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Today on Beacon Hill

8:00am Breakfast with Pennsylvania Congressional Candidate Chrissy Houlahan

10:30am Sen. Ed Markey Press Conference on Opioid Crisis Announcement, Charlestown Recovery House, 15 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

1:00pm Senate Session, Informal Session

6:00pm Vigil for Families with Temporary Protected Status, State House steps, Boston

7:00pm "An Evening in Margaritaville" Birthday Fundraiser for Rep. Jim Cantwell

Birthdays: Rep. Paul Donato, Rep. Elizabeth Poirier

Must-Reads

AG candidate warns against easing of mandatory minimums » State House News Service A Cape Cod Republican running for attorney general announced his opposition to the proposed elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes, calling on Attorney General Maura Healey…

Senate approves justice reform bill 27-10 » State House News Service The Senate passed legislation early Friday that could make drug traffickers in Massachusetts liable for murder while substantially reducing other criminal penalties for drug dealing in an effort to re…

Threats Preventing Wilson from Voting » Roll Call Florida congresswoman dealing with fallout of her criticism of Trump's phone call to Army widow …

Josh Kusner, Jared's brother" The individual market will thrive in the long run » Axios Not since the first year of the Affordable Care Act has there been so much uncertainty at the start of an open enrollment period. How many Americans will sign up for health coverage? As experts weigh …

How Iowa Became An Obamacare Horror Story » Politico Premiums and tempers are rising in one of America's most political states, with no solution in sight. …

Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency; critics say plan falls short » The Washington Post President Trump on Thursday called the nation's opioid epidemic the “worst drug crisis in American history,” saying his administration is declaring it a public health emergency and putting…

'I don't want to sit on your lap,' she thought. But, she alleges, Mark Halperin insisted. » The Washington Post Dianna Goldberg was a young researcher at ABC News in 1994 when she asked a colleague, Mark Halperin, for some information about a story. He readily agreed to help her and asked her to come to his off…

Tax Plan Has Lobbyists Swarming, Lawmakers Asking What's in It? » Bloomberg Republicans are barreling into a lobbying frenzy next week, when House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to unveil a sweeping tax bill to remake the U.S. economy that's being crafted with rigo…

Scott Brown: more complaints surface over behaviour of US ambassador to New Zealand » The Guardian US officials investigated Brown after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour at a party in Samoa and was alleged by one woman to have stared at her breasts …

Starting over, House sends 'mini-budget' to Senate » The Salem News The Legislature inched closer to a mini budget deal on Thursday with a Halloween deadline adding to the intrigue, but the House and Senate remain divided over key issues, such as how to restrict firea…

GOP protests as Senate advances late-night spending bill » State House News Service There was no eleventh hour agreement Thursday between the House and Senate on how to close the books on fiscal 2017 before an Oct. 31 deadline.…

Mass. doctors group: Trump's opioid actions don't go far enough » Boston Business Journal Massachusetts doctors are critical of President Donald Trump's declaration that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency, saying the declaration doesn't go far enough to solve the epidemic. …

“We have to lift people up, not lock people up,” said Senator William N. Brownsberger, the legislation’s top author, on the Senate floor. “We have to cut the chains that hold people down when they are trying to get back up on their feet.”

Senator William Brownsberger

Speaking before the Senate took up debate on the criminal justice reform bill.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Keating: Budget cuts 'devastating' to health care services, jobs » Cape Cod Times Most of the headlines about the federal budget passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday focus on the big tax cuts pushed and won by the GOP.…

Business

Zipcar will now let you rent a car for the work week » Boston Globe Zipcar Inc. is launching a new program that sounds more like a leasing service than the Boston-based company's typical on-the-go rental offerings.…

In Weymouth, a futuristic view of city life » Boston Globe Those futuristic cities you see in sci-fi movies? Where traffic lights miraculously turn green, parking spaces are easy to find, and sidewalks that melt snow?…

Second lawsuit seeks to halt Berkshire Museum art sale » The Berkshire Eagle A second legal front opened Thursday in the fight over sales from the Berkshire Museum collection.…

GE reportedly looking to shed railroad business » Boston Business Journal In an effort to get its core business back on track, General Electric Co. is reportedly looking to maneuver its railroad business off its balance sheet.…

Mass. economic growth rate surges to nearly 6 percent » Boston Business Journal

Where are the 1997 consultant's documents officials used to justify building South Hadley's Ledges golf course? » The Republican

Civil Rights

MIAA rules scorned after girl not eligible for tournament win » Boston Herald The MIAA could be running afoul of antidiscrimination laws after refusing to recognize a Lunenburg girl's golf tournament victory because she beat boys, according to the former chief of the Attorney G…

Education

Lynn to Receive $100,000 in state Strategic Support grants » Lynn Daily News Item State Sen. Thomas M. McGee and state Reps. Lori Ehrlich, Donald Wong, Brendan Crighton, and Dan Cahill said Lynn schools will receive help to close student proficiency gaps and ensure all students are…

Harvard's surplus may be 'high-water mark' » Boston Globe The population of college-bound students is on the decline. The cost of tuition is growing increasingly unaffordable for many families. And endowment returns are expected to decrease.…

Labor, in vain: Mass. colleges find Trump an ally in battle over student unions » Boston Business Journal The shifting political dynamic has left grad students in a state of limbo, while fashioning an awkward — if tenuous — coalition between otherwise progressive university administrators an…

Holyoke Community College to inaugurate Christina Royal as its first female president » The Republican Holyoke Community College will inaugurate its first woman president on Friday, November 3 at 10 a.m. in a ceremony in the school's Leslie Philips Theater. …

Environment

Mass. Sea Turtle Hospital Braces For 'Cold Stunning Season' » WBUR On a July morning at the New England Aquarium Animal Care Center in Quincy, a clinical volunteer checked the heart rate of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle with a Doppler instrument as a part of its physica…

State urged to end bottled H2O spending » The Berkshire Eagle The state's tab for bottled water has his hit nearly $200,000 since July, and advocates are asking lawmakers to turn on the taps instead for savings.…

Cape fishermen push for action on habitat protection » Cape Cod Times The concept of fish habitat is pretty simple. Fish, like people, need a place where they can find food and shelter to thrive.…

Gaming

Study: 90 percent of Plainridge customers also visited other casinos » The Sun Chronicle Ninety percent of Plainridge Park Casino customers previously went to out-of-state casinos to gamble, mostly in Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to a survey.…

Health Care

In telemedicine, some say Berkshire County being left behind » The Berkshire Eagle Massachusetts legislators appear to be on the same page in facilitating telehealth and telemedicine in the commonwealth. At least in the eastern part of the state.…

Housing

Gov. Charlie Baker, Rep. Tom Petrolati celebrate WinnDevelopment's 'Residences at Mill 10' at Ludlow Mills » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Rep. Thomas M. Petrolati, D-Ludlow, joined WinnDevelopment officials Thursday to celebrate the property development company's completion of the Residences at Mill 10, an almost …

Governor Charlie Baker tours senior housing complex in Ludlow » WWLP 22 The 110-year-old Mill 10 in Ludlow has been transformed into an apartment building. It was vacant for years and has now been converted into a 75-unit, mixed income apartment building.…

Gov. Baker Praises Mill Conversion Project » WAMC

Judiciary

Tight votes and party crossover as Senate plods through criminal justice debate » MassLIve There are not typically many close votes in the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Senate. But party lines were blurred and the margins narrowed significantly as the Senate worked through more than 160…

Billionaire Founder Charged in Opioid Bribery Case » Bloomberg More than a decade after opioid painkillers first exploded across the U.S., John Kapoor found an aggressive way to sell even more, according to prosecutors: He began bribing doctors to prescribe them.…

Housing Court Open to Local Landlords and Tenants » Revere Journal The expansion of the Housing Court into our part of Suffolk County for local landlords and tenants certainly is welcome news in our area. In our community, the majority of the housing stock is multi-…

Mass. Senate passes sweeping criminal justice bill after emotional debate » Boston Globe The Massachusetts Senate early Friday passed a sweeping bill that would upend state laws on crime and punishment, aiming to reduce the number of people ensnared in the thicket of the criminal justice …

What would the Massachusetts Senate's criminal justice reform bill do? » The Republican The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a major overhaul of the state's criminal justice system.…

State Senate passes bill toughens penalties for some drug crimes, softens others » Taunton Daily Gazette The Senate passed legislation early Friday that could make drug traffickers in Massachusetts liable for murder while substantially reducing other criminal penalties for drug dealing in an effort to re…

SJC chief calls attorney shortage for child care and protection cases 'a constitutional emergency' » Boston Globe When it comes to dispensing justice to the state's most vulnerable families, Massachusetts is facing a “constitutional emergency,” and must urgently address the dearth of attorneys who han…

Massachusetts Chief Justice Ralph Gants urges legal reforms to reduce recidivism » The Republican On the same day as the Massachusetts Senate debated a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants laid out his own suggestions for reform.…

Mass. Court Says Man Deserves New Trial Because Jurors Were Napping » WBUR A man convicted of involuntary manslaughter should get a new trial because two jurors at his original trial slept during testimony, the highest court in Massachusetts said in a decision released Thurs…

Labor

Baker tours new Root site in Salem » The Salem News Gov. Charlie Baker was in town to tour Root North Shore at 35 Congress St., Salem on Thursday evening.…

Senate names worker training grants for late Sen. Donnelly » State House News Service A workforce training grant program championed for years by the late Sen. Kenneth Donnelly would be named in memory of him and given a dedicated funding stream under a bill the Senate passed Thursday.…

Job fair connects homeless with potential employers » Patriot Ledger After weeks of preparation, they were ready. Some had new professional clothing. Others updated their resumes. Even practice with handshakes and eye contact was part of the preparations for the Father…

Legislative

Feeney swearing in delayed by overseas ballots » The Sun Chronicle Paul Feeney thought he would be voting on some major issues in the Massachusetts Senate Thursday after winning a special election last week.…

Senate TV takes to the air, with policy focus » Lowell Sun Ahead of the long-anticipated debate on its criminal justice bill Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate launched its own online broadcast program to highlight major Senate initiatives. …

Springfield Rep. Carlos Gonzalez witnessing Puerto Rican devastation firsthand » The Republican Rush hour in Puerto Rico is a dangerous affair. Around 6 p.m., cars flood the roads -- but without electricity, the traffic lights are still off.…

State Sen. Jamie Eldridge's Statehouse update » Wicked Local Littleton

Local Government

Cape Tech Wins Big » The Cape Cod Chronicle By a more than three-to-one margin, voters Tuesday gave Cape Cod Tech the green light for a $128 million new high school building.…

State funding for Methuen, Haverhill projects restored » Eagle Tribune A recent series of budget veto overrides by the Massachusetts House of Representatives has helped ensure state funding for several projects in Methuen and Haverhill. The initiatives, which vary from f…

Opinion

Searching for real Republican leaders » Boston Globe There are people with courage and convictions in the Republican Party. And then there are the GOP's congressional leaders. And judging from recent events, never the twain shall meet.…

JFK's push for rights of those with disabilities has had lasting impact » Boston Globe A heartfelt thanks to President Kennedy and Eunice Kennedy Shriver for ensuring that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities participate fully in everyday life (“JFK's other civil…

Finding common ground on gun control » Boston Globe Jim is a 77-year-old conservative from Arizona. A lifetime member of the NRA, he got his first gun — a .22-caliber rifle — at age 7, when his grandfather decided he was old enough to lea…

Viewpoint: Peyser still at the top of the class » Boston Business Journal Today, Secretary Jim Peyser continues to be a champion of early college programs.…

Letter to the Editor: Help Westport form recreational marijuana bylaws » The Herald News On the November 2016 state election ballot, Westport voters approved Question 4, 52.8 percent in favor and 47.2 percent opposed, to allow the non-medical (recreational) use of marijuana by adults in M…

Editorial: The Boston area must build on HQ2's momentum » Boston Business Journal The bid process should be seen as a beginning, an honest look in the mirror to see what path is best to follow to build our already-strong economy and to make the city a welcome place for any big comp…

Regional school underfunding must be fixed (Editorial) » The Republican

EDITORIAL: The opioid crisis is an emergency, so why aren't we funding a solution? » The Daily Free Press

Politics

State Senate debate keys on national issues » Lowell Sun The three Democratic candidates for the Worcester and Middlesex District state Senate debated Wednesday several issues at play nationally and in Massachusetts, expressing divergent stances on transpor…

Democratic Senate candidates talk issues at recent forum » The Landmark Dozens gathered at a candidate's forum Oct. 22 at the Sterling Senior Center to meet the three hopefuls vying for the Democratic nomination for the Worcester and Middlesex District state Senate seat. …

Setti Warren gets shoutout for helping send solar lamps to Puerto Rico » Boston Business Journal Warren, the Newton mayor who is running for governor in 2018, has been critical of Gov. Charlie Baker for not doing more to help Puerto Rico.…

Koh announces official start of his campaign for Congress » Sentinel & Enterprise After raising $805,000 toward the race in September, Daniel Arrigg Koh formally launched his campaign Wednesday to succeed U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. …

Diverse crop of candidates seek to replace Tsongas » The Salem News The scramble to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas is shaping up to be the marque race on the 2018 ballot, with at least a dozen declared candidates running for the open seat. …

'Unity' Dominates as GOP's John Kingston Kicks Off Senate Campaign to Unseat Liz Warren » New Boston Post GOP businessman John Kingston kicked off his campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday with a speech that appeared to channel another popular Bay State Republican — Governo…

Newton's boring mayor's race just got a lot more interesting » Boston Globe As mayoral races go, this one was really boring. Until one candidate tried to stir up a little class antipathy, and instead started a gender war.…

Whelan Launches Re-Election Campaign at Yarmouth Event » Cape Cod Online Brewster State Rep. Tim Whelan (R) officially began his campaign for re-election Wednesday night.…

One issue all 151 reps in House could agree on » Sentinel & Enterprise It's rare when a legislative body unanimously agrees on anything. We'd say perhaps mom and apple pie, but we're sure we'd get some pushback even on that. But such a unique moment occurred at the Stat…

Koh runs from Andover to Haverhill to kick off campaign » Eagle Tribune Daniel Koh literally hit the ground running as part of his candidacy for Congress in the 3rd District.…

Who's The Best Mayor To Fix Lawrence's Problems? » WGBH Around two dozen Dominican men sit around tables at a park behind Lawrence's City Hall. They're playing dominoes and keeping score in Spanish. They're concentrating on the game, until you mention the …

Moulton PAC to aid vets who run for office » Lowell Sun Not too long ago, Seth Moulton was the political outsider. Four summers ago, the military veteran announced he would challenge longtime Rep. John Tierney.…

Markey to address health care, immigration and opioid epidemic at town hall meeting » The Berkshire Eagle U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass, will make his way to Pittsfield on Sunday to talk to residents about how his office is pushing back against the agenda of President Donald Trump's administration, acco…

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorses Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse for re-election » The Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, endorsed Mayor Alex B. Morse on Wednesday in his campaign for re-election to a fourth term on Nov. 7.…

Pittsfield City Council candidate files $50 million defamation suit against The Eagle » The Berkshire Eagle City Council candidate Craig C. Gaetani has filed a $50 million civil suit against The Berkshire Eagle, its president and one of its reporters, claiming that information in a recent article defamed hi…

Public Health

Governor Asks Lawmakers to Act Quickly on Curbing Fentanyl » Associated Press (AP) Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is calling on state lawmakers to take immediate steps to address the deadly influx of fentanyl and carfentanil — synthetic opioids blamed for escalating the…

Here's how Massachusetts politicians responded to Trump's opioid crisis declaration » Boston.com Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency on Thursday. The declaration will last 90 days and allow the government to redirect resources, but it does not commit any e…

Trump's Declaration Of Opioid Epidemic As Public Health Emergency Gets Mixed Reviews In Mass. » WBUR President Trump's declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency is getting mixed reviews in Massachusetts.…

Governor Baker calls for more funding after Trump's opioid speech » Boston Globe A member of President Donald Trump's special commission on opioid abuse is calling on the White House and Congress to fully fund the panel's recommendations.…

Public Safety

State Police: Arrest report of judge's daughter revised » Worcester Mag State Police did not directly address how it happened, but a spokesperson today did acknowledge the police report on the arrest of a local judge's daughter was altered, saying it was part of “ap…

Massachusetts AG among 17 opposing concealed gun permit bill » Wicked Local Danvers A federal proposal that would require states to recognize concealed handgun permits issued in other states has come under fire from attorneys general in Massachusetts and 16 other states.…

State Finance

Baker sidelines all earmark spending for indefinite period » Gloucester Times A new $2 million program to support manufacturing has driven a wedge between House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Gov. Charlie Baker who said Wednesday that no earmarks, not just the research and developmen…

Baker: No earmarks funded until state finances stabilized » Lowell Sun

State Government

Will Massachusetts End Daylight Savings And Leave Eastern Time Zone? » International Business Times New Englanders, fed up with the lack of sunlight in the winter, are considering joining a new time zone. …

This state might be the first in the U.S. to join this time zone. But why? » McClatchy It won't be long until Americans set their clocks back an hour on Nov. 5 for the end of Daylight Savings Time, also referred to as Fall Back or Winter Time.…

Transportation

Plan proposed to add tolls on roads surrounding Boston » My Fox Boston A plan to raise money for state transit systems could leave drivers footing the bill.…

New tolls proposed for Massachusetts roads you drive » WCVB Could tolls soon be coming to Route 128 and many other major highways in Massachusetts?…

Senator Proposes Bill to Add More Tolls Around Boston to Close Transit Spending Gap » NECN A Massachusetts Senator is proposing a plan to close a billion-dollar gap in the state's transit spending by adding tolls around greater Boston. …

State senator's bill paves way for expanded Mass. tolls » Boston Herald Every major highway around Boston would have electronic tolls under a Lynn Democrat's plan to fill the state's coffers by dunning drivers. …

Should the high-speed rail proposal be extended to Pittsfield? » WWLP 22 Berkshire County legislators have supported Senator Eric Lesser's legislation to fund a feasibility and impact study of high speed rail service that would connect Boston to Springfield.…

McGee calls for tolls on more state roads » Lynn Daily News Item It will cost you to drive on portions of Routes 2, 128, I-93 and I-95 if a measure by state Sen. Thomas M. McGee is approved.…

Baker delivers $3 million for Merrimack Street reconstruction » Eagle Tribune Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday dropped off a $3 million check for phase two of a $9.4 reconstruction of Merrimack Street that will make the 1.6-mile corridor more inviting to pedestrians and bicyclist…

State poised to sink more money into Big Dig » Metro.us It was forged a decade ago and filled with hundreds of millions of dollars. Now the state's transportation chief is looking to tap into a trust fund for Big Dig repairs.…

Mass. Senator Pushes for Gender-Neutral Licenses » NECN Moved by a letter from a 16-year-old, a Massachusetts state senator is pushing to make the state one of the first in the nation to have gender neutral driver's licenses and ID cards. "When you think a…

Marty Walsh open to added tolls on major highways » Boston Herald Mayor Martin J. Walsh is open to the idea of adding new tolls to all major highways to Boston, saying the plan could provide the state with much-needed revenue at a time when federal infrastructure fu…

Gov. Baker considers looking into other transit options » WWLP 22 State Senator Eric Lesser wants to study the benefits and costs of connecting Springfield and Boston by rail.…

Utilities

DPU reviewing report's pipeline claims » Commonwealth Magazine THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES launched “a thorough review” of allegations in a recent report that Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. artificially constrained natural ga…

Social Media Spotlight

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Massachusetts State Senate

Senate Sidelines - Senator Spilka CJR


Stan Rosenberg

@SenStan

Sonia Chang-DIaz

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Linda Dorcena Forry

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Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

'We have to cut the chains': Emotional debate underway over criminal justice bill » Boston Globe

Inside the pitch: How Boston chose Suffolk Downs for Amazon's HQ2 » Boston Business Journal

Slander Suit Highlights Unacceptable Conduct By Boston Mayor Marty Walsh » New Boston Post

MassHousing chief stepping down to join UBS » State House News Service

Legislature looks into Alzheimer's crisis in Massachusetts » The Daily Free Press

Mass. lawmakers work on health care proposals » The Recorder

Day Testifies On Bill To Protect Communities From Invasive Utility Projects » Worcester Patch

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 3901 - An Act designating a certain road as Trooper Thomas L. Clardy Way

HB 3900 - An Act designating a certain bridge as the Trooper Thomas L. Clardy Memorial Bridge

HB 3932 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Amanda Rodrigues, an employee of the Trial Court

HB 3922 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Maria Williams, an employee of the Department of Mental Health

HB 3877 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Lornece Tull, an employee of the Department of Corrections

Most read bills of the week:

SB2170 - An Act relative to criminal justice reform

HB3952 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

HB3974 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

SB2185 - An Act relative to criminal justice reform

HB3979 - An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2017 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects

SB2167 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

HB3968 - An Act providing for immediate capital improvement needs of the Commonwealth

SB2081 - An Act relative to sexual violence on higher education campuses

SB592 - An Act relative to mandated benefits

SB991 - An Act relative to social media privacy protection

House Actions This Week: 382

Senate Actions This Week: 243


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