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Today on Beacon Hill

Last day of the 1st annual session (2017)

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

Birthdays: Senator Bruce Tarr

Must-Reads

Mass. Legislature refuses calls to update wiretap law » Boston Globe For decades, Massachusetts prosecutors have urged lawmakers to grant them broader power to conduct wiretaps to fight crime. For decades, the lawmakers have refused.…

New streaming network launching for liberals » Axios David Bohrman, former Current TV President and former CNN Washington bureau chief and chief innovation officer at CNN Worldwide, is launching a new over-the-top (OTT) video service that will cater to …

Jury Is Still Out on Changes to New Jersey's Bail System » The Wall Street Journal 'All eyes are on New Jersey," said Jeremy Travis, senior vice president of criminal justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a nonprofit that developed the algorithm New Jersey judges use to h…

Why the U.S. Spends So Much More Than Other Nations on Health Care » New York Times Studies point to a simple reason, the prices, not to the amount of care. And lowering prices would upset a lot of people in the health industry.…

Top GOP Races To Watch In 2018 » The Huffington Post With a hint of a blue wave on the horizon, Republicans are facing added pressure to get their house in order and field the best candidates possible ahead of next year's congressional midterm elections…

Group insurance discounts preserved ahead of new year » State House News Service Homeowners and motorists benefitting from group insurance discounts might not have known that a 44-year-old state law threatened to increase their premiums. That possibility was avoided Friday with a …

Pick up the pace, Beacon Hill » Boston Globe AS 2017 COMES to a close, Massachusetts lawmakers find themselves in a familiar situation: entering the second, shorter year of a legislative session with many important matters unresolved. With broad…

Ethics probe casts long shadow on Beacon Hill as legislators start new year » Gloucester Times The new year brings a resumption of formal sessions on Beacon Hill after about as tumultuous a “recess” that the Legislature has ever seen.…

“We can be the city that is world class because it works for the middle class,”

Mayor Marty Walsh

Speaking about the future of Boston at his swearing-in ceremony at the Cutler Majestic Theater on a frigid New Year’s Day morning.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Democrats in high-tax states plot ways to blunt impact of new tax law » Boston Globe Democrats in high-cost, high-tax states are plotting ways to do what their states' representatives in Congress could not: Blunt the effect of the newly passed Republican tax overhaul.…

Senator Hatch to retire, paving way for Romney run in Utah » Boston Globe

Business

Big new seafood processing plant planned for Seaport » Boston Globe Don't tell Eden Milroy that the local seafood industry is dying.…

Bill raising minimum wage stuck in Legislature » Worcester Business Journal Despite support from a majority of its members, legislation raising the Massachusetts minimum wage from $11 to $15 is ending 2017 the same way it began the year - pending before the Democrat-controlle…

Welcome to Boomtown: Greater Lowell business grows » Lowell Sun Business was booming across Greater Lowell in 2017. From progress at Lowell's Hamilton Canal Innovation District to Dracut securing a deal for Genesis HealthCare, there was plenty of business movement…

Education

Schools still recovering from cuts » Lowell Sun No mentorship is perhaps more vital and sensitive than that between a teacher and their student. So retaining a low student-to-teacher ratio -- the number of students for every one teacher -- is heral…

Gaming

Sports gambling case has Massachusetts casinos at the ready » Boston Globe The odds are fairly good that the Massachusetts gambling market could significantly change even before all of the state's casinos are open.…

Health Care

Dementia patients often need hospitals, which are often ill-prepared » Boston Globe Steve Johanson had a fierce and knowledgeable advocate at his side when he visited a hospital recently: his wife, Judy. …

Employers face new health care assessments » Newburyport News The new year will bring with it mixed financial news for Massachusetts employers, with $200 million in new health care assessments and unemployment insurance rate relief both scheduled to take effect.…

Hearing in Newburyport on proposed hospital merger » Newburyport News Several North Shore hospitals could see a change in their healthcare system if a proposed merger is approved by state regulators.…

Housing

Mayor Walsh unveils $10 million effort to end chronic homelessness in Boston » Boston Globe When Mayor Martin J. Walsh took the stage at the Cutler Majestic Theatre for his second inauguration Monday morning, he introduced an effort to build 200 units of long-term housing for chronically hom…

Human Services

With icy winds and frigid cold, money for Craig's Place shelter in Amherst released by Gov. Charlie Baker » Mass Live While frigid temperatures add to the burden of those who provide shelter to the homeless, officials at Craig's Place got a bit of good news recently - funding to stay open to provide that care.…

For homeless people, the cold is life-threatening » Boston Globe New Year's Day brought the fifth consecutive day of temperatures below 20 degrees to Boston and fears from officials and homeless people that the sustained frigid weather was taxing the city's resourc…

Judiciary

Federal courts will review sexual harassment policies » Boston Globe Chief Justice John Roberts is promising a careful evaluation of the federal judiciary's sexual misconduct policies.…

Labor

For workers, much remains unsettled as new year begins » Boston Globe As 2018 begins, battles are being waged over a number of issues that affect workers — with outcomes that could help determine which party controls Congress as voters head to the polls later thi…

Tax cuts are no substitute for pay raises » Boston Globe It's more than a new year, it's a whole new regime for employers and workers, who have to make sense of the major tax changes Congress passed in December.…

$15 minimum wage still hung on Beacon Hill » The Salem News Despite support from a majority of its members, legislation raising the Massachusetts minimum wage from $11 to $15 is ending 2017 the same way it began the year – pending before the Democrat-co…

Legislative

How often did your state rep. toe the party line? » Sentinel & Enterprise This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on how often local representatives voted with their party leadership.…

Local Government

Fiorentini sworn in to eighth term » The Eagle Tribune Mayor James Fiorentini was sworn in to an eighth two-year term Monday – the most for any of the city's mayors – amid a swirl of pomp and circumstance and a round of speeches, including o…

Ruthanne Fuller sworn in as Newton's mayor » Wicked Local Newton Ruthanne Fuller took the oath office New Year's Day at noon, making history as she became the city's first woman mayor.…

Greenfield looks to progressive future as a city » MassLive As Greenfield moves into the new year, residents can expect to see a number of changes and improvements — including a new community center, parking garage and, after 10 years, a decision about …

North Adams Swears in New Council, Mayor Bernard » iBerkshires Mayor Thomas W. Bernard assured his constituents at Monday's swearing-in that mistakes will inevitably be made as this new government steps off the path into the "exciting and uncertain wilderness of …

Taking the oath of office » Gloucester Times Kicking off her second full term as well as a new year, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken vowed Monday to tackle Gloucester's building and other needs with an eye toward looking 10 and 20 years forward rathe…

Yvonne Spicer feels 'very fortunate' to lead Framingham as it becomes a city » Boston Herald Framingham, long the biggest town in Massachusetts, officially became a city yesterday, swearing in its first mayor.…

With VP Biden Presiding Over Ceremony, Marty Walsh Sworn in for 2nd Term as Boston Mayor » NBC Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took the oath of office for a second term as Boston's chief executive on Monday, promising to make the city stronger.…

Bernard sworn in as North Adams mayor » Berkshire Eagle As he stood behind a podium for his first speech as the city's new mayor, Thomas Bernard made only one promise. …

City Council and School Committee members take their oath in Medford » Lynn Daily News Item For the past two years Mayor Stephanie M. Burke has worked diligently to ensure the city is a safe environment for all, promoting constructive dialogue and community building, and hiring the city's fi…

Framingham to hold first inauguration on Monday » The Metro West Daily News Yvonne Spicer promised to be the people's mayor as she campaigned to become the first mayor in Framingham's history. On Monday, after a resounding electoral victory, Spicer will take the stage in Nevi…

NEW YEAR'S A FAMILY AFFAIR AT KOWLOON » Lynn Daily News Item Nothing beats watching the ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of your living room while eating Chinese food. And the longstanding tradition of chowing down on egg rolls and crab rangoons as th…

Yvonne Spicer sworn in as Framingham's first mayor » Boston Globe The words carved on the shingles outside, embossed on the windows, and even stamped on the lectern in the vast auditorium all proclaim this to be the town of Framingham, as it has been known for 317 y…

From Railers to bike sharing, 2017 brought revitalization to region » Worcester Telegram & Gazette For the city of Worcester, 2017 was a year of hope. New downtown development brought optimism about future growth. That hope even extended to the possibility that the city might hit a home run by wooi…

Driscoll Sworn In For Fourth Term As Salem Mayor » Framingham Patch More than 200 people braved single-digit temperature to see Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll sworn in for her fourth term Monday morning. In an address following her swearing in, Driscoll said she would place…

Council prez: Board will clash, compromise with mayor » Boston Herald The most diverse City Council in Boston's history will continue a “partnership” with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, but newly elected council President Andrea Campbell said she also wants the boar…

GAY: Some Dixon-esque predictions for this year » The Sun Chronicle If you're as old as I am, you probably remember Jeane Dixon and the outrageous predictions she made each year on the pages of the National Enquirer.…

New Attleboro mayor's first challenge will be the most expensive in city history » The Sun Chronicle ATTLEBORO — When Paul Heroux is sworn in as the city's new mayor Tuesday, he will inherit the most expensive building project in Attleboro history.…

Marijuana

Pot rollout tentative in Cali » Commonwealth Magazine

Opinion

Battenfeld: Biden beats liz to punch as bell rings for 2020 in Hub » Boston Herald On the first day of 2018, the jockeying for 2020 began in earnest, with former Vice President Joe Biden scoring the first points here in Boston.…

Our view: A nod to progress in the opioid battle » The Salem News As we arrive at the close of 2017, we remain in the throes of a horrific crisis — the same deadly crisis that has plagued the region for too many years, and that is so severe that Essex County …

Editorial: Pols on Beacon Hill face packed agenda » Boston Herald The first year of the Legislature's current two-year session was deeply unproductive, unless you count passing the annual budget (lawmakers' most basic responsibility) and the House and Senate voting …

The terrible price of inaction » Commonwealth Magazine THIS WEEK NEW ENGLAND reached the terrible distinction of having the most expensive natural gas in the world.…

Editorial: Monday mix on shelter funds; farm grants; library project » Gazette Net We wish that the Baker administration had not for the second straight year frozen $200,000 earmarked for the Craig's Place homeless shelter in Amherst, raising doubts about whether it would remain ope…

Cashman: Expect political wins for Baker, Warren » Boston Herald This year Gov. Charlie Baker will ask the voters of Massachusetts to keep him in the Corner Office — and I predict they will. His approval rating, cordial relationship with the Democratic leade…

Boston's byways could use more 'Goody-goody' drivers » Boston Globe I need to respond to the letter from Jeffrey Harrison, “An addition to the field guide to winter drivers: the Goody-goody” (Dec. 29), who wrote in response to Nestor Ramos's “A field…

Our view: Momentum lost on records reform » The Eagle Tribune The task force charged by Massachusetts law with helping to update the state's public record laws managed to meet seven times over the course of the past year without accomplishing a single thing.…

Boston needs a 'night mayor' » Boston Globe BOSTON DIDN'T NEED to brag when it pitched itself to Amazon as the logical spot for a second headquarters. The city's air snaps with innovation, sparked by a surfeit of brainpower in technology, educa…

What exactly is zero tolerance on sexual harassment? » Boston Globe One encouraging organizational response to the recent spate of high-profile sexual harassment allegations has been the instant announcement of a zero-tolerance policy. But merely calling for zero tole…

The ethics of warning the public about a dangerous president » Boston Globe IN SPITE of widespread concern regarding Donald Trump's ability to execute his office, the psychiatric establishment continues to enforce silence on its members, depriving the public of their expertis…

Time to repeal medical device tax once and for all » Commonwealth Magazine

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates » Commonwealth Magazine

Momentum for more housing choices in the state » Commonwealth Magazine

Politics

Middle class a major focus as Mayor Marty Walsh sworn in » Boston Herald Mayor Martin J. Walsh has kicked off his second term in office with a vow to fight for the middle class — a promise echoed at his inauguration by former Vice President Joe Biden as talk builds …

While in prison, Brockton's Novak kept in contact with Massachusetts Republicans » The Enterprise A former U.S. ambassador kept a correspondence with Lawrence Novak – the political gadfly who regained his chairmanship of the Brockton Republican City Committee – while he remained in f…

Economy lifts Baker, Walsh » Boston Herald While every day of 2017 brought new controversy and turmoil, the year saw Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh continue to consolidate power heading into 2018 — in part because of a boo…

Crowded 3rd District congressional race likely to be volatile » Lowell Sun You could be forgiven for losing count of the candidates running to succeed U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in the 3rd Congressional District.…

He's back from prison — and running the Brockton Republican City Committee » Boston Globe He's back, and he is not letting a stretch in a federal penitentiary get in the way of his political activities.…

The Biggest Issues for States to Watch in 2018 » Governing

How Much Can Democrats Really Win in 2018? » Governing

Pro-charter school Massachusetts group fined for hiding 2016 campaign donors including Mitt Romney's campaign » The Republican

Officials Force Group to Reveal Ballot Question Donors » US News and World Report

Bay State nonprofit penalized for violating campaign finance law » Boston Herald

Public Safety

In Alli Bibaud texts, Worcester DA Early critiques media coverage » Worcester Mag Copies of correspondences involving District Attorney Joe Early Jr.'s office related to the arrest of Alli Bibaud do not reveal a request for special treatment of the daughter of Dudley District Court…

State Finance

Governor's office restores $150,000 for winter shelter staffing in Berkshire County » Berkshire Eagle In response to plummeting temperatures and rising pressure, Gov. Charlie Baker's office will provide $150,000 to increase winter homeless shelter capacity in Berkshire County. …

Baker admin lifts hold on spending earmarks » State House News Service

Baker's move on earmarks sure to please legislators » Lowell Sun

State Government

Recap and analysis of the week in state government » Newburyport News BOSTON – A white Christmas followed by an arctic freeze was enough to keep newsmakers quiet this mid-holiday week like bears cozy in their dens, catching a few final Zzzzz before the new year b…

Riding the ups and downs of 2017 » Boston Globe If you've paid attention only to the unprecedented dramatics swirling around the White House this past year, you have missed a lot of local news. To be sure, national politics did have an impact south…

Baker gives green light to district priorities » The Salem News

Taxation

Distributors of fermented cider say the state taxes them unfairly » Boston Globe When the weather gets cold, Downeast Cider House in East Boston releases a winter brew that's a little heavier, spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, and has an “extra kick” in the form of a 6.…

SALT deduction cap spurs call for tax code review, hearing » State House News Service

State explores impact of Trump's tax changes » The Salem News

Transportation

MBTA says rail and bus lines are likely to be delayed this week » Boston Globe The MBTA is advising commuters to add 20 minutes of travel time in the morning, in anticipation of frigid temperatures affecting bus and rail services this week, officials said.…

Federal funding will help move along the long-awaited Green Line Extension Project » Lynn Daily News Item With a tip of the cap to the 1996 classic movie Jerry Maguire, the long-awaited Green Line Extension (GLX) project, which will bring rapid transit service to Medford and Somerville, got “show me…

Should young drivers have visible decals? Brockton-area police have mixed thoughts » The Enterprise You're driving down the street and see the large sign on the roof – driving school. Whether the vehicle is being driven by a teenager who is learning or an instructor, you form an opinion based…

T: Operator error in trolley crash » Boston Herald The Mattapan trolley crash that injured more than a dozen people Friday was the result of a driver error, the MBTA said, and will force rush-hour commuters to wait longer between rides until the train…

Utilities

Companies tout renewable energy projects for Massachusetts | The Sun Herald » The Associated Press (AP) Some entrepreneurs hoping to provide renewable energy to Massachusetts electricity customers are touting their projects in the run-up to the decision, expected in late January, about which company cou…

Roslindale gas main fire has been burning since Sunday night » Boston Globe A spout of fire that burst from a gas main on Hyde Park Avenue in Roslindale on Sunday was still burning late Monday night, with crews working to install a temporary bypass line, according to the Bost…

In New England, Gone Are The Days When Septic Can Be Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind » WBUR About half of New England's households are on septic systems. That's the highest proportion in the country. …

New tax code means big rate changes, uncertainty for power sector in 2018 » Utility Dive

Social Media Spotlight

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MGC Meeting 12.21.17


Christine Barber

@Barber4StateRep

Geoff Diehl

@DiehlForSenate

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@RepMichlewitz


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

State must speed up help for Puerto Rican students (Editorial) » Mass Live

$1 Million awarded to support broadband connectivity in Blandford » WWLP 22

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