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Today on Beacon Hill

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

1:00pm Senate Session, Informal Session

6:00pm Quincy Town Hall with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Quincy High School, 100 Coddington Street, Quincy

Must-Reads

COST OF SENATE ETHICS INVESTIGATION REMAINS MYSTERY » State House News Service The legal team hired by the Senate Ethics Committee is in its third week of work on an investigation into former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and while the work is unsurprisingly top secret, the…

DECEMBER TAX COLLECTIONS SHATTER BENCHMARK BY HALF A BILLION DOLLARS » State House News Service Tax collections in December left Massachusetts government flush with unbudgeted cash as revenues for the first half of the fiscal year have exceeded estimates by $728 million, shedding light on Gov. C…

Geoff Diehl (Sort-of) Crashes Elizabeth Warren's Public Radio Appearance » New Boston Post An opportunistic Geoff Diehl took to Twitter on Thursday to prompt U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who devoted a large chunk of her public radio appearance bashing successful Republican-led tax reform …

Michael Widmer: The Middlesex District Attorney is stonewalling this cold case » Boston Globe After a few days, the police put a clamp on all news about the murder, and that wall of secrecy has continued for five decades. …

Wisconsin Is Quietly Becoming The Top Senate Race Of 2018 » The Huffington Post Sen. Tammy Baldwin is battling more outside spending by conservative groups than all of her Democratic colleagues. Combined. …

Is anyone home at Millennium Tower? » Commonwealth Magazine City records indicate few condo owners take residential exemption …

Inside Trump's New Proposed Rules for Association Health Plans » Governing The Department of Labor on Thursday released proposed new rules that proponents say will make it easier for businesses to band together in “associations” to buy health insurance.…

“As far as the mandate and the work of the Cannabis Control Commission is concerned, nothing has changed,” the commission's statement said. “We will continue to move forward with our process to establish and implement sensible regulations for this emerging industry in Massachusetts."

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

On Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind policy allowing states to pursue legalized marijuana

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Galvin welcomes demise of Trump's election fraud commission » The Associated Press (AP) BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts secretary of state is welcoming President Donald Trump's announcement that he is disbanding his controversial voter fraud commission.…

Business

Salary of new director for Union Point oversight agency draws criticism » Patriot Ledger The new director of the agency overseeing the redevelopment of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station will receive a higher base salary than any public administrator in Weymouth, Rockland or Abin…

AG Expects Berkshire Museum Inquiry To Be Finished On Time » WAMC Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey expects to complete her investigation into the Berkshire Museum by the end of January.…

Dispute throws City Hall Plaza holiday market future into jeopardy » Boston Business Journal With two of the businesses behind the event locked in a legal battle, there's no guarantee the City Hall Plaza market will return next holiday season, according to its developer.…

Education publishing firm Cengage will move into new Pier 4 building » Boston Globe Educational publishing firm Cengage said Thursday that it has signed a 10-year lease for a new corporate headquarters at an office building under construction on Pier 4.…

Searches for flights from Boston to warmer places are up — way up » Boston Globe What's that you say? You're tired of record-cold temperatures, snow, and still more cold temperatures? Well, my friend, you're not the only one putting on your mittens in a passive-aggressive manner o…

Dow Jones industrials climb above 25,000 for the first time » Boston Globe The Dow Jones industrial average topped 25,000 points for the first time Thursday, continuing a record-setting run that has generated trillions in market value for investors.…

Boston Winter a bad deal, vendors say » Boston Globe The business partners behind City Hall Plaza's popular Boston Winter festivities appear to be headed toward a messy divorce — with fallout that could cast a cloud over enduring attempts to rema…

Attorney General's report reasserts opposition to Berkshire Museum art sale » Berkshire Eagle On the same day the Attorney General's Office said work continues on its Berkshire Museum inquiry, its lawyers suggested that on key issues, the verdict is already in.…

Civil Rights

Annual MLK Breakfast Takes Place On The 15th » Cape Cod Online The Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast, at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, will feature a panel of three who will engage in discussion. …

Education

Local state reps secure more funding for Brockton schools » The Enterprise The Governor's office has released an additional $500,000 in earmarked funds for the district, which will be used to for the construction and improvement of Hancock Playground, the dedication and main…

Cover Story: Unexcused: Chronic absenteeism rises in Worcester » Worcester Mag Worcester, like most large urban districts, struggles with student attendance, especially what educators call chronic absenteeism.…

Biogen donates $10 million for Cambridge, Somerville STEM programs » Boston Globe Another major Massachusetts biotech is donating millions of dollars to help improve STEM education in public schools.…

Environment

Flooding in Boston's coastal neighborhoods takes residents by surprise » Boston Globe Everyone knew the snow was coming. But the flooding that swamped Boston's coastal neighborhoods Thursday came as an icy shock and raised fresh questions about how to best build along the city's waterf…

Health Care

No opposition voiced at DPH hearing on Anna Jaques Hospital » Newburyport News A proposed health care affiliation of Anna Jaques and four area hospitals received no opposition at a public hearing Wednesday evening at City Hall. …

Immigration

Safe Communities Act sets clear line on immigration enforcement » Lowell Sun In light of the false information recently mailed to households across the state concerning this legislation, I would like to express the reasons for my support for the Safe Communities Act (SCA).…

Judiciary

Transgender inmate drops $100,000 lawsuit against Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi in exchange for earlier release » The Republican A transgender woman who sued Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi over alleged mistreatment and harassment while an inmate at the Ludlow jail has dropped her $100,000 lawsuit in exchange for a slightly …

Labor

Boom times skip some boomers: Many older workers miss out on strong economy » Boston Business Journal State employment numbers suggest that older unemployed workers have not benefited as much as younger workers from the strengthening economy over the past two years, and a handful of retraining program…

Legislative

Sen. Tran sworn in at Statehouse (SLIDESHOW) » Lowell Sun BOSTON -- Before his official swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, newly elected state Sen. Dean Tran was already on the job, reviewing budget earmarks, getting familiarized with (and lost in) the Statehou…

Flanagan in Senate farewell address: It's all about people » Sentinel & Enterprise BOSTON -- In a farewell speech to the state Senate on Wednesday, Jennifer Flanagan reflected on her nearly eight years in the seat.…

Opiates, budget, Senate presidency to dominate Legislature in 2018, Attleboro area lawmakers say » The Sun Chronicle Local lawmakers are expecting a busy year addressing volatile issues ranging from dealing with opiate addictions to providing services without much growth in revenue. …

Acting Senate president lays out her priorities » Sentinel & Enterprise Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler laid out a series of priorities for herself and the Senate on Wednesday, warning that Massachusetts is at risk of losing its reputation as a national leader …

Cost Of Senate Ethics Investigation Into Former Senate President Rosenberg Remains Mystery » WBUR The legal team hired by the Senate Ethics Committee is in its third week of work on an investigation into former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and while the work is unsurprisingly top secret, the…

Flanagan proudly looks back on helping people » Lowell Sun In a farewell speech to the state Senate on Wednesday, Jennifer Flanagan reflected on her nearly eight years in the seat. …

Black and Latino legislators reflect and prepare for new year » Bay State Banner

Local Government

GOUVEIA: The devil in an override » The Sun Chronicle Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux was sworn into office this week. Of the many issues that will demand his time and attention, none are more important than the one that has dominated city politics for the l…

Second term focus is middle class, says Walsh » Dorchester Reporter Mayor Martin Walsh stepped into his second mayoral term on a frigid New Year's morning, pledging to support vulnerable Bostonians and bolster the city's middle class through job programs, education im…

Hinds Asks State to Fund Design for New Pittsfield Police Station » iBerkshires State Sen. Adam Hinds is asking the state to help in designing a new city police station. …

Rivera flip-flops on day off for city workers » The Eagle Tribune Mayor Daniel Rivera on Thursday rescinded his offer to give city workers a day off to attend his inauguration Friday, conceding he may have been too exuberant about his swearing in to a second term wh…

Marijuana

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker opposes AG Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind policy letting states legalize marijuana » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said Thursday that he opposes a decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind a memo that effectively allows states to legalize marijuana.…

Gov. Baker blasts Sessions' marijuana shift: 'Wrong decision' » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker is blasting Attorney General Jeff Session's call to rescind an Obama-era policy allowing states to pursue legalized pot, and the attorney general and state marijuana regulators said…

Republicans to Jeff Sessions: Get Your Hands Off Our Weed » The Daily Beast Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pulled off something that would have been unthinkable just a few years back: he managed to rally Republican lawmakers behind weed. …

State officials critical of shift in federal pot policy » The Associated Press (AP) Regulators pledged on Thursday they would push ahead with implementation of the state's voter-approved recreational marijuana law despite potential confusion stemming from a shift in official U.S. pol…

Bay State leaders slam Trump administration's pot decision » Boston Herald Bay State officials are blasting Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to eliminate Obama-era protections for states that have legalized marijuana, a move industry experts say could put a damper on…

Tourism officials wrestle with cannabis marketing » Gloucester Times Legal marijuana in Massachusetts is expected to draw visitors from states where the drug remains illegal, providing a major boost to the tourism industry from users apt to spend money in hotels, resta…

States Undeterred by Reversal of Obama's Lenient Pot Policy » Governing Jeff Sessions' announcement attracted bipartisan criticism. But some legal experts are skeptical of its impact, and several states have vowed to continue their marijuana markets or plans for one. …

Sessions declares it high time for pot clampdown » Commonwealth Magazine As if the Trump administration didn't have enough conflagrations to put out, it has now handed fire extinguishers to US attorneys and told them blast away with the full weight of federal law at even t…

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he's worried about federal officials sowing confusion about legal marijuana » The Republican

Opinion

Our view: City, town halls where things get done » The Salem News Mayors across the North Shore were sworn in to new terms this week, sounding themes of progress, listing off improvements in their cities and stressing the importance of citizen involvement in local g…

Editorial: Preparation counts » Boston Herald So that's a “snow bomb” or “bomb cyclone” — or whatever name meteorologists settled on to describe yesterday's nor'easter by any other name.…

Net neutrality debate a distraction for Beacon Hill » The Salem News Affordable housing, health care costs and ethics are among the many pressing issues ripe for discussion among Massachusetts lawmakers in the new year. They would do well to focus their time on these m…

Editorial: Failure to train older workers is a waste of human capital » Boston Business Journal Efforts to put the most talent to work has been ignoring a wide swath of our most experienced potential employees — namely, our older ones.…

Federal pot policy won't change much in Massachusetts - probably (Editorial) » The Republican The announcement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would rescind the Obama Administration hands-off policy toward state marijuana laws might upset advocates of legal weed, but it should not surprise…

The best use of Widett Circle? Don't develop it at all » Boston Globe Speculation on the best use of Widett Circle has included a soccer stadium, the Olympic village and arena, housing and commercial development, perhaps even the second headquarters for Amazon. Counter…

What can go wrong for Democrats in 2018? Quite a lot » Boston Globe Doubtless Donald Trump should fear November 2018. Historically, incumbents flounder in off-year elections. …

Michael Widmer: The Middlesex District Attorney is stonewalling this cold case » Boston Globe Jane Britton was murdered 49 years ago this weekend, and her case remains unsolved.…

Our Opinion: Eversource will share its tax cut windfall » Berkshire Eagle Critics who slammed the Republican tax "reform" bill signed into law last month by President Trump as a giveaway to wealthy individuals and corporations weren't accounting for aggressive attorneys gen…

Politics

Farley-Bouvier Endorses Gonzalez For Massachusetts Governor » WAMC State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier has endorsed fellow Democrat Jay Gonzalez for Massachusetts governor. …

Public Health

MA House Adopts Amendment To Reduce I-93 Pollution In Somerville » Andover Patch SOMERVILLE, MA – The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently adopted Somerville Rep. Mike Connolly's amendment to secure $500,000 in bond funds to address I-93 air pollution in the city…

Fewer teens having sex as decline in risky behaviors continue » Boston Globe The number of high-school-aged teens who are having sex dropped markedly over a decade, a trend that includes substantial declines among younger students, African-Americans and Hispanics, according to…

State Finance

Chandler 'delighted,' but not involved in release of earmarks » Worcester Telegram Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to lift his hold on earmarked spending “delighted” Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler, although she didn't personally appeal to the governor to start …

State tax collections soar in December » Commonwealth Magazine Monthly revenues exceed projections by $527m …

State Government

A few more women for the portrait gallery » Boston Globe Thursday's Metro section included a modest proposal: come up with names of a couple dozen interesting female leaders from Massachusetts who might just be worthy of having their portraits hung in the S…

Auditor Suzanne Bump fires three people, citing undisclosed conflict of interest » The Republican

Taxation

Bristol: Prepare to pay more to drink, smoke and gamble » The Sun Chronicle Perhaps you noticed there was a lot in the papers the last couple of months about cutting taxes. I don't know about you but my eyes glazed over when I opened these stories and read about things like p…

Transportation

So far, no transportation commission » Boston Globe In September, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced that Governor Charlie Baker would sign an executive order “in the coming weeks” creating a new commission to review transportation …

Gubernatorial Candidate Jay Gonzalez Braves MBTA during Storm » Boston Globe Though ridership is, unsurprisingly down across Boston's public transit system on Thursday, according to state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, ridership among gubernatorial candidates has …

After sustaining a storm, MBTA plans to return to normal service Friday » Boston Globe The MBTA closed tracks on parts of the Red and Orange lines Thursday night to clear snow from winter's first major storm, forcing passengers on to “shuttle trains” that ran less frequently…

Utilities

Transition to renewable power sources too slow, Massie says » Berkshire Eagle Saying the state is stuck with an "economy of the past" because of a lack of insight and expertise to challenge a "broken" electrical system, Democrat for governor Bob Massie on Thursday released a 22…

Eversource answers AG's call, proposes to cut rate hike » The Recorder The other gift shoe is dropping for Eversource customers who are still waiting to learn how much their rates will be increasing this year.…

Eversource To Pass On Tax Law Savings To Customers » WAMC The corporate rate under the new federal tax law will save Eversource's western Massachusetts subsidiary millions of dollars. What does it mean for local ratepayers?…

Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works » MassLive

Social Media Spotlight

citofboston

juliancyr

massgovernor

bendowningma



Geoff Diehl

@DiehlForSenate

marjorie pritchard

@marjoriepritch

Matthew Murphy‏

@SHNSMurphy


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Benton: Priorities, challenges at cities' inaugurals » The Salem News

Justice Dept. Enforcement Memo Complicates Legal Marijuana Rollout In Mass. » WBUR

AG Maura Healey 'glad Eversource has done the right thing' in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike » The Republican

An environmentalist's review of Trump's first year » The Salem News

Governor Baker approves earmark to improve Brockton's Hancock Playground » The Enterprise

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 3931 - An Act authorizing the town of Swampscott to grant additional licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises

HB 4024 - An Act validating certain proceedings of the town of North Reading

HB 4021 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for William Cuttle, an employee of the Department of Children and Families

HB 3977 - An Act relative to the Lynnfield town charter

SB 2141 - An Act authorizing the city of Salem to convert a liquor license for the sale of wine and malt beverages not to be drunk on the premises to a liquor license for the sale of all alcoholic beverages not be drunk on the premises

HB 3864 - An Act exempting all positions in the fire department of the town of Plainville from the civil service law

SB 2082 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Jason Wendover, an employee of the Department of Correction

Most read bills of the week:

HB3601 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

HB3800 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

HB3829 - An Act promoting affordable health care options

HB477 - An Act reforming the process of appraising motor vehicle damage covered by auto insurance policies

HB2113 - An Act to protect Massachusetts pollinators

HB4033 - An Act relative to combatting addiction, accessing treatment, reducing prescriptions, and enhancing prevention

HB3770 - An Act to provide continuing investment in the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth

HB1871 - An Act relative to the move over law

HB4102 - An Act providing a charter for the city of Melrose

House Actions This Week: 53

Senate Actions This Week: 30


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