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Today on Beacon Hill

11:00am Executive Office of Health and Human Services Public Hearing, First Floor Conference Room, 100 Hancock Street, Quincy

Birthdays: Rep. Michael Moran, Rep. Leonard Mirra

Must-Reads

Minimum wage hike backers adopting take-it-or-leave-it strategy » State House News Service The ballot proposal to raise the state's minimum wage to $15-an-hour is non-negotiable, according to a Raise Up Massachusetts insider who described the group's wage-floor hike effort as a take-it-or-l…

NRA spokeswoman attacks media over shootings: 'You love the ratings' » Politico "Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."…

Leading liberal policy group unveils 'coverage for all' plan » AP News A leading liberal policy group is raising the ante in the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all. …

Galvin charges Electoral College lawsuit is 'designed to benefit people like Donald Trump' » Boston Globe Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is calling a lawsuit challenging the state's method for awarding presidential electoral votes as a bad faith “scheme . . . designed to benefit peo…

Kitty Dukakis: Governor Baker, please take the liquor ads off the T » Boston Globe Several weeks ago and much to our astonishment, the T decided to put liquor ads back on its property. This comes at a time when the Baker administration says it cares about addiction and has mounted a…

Special elections ready-made for insiders » Commonwealth Magazine The candidates are off and running in the short sprint to the April 3 special election primary to fill the state Senate seat vacated in late January by Linda Forry. The race is sure to generate some e…

Attorney: Legislative income surtax would have avoided challenge » State House News Service If those pushing for a new tax on the state's highest earners had followed a different, but arguably more difficult path, they wouldn't need to wait and see whether the state's top judges will allow t…

Mass. Students Are Organizing Walkouts, Calling For Change In Gun Laws » WBUR According to a WBUR tally, students at at least 40 middle and high schools from Eastham to Williamstown are planning to participate in a national school walkout on March 14. …

"Even in his toughest of times, he took the obligation entrusted to him by both the voters and his colleagues in the House very seriously," Wagner said. "If you really wanted the definition of what a public servant should be, it would be Peter Kocot."

Representative Joseph Wagner

Commenting on the passing of Representative Peter Kocot.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

NRA chief warns of Democratic 'saboteurs' » Boston Globe The head of the National Rifle Association on Thursday delivered a defiant and conspiracy-laden response following the Florida high school massacre, darkly warning conservatives at a conference near W…

Business

Wayfair fails to deliver progress on profit, sending stock tumbling » Boston Globe Wayfair's tagline is “a zillion things home.” But investors would prefer a few million in profit. The Boston-based furniture and housewares retailer on Thursday posted a wider-than-expecte…

Inside the Government Center garage site that will become a 480-foot tower » Boston Business Journal The $226.8 million building permit for Bulfinch Crossing's 46-story residential tower was the third-largest building permit filed in Boston in 2017, according to data from American City Business Journ…

Towering proposals: Developing air-rights projects in Boston is not for the faint of heart » Boston Business Journal Fenway Center has been John Rosenthal's albatross for a decade and a half. The real estate developer and gun-safety advocate had grown used to waking up in a cold sweat, wondering what else needed to …

Under pressure, Boston-based SimpliSafe cuts ties with NRA » Boston Business Journal

Civil Rights

State: Sexual harassment complaints soar in wake of #metoo movement » The Sun Chronicle Sexual harassment complaints lodged with the state Commission Against Discrimination have soared in the wake of high-profile allegations against leaders in media, business, entertainment and politics.…

Education

'The day they ask me to carry a gun in the classroom is the last day I teach' » Boston Globe Kristen Frazier, an eighth-grade teacher in Fitchburg, accepts the grim possibility that she might have to risk her life and barricade a classroom door with her body in the event of a school shooting.…

Several colleges in New England now cost $70,000 — or more » Boston Globe It's well known that attending a private university in the Northeast is expensive. But the price tag has now risen above $70,000 at some schools.…

Medford principal on leave after failure to report gun magazine » Boston Herald Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke blasted her school administration's response – and placed the McGlynn Middle School's principal on paid leave -- today for leaving her in the dark after a loade…

Sex ed bill supporters see obstacles in Mass. Legislature » Worcester Telegram The lead House sponsors of a bill requiring that sexual health education be “medically accurate, age-appropriate” pumped up high school students lobbying for the bill Thursday but acknowle…

Teachers to Trump: 'Don't arm us' » Boston Herald Boston schoolteacher Natalia Cuadra-Saez doesn't want to bring a gun to school. She called President Trump's repeated call to arm teachers ridiculous and absurd.…

MIT to applicants: Being disciplined for protesting guns won't affect admission » Boston Globe Admissions officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said Thursday that if college applicants are disciplined for leaving class and joining in on the growing number of national high schoo…

Armed teachers an 'utterly illogical' idea that makes students 'less safe,' Boston schools superintendent says » The Republican Arming teachers in a bid to prevent school shootings is "utterly illogical," Boston schools superintendent Tommy Chang said.…

Gun group head wary of arming teachers » Boston Herald The head of the state's largest gun owner advocacy group is balking at the idea of arming teachers in order to prevent gun violence at schools.…

Auditor: No easy fix for regional schools » The Newburyport News

Environment

COMMENTARY: Group sends clear message on climate change » Wicked Local Norwell Among the large crowd was a good representation of folks from the South Shore, who, more and more, are suffering the effects of climate change when their coastal neighborhoods flood during strong stor…

Gaming

Massachusetts Gaming Commission finds no illegality, no ties to Gov. Charlie Baker in Wynn donation to Republican Governors Association » The Republican Wynn Resorts did not break any state laws when it contributed to the Republican Governors Association in 2014, which then donated money to a PAC supporting Gov. Charlie Baker.…

Casino Regulators: Nothing Wrong With Wynn Donation To GOP » CBS Boston Massachusetts gambling regulators say there was nothing improper about a $2 million donation Wynn Resorts made to the Republican Governors Association in 2014.…

Dems call for 'unbiased review' of Wynn Resorts donation to RGA » Boston Herald The Gaming Commission's finding that a $2 million Wynn Resorts donation to the Republican Governors Association did not violate state law has sparked calls from Democrats for an “unbiased review…

Health Care

Lawmakers send letter in support of Rowley nursing home » The Newburyport News A letter signed by four local lawmakers urges Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel to ensure that the Sea View Convalescent and Nursing Home remains operational.…

Sources: Steward Health Care to relocate HQ from Boston to Dallas » Boston Business Journal Steward Health Care System LLC, the fifth largest private employer in Massachusetts, has decided to relocate its corporate headquarters from Boston to Dallas by this summer, per Dallas Business Journa…

Human Services

Ultrino, House approve bill to enhance consumer protection » Wicked Local Malden State Rep. Steve Ultrino, of Malden, joined his colleagues in the House to pass legislation providing added protections and resources for consumers in the event of a data security breach that impacts …

Immigration

Civil rights group sues US to keep protections for immigrants » Boston Globe The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice sued the Trump administration Thursday, alleging the federal government is discriminating against immigrants of color by ending temporary p…

Massachusetts immigrants sue President Trump to block end to Temporary Protected Status program for El Salvador and Haiti » The Republican A group of black and Latino immigrants from Massachusetts are suing President Donald Trump to stop him from ending the Temporary Protected Status program for immigrants from El Salvador and Haiti.…

Insurance

After health-insurance controversy, most public workers to avoid large premium increases » Boston Globe Massachusetts public employees and retirees received an unusual bit of good news from state officials Thursday: their health insurance premiums are not rising significantly — and costs for many…

Judiciary

Drug lab misconduct could cost Bay State » Boston Herald Scandals at Bay State drug labs will eventually lead to the dismissal of more than 30,000 cases — each one carrying court costs that coincide with being pulled into the criminal justice system.…

Judge set to toss 8,000 drug cases tied to scandal » Boston Herald A high court judge is ready to dismiss thousands of convictions tainted by a former state chemist who would steal — and use — drugs that were supposed to be used as evidence.…

Suffolk DA Dan Conley Reflects On His 16 Years Of Service » WGBH Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley announced Thursday he will not seek reelection in November.…

Labor

MBTA driver allegedly paid someone $2,000 to beat him up » Boston Globe An MBTA trolley driver allegedly staged being attacked while at work on the Mattapan trolley line in 2016 and is now facing criminal charges that he fraudulently collected workers' compensation and pr…

Legislative

Northampton State Rep. Peter Kocot Dies » WAMC A long-time state legislator from western Massachusetts has died. Northampton State Rep. Peter Kocot,who served in the legislature since 2002, died Thursday. …

Senate tees up bill to highlight "MassMade" goods » State House News Service Though there was little in the way of legislative action on Beacon Hill during public school vacation week, the Senate on Thursday set the table for a busy session next week.…

Local Government

City worker withdraws sexual harassment complaint against Felix G. Arroyo » Boston Globe A woman who accused Felix G. Arroyo of repeated sexual harassment while he headed the city's health and human services department has withdrawn her complaint with the state.…

Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle bans 'executive function' communication between city councilors and department heads » The Republican Mayor Nicole LaChapelle on Wednesday afternoon sent an email to city councilors telling them to to stop asking questions of city workers.…

Brockton mayor files conflict of interest disclosure over police contract » The Enterprise Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter filed a state ethics disclosure on Feb. 9, after the negotiations for the police supervisors union were complete, and before the contract was passed last week by the Broc…

Althea Garrison might have just doubled her chances of getting on the City Council » Boston Globe The long trek back from political gadfly to elected office just might be in the cards for Althea Garrison, a perennial city candidate since she won a quirky election in 1992 to serve one term as a sta…

Marijuana

Outer Cape farmers to seek place in marijuana market » Cape Cod Times Five farms in Truro and one in neighboring Wellfleet will band together April 1 to apply to grow marijuana as a craft crop, tapping into what could be an important economic boost for Cape Cod's rural,…

Pot board members say retail sales could be delayed » The Newburyport News Members of the state's Cannabis Control Commission are warning that they could delay the anticipated July 1 start of retail marijuana sales if regulators lack the technology or staff to oversee the mu…

Marijuana Commission Chair: 'We Won't Launch Unless We Feel Like We Can' » WGBH Steven Hoffman, the chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, said Wednesday the regulatory body is “agonizing” over striking a regulatory balance between public safety, health, and acc…

Opinion

Out of the mouths of children » Harvard Press The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have added a new voice to the debate over the easy availability of guns in our country. Seventeen friends, classmates, and teachers were murdered i…

Utility consumers need to be heard in Western Massachusetts (Guest viewpoint) » The Republican For the last twelve months Eversource Energy defended its demand for an increase in electric rates of $400 million dollars over five years, with Western Massachusetts on the hook for $180 million or $…

In a time of political crisis, reach for coarse-grit sandpaper » Boston Globe Every morning I open the newspaper, read the news from Washington, and feel sick. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way: angry, horrified, and impotent. It's not just a matter of disagreeing with w…

Presidential cheat sheets for Trump » Boston Globe

Teamsters Local 25 and Charlie Baker are strange political bedfellows » Boston Globe What is Charlie Baker thinking? By accepting the endorsement of Teamsters Local 25 on Thursday, the governor has effectively ended the union's political ostracization — and done so with a bipar…

Carr: Althea Garrison's time has finally come » Boston Herald Althea Garrison has lost so many political races in Boston over the last 37 years that she can't even remember them all.…

Editorial: Charlie on the MBTA » Boston Herald It was a preventable death in a Big Dig tunnel back in 2006 that brought out the anger in then-Gov. Mitt Romney, who marched to the scene and ripped into those in charge. When it comes to the MBTA, it…

Editorial: Waterfront plan isn't perfect, but it's good enough » Boston Business Journal This week's issue has a distinct focus on Boston's built environment. One has only to look at the Boston skyline to see the cranes puncturing the city horizon, and our ongoing, online interactive map …

If you see something, shoot something » Boston Globe I know I've been hard on President Trump in the past, but, with his latest initiative on school shootings, he has completely won me over.…

Politics

Ranked-choice under debate in Hadley, Amherst » Amherst Bulletin When four candidates competed for a vacant at-large council seat in Northampton in 2016, a preliminary election with low voter turnout whittled the field to two finalists.…

Huntington journalist first to seek Kulik's seat » The Recorder An Emmy-award winning journalist who has recently made Huntington her home is making a bid for state representative in the 1st Franklin District.…

Dell'Amico: Higgins' response set the record straight » Leominster Champion I would like to thank our state Rep. Natalie Higgins for setting the record straight regarding the disinformation campaign launched by the Mass. Fiscal Alliance (MFA) and its column in last week's Cha…

Lynch, Flaherty to host St. Patrick's Day Breakfast » Dorchester Reporter The much-debated question of who would take over the St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, the South Boston tradition helmed for the past few years by former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, now has a twofold a…

Lynch, Flaherty to co-host St. Pat's breakfast » Boston Herald They've got some pretty big high heels to fill, but Congressman Stephen F. Lynch has announced he and Boston City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty have agreed "to pinch hit" as co-hosts of next mon…

Views on guns shaping up as issue in race for attorney general » State House News Service Republican attorney Dan Shores, one of two prospective challengers to Attorney General Maura Healey, has aligned himself and his campaign with gun rights activists, a complicating factor as the latest…

Amherst's Eric Nakajima to make second bid for 3rd Hampshire District seat » Gazette Net Eric T. Nakajima, the runner-up in the Democratic primary election to succeed Ellen Story as the 3rd Hampshire District representative in 2016, will again campaign for the position.…

Setti Warren would add Mass. to gun safety coalition » State House News Service

Public Health

Baker wants more help in opioid battle » Lowell Sun Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday outlined a series of areas where he'd like to see the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry each get more "aggressive" in the fight against opioid addiction…

Narcan now seen as necessary as EpiPen in Bay State schools » Boston Herald More Bay State schools are keeping overdose reversal medication Narcan on hand to combat the deadly opioid epidemic that continues to claim lives locally and nationwide.…

Dead, alone, and unclaimed: Here's what happens when someone dies without family or money » WWLP 22 Most people like to think that after they die, they'll be memorialized at a service, surrounded by grieving family members, but that's not the case for everyone.…

Lynn struggles to control opioid addiction as Mass. leaders gather to discuss the problem » Lynn Daily News Item Although deaths from drug overdoses fell by more than 8 percent in the state last year, the number of fatalities in Lynn increased.…

Baker says feds, pharm industry should fight opioid addiction harder » The Recorder Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday outlined a series of areas where he'd like to see the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry each get more “aggressive” in the fight against opio…

Public Safety

Deputy seeks to cool talk of station » The Sun Chronicle While Sen. Paul Feeney included a $3 million amendment for a fire substation in Foxboro in the state's capital bond bill, it is not a guarantee, said deputy chief Michael Kelleher, and plans for the s…

Baker: Arming teachers not the answer » Lowell Sun Federal policymakers eyeing gun law reforms in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting should look toward Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday.…

Deal struck on immigrant detention bill » Lowell Sun Key police associations are now on board with compromise legislation that will support undocumented immigrants and work to improve trust between police and immigrant communities.…

Gov. Charlie Baker rejects Trump's proposal to arm school teachers » Boston Herald Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is joining a chorus of voices rejecting President Trump's proposal to arm teachers in the wake of last week's deadly Florida school massacre. …

Northeast governors announce gun control initiative » Politico Not counting on Washington to take action on gun laws, four Northeast Democratic governors on Thursday announced the formation of a state-based alliance to beef up gun controls. It's modeled on the Cl…

Malloy, Northeast Governors Form Coalition To Combat Gun Violence » Hartford Courant Amid federal inaction on gun control, the Democratic governors of Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey have formed a multistate coalition to better share information and pool resources t…

Four Northeast States Pledge to Share Gun Safety Data » New York Times Four states in the Northeast with relatively strong gun laws banded together on Thursday to form a gun safety coalition, filling what the states called a vacuum of federal action by pledging to share …

Rep. Stephen Lynch: Seaport Jurisdiction Should Be Shared » WGBH U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch weighed in on a longtime dispute between Mass. State Police and the Boston Police Department over who should have jurisdiction over the Seaport District, arguing that the respo…

SETTI WARREN WOULD ADD MASS. TO GUN SAFETY COALITION » State House News Service If elected governor, Setti Warren would add Massachusetts to a coalition of four northeastern states that formed Thursday to share information about the origins of guns used in crimes and to conduct r…

Should Massachusetts' gun laws set an example for the nation? » Metro

State Government

Baker administration changes timeline on tax data breach » Boston Globe Facing mounting questions over a serious breach of private taxpayer information, the Baker administration acknowledged Thursday that it had been alerted to the data snafu months before it fixed the pr…

Galvin takes aim at Weld vote lawsuit » Boston Herald Secretary of State William F. Galvin is blasting a lawsuit filed by former Gov. William F. Weld that seeks an end to Massachusetts' winner-take-all electoral vote apportion system as “mischievou…

AGs take fight to court as final clock starts ticking on net neutrality » WCVB With the clock now ticking down to the end of the rules known as net neutrality, Massachusetts has joined with more than 20 other states in asking a court to block the change.…

Gov. Charlie Baker in Washington for National Governors Association meeting » The Republican

Transportation

Faced With PVTA Cuts, Small Town Western Mass Residents Have Few Ways to Get Around » Valley Advocate Dee Marshall, 73, of Ware, sits in the front seat of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) shuttle bus wrapped in her pink coat. …

Gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren: 'Enough is enough' after MBTA derailment » Using the latest Red Line derailment on Wednesday morning as evidence, Democrat Setti Warren blamed Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday for a failed strategy to improve MBTA service that has led to declin…

Charlie Baker insists T do its homework » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker said the MBTA needs to do its “homework” and find out whether the cause of this week's Red Line derailment could be hiding elsewhere in the T's heavy rail system, which …

Utilities

A New Massachusetts 'Sustainable Energy' Coalition Is Really A Front For Gas Interests » The Huffington Post To the untrained eye, the website for the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy looks like just another Massachusetts-based advocacy group. It's not clear that the site is actually sponsored by major …

Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Citing Racism, Haitian, Salvadoran Immigrants Sue Trump Over End Of Temporary Immigration Program » WBUR

Brockton bags $16.2M in loans to upgrade water system » The Enterprise

Citing bias, unions call for state labor board member to step down » Boston Globe

Baker argues for federal aggression in opioid fight » Gloucester Times

Teamsters back Baker, after passing on him twice » Boston Business Journal

Coalition calls on Baker to recommit to clean energy » The Reminder

'The situation was not acceptable,' Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says after MBTA Red Line derailment » The Republican

Maynard selectmen: Legislators discuss budget at board meeting » Wicked Local Stow

MBTA trolley driver allegedly paid a person $2,000 to don 'Michael Myers' Halloween mask and attack him, prosecutors say » The Republican

School funding lawsuit picks up as Worcester signals involvement » Worcester Mag

Latest GIC plan for premiums 'kind of unheard of' » Gloucester Times

Baker points to antiquated systems in wake of 'unacceptable' Red Line derailment » State House News Service

Trump admin's TPS decision based on racial bias, new lawsuit says » State House News Service

Rep. Peter Kocot, 61, passes away after illness » State House News Service

Remembered As 'Gentle Giant,' Mass. House Lawmaker From Western Mass. Dies » WBUR

Long-time Northampton state representative Peter Kocot dies at 61 » MassLive

State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose leaves Democratic Party » Amherst Bulletin

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 4031 - An Act designating a certain bridge in the city of Fall River as the Ronald Costa Bridge

HB 3978 - An Act providing for the purchase of the Milford Water Company by the town of Milford

HB 4055 - An Act relative to the dissolution of the Milford Water Company and the acquisition of its assets by the Town of Milford

HB 3953 - An Act relative to the sewer construction and private way maintenance and improvement fund in the town of Barnstable

HB 4126 - An Act exempting Nicholas L. Martone from the maximum age requirement for firefighters in the town of North Andover

HB 3873 - An Act relative to the town of Weston town meeting

HB 3725 - An Act relative to the Middleton town charter

Most read bills of the week:

HB3952 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

SB2302 - An Act to promote a clean energy future

HB3800 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

SB1218 - An Act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction

SB2304 - An Act relative to consumer protection from security breaches

SB1210 - An Act relative to the advanced nursing practice

HB3600 - An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2018

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

SB643 - An Act to promote public health through the prevention and wellness trust fund

SB1058 - An Act relative to workers compensation insurance

House Actions This Week: 576

Senate Actions This Week: 372


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