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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am St. Francis House Advocacy Day, Nurses Hall, State House

9:30am Health Costs of Hunger in Massachusetts Study Release, Grand Staircase, State House

10:00am Office of Campaign & Political Finance Public Hearing, One Ashburton Place, Room 411, Boston

10:00am Joint Committee on Ways & Means, FY19 Budget Hearing - Public Safety

11:00am Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture, Public Hearing

12:00pm Joint Committee on Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, Public Hearing

1:00pm Senate Committee on Bonding Capital Expenditure and State Assets, Public Hearing

1:30pm Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, Public Hearing

6:00pm Cannabis Control Commission Public Hearing, Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Roxbury

Must-Reads

The End of the Two-Party System » New York Times In the first half of the 1990s, I worked in Europe for The Wall Street Journal. I covered nothing but good news: the reunification of Germany, the liberation of Central Europe, the fall of the Soviet …

What's the immigration status of Melania Trump's parents? » Washington Post Several readers asked about the immigration status of Melania Trump's parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, after spotting social media posts.…

Chief of Staff John Kelly should resign » Boston Globe JOHN KELLY HAS VIOLATED the cardinal rule of being White House chief of staff: Advance the president's agenda and don't become the news. It's past time for him to go.…

Our Russian 'pipeline,' and its ugly toll » Boston Globe To build the new $27 billion gas export plant on the Arctic Ocean that now keeps the lights on in Massachusetts, Russian firms bored wells into fragile permafrost; blasted a new international airport …

Hunger's tab in Mass. is $2.4 billion, report says » Boston Globe Food insecurity has been linked to myriad health problems in adults and children. Now, a new report puts a dollar figure on the annual cost of hunger in Massachusetts: $2.4 billion.…

MBTA faces $111 million budget gap » State House News Service The MBTA's projected budget gap is expected to grow to $111 million in fiscal 2019, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez told the Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday, and it's unclear whether f…

A Regional Rail Revival » Governing Great Barrington, a pretty town in the hilly Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, is a tad closer to Boston than it is to New York City, which is about 140 miles to the south. But if you walk along th…

Former Sen. Finegold considers another bite at the apple » Lowell Sun Barry Finegold, a former state senator who left in 2015, is weighing a run for his soon-to-open former seat.…

At cost of $935 million, South Coast rail service could begin by 2022 » State House News Service Construction of commuter rail service to the South Coast on a route that runs through Middleborough should cost about $935 million, with service beginning in late 2022, according to a state transporta…

"I've enjoyed the work, I really love my district, the issues I've been able to work on, the people I've been able to work with," Kulik said. "But I felt like I was getting to the point of 25 years where you reflect a bit and think about other things you might want to do with your time."

Representative Stephen Kulik

Announcing he will not run for re-election.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Rising star Moulton boasts big fundraising numbers » CNN Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton raised $1 million at a single New York City fundraiser last week -- a $50,000-per-candidate boost for the 19 Democrats he has endorsed in House races.…

Reports: Powder hoax aimed at Trump Jr. came from Boston » Boston Herald Boston was reportedly the origin of a bogus white powder attack that sent President Trump's daughter-in-law to the hospital as a precaution — the second such mail scare aimed at the first famil…

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans Holyoke fundraiser » The Republican

Business

Comcast among companies suspending their advertising on WEEI » Boston Globe At least two organizations, including Comcast Corp., have suspended advertising on sports-talk radio station WEEI following racially insensitive comments from one of its hosts.…

Burlington-based XebiaLabs raises $100M to compete with IBM, CA Technologies » Boston Business Journal “We've gotten ourselves into a position where we control our own destiny,” said XebiaLabs CEO Derek Langone.…

Herald bankruptcy auction, with 3 bidders, is Tuesday » Boston Globe The Boston Herald's next chapter will be written in a downtown law firm's office. …

Civil Rights

Corporate Religious Exemptions Being Considered » Cape Cod Online Lawmakers are weighing a bill aimed at preventing corporations from being able to claim religious exemptions from state anti-discrimination laws for conduct that occurs in Massachusetts.…

'MeToo' Sends Anti-Discrimination Agency Budget Request Soaring » New Boston Post

Education

At Tufts, Lawrence Bacow was tasked with reenergizing the university » Boston Globe When Lawrence Bacow arrived at Tufts University in 2001, he vowed to transform the school, with its aging buildings, meager endowment, but sky-high ambitions, into an institution that could compete wi…

Worcester school board to vote on joining Brockton in suing state over funding formula » Worcester Telegram After nearly a year of entertaining the idea of suing the state to secure fair funding for city schools, the School Committee will get the chance Thursday to vote on whether to move forward with the t…

NECC gets $10K early college program grant » Wicked Local Newburyport

Environment

Satellites show warming is accelerating sea level rise » Boston Globe Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are speeding up the already fast pace of sea level rise, new satellite research shows.…

Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Pacheco predicts » State House News Service A comprehensive and complex bill written by a leading climate change activist in the Senate proposes to accelerate the state's transition to renewable energy by banning new natural gas infrastructure,…

Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, 'matching the urgency of climate change' » Mass Live A Massachusetts Senate committee has released a bill that reads like a wish-list for clean energy advocates.…

APCC States Opposition to Offshore Drilling Plan » Cape Cod Today Citing the likelihood of catastrophic environmental and economic impacts to the Cape Cod region should an oil spill occur, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod submitted written comments to U.S. Inter…

Mass. Senators Offer Plan To Accelerate Clean Energy Growth » WBUR A comprehensive and complex bill written by a leading climate change activist in the Senate proposes to accelerate the state's transition to renewable energy by banning new natural gas infrastructure,…

Federal

White House proposes $4.4 trillion budget that adds $7 trillion to deficits » Boston Globe The $4.4 trillion budget that President Trump sent to Congress on Monday calls for steep cuts in domestic programs and entitlements, and large increases for the military, while envisioning deficits to…

Trump and House GOP push for stricter work requirements for welfare » Boston Globe Republicans, flying high after big victories on tax cuts and military spending increases, are turning their sights to shrinking the nation's safety net, targeting food stamps, Medicaid, and other soci…

Markey calls Trump's infrastructure plan a "fraud" » State House News Service The plan to generate a $1.5 trillion investment in infrastructure proposed Monday by President Donald Trump "will not in any way change the fundamentals" or result in new infrastructure in Massachuset…

Trump budget would gut EPA, DOE renewables office » Utility Dive The Trump administration's 2019 budget proposal would slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy while boosting nuclear programs an…

Trump Budget Calls for Work Requirements for Housing Aid » Governing The president's budget released on Monday confirms most of a leaked proposal and would add to the administration's recent changes to the safety net. …

Gaming

Dems say Gaming Commission needs to examine Wynn $$$ » State House News Service The Massachusetts Democratic Party is pushing back after a state gaming regulator said a potential review of donations by casino magnate Steve Wynn would be better suited for the Office of Campaign an…

Health Care

AG's Office recovers $45M for MassHealth » Berkshire Eagle The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division recovered more than $45 million for the state Medicaid program in 2017, according to Attorney General Maura Healey.…

MassHealth changes come with a hefty price tag for employers » The ACA Times While healthcare continues to be talked about by the federal government, some state governments are taking steps of their own to shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impact on healthcare services at…

Housing

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey request extension of FEMA housing benefits for Puerto Ricans » Mass Live Massachusetts U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, both Democrats, are asking the federal government to extend emergency shelter benefits for Puerto Rican evacuees.…

Immigration

Pathway to residency a common theme for 3rd District Dem candidates » Lowell Sun Another government shutdown came and went without securing protection for young undocumented immigrants who will soon face deportation despite both Democratic and Republican lawmakers publicly claimin…

Insurance

This woman's restored smile came at a hefty price » Boston Globe Back in 2006, 7-year-old Victoria Crovo hit a bump while sledding and went flying. She came down face-first on a patch of bare pavement on a dead-end street near her house in Melrose.…

Labor

State grant to build up 'Second Chance' job-training in Greenfield » The Recorder Greenfield will receive a $75,000 Urban Agenda grant to better help people in recovery overcome the complex barriers to employment.…

Union pushes off Berkshire Regional Transit Authority strike » Berkshire Eagle The union representing paratransit drivers at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority will delay its strike, a union representative said Monday. …

Legislative

Massachusetts state Rep. Stephen Kulik will not run for re-election » MassLive State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, the powerful vice chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, will not run for re-election. Kulik, 67, has been in the Legislature for 25 years. He has …

Retiring Rep. John Scibak: 'It's time' » MassLive After 16 years in the Statehouse and 309,000 miles of driving, Rep. John Scibak is calling it quits. …

Two Western Mass. Lawmakers Won't Seek Re-Election » New England Public Radio A pair of state lawmakers from western Massachusetts say they're calling it quits at the end of this term.…

At issue: Lawmakers' exemption from state's records law » Boston Herald A special commission examining whether the Legislature should continue to enjoy an exemption from the state's open records law is about to meet publicly for the first time.…

Pacheco says trips abroad benefit his district » Wicked Local Bridgewater State Sen. Marc Pacheco said traveling is part of his job, not a fringe benefit. “I'm working 24-7 for the citizens of my district and doing things like this are above and beyond,” the Tau…

Local Government

Study of a Palmer rail stop should be a priority, Town Council argues in letter to MassDOT » MassLive The Town Council on Monday submitted a letter to the state transportation department requesting they make the study of a passenger rail stop in town a priority.…

Sen. Patrick O'Connor to hold office hours in Weymouth » Wicked Local Weymouth Sen. Patrick O'Connor will hold office hours from 10-11 a.m. Feb. 14 at Elder Services, 182 Green St., Weymouth.…

Close the “Investor” Loophole in Short-Term Rentals (Airbnb), Say Downtown Civic Groups » North End Waterfront The Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations (ADCO) has released a report suggesting several changes to the Mayor's proposed regulations of short-term rentals, most notably the elimination of investor…

Framingham: Mayor will release info on licensing board candidates » The Metro West Daily News After refusing to divulge information about a dozen people who applied to serve on the Board of License Commissioners, Mayor Yvonne Spicer said Monday she will comply with an order from the state's pu…

The Boston City Council Appears Ready To Tussle With Mayor Walsh On Several Key Issues » WGBH A new thirteen-member Boston City Council with an historic six women of color among its members wants to have more impact – on everything from how schools are governed to affordable housing to …

Governor's budget could negatively impact Haverhill finances » The Eagle Tribune Additional costs imposed by the state are going to impact the city's budget this fiscal year, but city councillors say they plan on adding more police officers anyway.…

SMOC Awarded $75,000 Urban Agenda Grant From Baker-Polito Administration » Framingham Source On Feb. 12, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $500,000 to nine projects through the Urban Agenda Grant Program.…

Hatfield treasurer resigns amid financial turmoil » Gazette Net With the town struggling to get its financial house in order, Treasurer and Collector Laura Lee Bertram submitted her resignation on Monday.…

Marijuana

Cannabis Control Commission holds final public hearing » Martha's Vineyard Times Representatives of the Cannabis Control Commission held a final public hearing on Martha's Vineyard on Thursday at the West Tisbury Library. The lightly attended, 20-minute event was the final Islan…

Concerns of top pols over scope of pot biz rules mounting » State House News Service The speaker of the House added his voice Monday to the chorus pushing state marijuana regulators to scale back their vision for the legal cannabis industry in Massachusetts.…

In final push for marijuana sales, Mass. commission feels heat from familiar foes » Berkshire Eagle Two years after the the push to legalize marijuana began, many of the same groups that contested the ballot question are clashing again over the scope of the newly legal industry, setting up the state…

Governor's office warns pot regulator about stoned drivers, marijuana use by youths » Boston Globe Massachusetts is likely to experience a surge of stoned drivers and an increase in youth marijuana use and risk “significant” black-market pot sales if cannabis regulators carry out their …

State senator says Massachusetts farmers should be allowed to grow marijuana as cash crop » Mass Live A state senator from Central Massachusetts said Sunday that small farmers, and not just big investors, should be able to grow marijuana as a cash crop.…

Charlie Baker not high on pot bars » Boston Herald The Baker administration is piling more criticism on the Cannabis Control Commission's draft regulations, saying yesterday they lack “adequate safeguards” and could amplify public safety p…

Massachusetts' top public safety official worried about marijuana cafes, theaters » Mass Live Allowing social consumption of marijuana in cafes, theaters or yoga studios will make it more likely for people to drive while on drugs and for minors to access marijuana, Secretary of Public Safety a…

Worcester claims marijuana club misled city officials » Worcester Business Journal Worcester officials say they were not aware a private club that opened last week on Water Street would allow the smoking of cannabis within its doors.…

Pot regulators again urged to go slow on pot establishments » The Associated Press (AP) Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is again urging state marijuana regulators to hold off on allowing so-called "cannabis cafes," or other places where pot could be consumed on site.…

If smoking's allowed, does that include marijuana? » The Salem News Some local communities are taking a second look at smoking regulations to avoid a gap in language that could allow people to smoke pot in designated smoking areas.…

Legislature wants CCC to scale back pot industry regulations » Worcester Business Journal

Speaker DeLeo Joins Governor In Cautioning Marijuana Regulators To Slow Down » WBUR

Hearing on Marijuana Regulations Sees Small Turnout » Vineyard Gazette

Pot licenses could be rolled out on timeline » The Valley Dispatch

Opinion

Dykema: Decisive action is needed on clean energy » Milford Daily News The two-year legislative session will draw to a close in July, leaving just over five months to pass needed new clean energy laws. As a member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, …

Trigger warning: Either you're for free speech or you're not » Boston Globe During a lecture on “The rule of law in a time of polarization,” Northeastern University Professor Barry Bluestone said, “This president that we have is really out of control. . . . …

Lynn Villency Cohen: Assessing AG-museum accord » Berkshire Eagle As the uniquely contentious legal dispute draws to a close, what are we to make of the settlement negotiated by Attorney General Maura Healey and lawyers for the Berkshire Museum? By allowing all of t…

Letter: Museum-AG accord is dark day for county » Berkshire Eagle Late last Friday afternoon, the Berkshire Museum posted a summary of its agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General on its Facebook page.…

Editorial: Dems taking a gamble » Boston Herald Steve Wynn has never made a campaign contribution to Gov. Charlie Baker. That hasn't stopped the three Democrats who are trying to unseat Baker from lobbing accusations of improper financial ties bet…

Baker is leader on clean energy » Lowell Sun As a political conservative, I was proud to see Republican Gov. Charlie Baker feature clean energy prominently in his State of the Commonwealth address. I was pleased to hear that Massachusetts is pur…

Atkins: Trump relies on others to make proposal work » Boston Herald President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure proposal, unveiled yesterday, faces nearly insurmountable odds out of the gate as lawmakers voiced strong opposition and Trump himself placed the onus on …

Our view: State should expand Earned Income Tax Credit » Gloucester Times Much of the recent debate on Beacon Hill has been centered around ballot initiatives that would cut the state sales tax, increase the minimum wage and take another 4 percent in taxes from those who ma…

Politics

A year after 'she persisted,' Warren is still speaking out » The Sun Chronicle It was just over a year ago when U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was admonished by the Senate for reading a letter from the late wife of Martin Luther King into the official record. Senate Majority Leader…

Mass. Republican Party appears to violate its own neutrality rules » Boston Globe The Massachusetts Republican Party is organizing nomination petition drives across the state for Governor Charlie Baker and his running mate, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, in what appears to be a …

Domestic violence survivor says U.S. Senate candidate John Kingston helped her flee abuse » Mass Live The first time Ellen's boyfriend physically assaulted her, he pushed her down on a bed, got on top of her and started strangling her, she says. When she started to scream, he covered her mouth and nos…

Amherst Survival Center's Feed Democracy Initiative topic of public discussion » Mass Live Former state Rep. Ellen Story will moderate a panel Tuesday on the Amherst Survival Center's Feed Democracy Initiative featuring representatives from the office of U.S Congressman Jim McGovern, D-Worc…

Political Notes: Stanton launches bid against Hunt » Cape Cod Times The 2018 race for state representative in the 5th Barnstable District is shaping up as one of the election season's most competitive contests.…

Lakeville Republican Keiko Orrall running for state treasurer » South Coast Today

GOP state rep Keiko Orrall launches run vs. Treasurer Deb Goldberg » Boston Herald

Former Sen. Finegold considers another bite at the apple » Lowell Sun

Brookline's Rebecca Stone Kicks Off Run For State Rep » Brookline Patch

Public Health

Rep. Whelan Takes Aim at Synthetic Opioid with Bi-Partisan Bill » Cape Cod Online Brewster State Representative Tim Whelan has co-sponsored a bill aimed at cracking down on a synthetic opioid killing many across the region.…

Families of opioid overdose victims sending letters to State House, White House » WWLP 22 On Valentine's Day, families who have lost loved ones due to opioid overdoses will be sending letters and photos to state and national government.…

Sen. Cindy Friedman supports heart disease movement » Wicked Local Arlington

Public Safety

House revives Equifax bill, plans to tackle it Wednesday » Lowell Sun The Massachusetts House on Wednesday plans to take up a bill removing fees for credit freezes and offering consumer protections from data breaches, a measure that last week appeared mired in a dispute…

Police Chief De Naro to Address Haverhill Shootings, Graffiti Thursday » WHAV Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. De Naro will address members of the city's Administration and Finance Committee Thursday in a public meeting at the request of City Council President John A. Michitson a…

Meet the criminal who went undercover in the country's largest MS-13 takedown » Boston Globe His code name was Mako. The FBI hatched a deal to bring him back from El Salvador in 2013, just a year after he had been deported following a lengthy prison stint in Florida. His mission: infiltrate t…

Vehicle's air filter not permissible search area, split SJC rules » Lowell Sun A driver's consent for police to search inside his vehicle does not give law enforcement the right to look in the car's air filter, even though that is sometimes used as place to stash drugs and guns,…

Boston Police Face Criticism For Black History Month Tweet » WBUR Boston police are facing heavy criticism online for a now-deleted post on Twitter for Black History Month that celebrated a white man.…

State Finance

Beacon Hill warms up to $3.5 billion borrowing bill » Lowell Sun Months after credit rating analysts raised state debt as an area of concern, the House and Senate and Gov. Charlie Baker are on track to add more than $3.5 billion in borrowing authorizations to the m…

Senate bond bill contains local earmarks » Lowell Sun The Senate's $3.65 billion bond bill contains funding for regional courthouses, public safety facilities and equipment, according to local senators pleased with the measure that also includes authoriz…

State legislature sends $3.6 billion repair and improvements bill to Governor's desk » WWLP 22

State budget hearing in Peabody on education, local aid rescheduled » The Salem News

State Government

AG Healey warns adding citizenship question would jeopardize accuracy of 2020 Census and undercount Massachusetts population » Sampan Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today urged the U.S. Bureau of the Census to reject a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, warn…

Budget 'Certainty,' Mass. Senate Stability, Energy Use On Pot Farms: The Week Ahead On Beacon Hill » New England Public Radio There's now some budgetary “certainty” at the federal level, and that could make the budget process a little easier at the state level. …

Taxation

Top earners could ditch state, tax study finds » The Salem News The state's top earners could get squeezed out of Massachusetts by a new tax on millionaires, a report suggests.…

Transportation

Baker planning another $200M local road repair bill » State House News Service It's pothole season in Massachusetts, and Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said he'll soon be filing legislation awaited each year by municipal officials eyeing the approaching construction season and a c…

Future fare increases on the table as MBTA faces budget woes » Boston Globe Officials at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority say the agency's budget deficit is set to balloon in the coming year, raising the specter of potential fare hikes in 2019.…

T eyes hikes for fares, parking fees » Commonwealth Magazine MBTA OFFICIALS CRACKED open the door to a fare hike and increases in parking fees by the beginning of next year as the cash-strapped agency, despite cuts and privatization efforts, continues to face a…

MBTA Faces $111 Million Budget Gap » WGBH The MBTA's projected budget gap is expected to grow to $111 million in fiscal 2019, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez told the Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday, and it's unclear whethe…

Utilities

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was 'Railroaded' » NHPR Massachusetts is still debating the future of a big renewable energy contract for their state.…

Social Media Spotlight

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Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

'No farm bill is better than a lousy farm bill' McGovern speaks at agriculture summit » The Recorder

Millennials rising: Young people fuel renaissance (Viewpoint) » MassLive

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern: farm bill being 'written in secret' in Washington » MassLive

Public Hearing on Fantasy Sports Bill Likely in the Cards for Massachusetts » Casino Reports

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