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Today on Beacon Hill

Last day of the 2015-2016 legislative cycle

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

1:00pm Constitutional Convention, Constitutional Convention

Must-Reads

The Historical Task of the Left in the Present Period » Dissent

To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn From the Tea Party » New York Times The Tea Party's success was a disaster for President Obama's agenda and for our country, but that success should give us hope today. It proved the power that local, defensive organizing can have. …

Mass. Democrats hope to tie Gov. Baker to Trump » The Salem News BOSTON — Massachusetts Democrats are hoping to take a notch out of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's sky-high popularity numbers by lashing him to Donald Trump's incoming administration. …

Broken records: How to expose bad government in 2017 » Dig Boston Happy New Year! For the first time since the '70s, Massachusetts has a new public records law. It also has a new set of regulations and a new supervisor of public records. These changes will dramatica…

Why Obamacare is unlikely to die a swift death » The Washington Post Congressional Republicans have long boasted that once they claim the reins of power, they will act quickly and decisively to roll back what they view as the most onerous piece of President Obama's dom…

MassHealth may force seniors to make hard choice » Boston Globe Hundreds of disabled seniors in Massachusetts may soon face a daunting choice if they want services under the state's Medicaid program: Ditch the trusts they set up to pay for extras, such as dental w…

Democrats Have a Religion Problem » The Atlantic There aren't many people like Michael Wear in today's Democratic Party. The former director of Barack Obama's 2012 faith-outreach efforts is a theologically conservative evangelical Christian. He is o…

11 issues to watch in the 2017-2018 legislative session » WWLP 22 In addition to the wildcard that is Donald Trump's presidency, here's a look at 11 simmering issues that could escalate to a full boil in the 2017-2018 legislative session, which gets underway Wednesd…

"You make sure that people are really paying their taxes. You know that the money is not being diverted to some kind of criminal enterprise,'' Warren said recently. "And it's just a plain old safety issue. You don't want people walking in with guns and masks and saying, 'Give me all your cash.'"

Elizabeth Warren

Speaking about marijuana shops and their lack of access to banking services.

News By Category
Business

Sen. Warren Wants to Pull Pot Shops Out of Banking Limbo » NECN As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block - lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted. …

FDA drug approvals plummeted this year, but 2017 is looking rosier » STAT News Among the many stats that illustrate the biopharma industry's rough and tumble 2016, new drug approvals fell to their lowest total in nearly a decade after a booming few years.…

10 Mass. companies to watch in 2017 » Boston Globe With unemployment in Massachusetts at a 15-year low, wages finally creeping upward, and the state's economic growth rate outpacing national numbers, a “steady the course” 2017 seems like a…

Irish Startups Attracting U.S. Investment Dollars » WBUR Ireland is a well-known destination for multinational companies — more than 700 U.S. corporations have a presence there, including Facebook and Google. But Ireland also has a burgeoning startu…

Civil Rights

'Bathroom Bill' Fight Brewing In Texas » WBUR Texas could soon follow in the footsteps of Indiana and North Carolina and pass its own "bathroom bill" in the upcoming legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made passage of such a bill, which…

Crimes

Trial of pharmacy owner blamed for deadly meningitis outbreak begins Thursday » MassLive Barry Cadden, the owner and head pharmacist of the shuttered New England Compounding Center, is scheduled to stand trial on federal racketeering, murder and other charges beginning Thursday. The charg…

Education

Mass. schools look overseas for competition » Boston Globe Natick High School has long taken pride in its English, math, and science programs and had the MCAS scores to prove it, ranking in the upper tier of schools in a state with the strongest academic perf…

Cambridge high school tackles gender climate head-on » Boston Globe Students who rallied outside this city's public high school last spring described harrowing experiences: unwelcome sexual advances and other inappropriate behavior by male classmates and others.…

Pull Up One More Chair For Youth » Youth Today If you want to learn about ways to save our environment, you'd convene a group of scientists. If you want to assess ways to improve our health care systems, you'd convene a group of health care provid…

How Northeastern Is Drawing Veterans With Specialized Support, Services » WBUR Talk to veterans in Boston and you start hearing that one university stands out for its commitment to them. That university is Northeastern. The school is seen as a model for addressing veterans' nee…

MassBay joins tuition-free program » The Metro West Daily News MassBay Community College is now offering free tuition to Boston Public School District graduates through a program aimed at guiding low-income students through college and toward a successful futur…

Special Report: Schools face surge in suicide attempts » Boston Herald Bay State educators struggling with a surge of student suicides and attempts are getting help this winter as a panel set up in response to the Sandy Hook massacre spells out how to assist teens suffer…

Harvard Law dean to step down from post » Boston Business Journal

Environment

Thinking globally, suing locally: Chelsea activists join fight against Exxon Mobil » Boston Globe Roseann Bongiovanni was on an early morning training run for the Boston Marathon a decade ago when a stench from the Mystic River made it difficult to breathe. …

Let's hold Exxon accountable » Commonwealth Magazine AS A LIFELONG CHELSEA resident, I've seen many positive transformations in our community over the past few years. But one thing that has been ever-present is the shadow that the fossil fuel industry a…

Health Care

Doctors are cutting opioids, even if it harms patients » Boston Globe More than half of doctors across America are curtailing opioid prescriptions, and nearly 1 in 10 have stopped prescribing the drugs, according to a new nationwide online survey. …

Mass. physicians open debate on end-of-life options » Boston Globe The vote before the Massachusetts Medical Society was whether to approve a survey — just a survey — of members' attitudes toward “medical aid in dying.”…

Massachusetts Medical Society indicates openness to medically induced death » MassLive The Massachusetts Medical Society has indicated willingness to bend in its historic opposition to physician-assisted death. The policy-making body last month agreed to fund a $25,000 survey of member…

Bay State eyes expanding rules on prescribing pot » Boston Herald New rules proposed by Bay State health officials would give nurse practitioners the authority to OK medical marijuana use.…

Proposed changes to medical marijuana rules aren't enough, patients say » Boston Globe

Housing

If homeless are no longer in Bristol County hotels where are they? » Herald News Bristol County homeless officials said they have fulfilled Gov. Charlie Baker's mandate to end the practice of placing homeless families in hotels and motels, according to an email sent to The Standar…

Judiciary

Full SJC to take up case of attempted 'suicide by cop' » Salem News The attorney for a Rowley man charged with attempting to commit "suicide by cop" will ask the state's highest court to release his client next month. …

Gertner: Mass. will remain bastion of civil liberties » State House News Service

Labor

Massachusetts' $11 an Hour Minimum Wage Goes into Effect » Boston Globe Starting January 1, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $11 an hour, up from $10.…

Western Mass. expected to benefit from minimum wage hike » The Recorder Comedian Chris Rock once said minimum wage is your boss's way of saying, “Hey, if I could pay you less, I would. But it's against the law.”…

Funding in the works for manufacturing jobs » Lynn Daily News Item Thirty prospective machinists will have their tuition paid at the E-Team program, an adult machinist training project housed at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.…

Child Care Scarcity Has Very Real Consequences For Working Families » WBUR One of the most stressful questions a new parent confronts is, "Who's going to take care of my baby when I go back to work?" Figuring out the ans…

Employers wave caution flag to "emotionally appealing" $15 minimum wage » State House News Service

Legislative

How much do state lawmakers make? » Boston Globe At the end of 2016, Governor Charlie Baker ordered a 4.19-percent raise in base pay for state legislators — from $60,032 to $62,547 — the first increase since 2009 under a constitutional…

Veteran lawmakers, by the numbers » The Sun Chronicle As the 2017-2018 Legislature gets under way, here are some of the veterans of state government and how long they have been in office.…

The Marijuana Law Hits a Six-Month Speed Bump » Boston Globe It's been two weeks of ups and downs for those celebrating Massachusetts' new legal marijuana law.…

McMurtry present for vote on marijuana stores, says will of the people will be honored » Wicked Local Westwood State Rep. Paul McMurtry said a controversial vote to delay the opening of retail marijuana stores was not an attempt to usurp the decisions made by voters, but rather to fully investigate the impacts…

Senate bills being held up by House Ways & Means » Sentinel & Enterprise This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call presents Part 2 of a report highlighting several instances in which bills were approved, mostly unanimously, by the Senate but have been tied up in the House Ways and …

Skeleton crew expected to finish final 30 hours of session on Beacon Hill » Newburyport News

200 House and Senate members to take oath Wednesday » WWLP 22

Senate prepping for Rosenberg speech » State House News Service

Local Government

City Council facing question of leadership » Lynn Daily News Item The new year will bring fresh leadership to the city council.…

Column: Keep moving Gloucester forward » Gloucester Times As 2016 winds down, I want to pause to express my gratitude to everyone for all that you have done to help move Gloucester forward. Many believe that this year was tougher than other years, but I want…

New Springfield Council President Orlando Ramos seeks to improve police-community relations » MassLive City Councilor Orlando Ramos was elected by his colleagues Monday as the new council president, saying that his top priority in 2017 is to do everything possible to improve relations between the polic…

Correia works on finding the right balance during first year as Fall River mayor » The Herald News

Opinion

Make arts education standard » Boston Globe KIDS NEED TO learn about the arts. But teachers and parents have complained about the narrowing of elementary and secondary public education — specifically, that federal guidelines outlined by …

Empathy, the imagination, and Black Lives Matter » Boston Globe 'WALK A mile in his shoes” is a bromide that's easily offered — and just as easily disregarded. …

Chill people, the pot law needs fixing » Boston Globe TAKE A CHILL PILL, pot lovers.…

No, don't move to Canada — or Australia » Boston Globe AFTER A BITTER and often abusive election, Donald Trump's choices for leadership posts indicate that we are headed for four more years of highly partisan politics. …

Our view: Heavy metal an issue on Beacon Hill » The Salem News Maybe it's unfair to criticize the stumble-footedness of the Massachusetts Legislature as it rushed headlong to act in the final hours of the year on bills that were filed in 2015 and 2016.…

A private man in a public life » Boston Globe WE LIKE TO visit the reservoir early in the morning. Until the crowds arrive, there's a sense of spaciousness (especially for the dog), even though a mall runs perpendicular to the path, just a traffi…

OUR VIEW: Seeing the problems firsthand » Herald News THUMBS UP to Gov. Charlie Baker for visiting Stanley Street Treatment and Resources and the Children's Advocacy Center of Bristol County.…

Robichaud: Taxes on state menu as the House (and Senate) special » Boston Herald Here we go again. This week we get a new state Legislature. …

Is 'Imagine Boston 2030' climate ready? » Boston Globe TWO RECENTLY RELEASED City of Boston planning reports are on a direct collision course.…

Cape Downwinders plan citizen action event » Cape Cod Times The Cape Cod Times deserves the Pulitzer Prize for its steadfast and fair-minded coverage of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station and its standing as one of the three most dangerous nuclear facilities in…

Mass. Democrats: Lighten up on Trump Inauguration » Lowell Sun Massachusetts' uptight, all-Democrat congressional delegation would be wise to follow Gov. Charlie Baker's lead and accept an invitation to President-elect Donald Trump's Inauguration on January 20.…

OUR VIEW: Minimum wage bump will mean more dollars spent here » Taunton Gazette THUMBS UP the Massachusetts minimum wage increase to $11 per hour, which is among the highest in the nation. …

Editorial: Smoke in their eyes » Boston Herald We take a backseat to no one in our disdain for legislative trickery and we don't hesitate to call it out when we see it.…

Carr: Living large at Mar-a-Lago » Boston Herald

The shattered lives of misguided Probation Dept. probe » Lowell Sun

Other

What comes next in D.C. in the World of Trump? » Boston Globe From the boardroom to the campaign trail, unpredictability has been Donald Trump's defining trait.…

Rep. Moulton Says House Democrats Will Fight Against 'Dangerous' Policy Changes » WBUR The 115th Congress will be sworn in Tuesday, and it promises to be a tough fight for Democrats right from the start. The Republican majority with Republican Donald Trump soon moving into the White Ho…

Patrick urges Senate committee to reject Sessions » State House News Service

Politics

County commissioner-elect Ron Beaty takes shots » Cape Cod Times Ronald Beaty Jr., will officially be sworn in as a Barnstable County Commissioner on Tuesday morning, but he has already been creating controversy from the Cape to Boston since his surprise victory in…

Dems call on Baker to denounce picks made by The Donald » Boston Herald Bay State Democrats are hoping to take a notch out of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's sky-high popularity numbers by lashing him to President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration.…

Year in review: 2016 was the year of elections » Wicked Local Cohasset Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took Cohasset during the March 1 primary, with 35 percent of the republican vote going to Trump and 56 percent of the democratic vote going to Clinton.…

YEAR IN REVIEW: Hedlund, Bradley open door for O'Connor, Meschino » Wicked Local Cohasset While the presidential race between businessman Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has attracted the most national news - locally it was also a bizarre election season. Hingham…

A Massachusetts freedom agenda » Commonwealth Magazine THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION election unleashed forces of racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and authoritarianism that, we now know, have been simmering just beneath the surface of the collec…

Curt Schilling: Trump support shutting me out in Hall bid » Boston Herald Former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling blasted Baseball Hall of Fame voters for rejecting him based on his tweets and support of Donald Trump, saying he'd be a lock for Cooperstown if he had opposed the in…

Public Health

New laws show signs of helping slow opioid epidemic » Gazette Net Although Massachusetts' opioid deaths are still on the rise, with the powerful drug fentanyl adding to the toll, facets of the Legislature's anti-drug act are beginning to have an impact.…

Public Safety

Despite Trust Act, Boston police handed over immigrants for deportation » Boston Globe Boston's Trust Act — designed to reassure immigrants that city police would not help deport them — has a loophole that was used to turn over nine men to federal immigration officials, ci…

Advocates concerned about treatment of mentally ill inmates » The Associated Press (AP) A prisoners' advocacy group says Massachusetts is placing inmates with serious mental illnesses in solitary confinement despite a legal agreement to end the practice.…

Sheriff, Greater Lowell police work to break cycle of incarceration » Lowell Sun In 2015, 46 percent of all incoming Middlesex Jail & House of Correction inmates had a history of mental illness, 43 percent had to be detoxed as they entered the facility and 33 percent had to be mon…

Agawam police officer indicted in alleged theft of more than $10,000 from union » MassLive

Transportation

Buckle Up, Boston: Testing Of Self-Driving Cars Begins Tuesday » WBUR Tuesday marks the first time a self-driving car will hit city streets in Boston. The state has given the green light to Cambridge-based nuTonomy Inc. to start testing a self-driving car in a small se…

On-demand carpooling would slash need for taxis, MIT study says » Boston Globe About 14,000 taxicabs swarm the streets of New York City. That's 11,000 too many, according to research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.…

Utilities

Spectra delays Access Northeast natural gas pipeline » Utility Dive Spectra Energy informed federal regulators it is delaying the proposed $3 billion Northeast Access pipeline, reiterating the demand for new gas capacity while also indicating it would need to "solidif…

Tennessee Gas sets Nov. 1 target for Otis State Forest pipeline » Berkshire Eagle Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. says that in the wake of a legal settlement, it aims to construct a new pipeline through a section of the Otis State Forest this year and put it into service Nov. 1.…

Massachusetts DOER will set energy storage mandate targets by July » Utility Dive

Social Media Spotlight

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Press Releases

What's on State Ballots This November » National Federation of Independent Business

Senator Ross Announces Legislative Passage of FY18 Supplemental Budget » Sen. Richard Ross

NATURAL GAS AND INDUSTRY INNOVATION CONTINUES TO HELP DRIVE US GHG EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS » Mass. Petroleum Council

SMART, SCIENCE-BASED STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS CONTINUE TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH AND REDUCE EMISSIONS » Mass. Petroleum Council

Massachusetts Small Business Scorecard: October 2018 » National Federation of Independent Business

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

Governor Baker Nominates Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Shelby M. Smith to the District Court » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Baker-Polito Administration, MEMA, Local Officials and Columbia Gas Remind Impacted Customers of Available Housing Options and Provide Home Safety Tips » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

AIM Offers Downloadable Employer Guide to State Ballot Questions » Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Association of Realtors Recognizes Realtor Tanisha Salmon for her Community Service Efforts » Mass. Association of Realtors

Mattapoisset Broker Named 2018 Massachusetts Realtor of the Year » Mass. Association of Realtors

Cambridge Broker Receives Massachusetts Realtor Distinguished Service Award » Mass. Association of Realtors

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Improvement Project at Flynn Memorial Rink » Mass. Department of Conservation & Recreation

Federal Judge Denies Motion from For-profit School Industry to Delay Critical Protections for Student Loan Borrowers » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Sues Starion Energy Over Deceptive Sales Tactics, Overcharging Residents by $30 Million » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Joins Multistate Effort to Stop Illegal Robocalls » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million in Community Compact IT Grants to 44 Cities and Towns » Executive Office of Administration & Finance

Treasurer Goldberg Announces SeedMA Baby » Office of Treasurer Deb Goldberg

Legislature passes FY18 close-out bill with $40M for local roads » Mass. Municipal Association

Franklin Line Weekend Shuttles during Two Weekends for East Street Bridge Rehabilitation Work » MBTA

Weekend Daytime Closures of Chelsea Street Drawbridge for Standard Maintenance » MBTA


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