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Today on Beacon Hill

7:30am Massachusetts Marijuana Summit II, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Center, 10 Winter Place, Boston

9:30am YouthBuild Day at the State House, Great Hall, State House, Boston

9:30am Alliance for Vocational Technical Education, Great Hall, State House, Boston

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

10:00am Joint Committee on Ways & Means, FY19 Budget Hearing - Health & Human Services

6:00pm State Rep. Candidate Deirdre Hall Campaign Kickoff

Birthdays: Rep. Susannah Whipps

Must-Reads

Monson Republican launches Senate campaign against Gobi » State House News Service Sen. Anne Gobi, who represents one of the most vulnerable districts for Democrats in the Senate, has drawn another Republican challenger this cycle. …

Massive ACO expansion underway for MassHealth patients » State House News Service Thursday marked the launch of a major restructuring at MassHealth that will affect the care delivery of 1.2 million people insured by the state Medicaid program, a move intended to improve overall hea…

Elizabeth Warren, Katherine Clark release report criticizing Betsy DeVos' work at Education Department » The Republican Members of Massachusetts' congressional delegation who have previously raised concerns about Betsy DeVos leading the Department of Education, released a new report Thursday suggesting that the secreta…

NRA's Top Lobbyist Implies Trump Is Back On Its Side » The Huffington Post Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's lobbying arm, said on Twitter he had a “great meeting” with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday and reaffirmed neither “wan…

Massachusetts' rising student debt said to hurt local businesses » Boston Business Journal A new study out from the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows that state cuts to public higher education since 2000 have led to massive growth in average debt for graduates. Someone …

Report finds Mass. House staff reluctant to report harassment » Boston Herald The Massachusetts House of Representatives has an "imbedded power dynamic" that discourages sexual harassment complaints, suffers from "insufficient" policies and leaves staffers fearful their reports…

Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless announces retirement » The Republican At an awkwardly timed press conference on Thursday, Berkshire County District Attorney David F. Capeless announced he was planning to retire. …

How Billionaires Learned to Love Populism » Politico What's behind the Trump alliance between self-dealing plutocrats and blue-collar voters.…

Every Member of Congress' Wealth in One Chart » Roll Call Though two-fifths of senators and representatives are millionaires, there are plenty with humbler backgrounds and more modest bank accounts. Almost a quarter of voting members have a negative net wort…

On gun reform, what Washington can't do, Corporate America can » Boston Globe Many of our marquee investment firms own shares in gun companies, including Springfield's American Outdoor Brands, which made the AR-15 assault rifle used in last month's killing of 17 high school stu…

“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries,” Mr. Trump said on Thursday. “They’ve destroyed the steel industry, they’ve destroyed the aluminum industry, and other industries, frankly.” “We’re bringing it all back,” he added.

President Donald Trump

Speaking about new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

After uproar, EPA's Pruitt says he plans to fly coach: 'There's a change coming' » Boston Globe The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, facing ongoing criticism about his taxpayer-funded, first-class travels, says he plans to spend more time in coach.…

Rick Gates nixes family trip to Boston after threats » Politico Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign aide who entered a guilty plea last week and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, is canceling a planned family trip to Boston…

Capuano: CFPB Quietly Ended The Equifax Investigation » WGBH Rep. Michael Capuano says the Trump Administration has quietly ended a six-month investigation into last year's giant data breach at Equifax, which exposed the sensitive financial information of milli…

Business

Plan for a Roxbury helipad withdrawn amid neighbors' criticism » Boston Globe Amid neighborhood criticism, Suffolk Construction officially shelved plans Thursday for a private helipad on a parking lot by its Roxbury headquarters that would have shuttled chief executive John Fis…

On gun reform, what Washington can't do, Corporate America can » Boston Globe Corporate America is starting to take a stand on gun control, and now it's time for more Boston money managers to say something, do something.…

State Senate OKs legislation allowing Baker Hill Road District to buy Berkshire Mall » Berkshire Eagle Potential public ownership of the struggling Berkshire Mall is nearing final approval on Beacon Hill.…

Driving development: How self-driving cars of tomorrow are shaping today's projects » Boston Business Journal At a recent architectural review board meeting at City Hall, the recurring theme seemed to be, “don't worry, cars are leaving.”…

TJ Maxx owner hits new record high after blowout quarter » Boston Business Journal In the cut-throat world of US retailing, a good bargain remains the sure fire way to lure in shoppers and keep the tills ringing.…

Herald's new owner to begin making job offers next week » Boston Business Journal The soon-to-be owner of the Boston Herald will start making job offers to current Herald employees next week, according to a letter sent to workers on Thursday, with the newspaper's staff expected to …

495/MetroWest report highlights success in regional economy » The Metro West Daily News For almost 15 years, Paul Matthews has been hearing from companies about the challenges of the 495/90 interchange.…

Springfield Regional Chamber Event to Feature Secretary Jay Ash » Business West At its Business@Breakfast event on Wednesday, March 7, the Springfield Regional Chamber will host Jay Ash, state secretary of Housing and Economic Development, who will talk about “Unlocking Eco…

Report: Sports betting holds potential as major revenue stream » Lowell Sun Wagers might generate between about $9 million and $61 million in state tax revenue if lawmakers decide to make sports betting legal in Massachusetts, the Gaming Commission said Thursday in a white pa…

After criticism, Millennium Partners changed the route of proposed $100M gondola » Boston Business Journal Millennium Partners and Cargo Ventures have altered the originally proposed route for their proposed $100 million aerial gondola, nixing a portion that would have featured trams gliding over the Seapo…

Liberty Mutual CEO's pay rises to $20 million » Boston Business Journal Despite a plunge in profits at the firm, Liberty Mutual Group CEO David Long's total pay jumped by 16 percent to $19.7 million in 2017, in part because of what the company said was a change in its com…

Quincy businessman wins $122 million contract to deepen Boston Harbor » The Patriot Ledger A Quincy businessman has secured a $122 million contract to deepen some of the shipping lanes in Boston Harbor.…

Crimes

Beverly man arrested for threatening Donald Trump Jr. » Boston Globe A quick glance at Daniel Frisiello's Facebook page makes a few things clear: The Catholic Charities worker is a self-identified Democrat, fierce critic of President Trump, and an ardent supporter of g…

Domestic Relations

Top officials help launch campaign against domestic violence » State House News Service Gov. Charlie Baker grew up in a household where his mother and father "treated each other as equals," the governor said Thursday, acknowledging that many people have not grown up in households with th…

Education

Court denies student loan servicer's bid to dismiss Massachusetts lawsuit » Washington Post A court case playing out in Massachusetts could have implications for the U.S. Department of Education's efforts to shield student loan contractors from state oversight.…

Cape Cod Students Band Together To Make Schools Safer » Cape News With a unified desire to be able to go to school without having to be afraid of being shot in the process, teenagers across Cape Cod are banding together to make schools safer through a group started …

Harvard Blew $1 Billion in Bet on Tomatoes, Sugar, and Eucalyptus » Bloomberg Politics Six years ago, Jane Mendillo, then head of Harvard's endowment, spent a week in Brazil, flying in a turboprop plane to survey some of the university's growing holdings of forest and farmland.…

Report: Declining enrollments hit Mass. rural school districts hard » The Republican Rural school districts are struggling financially in the face of declining enrollments, according to a new report by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.…

Lynn schools write a success story with improved MCAS scores » Lynn Daily News Item School officials are celebrating improved MCAS scores, which have moved Lynn Public Schools out of the bottom 10 percent of school districts in the state for student performance scores on the test.…

Environment

Along coast, officials 'expect to lose homes during this storm' » Boston Globe A powerful storm is expected to lash the state's coast into the weekend, whipping up high winds and towering waves that could destroy seaside homes and put lives in danger while dropping heavy, wet sn…

Eversource Files New Plan for Spraying on Cape and Islands » Vineyard Gazette Eversource will not spray herbicides around power lines on the Island this year, but debate over the use of chemical agents is far from over as the state airs a five-year plan by the utility giant tha…

Rockland committee looking to 'nip' littering in the bud » Wicked Local Rockland Rockland's walking trails and recreation fields are more inviting for residents to enjoy because of recent improvements, but some people are discarding miniature liquor or “nip” bottles on…

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement? » Commonwealth Magazine IT FELT LIKE CHRISTMAS on Wednesday in New Hampshire. The weather was delightful outside in Manchester, but inside the folks at Eversource Energy were acting like Santa Claus. …

Gaming

Gaming panel considers Wynn still in with casino » Boston Herald State gambling regulators say they'll continue to consider deposed casino executive Steve Wynn a key part of his former company, Wynn Resorts, because of his sizable personal stake in the company, the…

Health Care

A Community Conversation on Mental Health » Worcester Patch State Representative Michael S. Day, along with community and state leaders, invites the public to join a community discussion focused on behavioral health issues and local initiatives and resources a…

Bill Aiming To Better Protect Privacy Of Patients On Others' Insurance Plans Passes House » WBUR The House on Wednesday took a step supporters said would improve patient privacy, voting 139-14 to pass a bill that would require insurers to send explanation of benefit forms directly to adult patien…

The Mass. Medicaid Program Is Changing How It Delivers Health Care » WBUR It's being called the biggest redesign of the Massachusetts Medicaid program in over two decades.…

Human Services

Farmers market food aid program running out of money » Gloucester Times A state program that increases access to fresh, local produce for households receiving nutritional assistance is at risk of ending, according to Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Se…

Immigration

Lowell rep eyes boosting ICE detainer » Sentinel & Enterprise A Lowell legislator plans to file an amendment to a controversial immigration bill, stressing that law enforcement should be able to hold individuals on ICE detainers for more than six hours. …

Insurance

Mass. health insurers post mixed financial results for 2017 » Boston Business Journal The state's largest nonprofit health insurers posted 2017 financial results on Thursday, with both Tufts Health Plan and Fallon Health reporting profits, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts an…

Judiciary

Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless announces retirement » The Republican At an awkwardly timed press conference on Thursday, Berkshire County District Attorney David F. Capeless announced he was planning to retire. …

Former Middlesex prosecutor appears headed to the bench » Lowell Sun

Labor

State finds hundreds of retirees owed pension payments by MetLife » The Republican MetLife owes pension payments to hundreds of Massachusetts residents the company was unable to locate.…

Hundreds gather to support the rights of workers » The Reminder City Council President Orlando Ramos led hundreds of union members in a chant: “United we bargain, divided we pay.”…

Galvin finds missing pensioners for MetLife » Boston Globe Massachusetts regulators said they have located hundreds of local residents who are due pension payments from MetLife, after the insurance giant had said in December that it had been unable to find pe…

Legislative

New House office may handle sexual harassment claims » Boston Herald Citing retaliation-wary staff, the House is weighing an overhaul of how it handles sexual harassment by creating a new office to investigate accusations, while leaving most decisions of disciplining l…

Significant change in legislative voice » The Recorder For many years, the members of the delegation representing parts of western Massachusetts have brought extensive experience to their positions and wielded significant influence on policies and the bud…

Attorneys recommend overhaul of sexual harassment policies in Massachusetts House » The Republican Massachusetts House Counsel Jim Kennedy and outside attorneys, including former Attorney General Martha Coakley, are recommending an overhaul of the House's procedures related to sexual harassment and…

Senate President Puts New Leadership Team in Place » Cape Cod Today Massachusetts Senate President Harriette Chandler has put in place a new leadership team for the remainder of the legislative session on Beacon Hill.…

Sal DiDomenico lands leadership role » Boston Herald State Sen. Sal DiDomenico scored a coveted role as an assistant majority leader — with a $20,000 raise to boot — amid a leadership shuffle yesterday, a move that elevates the Everett law…

Local Government

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton » The Metro West Daily News Faced with strong opposition from neighbors and town officials, Eversource has decided not to build a gas gate station on Elm Street.…

Councilor stands up to Brockton mayor on female appointments to governing boards » The Enterprise Ward 5 City Council Anne Beauregard said that, in the last few years, Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter has not appointed nearly enough women to the city's major governing boards, which have the biggest e…

$34 million budget proposed for Masconomet » Wicked Local Boxford The establishment of a unified health services center, a later start time, and the addition of a new human resources director and a full-time mechanic are all proposed in the $34 million budget prepar…

Cariddi's parting gift: $100,000 appropriated to Adams-Cheshire Regional School District » Berkshire Eagle The late state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi left a $100,000 surprise for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District before she died last year. During her final budget process, Cariddi was able to include …

Marijuana

For some Mass. bankers, pot's stink goes beyond federal ban » Boston Business Journal

Trafficking disqualifies potential pot workers » Lowell Sun People with a prior conviction for trafficking in drugs other than marijuana will be barred from working in jobs that include access to the plant in the newly-legal marijuana industry, a decision made…

Opinion

Taxing college endowments will make higher education less affordable » Boston Globe Growing up in a small town in Maine, I never thought we would arrive at a time where the value of a college education — long the hope of everyone who wanted more for their children — wou…

Baker and DeLeo should take the national stage on guns » Boston Globe I'm not one who thinks that Governor Charlie Baker needs to be up on his hind legs protesting every single objectionable thing that Donald Trump says or does. That, after all, would be a full-time job…

No hope left for Trump's Oscar picks » Boston Globe As the communications director's final responsibility before announcing her intention to leave the White House, Hicks was supposed to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies up for best picture and write…

Carr: You can bet on MGC to fail at its job » Boston Herald Can the Massachusetts Gaming Commission walk and chew gum at the same time?…

Editorial: Let the probe play out » Boston Herald The call to remove Steve Wynn's name from the Everett casino he championed is a lay-up for local pols. Wynn is accused of sexually harassing dozens of his employees and, we learned recently, has been …

Editorial: Housing, transportation holds Massachusetts back » Boston Business Journal For all of the economic strength we in the Bay State like to tout, it's a good idea to remember that no one is perfect, and nothing lasts forever. Not even the notion that Massachusetts is No. 1. This…

State Senate needs to hear WMass (Editorial) » MassLive Worried that the voice of Western Massachusetts will not be heard on Beacon Hill, legislators from the western counties must do their best to make sure state Senate President Harriette Chandler keeps …

Politics

Congressman Moulton to address North Andover Democratic Town Committee Breakfast » Eagle Tribune

Linda Dorcena Forry to endorse Nick Collins in special election » Boston Globe In 2013, Linda Dorcena Forry was engaged in a bitter special election battle against a fellow state representative, Nick Collins, for a suddenly vacant state Senate seat. She won by a mere 378 votes.…

Scott Lively appeals to Maura Healey on state GOP's decision to back Charlie Baker » Boston Globe GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively, who has spent much of his life in a worldwide crusade against what he denounces as the LGBTQ “agenda,” is turning to the openly gay Democratic att…

3 candidates emerge for Rep. Steve Kulik's 1st Franklin District seat » The Republican Three candidates have announced their intention to run for Rep. Stephen Kulik's 1st Franklin District seat.…

Four pull papers to replace Carvalho in Fifth Suffolk » Dorchester Reporter State Rep. Evandro Carvalho has decided not to seek re-election as he pursues the Suffolk County District Attorney post, leaving his Fifth Suffolk seat open and already the subject of early interest. …

With lawsuit, Bill Weld proves he's as quirky as ever » Boston Globe William Floyd Weld, the former Republican governor, is as quirky in his older age as he was when he governed the state.…

Public Health

Trump keeps talking about opioids, but critics want action » Boston Globe President Trump attempted to gain some initiative in his faltering efforts to combat opioid abuse with a White House summit Thursday, but critics decried what they see as only sporadic, ineffective at…

5 Cape, Islands towns take steps to sue drug companies » Cape Cod Times Five towns on the Cape and Islands could recoup the cost of opioid rescue calls and police drug enforcement in a nationwide effort to hold pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesale distributors finan…

Public Safety

Trooper involved in shooting has history of racist online posts » Boston Globe The Massachusetts State Police trooper who fired his rifle during a police confrontation in which a Cape Verdean ATV driver was injured in Boston on Saturday has a long history of posting racist and p…

Trust, safety at core of safe communities compromise, police say » Sentinel & Enterprise Trust, safety at core of safe communities compromise, police say…

Statie's alleged online posts draw scrutiny » Boston Herald A state police trooper under investigation for firing his rifle — possibly striking an ATV rider during a highway melee last weekend — is under new scrutiny for allegedly making racist a…

If Massachusetts State Police trooper wrote those racist posts on MassCops, he should be fired, Gov. Charlie Baker says » The Republican If a Massachusetts State Police trooper posted angry and racist remarks to the website "MassCops," he should be fired, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.…

Baker: Congress should follow our lead on guns » Lowell Sun Congress should follow the Bay State's lead and pass a law similar to the state's ban on assault weapons, Gov. Charlie Baker said. …

Bills Before Mass. Lawmakers Aim To Help Police Take Guns From People Deemed An 'Extreme Risk' » WBUR Massachusetts lawmakers are considering measures to give police more authority to confiscate guns from residents. …

Civil rights group calls for immediate firing of Massachusetts State Police trooper after racist online posts » The Republican

State Government

Revenue Dept. failed to deliver timely child support payments » Boston Globe The state Department of Revenue, already under fire for a data breach of sensitive tax information, acknowledged Thursday that it has failed to deliver timely child support payments to about 1,500 par…

Baker activates National Guard ahead of powerful nor'easter » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker has activated hundreds of members of the National Guard ahead of tomorrow's nor'easter, which he said is expected to whack the coast with even more water than the early January snow…

Transportation

Fitchburg gets $219G boost for roads » Sentinel & Enterprise The state Department of Transportation Tuesday announced awards totaling nearly $220,000 to Fitchburg through the Complete Streets Funding Program. These awards will be used to fund local, multi-modal…

MBTA lays down sand bags in front of Aquarium Station, shuts down Friday ferries in advance of Nor'easter » The Republican As Boston Financial District workers stepped out to take advantage of the sunshine and the warm temperatures, MBTA workers were prepping for the coming Nor'easter, which is expected to bring heavy rai…

Maynard gets grant for Complete Streets improvements » Wicked Local Stow Acting Town Administrator Andrew Scribner-MacLean reported that Maynard was awarded a Complete Streets grant for $150,492 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.…

Selectmen seek more parking at Westborough commuter rail lot » The Metro West Daily News A town-owned property across the street from the commuter rail station might be the solution to the parking woes for commuters. As part of the town's legislative delegation update to the Board of Sele…

Poll shows support for transportation investment in Mass. » Worcester Telegram

Nearly 500 flights at Logan cancelled as Nor'easter hits East Coast » Boston Business Journal

Social Media Spotlight

massltgov

mbtapics



Dean A. Tran

@SenatorDeanTran

Charlie Baker

@MassGovernor

Robert Maguire

@RobertMaguire_

Cindy Friedman

@CindyFriedmanMA


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

State program offering farm fresh food to SNAP recipients in jeopardy » Valley Advocate

State trooper involved in shooting has history of racist online posts » Boston Globe

Massachusetts May Sue Federal Student Loan Servicer, Judge Rules » US News and World Report

New process recommended for sexual harassment complaints in House » State House News Service

**** Here’s a great way for you to get your message in front of a large and sophisticated audience of government relations professionals. It’s an especially nice way to communicate with them if you don’t have the time or capacity to create banner ads, or advocacy-oriented web pages. For more information, please contact us at massinsider@instatrac.com. ****
The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 4157 - An Act designating a certain bridge as the George Allaire Memorial Bridge

Most read bills of the week:

SB2296 - An Act to protect access to confidential healthcare

HB4256 - An Act to protect access to confidential healthcare

SB991 - An Act relative to social media privacy protection

HB3952 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

SB2320 - An Act relative to social media privacy protection

SB2302 - An Act to promote a clean energy future

SB113 - An Act creating transparency in emerging price discrimination technologies

SB2309 - An Act protecting public higher education student information

HB1655 - An Act regarding Huntington's Disease Awareness Month

SB2170 - An Act relative to criminal justice reform

House Actions This Week: 428

Senate Actions This Week: 310


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