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11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

Must-Reads

Lawmakers asked to hit up lobbyists, companies to fund national confab » Boston Globe Tapping lobbyists, special interests, and an array of blue-chip corporations, Democratic legislative leaders are raising seven-figure sums to bankroll a national conference of state lawmakers in Bosto…

Abortion opponents pledge grassroots campaign for constitutional amendment » State House News Service A Beacon Hill lawmaker and his allies launched a ballot initiative campaign Thursday, offering a proposal that would shift decisions around taxpayer funding for abortions away from the state constitut…

Retailers intensify work on possible sales tax cut ballot question » State House News Service The Retailers Association of Massachusetts on Thursday waded deeper into its exploration of a possible ballot question in 2018 to lower the state's sales tax, releasing an online survey intended to te…

Deadlines, but no deals on budget, marijuana bills » State House News Service House and Senate negotiators faced looming deadlines - one of which has been self-imposed - and tried to reach agreement on a state budget and legislation regulating the retail marijuana industry, but…

Tanner Ainge tweets Gordon Hayward about possible 'millionaire's tax' in Massachusetts » espn As the Boston Celtics and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge await their chance to make a pitch to Hayward after free agency begins Saturday, Ainge's son Tanner, who is running for Congres…

Donald Trump is not well » The Washington Post President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America's leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whe…

Lacking financing, utilities put $3 billion natural gas pipeline plan on hold » Boston Globe Pipeline operator Enbridge, together with Eversource and National Grid, said it needs more time to build political support for a proposed tariff on electric ratepayers. …

Galvin won't cooperate with Trump voter fraud panel » Commonwealth Magazine PRESIDENT TRUMP'S COMMISSION to investigate allegations of voter fraud is reaching out to state officials to gather information, but they won't be getting a lot of help from Massachusetts Secretary of…

Editorial: No more bullying with ballot box » Boston Business Journal Nothing like a fiscal year-end deadline to create urgency and motivate legislators to action.…

BUDGET, MARIJUANA TALKS COLLIDING WITH HOLIDAY WEEKEND » State House News Service After a largely unproductive first six months of the session, Massachusetts lawmakers are heading into a holiday weekend uncertain about whether they'll need to be on Beacon Hill, at Fourth of July ac…

“We’re stalled and we’re done for the night,” said Representative Ronald Mariano, the House majority leader and a top negotiator on the bill. “We haven’t scheduled a meeting for tomorrow.”

Representative Ronald Mariano

Speaking last night about the marijuana legislation currently stuck in conference committee.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

GOP's message to Trump: Please stop » Boston Globe A surge of Republican lawmakers denounced President Trump Thursday for his attacks on a prominent woman in the media, signaling a breaking point of sorts for a party weary of the president's boorish b…

Trump's voter-fraud panel asked all 50 states for registered voters' personal information — here's how they're responding » Business Insider The group in charge of investigating President Donald Trump's claims of voter fraud sent a letter to all 50 states requesting an overwhelming amount of information on individual registered voters.…

Business

Developer commits to providing apartments to prospective residents after fire » Boston Globe The 20 families expecting to move into the newly built Treadmark building in Dorchester were within weeks of realizing the dream of living in bright new affordable housing in a vibrant neighborhood wi…

Lawmakers asked to hit up lobbyists, companies to fund national confab » Boston Globe Tapping lobbyists, special interests, and an array of blue-chip corporations, Democratic legislative leaders are raising seven-figure sums to bankroll a national conference of state lawmakers in Bosto…

Mass. public company chief execs see bigger earnings, but mostly in equity » Boston Business Journal Total CEO compensation in 2016 for the 50 highest-paid CEOs in the Bay State was up 14 percent in 2016 versus 2015.…

Battenfeld: Salary hikes, bonuses abound at taxpayer-funded WGBH » Boston Herald Boston public broadcasting behemoth WGBH, facing potentially severe budget cuts by the Trump administration, awarded big pay hikes and bonuses to executives and staffers last year while reporting a $3…

West Mass is dead; long live Western Mass! » The Republican If you want the approval of people in the Pioneer Valley, you are going to have to -ern it.…

Education

Ailing Hudson student hopes to use robot to participate in class » Milford Daily News HUDSON – Keegan Concannon is hoping to attend every single day of school next year, even if that means he won't physically be there.…

Federal

Veterans Sue Mass. Treasurer, Saying They Were Wrongly Denied Bonuses After Post-9/11 Tours » WBUR Massachusetts recognizes the sacrifices of those who have been deployed in the military since 9/11 with a Welcome Home Bonus. It's a grant of up to $1,000 each time a service member serves honorably i…

Health Care

Could Massachusetts Stop Funding Abortions? » New Boston Post hould Massachusetts taxpayers pay for abortions? Pro-life activists say no, and they are hoping to bring a ballot question to voters in 2020.…

Immigration

Trump travel ban goes into effect » Boston Globe The Trump administration on Thursday moved aggressively to fulfill one of the president's most contentious campaign promises, banning entry into the United States by refugees from around the world and…

Insurance

Aetna opts for a base in New York, not Boston » Boston Globe The insurance giant Aetna made it official on Thursday: It will move its corporate headquarters to New York City, beginning in late 2018, after nearly two centuries in Hartford.…

Labor

'Workations' blur line between jobs and time off » Boston Globe Last summer, Mark Valentine spent the first few mornings of his Cape Cod vacation hunched over his computer, sitting in a plastic chair, with his work spread out on a boogie board in the laundry room.…

Adjuncts seek better pay, benefits through legislation » Boston Globe In higher education, they're the equivalent of gig workers: part-time professors who power many of the area's colleges, cobbling together teaching assignments each semester at one or two universities …

Mass. lawmakers back protection for pregnant workers » Worcester Telegram The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday mandating protections for pregnant workers, an effort that came up short on Beacon Hill last session but now appears poised to become l…

House, Baker, And Now Senate On Record For Pregnant Workers Bill » WBUR The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday mandating protections for pregnant workers, an effort that came up short on Beacon Hill last session but now appears poised to become l…

Legislative

Hours before deadline, Mass. lawmakers remain deadlocked over marijuana, budget » WCVB House and Senate negotiators faced looming deadlines - one of which has been self-imposed - and tried to reach agreement on a state budget and legislation regulating the retail marijuana industry, but…

Local Government

AG: Rockport selectmen didn't violate open meeting law » Gloucester Times The state attorney general has found that the Board of Selectmen did not violate the Open Meeting Law after Grant Mackay filed a complaint in March on behalf of Keep Rockport Green.…

Brockton mayor joins fight, takes stand against Trump » The Enterprise Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is joining mayors from across the country to take a stand against President Trump and the Republicans over the healthcare bill that's currently being debated in Washingto…

Falmouth and Plymouth Receive Grant Funds for River Restoration Projects » Cape Cod Online The state has announced over $1.3 million in state and federal grant funds for five river restoration projects within Taunton, Bridgewater, Falmouth and Plymouth. …

Marijuana

Questions remain on changes to pot law » Boston Globe Massachusetts legislators, toiling in secret to finalize a rewrite of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law, hit an impasse Thursday as they tried to iron out differences between a House version…

LETTERS: Expressing dissapointment with Cusack's pot stance » Wicked Local Braintree I am disappointed in state Rep. Mark Cusack, D-Braintree, who chaired the legislative marijuana committee, mismanaged the marijuana bill and didn't respect the will of the people. In fact, Cusack defi…

Weymouth council awaits lawmakers vote on recreational marijuana » Wicked Local Weymouth A ballot question to ban commercial marijuana businesses in Weymouth will be decided by town council after state legislators approve a law to regulate the use of recreational cannabis.…

No deal yet on rewrite of Massachusetts marijuana law » MassLive Efforts to rewrite the Massachusetts marijuana laws hit a pothole Thursday night. …

Talks on Revamped Pot Bill Appear to Stall as Deadline Nears » US News and World Report

Pols miss deadline for agreement on pot bill » Boston Herald

Talks on revamped pot bill appear to stall as deadline nears » The Associated Press (AP)

The Latest: Talks on Pot Bill Set to Resume Next Week » US News and World Report

Informal Talks on Revamped Marijuana Bill Stall » NECN

Opinion

Mark Twain's lessons for the Trump age » Boston Globe It's a classic chapter in one of America's iconic novels, the pages in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in which the two Mississippi River rascals dupe a one-horse Arkansas town into p…

From Watergate to Russia-gate » Boston Globe Denying that there was any evidence of his committing an obstruction of justice, President Trump has issued thinly veiled threats to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. …

Students Don't Deserve Underpaid, Overworked Professors » WBUR The 29 public colleges and universities in Massachusetts are weary after decades of state funding cuts that have shifted the burden of public higher education from our community to students and workin…

CHERYL REED, Norwell: Mass. AG is fighting to protect the environment » Patriot Ledger Every summer I can't help but reflect on the many beautiful natural resources this state, and our country, has to offer. As an instructor in the health and social sciences, I am acutely aware of the i…

Editorial: More taxing budget news » Boston Herald It surely pained them to do it, since it blew a $30 million hole in next year's already out-of-whack budget, but the Baker administration yesterday backed off a plan to begin collecting sales taxes fr…

Editorial: No more bullying with ballot box » Boston Business Journal Nothing like a fiscal year-end deadline to create urgency and motivate legislators to action.…

ViewPoint: Human sex trafficking is a business issue » Boston Business Journal Last month, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Attorney General Maura Healey convened a group of business leaders to discuss a topic neither of us would have considered a business imperative: sex traffickin…

[ Blog ] Union of Concerned Scientists » Union of Concerned Scientists

Politics

Local Elected Officials Endorse Mike Kelley » My South End Senators Linda Dorcena-Forry and Joseph Boncore joined District 2 colleagues, Representatives Aaron Michlewitz and Byron Rushing, on Monday to announce their endorsement of Mike Kelley, joining his gr…

Republican PACs take aim at Warren » The Salem News Republicans are preparing to unleash blistering attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren ahead of her re-election bid next year and a possible run for the White House in 2020. A newly created super PAC vows …

Women's Political Caucus chief McCarthy Welsh wants more women in office » Boston Business Journal When Sarah McCarthy Welsh took over as executive director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus last August following 16 years as an Emmanuel College administrator and more than a decade in th…

Public Health

Prostate cancer, infant deaths hit blacks most » Boston Herald Blacks in the Bay State are suffering from obesity and dying of prostate cancer at a higher rate than any other racial group while also losing access to substance abuse treatment under the much-touted…

State Finance

New State Fiscal Year Approaches Without Budget Deal » US News and World Report

State Government

Lawsuit: Mass. denies 'welcome home' bonuses to 'bad paper' veterans » Stars and Stripes Two Army veterans, with the help of Harvard Law School, filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against the Massachusetts treasury, claiming it was unrightfully denying “welcome home” bonuse…

25 Investigates: State Auditor charges taxpayers extra fee to audit MBTA » My Fox Boston The State Auditor's Office has been using a little-known deal to charge taxpayers millions to audit the MBTA – even though it's already part of the Auditor's job.…

Plan In Place to Continue Cariddi's Work Until Special Election » iBerkshires The Berkshire delegation is teaming up to ensure no work of late state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi gets left behind. The special election to fill Cariddi's seat isn't until November but the rest of the del…

Mass GOP Attacks AG Healey's Office About Judge's 'Misconduct' Finding in Drug Lab Review » New Boston Post Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Kirsten Hughes pounced Thursday on a Boston Herald report linking Attorney General Maura Healey's office with a criminal drug lab review that a state judge labe…

Secretary of Commonwealth William Galvin rejects Trump Administration's request for voting records » The Republican

Taxation

GOP state reps oppose Millionaire Tax » Lynn Daily News Item SAUGUS — Two local Republican state representatives are opposed to a November 2018 state ballot question that would allow an additional tax on millionaires.…

DOR scraps online tax plans » Boston Herald

Mass. push to force online retailers to charge sales tax hits snag » WCVB

Transportation

Mass. Senate passes hands-free cellphone bill for drivers - again » Boston Globe Massachusetts drivers would have to keep their hands off their cellphones — for talking and texting — under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate.…

Our view: MBTA must send clearer signals about wireless plan » Gloucester Times The jury is still out on the MBTA's plan to install 300 towers along its commuter rail lines to improve the wireless internet signal on its commuter trains. Of course, in the case of Gloucester Mayor …

Berkshire residents react to passage of state Senate bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving » Berkshire Eagle "The bottom line is that there's increased concern over distracted driving," said state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield. "You see people swerving all over the road, it's scary."…

Unlicensed Driving Is Growing Concern Among Immigrants » Martha's Vineyard Gazette It can be risky business when the Island's undocumented residents get behind the wheel and drive. To go to the doctor. To attend church services. Or just to get to work.…

Senate passes distracted-driving bill that would limit cellphone use » The Recorder A bill that would ban the use of all handheld electronics by drivers has passed the state Senate, and will now move onto the House where its passage remains uncertain. …

Senate OKs ban on device use while driving » The Valley Dispatch Massachusetts drivers would be banned from using handheld devices behind the wheel under legislation approved by the Senate on Thursday.…

MA Senate Passes Bill To Ban ALL Cell Phone Use, Electronic Devices While Driving » The Valley Patriot Today, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a piece of legislation which claims will reduce motor vehicle accidents and fatalities by prohibiting the use of ALL electronic mobile devices while operat…

Mass. Senate passes hands-free cellphone bill for drivers — again » Boston Globe Massachusetts drivers would have to keep their hands off their cellphones — for talking and texting — under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate.…

Tougher distracted driving bill proposed » Boston Herald Texting while driving in Massachusetts has been illegal for years, but drivers could get a fine just for holding their phone while behind the wheel under a bill passed by the state Senate yesterday. …

Here's what you need to know about the Massachusetts proposal to ban handheld devices while driving » The Republican

Utilities

Lacking financing, utilities put $3 billion natural gas pipeline plan on hold » Boston Globe Eversource and National Grid, the two biggest utilities in the state, are shelving a $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline project known as Access Northeast until they can find a way to pay for it.…

State Rep. Randy Hunt: Let's Give Comcast Some Competition » Cape News State Representative Randy Hunt is ticked off about the price of cable television and Internet service and says neither he, nor his constituents, have to take it anymore.…

Mystery security issue at Pilgrim results in violation » Cape Cod Times Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will receive at least one violation as part of its next quarterly report, based on a security issue at the plant that's not being elaborated on because of its sensitive n…

3 Developers Expected To Bid For The State's First Offshore Wind Farm » WBUR It's a new era for renewable clean energy in Massachusetts. Utilities are asking developers to bid on a contract to build the state's first offshore wind farm. Competition is expected to be intense. …

Social Media Spotlight

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aclu_mass

massgovernor

elizabethwarrenma


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S.2093 Pregnant Workers Fairness Act


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Speaker Bob DeLeo

@SpeakerDeLeo

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@MA_Senate


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Baker administration abruptly yanks plan to tax online sales » Boston Business Journal

Hilltown leaders who once 'had pitchforks out' thank Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for broadband progress » The Republican

AARP's 2017 budget priorities » Fifty Plus Advocate

Massachusetts House and Senate Tackle Marijuana » National Law Review

Online retailers celebrate as revenue chief rescinds tax directive » Lowell Sun

Local legislators call equity a key to reconciling the marijuana dispute » Dorchester Reporter

Out-of-state internet sellers get tax reprieve, for now » Boston Globe

Massachusetts Legislative Leaders Hopeful for Cannabis Tax Compromise » Ganjapreneur

Healey and nine other AGs demand data on immigration arrests » Boston Globe

No longer hanging them out to dry? Clothesline bill picks up steam in Legislature » Boston Globe

Sen. Eric Lesser talks up rail proposal at East Longmeadow event » The Republican

What a haul: Out-of-state garbage magnates give big to Baker » Boston Globe

Healey informs Pennsylvania student loan agency of investigation » Boston Herald

Amazon to join GE, Red Hat in Boston's Fort Point » Boston Business Journal

Marijuan activists plan protest outside House Speaker's home » State House News Service

Marijuana activists plan protest outside DeLeo's home » The Salem News

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 2859 - An Act relative to the Mohawk Trail Regional School District agreement

HB 3670 - An Act relative to the conveyance of a certain parcel of land by the town of Deerfield

HB 3651 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Pamela Dube

HB 2781 - An Act authorizing the city of Chicopee to lease a certain building

HB 905 - An Act relative to a sick leave bank for Paul Geraghty, an employee of the Massachusetts Trial Court

HB 1837 - An Act relative to naming a state-owned bridge in the town of Amherst after Ellen Story

HB 3775 - An Act making certain appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018 before final action on the General Appropriation Bill

Most read bills of the week:

SB2097 - Text of the Senate amendment to the House Bill to ensure the public health and safety of patient and consumer access to medical and adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth (being the text of Senate document number 2090, printed as amended)

HB3776 - An Act to ensure the public health and safety of patient and consumer access to medical and adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth

HB3680 - An Act establishing the Massachusetts pregnant workers fairness act

SB2090 - Text of the Senate amendment (Senator Jehlen) to the House Bill to ensure the public health and safety of patient and consumer access to medical and adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth

SB2058 - An Act to prevent driver distraction and motor vehicle fatalities

HB3768 - An Act to ensure the public health and safety of patient and consumer access to medical and adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth

SB2092 - An Act to prevent driver distraction and motor vehicle fatalities

SB2076 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

SB2093 - An Act establishing the Massachusetts pregnant workers fairness act

HB1 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

House Actions This Week: 371

Senate Actions This Week: 159


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