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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am Student Government Day, Gardner Auditorium & House Chamber, State House, Boston

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

12:00pm Victim Rights Month Award Ceremony, Grand Staircase, State House, Boston

1:00pm Women for Rep. Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate Kickoff

6:00pm South Shore Evening with Attorney General Candidate Dan Shores

Birthdays: Rep. Shawn Dooley

Must-Reads

Institute challenges public records exemptions as unconstitutional » State House News Service While the courts have consistently upheld the Legislature's broad application of its exemption from public records laws, the conservative-leaning Pioneer Institute believes it can make a case for why …

Lawrence rep to lead inquiry into competitive electric suppliers » State House News Service Following Attorney General Maura Healey's call for an end to the competitive electric supply market, House and Senate lawmakers are gearing up to hold an oversight hearing to question companies cited …

Road funding bill misses "good repair" benchmark by $500 mil » State House News Service The House is sticking with the $200 million funding level recommended by Gov. Charlie Baker for annual local road and bridge funding, an allocation that arrives late again this year and falls far shor…

Pruitt fell behind on payments for his $50-a-night condo rental » Politico

Women file to run for US House seats in record numbers » AP News The number of women running for the U.S. House of Representatives set a record Thursday, most of them Democrats motivated by angst over President Donald Trump and policies of the Republican-controlled…

He left the GOP over Trump. Now he wants to be a senator, and he’s changed his tune » Boston Globe Two years ago, there was no more virulent anti-Trump Republican than John Kingston. But that was then.…

Setti Warren: Standing Up for What is Right » Blue Mass Group I would have vetoed their bill if I were governor. I could not in good conscience sign any bill that creates new mandatory minimum sentences. They are discriminatory, ineffective, and lead to mass inc…

Let's take a look at this drunk-driving Mass pol's position on pot » Dig Boston While the Cannabis Control Commission’s final regulations for “Adult Use of Marijuana” certainly open up more opportunities for farmers than Brady probably hoped for, it’s no…

NDAs and Confidential Settlements Shake State Capitols and City Halls » Governing People who work for the Trump administration and Congress members aren't the only government employees being asked to sign legally questionable contracts to keep secrets.…

"We will continue to work with our state and city partners to hold the agency accountable and protect public health and the environment from pollution and climate change,"

Attorney General Maura Healey

On suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its control of methane emissions

News By Category
Beltway Politics

How Beto O’Rourke Is Building a Digital Fundraising Army » The Daily Beast Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) knew, at the outset, that his campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would be a long shot. Texas had not voted for a Democratic senator in 25 years, O’Rourke d…

Business

Md. bid for Amazon’s HQ2 likely beats any incentive package from Mass. » Boston Globe Maryland lawmakers just promised Amazon an incentive deal worth up to $8.5 billion, the largest in that state’s history. This potential bonanza raises the logical question: What about Massachus…

How China's Proposed Tariffs Could Impact States' Economies » Governing China is one of our largest trading partners. U.S. exports to the country totaled $130 billion last year. …

The Herald’s phantom editorial page » Commonwealth Magazine BY ALL OUTWARD appearances, the Boston Herald continues to chug along under its new ownership, with its hard-working reporters churning out solid stories amidst the demoralizing departure of co-worker…

Domestic Relations

'Step Up' Event Raises Awareness of Child Abuse in Berkshires » iBerkshires

Education

Massachusetts lawmakers condemn state approval of West Springfield charter school, ask Gov. Baker to step in » The Republican

UMass to take over Newton’s Mount Ida College » The Enterprise

Regarding possible UMass/Mount Ida deal, Gov. Charlie Baker says 'important to understand' what it means for students » The Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker confirmed that the University of Massachusetts is considering the acquisition of Mount Ida, a small private college in Newton, Mass.…

UMass might help Mount Ida students finish degrees » Boston Globe The University of Massachusetts is in talks with Mount Ida College to create a way for students at the small, struggling school to finish their degrees at UMass, a person directly familiar with the ta…

Some districts take hit in school aid plan » Lowell Sun When Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled his proposed fiscal year 2019 budget in January, he touted it as a "fiscally responsible" way to invest in key needs across the state.…

Easthampton chooses Agawam educator Allison LeClair for superintendent » The Republican In an anonymous 4-3 written ballot, the School Committee Wednesday chose Dr. Allison LeClair, assistant superintendent of Agawam public schools, as the district's new superintendent.…

Boston schools place 2 headmasters on leave » Boston Globe Headmasters at two Boston high schools have been removed from their positions at least temporarily, a school official confirmed Thursday, but it remains unclear why the moves were made.…

Environment

Attorney General Maura Healey, other states sue EPA for not enforcing pollution controls » The Republican Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined more than a dozen states and the city of Chicago Thursday in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its control of methane emissions. …

Bag bans put pressure on lawmakers to act » Gloucester Times With proposed statewide limits on plastic grocery bags stalled, a growing roster of communities are going it on their own.…

Gaming

Wynn Resorts selling project to Sheldon Adelson? » Everett Leader Herald Wynn Resorts is close to selling the Everett casino project according to credible rumors coming out of Las Vegas, a source has told the Leader Herald.…

Health Care

Despite fears, NIH grants to Bay State organizations hit a record high in 2017 » Boston Business Journal In early 2017, the future for NIH-funded research looked bleak. A year later, those cuts never materialized, and NIH funding actually increased.…

Report: Massachusetts spent $59B on health care in 2016 » The Republican Increased health care expenditures in Massachusetts fell within a targeted goal tied to the state's economic growth, according to a recently released report.…

Trials for potential ALS treatment spark cautious hope » Boston Globe As an engineering professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Richard P. Vinci has run plenty of experiments. He specializes in figuring out what makes materials break, everything from computer ch…

Sen. Pacheco pushing bill for pilot program at Taunton State Hospital » Taunton Gazette A bill first filed in 2014 by state Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, will seek to address both overcrowded emergency rooms and mental health treatment in Massachusetts by initiating a two-year pilot prog…

2nd state entity OKs proposed Beth Israel Deaconess, Lahey Health merger » Becker's Hospital Review The Massachusetts Public Health Council approved the proposed merger between Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health and three other healthcare organiza…

Boston City Council to hold hearing on Beth Israel-Lahey merger » Boston Business Journal The Beth Israel and Lahey Health mega-merger will have another group weighing in on its transaction: the Boston City Council.…

Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, coming aboard ambulances » Boston Globe “Alexa, tell me about acute coronary syndrome.” Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, may soon be called upon to assist EMTs and other ambulance personnel in Massachusetts and Rhode Isla…

Breathe easy: NIH funding is on the rise nationally » Boston Business Journal As Washington lawmakers scramble to head off yet another potential federal shutdown, at least one government agency appears to be breathing easy: The National Institutes of Health.…

Human Services

Veterans picket against VA privatization in Bedford » Lowell Sun Members of the Veterans for Peace Boston chapter stood outside for hours showing support for the health care services they receive from the Veterans Administration Thursday.…

Immigration

A Springfield church is sheltering an immigrant and her family, and the city recently sent in inspectors » Boston Globe The coffee in the pot was still warm Thursday morning as city officials began inspecting the second-floor apartment inside South Congregational Church where a Peruvian immigrant is being sheltered fro…

Judiciary

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature » Berkshire Eagle With only a whiff of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus …

Pick-Your-Own-Prison Gender-Identity Bill Approved; What Will Governor Baker Do? » New Boston Post The sweeping criminal justice reform package that cleared the House and Senate chambers this week now awaits Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s signature, and with the stroke of a pen, stat…

Advocates hail criminal justice bill as victory, but Sheriff Hodgson sees problems » South Coast Today Advocates are rejoicing over the passage of a criminal justice bill they say will promote rehabilitation of offenders and help them move forward after time behind bars.…

Bill awaiting Gov. Charlie Baker's signature creates inventory of untested rape kits » The Republican Massachusetts has secured a position as a nationwide leader in rape kit reform now that the legislature has passed an omnibus criminal justice bill that will mandate an inventory of all untested sexua…

Judge dismisses more than 7,000 Amherst drug lab cases » Boston Globe On Thursday, the state’s top court issued yet another sweeping dismissal order stemming from misconduct by a former chemist at the Amherst drug lab and two former state prosecutors. The order …

MA Criminal Justice Reform Bill Passes, Heads To Governor » Stoneham Patch This bill focuses on diverting people from the criminal justice system rather than locking them up, according to senators. …

Legislators back revamp of state’s criminal justice laws » 7 News Boston The most extensive overhaul of Massachusetts’ criminal procedures in several decades cruised to final passage in the Legislature on Wednesday, proposing changes in nearly every aspect of a just…

News Brief: Pignatelli amendment requiring bias-free police training adopted into criminal justice bill » the Berkshire edge Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, has announced that his amendment requiring additional training for all local law enforcement officials in Massachusetts was accepted into the fin…

Labor

Nurses hold labor rally, patient safety vigil » The Recorder City Councilor Doug Mayo started out his speech, “Some of you may only recognize me horizontally.”…

Legislative

Brendan Crighton Inaugurated as Lynn’s State Senator » Lynn Journal Brendan Crighton took the oath of office as the state senator for the Third Essex District during an inauguration ceremony at the State House in Boston. …

Local Government

Select board votes to extend scallop season to April 14 » The Inquirer and Mirror The Select Board voted unanimously last Wednesday to extend Nantucket’s commercial bay scallop season until April 14 at the request of local fishermen.…

Local council hails 12 recipients, project partners for 2018 awards » The Sun Chronicle Art and culture can only thrive with support from the community and sufficient funding. Foxboro is fortunate enough to have both.…

Wellesley presented with $137k novelty check from State to fund green initiatives » The Swellesley Report The Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources officially declared Wellesley a Green Community back in December, but in my book something like that can’t rea…

SJC ruling faults Wayland board's action in 2012 » The Metro West Daily News Members of Wayland’s Board of Selectmen violated the Open Meeting Law about six years ago when they shared opinions with each other about the former town administrator, the Supreme Judicial Cou…

In Nahant, lawn signs show opposition to expanded scientific study in town » Lynn Daily News Item You can’t drive through here without being greeted by hundreds of colorful lawn signs lining the roads, demanding love for the town.…

Marijuana

Central Mass. towns to answer marijuana questions at spring town meetings » Worcester Telegram Since last month’s release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana estab…

Opinion

Let’s Not Ignore Housing Affordability Crisis » Everett Independent Massachusetts has an affordable housing crisis statewide. This is a major concern for many residents here in Everett to be able to afford to stay in their homes and still provide for their families. L…

Peter Lucas: Trials -- literally -- and tribulations of the Mass. State Senate » Lowell Sun Byron Hefner was a train wreck waiting to happen. …

Healey wins one in squareoff with gun lobby (Editorial) » The Republican

Editorial: Charlemont gets a civics lesson with lengthy recreation activities tax process » The Recorder Charlemont and the county are getting a valuable civics lesson as the town’s proposed 3 percent tax on recreational activities wends its way through the Massachusetts legislature.…

Column: Differing views on tax credits » Salem News Not everyone was as happy as Harborlight Community Partners with the $6 million in tax credit allocations for local community development organizations announced this week as part of a broader state h…

Our View: New Bedford train is beginning to feel real » South Coast Today When the wait is long enough, every step closer to realizing a cherished dream can seem a milestone.…

Letter to the Editor: Pushing for a clean energy future » The Daily Free Press Last Wednesday, more than 30 student activists from seven campuses around the state joined Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG students to advocate for a 100 percent renewable energy future. Studen…

EDITORIAL: Opioid ills drive state's criminal justice reform » Lowell Sun The comprehensive justice system reforms passed by the state Legislature reflect the evolving nature of how we treat crimes fueled by either drug dependency or the distribution of those addictive subs…

Noncompetes are bad for business » Boston Globe Re “We need meaningful reform of noncompete agreements” (Opinion, April 4): Entrepreneurship is an emotional phenomenon. It is sparked by crazy, often sensitive ideas actualized by idealis…

The intertwined freedom movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. » Boston Globe The two of us returned from this year’s bipartisan pilgrimage to Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma inspired by the threads of history that run through the 115th Congress. …

Trump is right about Syria: It’s time to leave » Boston Globe President Trump recently suggested that the United States should come out of Syria “very soon.” Leading voices of the foreign policy establishment — in the Pentagon, State Departmen…

Our Opinion: Culture change required for State Police reform » Berkshire Eagle Give Governor Charlie Baker and Colonel Kerry Gilpin credit for acting quickly to address the scandals plaguing the State Police, but they have a tough job ahead. A change in culture is necessary and …

Richard Neal: Advocating for unions that advocate for workers » Berkshire Eagle When I was mayor of the city of Springfield in the mid-to late-'80s, I participated in collective bargaining on a regular basis. In over five years as mayor, I negotiated with more than 6,000 public e…

Editorial: Mass. fights the good fight for NIH funding » Boston Business Journal Last year, when President Donald Trump proposed cutting funds to the National Institutes of Health by about a fifth, Massachusetts officials mobilized.…

Politics

O’Connor, Meschino to assist in Scituate, Marshfield with Cantwell's departure » Wicked Local Scituate State Rep. Jim Cantwell, D-Marshfield, closes out his place in the Legislature this week after nearly a decade of service to Marshfield and Scituate. He will be joining U.S. Senator Ed Markey’s…

Q&A with Ture Turnbull: Running for State Rep Against Longtime Incumbent Malia » Jamaica Plain News Jamaica Plain resident Ture Turnbull recently announced his candidacy for the 11th Suffolk District state rep seat. Turnbull answered questions about why he's running, what he'd like to accomplish if …

‘I’m running for United States Senate in 2018. I am not running for president of the United States’ » Boston Globe US Senator Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that if reelected this fall, she intends to finish her second six-year term, going a step beyond her previous assertions that she doesn’t have interest…

Republican group files complaint against Hawkins campaign » The Sun Chronicle A Republican group has filed a complaint against Democrat Jim Hawkins’ successful state representative campaign, questioning whether he had improper contact with an outside organization.…

Campaign Notebook: Leominster Democrat Susan Chalifoux Zephir eyes rematch with Fitchburg Republican Dean Tran for Senate seat » Worcester Telegram Leominster City Councilor Susan Chalifoux Zephir, a Democrat, has submitted nomination papers with the city clerk’s office to qualify for the state Senate ballot this fall.…

Westford's Ryan swaps races » Lowell Sun Terry Ryan on Thursday dropped out of the crowded race for the 3rd Congressional District to join another political contest that has a growing field: the state Senate seat that's about to be vacated b…

Congressional challenger Amatul-Wadud says Neal’s seniority won’t help his district » Valley Advocate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a Democratic primary challenger to longtime Congressman Richard Neal, is attacking her opponent from an unlikely angle — his seniority.…

Keep pressing for progress, Michelle Obama says » Boston Globe Former first lady Michelle Obama, on a stop in Boston Thursday, rejected any suggestion that she might run for president one day and said history will be the judge of her husband’s legacy compa…

Rep. Collins aide hopes to succeed him in House seat » Dorchester Reporter With Rep. Nick Collins a step closer to joining the Massachusetts Senate, his legislative aide on Wednesday announced plans to run for his House seat. David Biele posted in a South Boston community Fa…

Hawkins takes House seat, Collins moves to Senate » The Associated Press (AP) Two Democrats have won special elections for seats in the state Legislature.…

Pistone pulls papers for possible state Senate run » Sentinel & Enterprise A third hopeful may be entering the race for the Worcester and Middlesex state Senate seat.…

DiZoglio Kicks off Campaign, Receives Endorsement » WHAV

Public Health

Naloxone costs rise sharply » Newburyport News

HIV is surging in Lawrence and Lowell. The CDC wants to know why » Boston Globe The US government will dispatch disease trackers to Massachusetts to investigate a puzzling cluster of new HIV infections in Lawrence and Lowell among people who inject drugs, a spike that could porte…

Public Safety

Massachusetts can take steps to end violence on college campuses » iBerkshires April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. Sexual assa…

Mass students behind March for Our Lives have planned multiple town halls » Metro.us The Massachusetts students who organized the recent March for Our Lives have planned another activist event: Town Hall for Our Lives.…

Governors have been trying to fix the State Police for decades. Is this time different? » Boston Globe

Rep. Gifford supports stronger penalties for opioid trafficking, assaulting police officer » Wicked Local Wareham

State Government

Suit claims panel breaking law by not meeting quarterly » Boston Herald The state board that determines whether people convicted of minor misdemeanors should have a shot at getting a firearms license has not held a meeting or hearing in more than seven months — a m…

Taxation

Short-term rental bill passes the Senate » Martha's Vineyard Times A tax on short-term rentals, a staple of summer life on Martha’s Vineyard, was approved 31-6 in the state Senate Wednesday, moving it a step closer to reality.…

Governments Increasingly Tax Uber and Lyft for Transit Revenue » Governing Ride-hailing services are crying foul. But cities and states say they’re merely taxing services. …

Senate scraps House plan, votes to tax short-term rentals like hotels » Lowell Sun The Senate on Wednesday voted 31-6 to extend the state's lodging tax to short-term rentals offered through platforms like Airbnb, a move senators said would generate $34.5 million in new state revenue…

Transportation

House OKs road funding; New Bedford to get $2M » South Coast Today The House is sticking with the $200 million funding level recommended by Gov. Charlie Baker for annual local road and bridge funding, an allocation that arrives late again this year and falls short of…

FRTA rate, route changes prompt public meetings » The Recorder Due to increasing costs and stagnant state funds, the Franklin Regional Transit Authority is looking to change rates and routes in the area and wants to know how this could impact riders.…

New Worcester Regional Airport service to be announced » Worcester Business Journal Officials are set to announce a new commercial flight out of Worcester Regional Airport on Monday. The announcement is set to come a month before JetBlue begins once-a-day service between Worcester an…

Massachusetts House road funding bill misses 'good repair' benchmark by a mile » Worcester Telegram The House is sticking with the $200 million funding level recommended by Gov. Charlie Baker for annual local road and bridge funding, an allocation that arrives late again this year and falls short of…

Canceled MBTA bus trips on rise as absenteeism increases among drivers » Boston Globe An uptick in driver absences last year forced the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to cancel several hundred more buses than normal each day, a setback to the agency’s efforts to impr…

Utilities

Offshore wind projects make headway » Patriot Ledger Three companies – Vineyard Wind, Bay State Wind and Deepwater Wind — all of which hope to build wind farms off Martha’s Vineyard and sell electricity from the turbines to Massachu…

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market » Sentinel & Enterprise Following Attorney General Maura Healey's call for an end to the competitive electric supply market, House and Senate lawmakers are gearing up to hold an oversight hearing to question companies cited …

Report: Worcester, Springfield top Massachusetts cities for inflated 'competitive supply' electricity rates » The Republican

Senate committee recommends ISP registry, limits on how online personal data can be used » The Daily Free Press

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The Week In Review

Most read bills of the week:

SB2371 - An Act relative to criminal justice reform

SB2381 - An Act regulating and insuring short-term rentals

HB4327 - An Act regulating and insuring short-term rentals

HB4366 - An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2018 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects

HB4318 - An Act promoting climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets and opportunity

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

HB1252 - An Act relative to combustible gas detectors

SB2368 - An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents

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

House Actions This Week: 608

Senate Actions This Week: 231

Press Releases

Partners HealthCare Launches New Center of Excellence » Partners Healthcare

How Can a 'Biological Opinion' Help North Atlantic Right Whales? » Conservation Law Foundation

Cleantech Open Northeast Accelerator Program Awards 2018’s Top Cleantech and Energy Startups » Northeast Clean Energy Council

U.S. SETS NEW RECORD FOR OIL PRODUCTION IN SEPTEMBER MEETING VIRTUALLY ALL GLOBAL DEMAND GROWTH » Mass. Petroleum Council

MassDOT Commits Funds to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » MassDOT

How Small Businesses Can Sell Products on Amazon » National Federation of Independent Business

More than Two Dozen NFIB Members Are Running for Office Across the Country » National Federation of Independent Business

Lt. Governor Polito Hosts Roundtable on Dangerousness » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Baker-Polito Administration Further Expands Access to Opioid Reversal Medication » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Warren, Markey Query Columbia Gas On Uninhabitable Homes Following Merrimack Valley Disaster » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Commends MassDOT Commitment to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Urges FDA to Deny Approval of Powerful Opioid Dsuvia, Cites Warning of Committee Chair » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senators Press for Full Disclosure of Trump Family Business Ties to Saudi Arabia » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced Suspending Military Aid & Sales to Saudi Government following Khashoggi Disappearance » Congressman Jim McGovern

McGovern Statement on Apparent Murder of Jamal Khashoggi » Congressman Jim McGovern

Educators' Voices Are Influential on Ballot Questions » Massachusetts Teachers Association

CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COST LOCAL BREWERIES, WINERIES » Climate Action Business Association


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