coast Today

Human Services

DW Focus Search Senate and Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless criticize budget cuts » Spare Change News Republican governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker has drawn criticism from the Democratic Senate and other organizations for his unilateral budget cuts.…

Judiciary

Report to recommend better post-release supervision for inmates » The Republican The Council of State Governments Justice Center's review of the Massachusetts criminal justice system will recommend improvements to community supervision after prisoners are released, as well as bett…

Convicted of a crime in Massachusetts? Study finds you're more likely to be locked up if you're black or Hispanic » The Republican When a criminal sentence is handed down, a black or Hispanic person in Massachusetts is more likely to be given jail or prison time than a white person, according to data released Wednesday by a nonpa…

Activists interrupt criminal justice meeting » Commonwealth Magazine CHANTING “JOBS NOT JAIL,” advocates for criminal justice reform briefly disrupted the final meeting of a state criminal justice policy commission today, part of a growing chorus of voices …

Justice Report Focuses On Recidivism, But Advocates Say It Overlooks Sentencing Reforms » WBUR As a special report examining the state's criminal justice system nears completion, advocates for offenders fear the report will not go far enough to address issues they say are in need of reform, inc…

Gov. Baker nominates Edward F. X. Lynch to Barnstable District Court » Cape Cod Today

Labor

Eversource shifting thousands of retirees to private health insurance » Boston Globe Eversource Energy will remove 14,440 retirees from its health care plan in the New Year and will instead offer to reimburse them for buying private insurance, a switch being made by a growing number o…

Plant Expansion Will Mean More Jobs In Western Massachusetts » WAMC New jobs will be coming to western Massachusetts with the expansion of an automotive parts manufacturer in Chicopee.…

Legislative

On pot, Bump sees a "really tricky thing" ahead for legislature » State House News Service Beacon Hill has been sort of paralyzed on the issue of marijuana legalization in the six week since voters passed the landmark law, which is now known as Chapter 334.…

Local Government

Youth advocates urge Easthampton officials to limit marijuana storefronts » The Republican

Opinion

Trump and ISIS — bosom enemies? » Boston Globe Donald Trump and ISIS are sworn enemies. Yet the two have unwittingly boosted each other's fortunes.…

Turkey won't allow attack to derail efforts for peace and stability » Boston Globe The assassination Monday of the Russian ambassador to Turkey is a stark and tragic reminder of the terrorist threat all civilized nations of the world face and underscores the need to stamp out this s…

Editorial: History on the march » Boston Herald When the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, citing budget cuts, voted in 2009 to postpone the history MCAS graduation requirement there wasn't much optimism they'd bring it back. …

How Massachusetts Built a World-Class School System » Education Week Many people know that the United States has for years performed very poorly on the OECD's PISA comparative survey of national student performance of 15-year-olds.…

Baker has authority to order Pilgrim closure » Cape Cod Times Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has put Cape Cod residents, animals, summer tourists and the land itself in dire straits. Boston and surroundings are also at ground zero.…

OUR OPINION: It's time to build on economic success in Mass. » The Enterprise Since the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, job creation has been the focus of politicians, economists and workers alike, and the unemployment rate has been the key measurement of economic well-…

Our view: Court turns a blind eye to pols' business as usual » The Eagle Tribune Recent court decisions have reminded us of the truth of Thomas Jefferson's observation that "the government you elect is the government you deserve."…

Add 'elector' to at least one bucket list (Viewpoint) » The Republican

L'Italien leading Mass. into a financial mess » Andover Townsman

These figures don't lie -- Lottery in trouble » Lowell Sun

Should states be in online gambling business? (Letters) » The Republican

Other

All bets are off » Commonwealth Magazine It could be desperation has eased as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. It could be the middle- and lower-classes, the targets of most low-level gambling, are tapped out after being left o…

Politics

Mass. Democrats find new foil in Donald Trump » Boston Globe Near the end of Attorney General Maura Healey's postelection forum for dispirited Democrats earlier this month, a questioner stood to demand that Governor Charlie Baker be held accountable …

Healey in Framingham: Hold Trump 'accountable' » Wicked Local Framingham Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of Democrats, Attorney General Maura Healey pledged Wednesday to hold the country's next president accountable for his actions, saying "no one and no office is above …

Battenfeld: Marty Walsh's sackful of cash » Boston Herald Christmas has come early for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who's celebrating the Yuletide season by hauling in a staggering sum of campaign cash designed to scare off any potential 2017 challengers.…

Latinos Will Never Vote For A Republican, And Other Myths About Hispanics From 2016 » WBUR There were two major assumptions about Latino voters throughout the presidential campaign: (1) a record number of Latinos would show up on Election Day to oppose Donald Trump's candidacy and…

MA Dem Party Chair Calls for Baker to Restore Cuts » Go Local Worcester Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford is calling on Governor Charlie Baker to restore the cuts he made to important programs and services at the start of the month.…

GOP rips Goldberg's leadership of Lottery » Sentinel & Enterprise Republicans seized on falling sales of Lottery scratch tickets to challenge the leadership of Treasurer Deborah Goldberg on Wednesday, blaming the former Stop and Shop executive for failing cities and…

Massachusetts pols sitting on mountains of campaign cash » The Associated Press (AP)

Public Health

Water at Adams-Cheshire Regional schools to be tested for lead, copper » Berkshire Eagle Adams-Cheshire Regional School District will sample its water for lead and copper contamination, officials announced this week. …

Brockton's Marciano family back in a title fight. The opponent -- addiction » The Enterprise Stephen Marciano stood dry-eyed and solemn in front of a gymnasium of Mansfield High School students last June as he told them about his brother Peter's fatal drug addiction.…

Public Safety

DiGianvittorio sworn in as president of Mass. Chiefs » Wicked Local Boxford Middleton Police Chief James DiGianvittorio was sworn in as president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police last week in a ceremony that, for all its formalities, included more than a few references t…

State audit of Hampden County sheriff gives departing Michael Ashe clean bill of financial health » The Republican As Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe prepares to step down after 42 years, a recent review of his office by state Auditor Suzanne Bump shows no operational deficiencies or shortfalls within the depa…

State Finance

Budget cut 'chilling' for regional tourism office » South Coast Today The regional tourism office that covers all of Bristol County will lose $80,000 and probably its only full-time employee due to a mid-year budget cut by Gov. Charlie Baker, unless the Legislature repl…

Advocates press lawmakers to fight Baker's budget cuts » Newburyport News Advocates for the homeless, substance abuse treatment, environmental protection and tourism are calling on lawmakers to reverse Gov. Charlie Baker's mid-year budget cuts, saying the cost-trimming will…

State Government

State auditor vows: After pot dispensaries open, the audits will begin » Boston Herald The state auditor's office will be probing the revenue and regulations generated when the Bay State's fledgling pot industry gets fully under way in coming years, Auditor Suzanne Bump said today.…

Cashless sales are a temptation for lottery officials » Boston Globe In an increasingly cashless society, where consumers make purchases with the swipe of a credit card or the tap of a mobile app, lottery tickets have remained a lonely holdout — nearly always a …

Goldberg's lottery leadership ripped by MassGOP » State House News Service Republicans seized on falling sales of Lottery scratch tickets to challenge the leadership of Treasurer Deborah Goldberg on Wednesday, blaming the former Stop and Shop executive for failing cities and…

Clash looms between AG, Trump U.S. attorney pick » Boston Herald Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz is stepping down, and the power vacuum left behind will eventually be filled by a Donald Trump appointee whose brand of justice could cause significant fric…

Baker touts push to sell or lease little-used state land » The Associated Press (AP)

Utilities

State completes project at Plum Island plant » Wicked Local Newburyport The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced the completion of an energy efficiency project at the Plum Island Shellfish Purification Plant and 23 additional "Simple Fix" efficiency projects at …

Healey urges DPU to investigate utility-company profits » Sentinel & Enterprise The Department of Utilities should investigate the profits of electric and gas companies in Massachusetts, focusing especially on the rates of return on equity permitted in rate cases, according to At…

AG eyes National Grid pay probe » Boston Herald Attorney General Maura Healey is pressing for a probe into the opaque decision-making process of the state's utility regulators that she says is costing Massachusetts ratepayers millions, but experts …

Local legislators frustrated by federal response on Pilgrim nuclear plant » Wicked Local

Social Media Spotlight

Senator Marc Pacheco

Deborah B. Goldberg, Massachusetts State Treasury


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senstanma



Stan Rosenberg

@SenStan


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