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Must-Reads

Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? » New York Times When psychiatrists give diagnoses about the mental health of politicians, it's not just unethical - it's intellectually suspect.…

The biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net: working-class whites » Boston Globe Working-class white people are the biggest beneficiaries of federal poverty-reduction programs, even though black and Hispanic people have substantially higher rates of poverty, according to a study b…

Bermuda's ex-premier calls claims Lahey bribed him a 'litany of lies' » Boston Globe Bermuda's former premier, accused in a federal lawsuit of accepting bribes from the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center as part of a racketeering conspiracy that spanned two decades, lashed out Thursday…

Dark Money: Pro-Charter-School Fat Cats Took A Page From Offshore Gambling Tycoons » Mass Politics Profs The $16,000,000.00 question unanswered by Great Schools Massachusetts' electoral drubbing last November is: Who put up the millions concealed under the name Families for Excellent Schools? The Office …

FBI Searches for Possible Accomplices in Probe of Fallen K Street Lobbyist » The Wall Street Journal A federal grand jury has obtained records from companies tied to a prominent Washington consultant in the government investigation involving Evan Morris, a former drug-industry lobbyist suspected of e…

Former Obama aide fined $90,000 for illegally lobbying Emanuel on Uber's behalf » Chicago Tribune A former Uber senior executive who once served as Barack Obama's campaign manager has been fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for illegally lobbying Mayor Rahm Emanuel on behalf of the ride-…

Senators outline broad criminal justice reform agenda » Commonwealth Magazine SAYING THE TIME is right for the state to take sweeping look at criminal justice reform, a group of Democratic state senators is urging the Legislature to take up bills addressing everything from mand…

ML Strategies breaks lobbying record » Commonwealth Magazine ML Strategies saw its lobbying fees soar to more than $4 million in 2016, setting what appears to be a single-year record among Massachusetts firms.…

DeLeo taps Braintree's Cusack to vet marijuana proposals » State House News Service House Speaker Robert DeLeo's pick to work on legislation altering the marijuana legalization ballot law is fourth-term Braintree Rep. Mark Cusack, pairing the House Democrat with Sen. Patricia Jehlen …

"First of all, he was open-minded in terms of the issue, in terms of yes or no, and secondly, I think his past experience of being a chair of a committee, the open-mindedness of the work I saw him do in his previous committee, his abilities and what not, I saw this as a very important committee,"

House Speaker Robert DeLeo

Commenting on Rep. Cusack being appointed Chair of the new Committee on Marijuana Policy.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

After Russia bombshells, Trump zeroes in on media » Boston Globe President Trump, revealing an unusually high degree of sensitivity to news coverage for a White House occupant, repeatedly excoriated the media in a hastily called, rambling press conference Thursday …

Transcript And Analysis: Trump Press Conference On Labor Secretary, Russia, 'Fake News' » WBUR President Trump began his press conference Thursday afternoon announcing his new nominee for labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. He went on to answer questions and discussed a range of topics, inclu…

Robert Harward Turns Down Job As National Security Adviser » WBUR Retired Navy vice-admiral Robert Harward has turned down the position of National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, a White House official tells NPR's Mara Liasson.…

As Presidents Live Longer, Doctors Debate Whether To Test For Dementia » WBUR In a series of recent interviews, President Donald Trump's longtime personal physician Dr. Harold N. Bornstein told The New York Times that our new commander in chief has what amounts to a pretty unre…

Baker cautious in criticism of immigration order » Andover Townsman Gov. Charlie Baker is wading into the prickly debate over President Donald Trump's immigration ban, criticizing the restrictions in a letter that Democrats are calling too little, too late.…

'They friends of yours?': Trump asks black reporter to set up meeting with Black Caucus » Berkshire Eagle Over the course of the lengthy and bizarre news conference that President Trump held Thursday, few moments crystallized the unusual nature of his presidency as effectively as an exchange he had at the…

Kennedy wants Feds to come clean on immigration » The Sun Chronicle In light of recent deportation raids, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is demanding to know whether the federal government has changed it policies on enforcing immigration laws. Kennedy, D-Brookline, sai…

Business

What does Trump's crackdown on immigration mean for restaurants? » Boston Globe On Thursday, anyone who wanted a lunchtime burrito from most branches of Anna's Taqueria or a sandwich from McKenna's Cafe in Dorchester was out of luck. …

Promises, promises: Massachusetts companies are missing hiring goals even with hefty tax breaks » Boston Business Journal In all, more than a third of the EDIP projects approved since 2010 have not delivered the jobs that businesses promised, according to the state data.…

New wave of hiring at CPA firms adds up to big gains for Mass. sector » Boston Business Journal Further proof of the increasing demand for accounting services in Massachusetts lies in the fact that eight of the top 10 firms on the BBJ list increased their Bay State staff counts in the last year …

Why Ditching NAFTA Could Hurt America's Farmers More Than Mexico's » WBUR Garland Reiter is one of the people behind the rise in imported food from Mexico. His family has been growing strawberries in California for generations and selling them under the name Driscoll's. To…

Tax Reform And Your Shopping Cart » WBUR Tax reform — American retailers, importers, are warning of big price hikes. American exporters are celebrating. Plus: Warren Buffet dumps 90% of his shares in Wal-Mart.…

Local eateries close in nod to immigrant help » Boston Herald Fourteen Boston-area restaurants closed their doors to customers yesterday as part of a nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” protest aimed at bringing attention to President Trump's controv…

Largest investor of GateHouse Media, parent company of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and other Massachusetts newspapers, sold to Japan-based SoftBank Group » The Republican The largest investor of GateHouse Media, which is the parent company Massachusetts newspapers including the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and MetroWest Daily News, has been purchased by a bank group ba…

Marijuana-cultivation facility gets green light in Fitchburg » Nashoba Publishing NSAJO Holdings Inc. is poised to become the fourth medical-marijuana cultivation facility to open in Fitchburg. The Fitchburg Planning Board unanimously approved a special permit for the facility on …

DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS HITS LYNN » Lynn Daily News Item A Dominican Republic native, Reyes joined “A Day Without Immigrants,” a national movement by immigrants, who vowed to stay home Thursday and show how critical they are to the nation's way …

Civil Rights

Federal suit aims to zap stun gun ban » Boston Herald The Bay State's stun gun law is under attack in federal court, as three residents fight for their constitutional right to carry the electric weapons that are legal in 45 states but still banned here.…

Group Taking On AG Healey, Looking To Zap State's Stun-Gun Ban » New Boston Post In their lawsuit filed Wednesday, two Bay State residents and a self-defense activist claim the ban infringes on their Second Amendment right to bear arms and 14th Amendment right to equal protection …

Former Senate Candidate Launches Group To Fight Voter Suppression » WBUR Jason Kander, who waged an unsuccessful challenge against GOP incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt in Missouri last year, has started Let America Vote — an organization devoted to stopping efforts to make …

North Adams pledges to defend civil rights » Berkshire Eagle The city now declares itself safe and inclusive. After weeks of debate, public hearings and revisions to an original proposal, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday saying it will …

Crimes

The penalty for a company that kills someone: a $1,000 fine » The Republican

Education

Beyond DeVos, What 5 Key Trump Appointees Could Mean For Schools » WBUR The action in the U.S. school system is overwhelmingly local. But the federal government, and the courts, have an important hand in many issues that touch classrooms — from civil rights to inte…

$3M to 'enhance' marine research » The Salem News Gov. Charlie Baker traveled to Gloucester on Thursday to bestow nearly $3 million in Massachusetts Life Sciences Center state grants to the Gloucester Genomics Institute and four North Shore schools …

UMass Lowell awarded $5M grant for life sciences » Sentinel & Enterprise UMass Lowell and three area schools are getting quite a boost from the state. Gov. Charlie Baker announced a Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital grant round on Thursday -- funding research cen…

'Using Weakness To Create Strength': MIT Engineers Discover Structure That Makes Materials More Resilient » WBUR Making big things out of the world's strongest material has been the goal of materials engineers for the past few years. …

John Kerry heads back to Yale to oversee global initiative named for him » Boston Globe John Kerry, in his first major post-secretary of state role, is heading back to his alma mater, Yale University, where he will oversee an initiative aimed at grappling with some of the world's most pr…

UML nets $5M grant to fund biomed lab » Lowell Sun Gov. Charlie Baker announced a Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital grant round on Thursday -- funding research centers and life-sciences training facilities at colleges, universities, middle sc…

Should the state adopt legislation banning the use of Native American symbols as mascots? » Boston Globe

Gaming

MGM Springfield president Michael Mathis: 'We don't have any intention to open early' » The Republican MGM Springfield has no plans to open early, despite Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy's suggestion of that possibility during a press conference Thursday morning.…

Health Care

Steward to acquire eight hospitals in three states » Boston Business Journal Steward Health Care is branching out beyond Massachusetts for the first time, with plans to acquire eight different hospitals in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.…

Republican Health Care Proposal Would Cover Fewer Low-Income Families » WBUR House Republicans are debating a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act that would give consumers tax credits to buy insurance, cut back on Medicaid and allow people to save their own money to pay fo…

Baker talks sanctuary cities, pot and health care costs » Eagle Tribune Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated his opposition to declaring Massachusetts a sanctuary state Thursday, but said he won't stand in the way of cities that are defying President Donald Trump by refusing to …

GOP health plan redirects money from poor to rich » Berkshire Eagle An outline of a Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act looks as if it would redirect federal support from poorer Americans to wealthier ones. A white paper drafted by House leadershi…

Shkreli defends drug prices, spars with protesters at heated UMass Boston event » Boston Business Journal Controversial pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli used a speaking appearance at UMass Boston on Thursday to defend the high cost of some rare disease treatments, including a drug developed by Camb…

Housing

With Tax Credit Future Unknown, New Mass. Affordable Housing Units Hang In The Balance » WBUR Bart Mitchell stands next to a snowy field along train tracks in Jamaica Plain's Forest Hills neighborhood. Mitchell's company expected the spot to be a work site right now, with 78 units of affordabl…

'Tipping point' reached in homelessness fight, providers say » Worcester Business Journal

Judiciary

Senators eager to advance criminal justice system changes » State House News Service State senators on Thursday laid out a multifaceted criminal justice reform agenda, pitching legislation that would eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, limit the use o…

Democratic Mass. Senators Lay Out Bevy Of Criminal Justice Proposals » WBUR Just days before a long-awaited review of the Massachusetts criminal justice system is set to be released, several Democratic state senators on Thursday detailed their policy proposals for criminal ju…

ICE Detains A Victim Of Domestic Abuse At Texas Courthouse » WBUR Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse.…

Senators push criminal justice reform » Boston Globe State senators Thursday called for bold criminal justice reform on issues ranging from repealing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, to restricting the use of solitary confinement,…

Criminal justice reforms include Restorative Justice » WCVB A bill to expand restorative justice across Massachusetts - the concept that brings criminals and victims together to promote healing and reform - was unveiled by the Senate today on Beacon Hill, part…

Massachusetts Senate Democrats propose criminal justice reforms, including eliminating mandatory minimums » MassLive Massachusetts senators will consider a range of proposals to reform the state's criminal justice system during this legislative session, from eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent dru…

Labor

A day without immigrant workers would look something like this » Boston Globe As she made her way down Broadway in Chelsea, Marisol Santiago slowed her car and rattled off the names of businesses — a taqueria, a music store, a bodega, a barbershop, a bakery — whos…

Will the Trump era make Americans strike again? » Boston Globe It's not the American way for workers across industries to stage a one-day walkout to make a statement. General strikes are routine in Europe and Latin America. Not here.…

Legislative

WMass lawmakers well represented on House Ways and Means committee » The Republican State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, will keep his powerful post as vice chairman of the Ways and Means Committee this year, serving for another session under House Chairman Brian Dempsey, D-Haver…

DeLeo names leaders for House » Berkshire Eagle House Speaker Robert DeLeo's pick to work on legislation altering the marijuana legalization ballot law is fourth-term Braintree Rep. Mark Cusack, pairing the House Democrat with Sen. Patricia Jehlen …

New Senate chairs look at policy issues » Lowell Sun Bringing in new revenues, spreading economic development through all corners of the state, and maintaining a dialogue with the business community are among the priorities new Senate committee chairs s…

The Committee Focused on Changing the Marijuana Law Has Been Formed » Boston Magazine Good news if you support legal pot in Massachusetts: So does a senator who was just named to a top post in the state's new marijuana policy committee. …

Salem state senator talks 2017 legislative priorites » Wicked Local Not many elected officials point to a dilapidated playground as the spark that drove them into elected public service. …

Local Government

Selectman's complaints raised past issue » Worcester Telegram Selectman Jonathan Keep has had issues with police actions he has raised since becoming a selectman, mirroring complaints he and his wife filed against the police in the past.…

Polito Signs Community Compacts With Lanesborough, Windsor » iBerkshires It is difficult for small towns to bring in special expertise so the state is stepping in to help. Lanesborough wants to focus more on economic development and that long-range planning is significa…

Vargas warns of ICE raids » Eagle Tribune In a public Facebook post Thursday, City Councilor Andy Vargas said he had gotten reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were conducting raids in the city and had picked up no…

How's the Mayor Doing? A Color-Coded App Can Answer That » New York Times

Opinion

What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like » New York Times Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump's mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is no…

GOP elders push for climate action » Boston Globe TODAY, LET'S take a cue from the poet Max Ehrmann and go placidly amid the noise and haste and disarray, the conflict, confusion, and incompetence, the rancor, recrimination, and scheming, the whingei…

Independent investigation needed for Flynn fallout » Boston Globe LAST JULY, Americans witnessed something entirely unprecedented in presidential politics: a national candidate calling on Russian intelligence officials to hack an opposing candidate.…

Michael Flynn takes the fall » Boston Globe The merciless logic of events proceeds. Michael Flynn probably was not fired because he lied to conceal his dealings with Russia from Donald Trump. …

PETER LUCAS: Gonzalez plans an all-out Trump attack in governor's race » Lowell Sun Gov. Charlie Baker will be lucky if he draws Democrat Jay Gonzalez, a Deval Patrick acolyte, as his opponent for re-election.…

Letter: Legislative hikes prompt a different proposal » Worcester Telegram Recent news about legislative pay raises should prompt us to question not only the amount we pay our state senators and representatives, but also their number. …

As I See It: Mass bill to insure contraceptive access » Worcester Telegram Forty-four years after women were guaranteed the constitutional right to determine whether and when to have children by the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights are unde…

Benton: Kennedy, Trump in stark contrast » The Salem News Wednesday morning, members of the Massachusetts Legislature met in joint session to honor the memory of John F. Kennedy on the 100th anniversary of his birth.…

Editorial: Patience aside, tax breaks for job promises require accountability » Boston Business Journal A Business Journal investigation has found that just 1,196 net new jobs have come from those incentives. And the state has not done enough to hold companies accountable for their broken promises.…

ViewPoint: Policymaking must be collaborative » Boston Business Journal Changes in technology, disruption of traditional industries, and innovation in the workplace are occurring at a faster pace than ever before. …

Politics

Norman announces candidacy for GOP State Committee » Wicked Local Wellesley My name is Joshua Gary Norman, and I am formally announcing my campaign to serve as your next Massachusetts Republican State Committee Man from the First Middlesex & Norfolk District — Newton, …

Migrants Choose Arrest In Canada Over Staying In The U.S. » WBUR Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reporting a flurry of illegal crossings into Canada in recent months. Officials say Quebec province has seen the highest influx of people seeking asylum, with many cr…

Democratic Party leader Matt Barron leaves party over neglect of rural areas » Gazette Net A prominent member of the state Democratic Party for four decades has resigned and left the party due to what he says is the party's blatant failure to address rural concerns.…

Challengers lining up to fill Linehan's open council seat » Boston Herald Bill Linehan stepping down from his City Council seat has opened up a wide field of candidates seeking to take his place, but they'll be competing for a vastly different district where old political r…

Public Health

Advocates, Lawmakers Urge Mass. To Get Lead Out Of School Water Supplies » WBUR Of all the things parents might worry about at their children's school, the water bubbler wouldn't usually rank high.…

Nearly 2,000 died from overdoses in Mass. last year » Boston Globe

Public Safety

Shooting with impunity » Commonwealth Magazine Boston has become one of the safer big cities in the United States. In 2015, the city's murder rate reached a 10-year low, with just 39 people killed. That number climbed to 47 homicides last year, b…

State Government

AG Healey won't comply with new subpoena » Boston Globe Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's office will not comply with a subpoena received Thursday from a congressional committee seeking documents in connection with her office's investigation in…

Here's where Massachusetts's top elected officials stand on the push to become a 'sanctuary state' » Boston.com Elected officials across Massachusetts have been outspoken in their support for the state's handful of “sanctuary cities.”…

Spotlight on partnerships: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito tours Pittsfield with Mayor Tyer » Berkshire Eagle Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said she saw public-private partnership in action during a visit to the city on Thursday. Growing the workforce is in part reliant on "doing more of what works," she said, and …

Berkshire legislators earn spots in leadership » Berkshire Eagle Berkshire County legislators will fill leadership positions in various committees this legislative session, according to information released Thursday. …

Rosenberg: Senator assignments were tougher than redistricting » Berkshire Eagle Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will retain the core of his senior leadership team as he begins his second term as the top Democrat in the Senate, doling out leadership and committee assignments on…

Lanesborough, Windsor sign Community Compacts » Commonwealth Magazine Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito signed a pair of Community Compacts with Lanesborough and Windsor to strengthen those communities' ties with the commonwealth.…

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito says Baker administration to continue building on Pittsfield's economic development successes » The Republican Pointing to various projects that aim to revitalize the city's downtown, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Thursday that Gov. Charlie Baker's administration will continue looking at ways to drive economic de…

Berkshire Delegation Gets Committee Assignments » iBerkshires tate House leaders have released committee assignments for this session, with the Berkshire delegation picking up two chairmanships in the House and one in the Senate. Newly elected State Sen. Adam …

Attorney General Maura Healey Will Defy Climate Change Subpoena » Boston Magazine

Taxation

Action! Film workers make their case at Statehouse to keep industry tax credit » Sentinel & Enterprise "Quiet on the set!" a director yelled. It's a common phrase heard in a film studio or somewhere on location, but not usually in the Statehouse. Local film workers transformed the Great Hall Thursday…

Transportation

They're back. Potholes. You know you hate them. » Boston Globe Beneath puddles, they hide from unsuspecting axles. They disguise themselves as snow. They lurk in wait to wreck undercarriages, tires, rims.…

Is the state tracking your moves through your E-ZPass? » WWLP 22 News Every time you hop on the Massachusetts Turnpike, these new toll gantries scan your transponder and charge your account.…

Facing nearly $1M deficit, WRTA hiking fares, cutting services » Worcester Telegram Facing a projected $906,910 budget deficit, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board is recommending a five-year gradual fare increase proposal and has suggested that potential service …

Worcester-Boston express train should accommodate 9-to-5 workers, Mayor Joe Petty and City Manager Ed Augustus say » The Republican The Worcester-Boston express train, meant to get commuter rail passengers into the MBTA's South Station in about an hour, should focus on serving 9-to-5 workers, Mayor Joe Petty and City Manager Ed Au…

Baker wants MBTA Control Board extended » The Valley Dispatch At a business breakfast Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack will undertake a search to find a long-term general manager of the MBTA, something the agency has l…

Rep Madaro Testifies on Late Night MBTA Service » East Boston Times

Utilities

$17 billion in investments needed in drinking water over next 20 years » The Reminder In a report from the office of State Auditor Suzanne Bump, an estimated $17 billion over the next 20 years will be needed to upgrade and make safe municipal drinking water supplies in the Commonwealth…

Baker tapping the brakes on cellphone limits » Sentinel & Enterprise While acknowledging that he is not up to speed on the laws restricting cellphone use by drivers, Gov. Charlie Baker indicated Thursday he favors allowing people to continue chatting on hand-held phone…

Polito Offers No Firm Answer On 'Last Mile' Broadband Expansion » New England Public Radio Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito is offering no firm answer for when broadband internet expansion will be completed for 40 communities in the western part of the state.…

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm » Cape Cod Times

Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Haverhill officials will challenge immigration order » Boston Globe

Cost-cutting helps power Fidelity to record profits » Boston Business Journal

Professional Women's Chamber Seeks Woman of the Year Nominations » Business West

Rosenberg keeping core of leadership team » Lowell Sun

State Sen. Hinds tapped as tourism chairman » The Recorder

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker weighs in on nationwide 'Day Without Immigrants' strike » The Republican

The MBTA Needs a New General Manager » Boston Magazine

Governor seeking $200 million in 'pothole' money » The Salem News

No quick way for cities, towns to recoup early-vote costs » Sentinel & Enterprise

New Senate chairs offer outlook on policy issues » State House News Service

Providers describe struggle to serve homeless individuals » State House News Service

Council's crim justice recommendations coming next week » State House News Service

A week after fight, Governor's Council devolves to "new low" » State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says review of Trump administration's connections to Russia 'probably going to be a good idea' » The Republican

Baker taps brakes on new cellphone restrictions for drivers » Worcester Telegram

House Speaker not planning new broad-based taxes » WWLP 22 News

Partnership in Peril: Federal Funding at Risk for State Programs Relied on by Massachusetts Residents » Mass Budget

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 55 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Robert Hackett, an employee of the Department of Revenue

Most read bills of the week:

HB68 - An Act to reorganize the Department of Public Safety

HB1 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

SB127 - An Act to protect consumers with automobile leases

SB378 - An Act enhancing transparency in campaign finance

HB2019 - An Order relative to the adoption of permanent Joint Rules for the 190th General Court governing the 2017-2018 legislative sessions

SB597 - An Act relative to motor vehicle service contracts

House Actions This Week: 24

Senate Actions This Week: 16


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