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Today on Beacon Hill

Birthdays: Rep. Antonio Cabral, Rep. John Velis

Must-Reads

Mass. Senate Ethics Committee reaffirms commitment to confidentiality in Sen. Stan Rosenberg probe » The Republican The Senate Ethics Committee has restructured its investigation into former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, to protect the confidentiality of witnesses, after questions were raised about th…

Enough Trump Bashing, Democrats » New York Times 'I hate government shutdowns,' [Former Gov. Deval Patrick said.] '... We need to focus less on what's wrong with Trump and the Republicans and more on what's right with us, and especially on how we as…

FORRY departure sparks a special » Politico State Rep. Russell Holmes, state Rep. Dan Cullinane (who was campaign field director for Dorcena Forry's contentious Senate bid against state Rep. Nick Collins in 2013), and Boston City Councilor Anni…

HYDRO QUEBEC-EVERSOURCE PROJECT PICKED FOR BIG RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT » State House News Service Capping a competitive procurement, the Baker administration and Bay State utilities have selected the Northern Pass project, a joint effort of Eversource and Hydro-Quebec to bring hydropower from Cana…

'Secret Society' FBI Text Actually Began With A 'Beefcake' Putin Calendar » The Huffington Post Republican lawmakers seized upon the “secret society” reference this week, claiming to see sinister motives, and it started popping up all over cable news chyrons. But, in fact, it was alm…

Lobbying Hits $3.9 Billion in Trump's First Year » Roll Call Lobbyists reported an uptick in tax and other federal policy work during the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, but the money spent to influence the federal government still didn't surpass the i…

Joe Kennedy to deliver Democratic response to State of the Union address » Boston Globe Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, one of the Democratic Party's rising political stars, has been tapped by top party leaders to deliver the official Democratic response to President Trump's State …

“I will be leaving the Massachusetts Senate effective Friday and joining an incredible opportunity,” she said in a statement to the Globe. “After nearly a quarter century of government service, including my 13 years as an elected official, I have decided the time has come for me to explore a new and challenging way to continue my work to build a more equitable and accessible economy in our city, state, and region.”

Linda Dorcena Forry

Announcing her resignation from the Massachusetts Senate.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Dems give lukewarm response to possible presidential bid » Boston Herald Former Secretary of State John F. Kerry “would be a great president” if he challenged Donald Trump in 2020, his former campaign aides insisted, amid reports the former Bay State senator is…

Sources Close to John Kerry Deny Jerusalem Post Report » Boston Magazine They say he did not suggest he was running for president or try to disrupt the peace process. …

Business

Staples CEO Shira Goodman stepping down immediately: report » Boston Business Journal

Senate task force hears local retailer concerns » Wicked Local Provincetown

Civil Rights

Massachusetts senators approve 'NASTY Women Act,' repealing 'archaic' abortion laws » MassLive Massachusetts senators are seeking to rip archaic state laws from the books through a bill called the "NASTY Women Act." …

Chandler's 'NASTY Women' bill passes Senate » Worcester Telegram

Education

Latino organizations endorse education commissioner candidate » Boston Globe Several Latino organizations and educators on Thursday threw their support behind Angélica Infante-Green as the next state commissioner for elementary and secondary education, who, if selected, wou…

Education leaders say achievement gaps must be addressed » Sentinel & Enterprise Massachusetts may have some of the strongest public-education systems in the country, but leaders must focus their attention on closing substantial gaps remaining between different socioeconomic group…

Lawsuit challenges Trump's rollback of guidance on campus sexual violence » Boston Globe Advocates for sexual assault victims filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn the Trump administration's rollback of Obama-era guidelines for responding to campus sexual violence.…

Merrimack Valley Schools to Benefit from Advanced Manufacturing Program Grants » WHAV Students across the Merrimack Valley have a chance to deepen their knowledge of advanced manufacturing using grant funds issued to the Lawrence-based Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board.…

'It's like a tsunami hit our school system,' councilman says of influx of hurricane evacuees attending West Springfield schools » MassLive A subcommittee of the West Springfield Town Council is considering asking the state for help with an emergency situation: educating children who are living in West Side's many hotels and motels.…

State offers little help with school budget problems » The Sun Chronicle Schools across Massachusetts would get a 2.2 percent increase in state funding under Gov. Charlie Baker's budget proposal, a figure local officials say will not be enough to cover increased costs. …

UMass Boston Lists Bayside Site For Potential Sale » WBUR The University of Massachusetts Boston has hired a real estate broker to seek potential buyers of 20 acres of oceanfront property, which could net the school many times what it paid for the land in 20…

AG Debuts New Initiative to Address Unaffordable Student Loans » Banker & Tradesman

Environment

Offshore oil and gas drilling: The Vineyard fear » Martha's Vineyard Times With the ongoing controversy over President Trump's remarks about immigration concerning Haiti and Africa, let's not ignore the Trump administration's Jan. 4 decision to allow offshore oil and gas exp…

Mass. Taps Eversource's Northern Pass For Hydropower Project » WBUR A proposal from the utility Eversource won preliminary approval from Massachusetts on Thursday to deliver Canadian hydropower to the state through a transmission line running through New Hampshire.…

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy sees donations spike after report claimed Trump dislikes sharks » Boston Globe The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is constantly on the hunt for donations to help keep its research efforts each summer on the oceans off Cape Cod going strong.…

Baker-Polito administration awards Plymouth $1 million » Wicked Local Plymouth A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.…

Federal

Net-neutrality dispute shines light on public comment problem » Mass Lawyers Weekly Whether or not you think the Federal Communications Commission did the right thing in voting to reverse Obama-era net neutrality rules late last year, it's deeply troubling to learn that there likely …

Gaming

New Gambling Legislation Introduced in Massachusetts » 4 Flush Senator Eileen Donoghue of Massachusetts has introduced new legislation involving several areas of gambling. The bill seeks to regulate daily fantasy sports as well as online gambling, plus create a c…

State to review Wynn Boston Harbor after sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn » Boston Business Journal

Health Care

Massachusetts Medical Society warns health centers face closure » The Republican The Massachusetts Medical Society's president warned that community health centers nationwide are being "held hostage" by Congress's lack of progress in funding them and many face possible of closure.…

Gov. Charlie Baker renews pitch for health changes » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker is renewing a controversial proposal to move 140,000 low-income people off the state's Medicaid rolls and onto other health care plans as part of his $40.9 billion spending plan, re…

Partners HealthCare gets key state backing for Mass. Eye and Ear takeover » Boston Globe

Housing

Dispute over planned Seaport condo tower is settled » Boston Globe A luxury condominium tower on Seaport Boulevard will break ground this spring after environmental advocates agreed to drop a lawsuit challenging the project, in exchange for $13.1 million in funding f…

HUD secretary touts Taunton as role model » Taunton Gazette Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jay Ash had words of praise for the city's Business Improvement District and its work developing the downtown area when he stopped by the Tresc…

Human Services

Gov. Charlie Baker's budget would let welfare recipients keep more benefits while working » The Republican A proposal in Gov. Charlie Baker's budget aims to help welfare recipients return to work by continuing to pay them benefits even after they start a new job.…

Manchester VA's problems not taken seriously until after Globe reports, officials say » Boston Globe The Veterans Affairs administration failed to seriously investigate multiple complaints of poor patient care at the Manchester VA Medical Center in New Hampshire until media reports last year made the…

Immigration

Trump proposes path to citizenship for 1.8m » Boston Globe President Donald Trump proposed legislation on Thursday that provides a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young, unauthorized immigrants in exchange for an end to decades of family-based …

Lawrence Mayor: Trump administration is 'focusing on imaginary bad guys' » Boston Herald The mayor of Lawrence is accusing the Trump administration of “focusing on imaginary bad guys” after the Department of Justice threatened to use subpoena powers to obtain documents on whet…

Insurance

Amid Outcry From Gov't Employees, GIC Reconsiders Vote To Drop 3 Insurers » WBUR The state's Group Insurance Commission will reconsider its recent decision to restructure its health insurance system -- a move that would impact about 450,000 state and municipal employees and retire…

GIC to Reconsider Reduction to Health Insurance Portfolio » iBerkshires Last Thursday, the Group Insurance Commission, which administers health insurance to more than 400,000 state, school, and municipal employees, voted to decrease its options from six to three for activ…

Under attack, state worker group insurance change to be reconsidered » The Greenfield Recorder The Group Insurance Commission, relenting to days of withering criticism over its decision to limit health plan offerings to nearly 450,000 state employees and retirees, plans to reconsider that plan …

Controversy prompts state to reconsider health plan consolidation » Lowell Sun The Group Insurance Commission, relenting to days of withering criticism over its decision to limit health plan offerings to nearly 450,000 state employees and retirees, plans to reconsider that plan …

Healey probing if health plan snafu broke open meeting law » The Recorder

Judiciary

Sexual misconduct claim against Judge Thomas Estes 'damaged public trust,' governor's councilors say » The Republican Alleged sexual misconduct by district court Judge Thomas Estes is "very disturbing" and has "damaged the public trust and confidence in the judicial system," members of the Governor's Council said in …

US Attorney Elaborates on Marijuana Enforcement and Banking » Banker & Tradesman Opioid crimes are his top drug enforcement priority, but U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters Wednesday that his enforcement of federal marijuana laws could ensnare anyone from an hourly wage e…

Labor

Panel to revisit controversy over state workers' coverage » A state agency that oversees health insurance for public employees said Thursday it would reconsider its decision to limit offerings for hundreds of thousands of state workers and retirees, following …

Central Mass. lawmakers cautious on minimum wage raise » telegram.com Before supporting a potential November ballot initiative, some Central Massachusetts legislators said Thursday they want to study how raising the state's minimum wage would affect small businesses.…

GIC to rethink plan to cut health insurance options for state workers » Berkshire Eagle The Group Insurance Commission, relenting to days of withering criticism over its decision to limit health plan offerings to nearly 450,000 state employees and retirees, plans to reconsider that plan …

Legislative

Sen Boncore Appointed Chair of Transportation » East Boston Times With a major international airport, highway, toll plaza and the MBTA Blue Line in his district, it made sense for Senate President Harriette Chandler to appoint Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop), who r…

Ethics panel met for three hours on Rosenberg, approved confidentiality motion » Lowell Sun As the work of an outside investigator unfolds, the Senate Ethics Committee met for three hours at the State House on Wednesday, adopting a motion that two committee members said affirms the committee…

Senate ethics panel approves confidentiality motion » The Salem News As the work of an outside investigator unfolds, the Senate Ethics Committee met for three hours at the Statehouse on Wednesday…

Local Government

Philadelphia accepts Rocky statue Super Bowl bet from Brockton mayor » The Enterprise

Dems to hold Congressional forum in Hudson » Wicked Local The 13 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in Congress will make their case during a forum early next month.…

Support the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day parade » The Eagle Tribune The annual fundraiser for the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day parade will be held from 6 to 11:30 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 26, at Relief's In, 1 Market St., Lawrence.…

Greater Taunton Clergy Association holding march and vigil to save Morton maternity » Wicked Local Raynham Members of the Greater Taunton Clergy Association said Morton Hospital has a moral obligation not to close its maternity unit.…

Fire Department awarded a state grant » Sentinel & Enterprise The town Fire Department has been awarded a $6,123 state grant to fund educational programming on fire prevention and safety. …

Marijuana

Massachusetts Wants to Become the First Marijuana Sanctuary State » Civilized

Opinion

The Larry Nassar case reminds us: Listen to survivors, period » Boston Globe Perhaps the most incredible, this-cannot-possibly-be-true moment of the Larry Nassar case took place on Monday, when we learned that Michigan State University's sports medicine clinic had been houndi…

Our Opinion: Berkshires get a ride on transportation study » Berkshire Eagle Governor Charlie Baker's announcement on Tuesday that he had created an 18-member panel to look into Massachusetts' transportation needs for the next two decades was timely in several ways. …

Editorial: Budget 'fixes' on tap » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker has taken flak — from legislators and his prospective Democratic challengers, in particular — for proposing reforms to the MassHealth program, which would move non-di…

Kerry for President » New Boston Post Let it not be said that we were for John Kerry before we were against him. When it comes to the former Massachusetts lieutenant governor running for president in 2020, we're all in.…

Mass., other states, must fight back on net neutrality » Boston Globe The Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal network neutrality rules may be one of the worst things to come out of Donald Trump's Washington. And that's saying something.…

AG dropped the ball in college president's case » Cape Cod Times After reading the article on Robert Gee, I wondered why taxpayers and school officials got the shaft (“Ex-leader of Cape college barred from leading charities,” Jan. 17, Page A3).…

Housing supply and demand » Eagle Tribune A housing crunch pressing in on eastern Massachusetts doesn't get solved with a few strokes - even large ones such as Sal Lupoli's plan to fold in 225 units of housing as part of a mixed-use developme…

OUR OPINION: Involuntary detention not the answer to opioid crisis » The Enterprise

COMMENTARY: Sustainable Marblehead's Legislative Update » Wicked Local Marblehead

Peter Lucas: Bay State can only wish Romney luck in a Utah run » Lowell Sun

Urge Cyr to abandon sanctuary state effort » Cape Cod Times

Politics

Kerrigan gets national endorsement » Eagle Tribune Several powerful organizations have begun endorsing their candidates running to succeed outgoing Congresswoman Niki Tsongas in the Democratic primary for the 3rd District of Massachusetts.…

Battenfeld: In Forry exit, State House losing luster » Boston Herald The sudden resignation of Democratic rising star Linda Dorcena Forry marks another shakeup in the state Senate and signals the likely return to power of ousted Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg.…

Linda Dorcena Forry resigning her Senate seat » Boston Herald State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry — the Dorchester Democrat who in recent weeks had publicly weighed a campaign for Senate President — is resigning her seat to join Suffolk Construction, a …

Same-day registration gets push with backing from Galvin » Berkshire Eagle Beginning next year, Massachusetts voters would be able to register to vote on the same day they cast their ballots, under a new proposal from Secretary of State William Galvin.…

Boston State Sen. Dorcena Forry Steps Down From Post » WBUR State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American and the first woman of color to represent a district that includes South Boston, Mattapan and Dorchester, will resign from the Senate on Friday to ta…

Dorchester Senator Dorcena Forry Resigns, Takes Construction Job » New Boston Post State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian American Democrat and the first woman of color to represent a district that includes South Boston, Mattapan and Dorchester, will resign from the Senate on …

Boston Sen. Linda Forry to resign for job with with Suffolk Construction » The Patriot Ledger Sen. Linda Forry, a Haitian American and the first woman of color to represent a district that includes South Boston, Mattapan and Dorchester, will resign from the Senate on Friday to take a position …

Linda Dorcena Forry's departure sets off shock waves – and flurry of interest in her seat » Boston Herald

Potential Senate president hopeful resigning » Lowell Sun

Democrat Dan Wolf declines to run for governor » Boston Globe

Massachusetts' only black state senator stepping down » The Seattle Times

Public Health

Lowell-area police chiefs pan safe injection site proposal in opioid crisis » Lowell Sun Safe injection sites have been hailed by some as a means of supervising opioid drug users, reducing overdose deaths and acting as gateways to treatment.…

U.S. attorney says opioids top target, but pot still on radar » Berkshire Eagle Opioid crimes are his top drug enforcement priority, but U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters Wednesday that his enforcement of federal marijuana laws could ensnare anyone from an hourly wage e…

Should doctors be allowed to commit addicted patients involuntarily to treatment facilities for 72 hours? » Boston Globe

State Sen. Eric Lesser tours substance abuse recovery facilities » MassLive

Public Safety

Commonwealth awards SFD $6K in grants » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle On Jan. 9, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito awarded the Sutton Fire Department with more than $6,000 in grants.…

Gov. Charlie Baker offers words of caution to new staties » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker cautioned 174 rookie state troopers yesterday to do right by their new badges because “we are all potentially on camera all the time.”…

State Finance

The Week in Public Finance: Cities in the Red, Puerto Rico Lowers Expectations and Second-Guessing Tax Reform Windfalls » Governing A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use. …

State Government

State's top election official offers Legislature a plan for same-day voter registration » Boston Globe Massachusetts' top election official unveiled a proposal on Thursday to allow residents to register to vote on Election Day, as he faces a mix of public, legal, and political pressure to eliminate the…

Massachusetts voters could register and vote on same day under bill proposed by state's elections chief » The Republican Massachusetts could register and vote within the same day, under a bill the state's elections chief is proposing.…

Galvin proposes same-day voter registration in Mass. » The Metro West Daily News Galvin announced Thursday that he is proposing legislation that would allow Massachusetts residents who are otherwise eligible to vote to go to their local polling place on Election Day, complete a re…

Higgins joins House colleagues to approve two bills » Leominster Champion Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts House to pass a couple of pieces of legislation.…

Gov. Baker outlines plans for the year at State of the Commonwealth Address » WWLP 22 News Governor Charlie Baker is up for reelection later this year …

Local clerks weigh in on early voting » Tewksbury Town Crier

Taxation

Mass Gov. Baker Proposes Raising EITC to 30 Percent » RI NPR Advocates for low-income workers in recent years have pushed in legislatures across the nation for increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit.…

Transportation

Berkshires Likely To Be Represented On Mass. Transportation Panel After Legislators Protest » New England Public Radio It appears a commission charged with looking at the future of transportation in Massachusetts will have a representative from Berkshire County. That came after stinging criticism from some western Mas…

Berkshire lawmakers 'deeply disappointed' in composition of Baker's commission on future of transportation » the Berkshire edge The Berkshire County delegation to the State House in Boston has signed a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker objecting to an executive order he issued creating a special commission on the future of transpor…

Route 1 plaza again picked for RMV branch » The Salem News The state has once again selected the Danvers Crossing shopping plaza on Route 1 South in Danvers as its preferred location for a Registry of Motor Vehicles branch.…

3 western Mass. bridges received funds to help repair » WWLP 22 News

Utilities

Eversource wins a huge state contract it helped design. Let the protests begin » Boston Globe The Baker administration and reps for the state's three big electric utilities — Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil — just picked Eversource's Northern Pass power line to deliver enou…

Massachusetts taps Northern Pass for hydropower project » Boston Herald Eversource's Northern Pass proposal won preliminary approval from Massachusetts on Thursday to deliver Canadian hydropower to the state through a transmission line running through New Hampshire…

Webster legislator, neighbors object to solar farm » telegram.com A local legislator whose home abuts a proposed solar farm on 10.6 acres has expressed an array of concerns about the 1.3-megawatt project.…

New Bedford-based wind farm gets a 'no' for state contract » South Coast Today A New Bedford-based offshore wind proposal by Deepwater Wind has been passed over for a state contract in favor of hydroelectric power from Canada.…

AG Maura Healey to review hydropower contract » Boston Herald

Cold snap causes fuel emergency » Cape Cod Times

Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Lelling reinforces DOJ stance on cannabis » Worcester Business Journal

After furious outcry, Massachusetts commission abandons plan to change state workers' health insurance choices » The Republican

Gov. Baker's College Plan Takes Small Steps As Crushing Student Debt Looms » WBUR

GIC To Reconsider Health Plan Consolidation » WBUR

Governor sends $40.9B budget to Legislature » The Recorder

More state aid for schools that have "stepped up" in accepting evacuees » Lowell Sun

Impacts of recent cold snap forcing closer look at energy mix, LNG » Lowell Sun

Ethics panel met for three hours, approved confidentiality motion » State House News Service

Amid deportations, SJC chief justice pleads for $5m hike in civil legal aid funding » Boston Globe

Northern Pass prevails in Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, handing victory to Eversource and Hydro-Quebec » The Republican

Senate committee vows to protect witnesses in Rosenberg investigation » Boston Globe

Terrorism, opioids, and highway patrol: State Police welcomes newest class » Boston Globe

Son of Sgt. Douglas Weddleton, who was killed in line of duty, among 174 new Massachusetts State Police troopers who earned a badge today » The Republican

Selectmen notes: Building commissioner named chairman of state board » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle

Bill addresses Massachusetts electronic tolling privacy concerns » The Republican

Linda Dorcena Forry to leave state Senate » Boston Globe

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 4025 - An Act designating a certain bridge in the city of Haverhill as the U.S. Navy Petty Officer Caitlin E. Trask - Veterans of the War on Terror Memorial Bridge

HB 3930 - An Act to amend the town charter of Concord

HB 3947 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Dave Ringer, an employee of the Department of Correction

HB 3837 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Mary Sorensen, an employee of the Department of Mental Health

HB 3989 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Gary Erskine, an employee of the Department of Public Health

Most read bills of the week:

HB4134 - An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents

HB2 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2019

HB3925 - An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents

HB4108 - An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents

HB4110 - An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program

HB4111 - An Act for a law raising the minimum wage

HB4075 - An Act to promote housing choices

HB4142 - An Act known as the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act

SB2318 - An Act promoting health, safety and well-being in the legislature

SB2273 - An Act to regulate online gaming, daily fantasy sports, and online sports betting

House Actions This Week: 419

Senate Actions This Week: 198


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