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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Executive Office of Health and Human Services Public Hearing, First Floor Conference Room, 100 Hancock Street, Quincy

6:00pm Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate Chinese New Year Party

Must-Reads

The President of Nowhere, USA » Politico Pete Buttigieg could be the Democrats' savior—if he can only find his way out of South Bend …

Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity » The New Yorker One woman's account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair. …

Trump blames shooting on mental illness, but he signed bill making it easier for mentally ill to have guns » Boston Globe In February 2017, (Trump) signed legislation cutting an Obama-era regulation that added to the national gun background check database the names of people who are receiving Social Security checks for m…

WE KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT » Boston Globe Parkland. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. On and on: In America, mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad script. …

David Brooks thinks the two-party system is doomed. He's right — and wrong. » The Washington Post On Tuesday, New York Times columnist David Brooks described the U.S. political party system as having devolved into an unsustainable “us versus them” mentality in which “the ends jus…

Gun control advocates push bill to let guns be confiscated if person poses a risk » The Republican A group of gun violence survivors and gun control advocates gathered at the Statehouse Thursday to push for a bill that would allow someone's guns to be temporarily taken away if the person poses a da…

How diverse are Massachusetts courts? » The Republican Female employees are well-represented in the state's court system, but that is driven by the fact that the overwhelming majority of office and clerical workers are women. Minorities are also well-repr…

Democrats Distance Themselves From Bill Clinton Ahead of 2018 Midterms » Observer Although Hillary Clinton was hailed as a trailblazer for the women's movement, Democrats are distancing themselves from allegations surrounding her husband—former president Bill Clinton—…

MassHealth seen as critical to high children's coverage rate » State House News Service About 12,000 kids in Massachusetts lack health insurance, giving the state a 99 percent coverage rate among its 1.39 million children. …

Beacon Hill interns not covered by sexual harassment policy » Gloucester Times Interns working in legislative offices at the Statehouse are not covered by sexual harassment policies, which has emerged as a key issue for lawmakers seeking protections for accusers amid claims of u…

"The time for thoughts and prayers is over. It's time for action," Linsky said. "We have to do this before Parkland becomes Plymouth, before Columbine becomes Cohasset, before Aurora becomes Arlington and before Newtown becomes Natick or Needham or Newton."

Rep. David Linsky

Advocating for safer gun laws.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Romney makes it official: He's running for Senate in Utah » Boston Globe Mitt Romney on Friday morning confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in American politics: He's running to become the US Senator from Utah.…

The astonishingly long history of Ed Markey's made-up acronyms » Boston.com Former Rep. Barney Frank once called the use of acronyms in Congress “an abuse of the English language.” But don't tell that to Frank's fellow former Massachusetts representative, now in C…

Business

AT&T CEO prepares for battle over merger » Boston Globe Randall Stephenson's “elephant in the room” takes on new meaning now.…

Cuts probably won't end for Boston Herald under new owner » Boston Globe Digital First Media hasn't yet made its vision for the Boston Herald public, as it goes before a bankruptcy judge Friday for approval of its $12 million purchase of the struggling tabloid.…

New details into MetLife pension scandal raise questions and alarms » Investment News MetLife Inc. provided new details this week about how it lost track of thousands of pension clients. But state and federal inquiries promise to drag on for months and will make it hard to put the scan…

Developer pulls the plug on plans for Charlestown concert venue » Boston Globe Turns out, Charlestown won't be a concert destination after all.…

Springfield recycler Northstar Pulp & Paper repurposes to meet 21st century demands » The Republican Thirty years ago, when Lori Goodman Novak was a teenager, she worked in the office for the family business, Northstar Pulp & Paper, answering the phone, weighing trucks on the scale and sorting mail.…

Massachusetts Accuses Scottrade of Fiduciary Rule Violations » The Wall Street Journal Massachusetts' top securities regulator has accused discount brokerage firm Scottrade Inc. of violating the U.S. Labor Department's fiduciary rule, the latest example of states stepping in as the fede…

Internet giant Akamai is at a crossroads. Here's what's next. » Boston Business Journal Akamai Technologies Inc. is a tough business to understand, as even co-founder and CEO Tom Leighton will admit. But it's a foundational block of the Massachusetts tech industry and the structure of th…

WBUR Poll: Boston-Area Residents Support Amazon HQ2, But Worry About Housing And Traffic » WBUR A new WBUR poll shows strong support for bringing Amazon to the Boston area, but residents are skeptical about giving the tech giant tax incentives and worry about its potential impact on housing and …

Crimes

Deval Patrick's brother-in-law indicted on kidnapping, rape and assault charges » Boston Globe The brother-in-law of former governor Deval Patrick was indicted Wednesday by a Norfolk Grand jury kidnapping, rape, and assault charges, prosecutors said.…

Education

In Massachusetts, fear and frustration at school » Boston Globe Lis Rodriguez could not get the images out of her head: teenagers, just like her, screaming or lying on the floor of their high school as a former student opened fire. …

KIPP wins a grant for STEM education » Lynn Daily News Item KIPP Massachusetts received a grant to offer science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Project Lead The Way (PLTW).…

Dartmouth students changing the game on violence and harassment » South Coast Today Think fast: You're in the school cafeteria. A girl walks by. Boys whistle and make offensive comments. What do you do? Students at Dartmouth High School tried to answer that question, and others like …

Gov. Charlie Baker signs budget bill giving $15 million to Massachusetts schools that accepted Puerto Rican students » MassLive

Environment

Massachusetts Attorney General Calls For State Plan on Electric Cars, Clean Energy Goals » Framingham Source On Feb. 15, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called for a comprehensive statewide plan for electric vehicles and new, ambitious goals to meet electric power needs with clean energy at a hea…

Gaming

WBUR Poll Shows Split Opinions On Wynn Casino » WBUR Despite the resignation of Steve Wynn, 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the state's 7th Congressional District believe the $2.4 billion dollar Wynn Resorts casino under construction i…

Health Care

Only 12,000 kids in state lack health insurance » Wicked Local Weymouth About 12,000 kids in Massachusetts lack health insurance, giving the state a 99 percent coverage rate among its 1.39 million children. That's according to data presented Thursday by the Massachusetts …

Housing

Boston isn't at risk for a housing bubble, says new report — but these other cities are » Boston Business Journal Boston doesn't have a housing bubble, according to UBS's 2017 Global Real Estate Bubble Index, and doesn't even rate among the eight cities that have been deemed the highest risk for having one pop.…

Hurricane evacuees in Worcester face uncertainty as federal aid nears end » Worcester Mag Nilsa Albert, a hurricane evacuee from Puerto Rico who has been staying with her three nieces at a hotel in Worcester, doesn't know what she is going to do.…

Human Services

YMCA Alliance reminds lawmakers of their role in child protection » State House News Service Support for water safety, youth government programs, diabetes prevention, and early education are among the wide-ranging list of asks that YMCA staff and advocates made of lawmakers Thursday.…

POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN COMES TO THE BAY STATE » Dig Boston Last week, more than 60 people from the Poor People's Campaign (PPC), a national coalition of faith leaders and anti-poverty activists, held their first Mass press conference on the steps of the State…

Immigration

Judge demands answers from ICE on detention of young mother » Boston Globe A federal judge in Boston is demanding that immigration authorities explain why a Guatemalan mother of two was arrested and jailed for nearly a month after going to a government office to apply for le…

Labor

Logan airport workers strike ends after outpouring of support » Bay State Banner Contract workers employed by JetBlue subcontractors FSS and ReadyJet at Boston Logan Airport ended their strike for union representation, better wages and benefits after two days.…

CRISIS AVERTED » Dig Boston MBTA bus mechanics beat back privatization… at a cost …

Legislative

Lawmakers studying whether public records law should apply to themselves » Lowell Sun A group of lawmakers studying whether to extend the state public records law to cover themselves and their colleagues kicked off its work Tuesday, an effort they said would primarily involve listening…

Mass. House Speaker Not Weighing In On Embattled Former Senate President » New England Public Radio Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is not weighing in on whether Amherst Democrat Stan Rosenberg should be able to regain the Senate presidency, or stay in the Senate at all. …

Forry's farewell a political gala with hints of her return » Dorchester Reporter Former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry bid farewell – for now - to the State House in a festive ceremony on Wednesday that drew a Who's Who of city and state politics to say goodbye to a colleague who…

Local Government

State rep. hosts office hours » Berkshire Eagle State Rep. Frank Moran, D-Lawrence, will hold office hours throughout the 17th Essex District on Friday, Feb. 16.…

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse hits 'false assertions' of ex-auditor » MassLive Mayor Alex B. Morse said today that former City Auditor Joshua Pueschel's resignation letter and remarks were "disappointing and unfortunate, and his tone and false assertions do nothing to help our c…

Marijuana

AG Healey, legislators pile on cannabis commission » Boston Globe Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent ag…

Pot rules create sticky situation for lawmakers » Boston Herald Dozens of state lawmakers are pushing pot regulators to reshape what they called an “aggressive” proposal to roll out legal marijuana sales, joining a chorus of high-ranking legalization …

Marijuana camp says Baker trying to intimidate cannabis commission » Lowell Sun Marijuana advocates want Gov. Charlie Baker and others who opposed legalization to "back off" and allow the independent cannabis regulatory body to move ahead with an industry that would include marij…

'Proceed with caution,' Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tells marijuana regulators » The Republican Add Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to the list of top state officials who are telling marijuana regulators to hold off on moving beyond licensing retail pot shops.…

Cannabis Control Commission Mulls Gov. Baker's Order To 'Go Slow' With Its Draft Regulations » WBUR Marijuana advocates in Mass. say Gov. Charlie Baker is putting extraordinary pressure on the Cannabis Control Commission to force them to step back from some of their draft regulations.…

Marijuana camp says Gov. Baker is trying to intimidate Cannabis Commission » Wicked Local West Bridgewater Marijuana advocates want Gov. Charlie Baker and others who opposed legalization to “back off” and allow the independent cannabis regulatory body to move ahead with an industry that would i…

Opinion

Editorial: Legislative delegation loses clout » Gazette Net The clout of Hampshire County's legislative delegation took a powerful hit this week when longtime state representatives Stephen Kulik and John Scibak announced they are retiring after this year.…

Make it stop: No more worshiping at the altar of the gun » Boston Globe We are a nation that worships at the altar of the gun. And that idolatry is killing us. Killing us in our homes and schools and churches, the very places where we go to think and to pray. …

The Boston Herald's buyer is a vulture capitalist » Boston Globe Having two significant daily newspapers is a blessing, one granted to very few American cities. New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and a few others remain on that list, but it gets shorter all …

Despite rhetoric of inaction, states can help prevent mass shootings » Boston Globe It's mourning in America again. And, sadly, we know what that means: A time of empty platitudes and deflection from America's governing party, as Republicans try to avoid doing anything that might ups…

Peter Lucas: President Trump could turn out to be Diehl's secret weapon » Lowell Sun Great moments are born from great opportunities. That is what Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl thinks about as he campaigns for the U.S. Senate.…

EDITORIAL: Good news on opioids but battle rages on » Lowell Sun Department of Public Health figures showing an 8.3 percent decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in this state would seem to provide evidence for those fighting this war on drug abuse that their c…

Editorial: Making a difference in gun violence – How Massachusetts gun laws might affect mass shooters like Nikolas Cruz at Parkland, Florida » Worcester Telegram In communities across the Commonwealth and the rest of the country, school crossing guards can be seen every morning and afternoon, in brightly colored reflective jackets or vests, assisting children …

Maura Healey: "This is not the America we grew up in" » Boston Herald How do you explain a mass shooting to a 6-year-old? That's a question I was asked yesterday. Parents across Massachusetts woke up with a pit in their stomach. How do we send our children to school if …

Our Opinion: Opioid-afflicted cities take on Big Pharma » Berkshire Eagle Over the past several years, opioid addiction has grown into one of the great scourges in American history. Many have died from overdoses; for others, misuse of the painkillers has destroyed the lives…

Editorial: Everett casino should drop 'Wynn' name » Boston Business Journal No matter how hard we try, it's nearly impossible to avoid hearing the name "Wynn."…

Bacow May Be Harvard's New President, But It's The Entrenched Bureaucracy That Runs The Show » WGBH Years ago, my law partners and I had a bright and energetic Harvard College-educated lawyer on our staff who was a terror when managing the work of our equally bright and energetic law student clerks.…

Mass. Fiscal Alliance's hollow defense of dark money » Commonwealth Magazine State regulators right to demand disclosure of advocacy group donors …

Our view: Cannabis control effort should stay focused » Gloucester Times Educating people about what to expect when they get high for the first time is among the many tasks being weighed by the state's Cannabis Control Commission. In a handful of other states that legalize…

Politics

Local Democrats name delegates » The Sun Chronicle Foxboro's democratic town committee has selected eight delegates to vote in the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Nominating Convention in June.…

Poll shows Charlie Baker, Republican, with high marks in Somerville (yes, Somerville) » Boston Globe Democrats hate to keep reading about Charlie Baker's popularity in the public surveys — but one poll this week was truly jaw-dropping.…

Keiko Orrall announces candidacy for State Treasurer » South Coast Today Keiko Orrall, State Representative from the 12th Bristol District, today declared her intent to run for State Treasurer in a video posted on www.votekeiko.com.…

Setti Warren endorses Ayanna Pressley for Congress » Boston Globe Setti Warren, a former Newton mayor who is running for governor, has endorsed Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley in her bid to unseat US Representative Michael E. Capuano.…

Pressley: 'I can't and won't wait my turn' » Commonwealth Magazine Boston city councilor kicks off congressional challenge to Capuano …

Poll shows Capuano with 12-point lead on Pressley » State House News Service U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano holds about a 12-point lead over his challenger, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, in a new WBUR poll that sheds light on the undertaking Pressley faces as she challenge…

Matias raising campaign cash from charter school advocates » Berkshire Eagle In almost five months, State Rep. Juana Matias has raised over $200,000 in her pursuit of the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District.…

Elizabeth Warren Took on the Native American Heritage Issue in a Surprise Speech » Boston Magazine "I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead," she said. …

Public Health

Brockton area treatment programs play key role in overdose decline » The Enterprise Though the overall number of drug-related deaths among Massachusetts residents last year was down by 8 percent, to 1,977, over 2016?s toll of 2,155, it's still estimated to have been the second deadli…

Mass. opioid deaths fall, but 'we still have a long way to go' » Lowell Sun The number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell an estimated 8.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the first year-over-year decline in several years, the Department of Public Healt…

Sen. Markey wants $1B to tackle flu » Berkshire Eagle Amid one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday proposed a $1 billion investment towards developing a "universal influenza vaccine."…

Public Safety

Push on Beacon Hill for new gun laws » The Metro West Daily News A lobby day to push for stricter gun laws in Massachusetts took on an urgent tone Thursday in the wake of a shooting at a south Florida high school Wednesday that left at least 17 people dead.…

'This could happen here': Advocates push for gun bill » Boston Herald Parents who lost children to mass shootings joined advocates for a rally against gun violence at the State House yesterday, where a fired up Attorney General Maura Healey joined them in calling on Con…

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey: Strong gun laws work » MassLive A day after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey insisted that strong gun laws work.…

Candidates offer different views on gun control and Florida shooting » The Sun Chronicle Candidates for the vacant state representative seat created by the resignation of Mayor Paul Heroux offered differing views on gun violence and gun control following the horrific shootings that killed…

Supporters Of “Extreme Risk Protection” Gun Law Rally On Beacon Hill » CBS Boston A rally for stricter gun laws, that was planned before the school shooting in Florida, took place at Beacon Hill Thursday. Many parents of kids who lost their lives in school shootings were in the cro…

Congressman Capuano: Democrats Will Need Republicans To Pass Gun Reform » WGBH After the tragic death of 17 students during a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida yesterday, Democratic Congress members are once again calling for a more comprehensive gun control.…

Groups Want A Change In How Boston Fire And Police Hire Military Veterans » WBUR Minority firefighter and police officer associations say military veterans from outside of Boston are able to skirt residency requirements and get hired by the city's fire and police forces.…

WE KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT » Boston Globe Parkland. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. On and on: In America, mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad script. …

As Pattern of Shootings Persists, Educators Look For Warning Signs — And Ways To Disrupt It » WBUR The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was greeted with fresh horror and regret throughout the United States. But many remarked that it's also only the latest instance in a 20-year pattern of a par…

State Government

Maura Healey, William Galvin oppose citizenship question in census » The Daily Free Press A letter sent Monday to the United States Department of Justice asking them not to inquire about citizenship status on the 2020 census was co-authored by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.…

Find Mass. money – and then wait » Commonwealth Magazine If you have unclaimed property listed with the state treasurer's office, don't make plans to spend it – or even get it – any time soon. …

Taxation

How the New Tax Law Could Slow Disaster Recovery in Small Towns » Governing A lesser-known provision in the GOP tax overhaul ends the benefits for victims of small-scale disasters. …

The Week in Public Finance: Tax Reform Isn't Over -- Here Come the States » Governing States are exploring tax changes in response to the federal overhaul. The proposals in Iowa and New York this week may just be the tip of the iceberg. …

Transportation

Cape officials see progress in state commuter rail filing » Cape Cod Times The possibility of a commuter rail service between Cape Cod and Boston has long been considered unlikely, but state and local officials are encouraged by a recent filing by the Massachusetts Departmen…

Lawmakers to study Boston-to-Berkshires high-speed rail » Berkshire Eagle The possibility of high-speed passenger rail service from Boston to the Berkshires will likely get a serious look.…

WRTA board wary more cuts would render bus service useless » Worcester Mag The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted to send proposed service cuts to a public hearing after decrying the possible changes as a “death spiral” for the bus system.…

Death spiral in Worcester? » Commonwealth Magazine In Worcester, officials are worried that their transit agency may be in the midst of a death spiral. …

Facing $900K deficit, WRTA proposes service cuts » Worcester Telegram Facing a deficit of approximately $900,000 and expecting level funding once again this year, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted Thursday to hold public hearings on proposed …

1 in 3 MBTA workers earned more than $100,000 last year » Boston Business Journal

Utilities

State gives big boost to sewers, water in Billerica » Lowell Sun Protecting safe drinking water and modernizing sewers got a big boost in town Thursday.…

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work » Cape Cod Times Falmouth officials may finally be coming to the end of a long and frustrating battle to get rid of a half-mile of utility poles belonging to Eversource Energy and sprouting from the middle of a sidewa…

Framingham up for $23.5M loan to replace pumping station » The Metro West Daily News An infusion of cash from the 29-year-old Clean Water Fund may soon help the city tackle one of its most expensive wastewater projects.…

Governor Baker Announces $610 Million in Loans to Fund Water Projects » Cape Cod Today The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that 86 projects, impacting communities across the Commonwealth, are eligible to receive $610.5 million in 2% interest-rate loans to fund construction a…

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets » Commonwealth Magazine AG clarifies position on building new natural gas pipelines …

Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

In her own words: Dorcena Forry reflects on her public life, and what's ahead » Dorchester Reporter

Bumpy Ride: WRTA battles budget woes, mounting criticism » Worcester Mag

Florida shooting cited in push for new Mass. gun laws » The Herald News

Senate votes in favor of bill supporting Housing Authority » The Reminder

GOP candidate wants payback from state party for supporting Baker » Boston Globe

Our View: Lawmakers need to take action against distracted drivers » South Coast Today

Noel: Trump is not your parents' Republican » Wicked Local Newton

Legislative committee recommends Boston to Berkshire rail study » MassLive

Congressman offers to mediate with hospital; hospital declines » Gazette Net

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 4087 - An Act relative to the Town Manager in the town of Ipswich

HB 4160 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects

HB 3942 - An Act relative to the retirement benefits of certain employees of the city of Chicopee

HB 3860 - An Act increasing the exemption for residential property in the town of Provincetown

SB 2102 - An Act authorizing the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority to convey a certain parcel of land in the town of Sheffield to the Great Barrington Housing Authority

HB 4147 - An Act providing the terms of certain bonds to be issued by the Commonwealth

HB 4029 - An Act relative to the Town of Salisbury Board of License Commissioners

Most read bills of the week:

HB4229 - An Act removing fees for security freezes and disclosures of consumer credit reports

SB2302 - An Act to promote a clean energy future

HB4232 - An Act removing fees for security freezes and disclosures of consumer credit reports

SB479 - An Act relative to 2030 and 2040 emissions benchmarks

HB4231 - An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2018 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects.

SB2279 - An Act providing for capital facility repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth

HB134 - An Act removing fees for security freezes and disclosures of consumer credit reports

HB4241 - An Act removing fees for security freezes and disclosures of consumer credit reports

SB2296 - An Act to protect access to confidential healthcare

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

House Actions This Week: 1638

Senate Actions This Week: 1038


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