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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am Girl Scouts Day on the Hill, Great Hall, State House, Boston

9:00am MSA Lobby Day, Grand Staircase, State House, Boston

11:00am Joint Committee on Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, Public Hearing

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

6:00pm Fundraiser for State Rep. Candidate Alex Bezanson with Congressman Stephen Lynch

7:00pm Mid-Cape Meet & Greet with Attorney General Candidate Jay McMahon

7:00pm State Sen. Candidate Mike Armano Campaign Kickoff

Birthdays: Senator Jason Lewis

Must-Reads

Opioid Crisis Fuels A Spike In HIV Infections, And Experts Fear There's More To Come » The Huffington Post As two cities in Massachusetts struggle with an outbreak, the powerful synthetic fentanyl may be mostly to blame. …

Thornton Law Firm didn’t break state campaign finance laws, prosecutor says » Boston Globe Thornton Law Firm didn’t violate state campaign finance laws when it reimbursed its partners for up to $175,000 in donations to state and local politicians, a special prosecutor said Wednesday.…

Unions back Bay State Wind » State House News Service Three unions representing various portions of the construction industry on Wednesday threw their support behind the offshore wind project being developed by Eversource and Ørsted, as the state appr…

Giffords leads pack in first MA3 poll dominated by undecideds » State House News Service A strong majority of likely Democratic voters in the Third Congressional district have not made up their mind who they'd like to see replace retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in Congress, but in the fir…

Calter to leave House after budget debate for Kingston job » State House News Service Rep. Thomas Calter has been named the new town administrator in his hometown of Kingston, setting the House up for another vacancy. …

Governor expects short delay in off-shore wind project selection » State House News Service The electrical storage industry got a charge out of Gov. Charlie Baker's "clean peak" proposal that would encourage greater reliance on renewable energy sources during periods of peak electricity dema…

Cannabis Control Chairman Steven Hoffman: Regulations will protect supply for medical marijuana patients » MassLive Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman said he believes existing regulations are adequate to protect patients' supply of medical marijuana once the recreational industry opens. …

Airbnb has targeted Michelle Wu. She and her supporters are not having it » Boston Globe In the brewing fight over short-term rental regulations in Boston, Airbnb just took a big shot at City Councilor Michelle Wu. And now her supporters are firing back. …

History Suggests Double Trouble for Incumbent Trump » Sabato's Crystal Ball If the past is any guide — it often is, of course — it means not just trouble for Trump in 2020, but double trouble. It suggests the president, one of the weakest incumbents in decades, …

Amid chaos, Stan Rosenberg is running for reelection » Boston Globe

“If we’re serious about getting people into recovery and treatment, the first step is keeping them alive,”

State Representative Andy X. Vargas

Pushing for adoption of his budget amendment that seeks to help cut the costs of Narcan for local municipalities.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Someone Named Charlie Baker Started a PAC Called “Blaze It for Jill Stein” » Boston Magazine No, not that Charlie Baker. …

Business

The Andover Shop, a Harvard Square salon for jazz artists and literati, is up for sale » Boston Globe For elegant, turned-out men of a certain age, there’s nowhere better to be seen than the Saturday morning salons at The Andover Shop. …

Poll: Many Bostonians aren’t breathlessly following the race to land Amazon’s HQ2 » Boston Globe Local business and political leaders may be in the thick of the chase to bring Amazon’s much-coveted “second headquarters” to Boston. But regular Bostonians? Many are indifferent to…

Budweiser parent absolved of pay-to-play charge in Mass. » Boston Globe In a case closely watched by the US beer industry, Massachusetts alcohol officials have determined that a local beer wholesaler owned by Anheuser-Busch is not liable under state anti-pay-to-play rules…

Bertucci’s was a brick oven juggernaut, but its fire has dimmed with bankruptcy filing » Boston Globe In the pantheon of pizza parlor chains, Bertucci’s always strove to be a bit better than the rest, with its brick-oven bona fides, rustic dinner rolls, and signature olives in the center of its…

Report: Boston and DC top sites for Amazon's HQ2 » Boston Herald Soaring demand for administrative-caliber workers in Boston and Washington, D.C. indicates the competition for who will host Amazon's second headquarters will come down to those two metropolises, an e…

Fate of Fall River waterfront waits on offshore wind decision » The Herald News

Civil Rights

IBA forum pays homage to 50 years since its founding » Bay State Banner In 1968, a group of Puerto Rican residents in the South End fought against urban renewal and displacement, forming the grassroots organization, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción. Last Wednesday at Vill…

Crimes

For Months, A Boston Federal Courtroom Has Been Spotlighting MS-13's Brutal Violence » WBUR For months now, federal Courtroom 2 in Boston has been spotlighting savagery, murders and the brutal recruitment of teenagers by an international gang with hooks into the Boston area.…

Education

You got into college. Congratulations! Here’s the bill » Boston Globe What if you landed a spot at the college of your dreams, only to learn the cost would be nearly insurmountable? Would you reconsider a college lower down on your list if it offered you tens of thousan…

Students give up vacation day to lobby for school funding » Lowell Sun Students from Chelsea, East Boston, Everett and Revere made a vacation-week trip to the Statehouse on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to boost the state funding provided to their schools.…

Mount Ida College executives received pay increases as deficit widened » MassLive The board of trustees at tiny Mount Ida College, which plans to close and sell its Newton campus to UMass, repeatedly boosted the compensation of president Barry Brown and other top executives between…

Mount Ida deal was 'done behind our backs, in our own backyard,' UMass Boston union rep says at campus rally » Boston Business Journal In an escalating internecine fight, UMass Boston faculty, staff and students rallied against the Mount Ida College deal, decrying a plan for UMass Amherst to acquire the small private institution's 74…

Millbury School District aims at cutting teachers, junior varsity sports » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle The April 11 Millbury School Committee meeting centered around the FY19 budget. Millbury will be making cuts in an attempt to pass a plan that will be sustainable for the year and, as Superintendent G…

Wellesley alumna and students promote prevention of sexual assault in Massachusetts » The Wellesley News In light of the “Me Too” movement and heightened national concern about gender discrimination, the Massachusetts State legislature is considering legislation to tackle the issue of sexual …

Massachusetts May Face Legal Battle Over Student Loan Bill of Rights » The Student Loan Report In April, the Massachusetts state Senate approved a “Student Loan Bill of Rights.” The bill is aimed at protecting borrowers from being taken advantage of by student loan servicers. But if…

UMass Boston Students, Faculty Want UMass Amherst To Drop Mount Ida Acquisition » WBUR Some students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts' Boston campus want officials at the system's flagship school, UMass Amherst, to reconsider their plan to acquire the 74-acre Newton campus…

Degrees of separation: How the wealthiest colleges in Mass. discount the cost of a diploma » Boston Business Journal

Environment

Report: RGGI program fuels local economies » Lowell Sun The cap-and-trade cooperative that Massachusetts joined roughly a decade ago has continued to spur local economies while reducing carbon emissions, according to a report publicized Tuesday by the Anal…

AG Maura Healey wins lawsuit to investigate ExxonMobil » The Daily Free Press The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday that Attorney General Maura Healey has the right to investigate whether ExxonMobil suppressed information related to global climate change.…

Swampscott proposes a ban on plastic bags » Lynn Daily News Item

Gaming

Wynn Resorts adds 3 women to board » Commonwealth Magazine CEO calls additions “meaningful change” …

MGM Resorts a 'good fit for Boston,' analyst tells investors, of Wynn Boston Harbor » The Republican The potential sale of Wynn Resorts' yet-to-be-finished Boston-area casino project, Wynn Boston Harbor, to MGM Resorts International received a nod of approval from a gaming industry analyst. …

Judiciary

Governor signs criminal justice reforms into law » Bay State Banner Surrounded by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that rolls back mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent crimes, reforms the state’s criminal…

Lobbying

How Tony Podesta, a Washington Power Broker, Lost It All » The Wall Street Journal The Democratic lobbyist had money, connections and a rarefied art collection. Then came a divorce, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump, and his world came crashing down …

Local Government

Budgets Advance to Town Meeting Warrant » The Wanderer The work of crafting a municipal budget is not for the faint of heart. Consider the numerous details each Town department must document – from pencils to life saving equipment, from salaries an…

Methuen Rail Trail project off and running » Eagle Tribune The Rail Trail project has been in the works for years, but didn't become a true reality until the city secured $1.65 million in state funding — later increased to $1.95 million — to pav…

Group advocating for 170 rural towns in Massachusetts to host Shelburne Falls open house » MassLive A new coalition devoted to "strengthening the 170 rural towns in Massachusetts" has established its headquarters in Shelburne Falls and is inviting the public to a May 1 open house.…

Lawyers advise Amherst Town Meeting to skip gun-noise bylaw, but says nuclear resolution is OK » The Republican

Marijuana

800 marijuana businesses interested in priority review for Massachusetts recreational licenses » The Republican More than 800 potential marijuana businesses have submitted at least partial applications for priority certification, which would give them a leg up in applying for a recreational license.…

For 4th time, Ipswich Pharmaceuticals again pitches pot facility in Becket » State House News Service For Ipswich Pharmaceutical Associates Inc., the fourth attempt for marijuana in town could be the charm. The organization has announced plans to open a marijuana establishment at 2727 Jacobs Ladder Ro…

Fast-track pot licensing process continues to worry patients » State House News Service Thirty-five unidentified businesses -- a mix of registered marijuana dispensaries and entrepreneurs who qualify for an economic empowerment program -- were approved Wednesday to have their application…

Opinion

Smearing Robert Mueller » The New York Times Sean Hannity and others are blaming the special counsel for one of the F.B.I.’s worst scandals. But there is no evidence to back up their charges. …

Barbara Bush: Devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and CEO » Boston Globe Don’t be fooled by those humble descriptions of Barbara Bush as wife, mother, and grandmother. She also ran a major corporation. It was called Bush Inc.…

Our Opinion: Honoring Representative Cariddi » Berkshire Eagle Proposals to develop the Greylock Glen have come and gone for 40 years, and the imaginative and environmentally sensitive plans moving forward owe a lot to the persistence of the late state Representa…

The attack on Net neutrality threatens an essential service » Boston Globe Here’s a challenge: Can you think of a part of your life that doesn’t in some way involve the Internet? It’s how we work. It’s how we learn. It’s how we communicate…

Boston students’ path to college, careers has been unpaved for too long » Boston Globe As detailed in a recent report , Boston students’ college prospects are not nearly as bright as they should be. In fact, they’re more like a flickering light bulb.…

Our View: Shore up naloxone program » Gloucester Times If you’re looking for a sign of the impact of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, consider this: Drugs on the street are vastly more potent today than they were just a few years ago; fentanyl…

Editorial: Needed reform for criminal justice laws » Gazette Net It took months of wrangling — between liberals and conservatives, House and Senate, governor and Legislature —but Massachusetts has finally overhauled its criminal justice laws.…

A welcome turn away from tough-on-crime era » Commonwealth Magazine State should press ahead on further reforms …

Editorial: Legislators again fail to cap sick time for state workers » Boston Business Journal In this fall's election, business owners are facing a slew of potential measures that would force them to tighten their belts, including another hike in the minimum wage and mandated paid family and m…

Reforms urgent as state police scandal deepens (Editorial) » The Republican

Politics

'No conclusive evidence of crime' in probe of politically connected Thornton Law Firm, Essex DA Jonathan Blodgett says » MassLive A probe of the politically connected Thornton Law Firm found "no conclusive evidence of a crime," despite an initial review from state regulators saying there may have been campaign finance violations…

After AG Healey Punts On Thornton Law Dem Donor Probe, Essex DA Declines To Pursue Criminal Charges » New Boston Post The law firm that saw one of its most powerful attorneys step down from his post as state representative months before word leaked regarding the firm’s track record of reimbursing its lawyers a…

Leominster man eyes rep. seat » Sentinel & Enterprise For Daniel Dubrule, the reason he wants to run for state representative is the same reason he thinks people should vote for him: he is not a "party candidate."…

Most Dems in new 3rd District poll undecided » Lowell Sun Five months away from the primary election, most likely Democratic voters in the 3rd Congressional District have not yet decided which of the dozen-plus candidates they want to succeed retiring U.S. R…

GOP's Geoff Diehl Comes Out Swinging Against Sen. Warren » NewsMax With the Republican state convention in Massachusetts barely two weeks away, all signs point to its resounding endorsement of conservative State Rep. Geoff Diehl to oppose Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mas…

Don't Get Mad, Get Elected: The Rise of the Revenge Candidate » Governing Political novices are running for office at all levels of government -- many driven by anger over their current representatives' policies and behavior. …

Public Health

Narcan Fund dries up for first responders in Taunton and elsewhere » Wicked Local Raynham At just over $70 for a package containing two doses of Narcan, the Taunton Police Department has been paying more than twice the amount it did for the drug a year ago.…

State Narcan fund for first responders depleted » South Coast Today At just over $70 for a package containing two doses of Narcan, the Taunton Police Department has been paying more than twice the amount it did for the drug a year ago.…

Public Safety

Two lives. Nothing in common. Then a fatal encounter on Cape Cod » Boston Globe The pregnant woman called Yarmouth police distraught on Oct. 9, 2016. Her boyfriend, Thomas Latanowich, had thrown her down and choked her when she told him she wanted to take him off the family cellp…

State Police official faces theft charges » Boston Globe Amid intense scrutiny of hefty overtime payouts and financial irregularities at the Massachusetts State Police, the agency’s head of payroll will face criminal charges for allegedly stealing fr…

State police payroll chief charged » Boston Herald The former payroll director of the state police is being charged with alleged theft of department funds while on the job, following an investigation conducted by Massachusetts State Police.…

Vargas, Campbell Push to Replenish State Narcan Fund, Bring Life-Saving Drug to Merrimack Valley » WHAV Local legislators are preparing to debate the House budget next week, advocating for revisions that could bring more of the life-saving drug Narcan to the Merrimack Valley. Rep. Andy Vargas and Rep. L…

Good News in Massachusetts for Fans of Stun Guns » Boston Magazine The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled against a law banning them. …

Massachusetts court strikes down ban on stun guns » Western Mass News The highest court in Massachusetts is striking down a law that bans residents from possessing stun guns.…

Mass. State Police payroll director Denise Ezekiel on unpaid leave amid allegations she stole funds from department » The Republican The payroll director for the Massachusetts State Police has been on unpaid leave for over five months amid an investigation into allegations that she stole money from the department.…

Allegation against Mass. State Police payroll director show agency is 'cleaning up its own house,' Gov. Charlie Baker says » The Republican The Massachusetts State Police's discovery that the law enforcement agency's payroll director allegedly used her job to steal $23,000 is an indication that the agency is righting itself, Gov. Charlie …

Stun Gun Ban Violates Second Amendment, Rules Massachusetts High Court » Governing The Second Amendment protects civilians possessing stun guns and tasers, the highest court in Massachusetts said Tuesday. …

State Police Payroll Director Charged With Larceny » WBUR A payroll director for the Massachusetts State Police has been charged with larceny for allegedly stealing money from the department. …

After allegation against Mass. State Police payroll director, Democratic Party chief calls for independent probe » The Republican

State police scandals 'belong to me,' Gov. Baker says » The Herald News

State Finance

Local pet projects included in budget » The Salem News Downtowns, schools, food pantries and nonprofits are among the myriad interests angling for a piece of the state's $40.9 billion budget.…

State Government

Lt. Gov. Polito will visit the Island » Martha's Vineyard Times Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will visit Martha’s Vineyard today, April 19, to secure Community Compact Agreements with Oak Bluffs at town hall at 1 pm, at Chilmark town hall at 2 pm, and…

Taxation

Cyr moves airbnb tax through State House » The Inquirer and Mirror Legislation that would lead to the funding of a regional wastewater management fund, through an excise tax on short-term rental properties, has been passed by both houses of the state legislature. The…

Transportation

State Senate announces town approved for $425K for road projects » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle

Berkshire bus service threatened by state talk of trimmed budgets » Berkshire Record Unless they they can get more than is currently on the table in state budget talks, the Berkshire Regional Transportation Authority will be weighing increased fares and reduced services.…

Crumbling bridge adds to infrastructure woes » Boston Herald Massive chunks of concrete falling from a state bridge onto commuter rail tracks outside South Station are putting the public at risk — as well as the state’s economy, as another sign th…

Out-of-state drivers owe Massachusetts $15M in unpaid tolls » Boston Herald The state is owed more than $15 million by out-of-state drivers who used the Massachusetts Turnpike without E-ZPass transponders, and much of it will likely never be collected.…

Utilities

Massachusetts officials to detail $4 million in grants to 36 cities and towns for more efficient water treatment plants » MassLive Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, along with a bevy of state and local officials, will be at the Ware High School Auditorium Thursday to announce the awarding…

Andrews Farm in Boxford facing water crisis » Wicked Local Middleton Residents of the Andrews Farm development in Boxford could be facing a water crisis. Water to the 53 houses in the development has been supplied by the Town of Topsfield under an emergency agreement …

Fishermen air concerns about Vineyard Wind » Martha's Vineyard Times Looking to create a sea change in energy production in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity” with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. A key…

Advocates seek more momentum for Massachusetts offshore wind » Energy News Network Coastal Massachusetts is blustery enough that a robust offshore wind system could power a residential and commercial electricity load that is 20 times larger than exists today.…

Storm outages still rankle; utility faces tough questioning » The Sun Chronicle

Social Media Spotlight

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massdot

elizabethwarrenma



Charlie Baker

@MassGovernor

Eric Lesser

@EricLesser

Smitty Pignatelli

@repsmitty


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Friends of Wareham Veterans Council now fundraising for all vet groups » Wicked Local Wareham

At Downtown Crossing Roche Bros., skipping the longer line can cost you » Boston Globe

Rep. Calter could be Kingston's new town administrator » The Patriot Ledger

District to receive Chapter 90 funding » Wicked Local North Andover

Report: State Troopers At Logan Got Vehicle Per Diems » WBUR

Mount Ida execs got pay increases as deficit widened » Boston Business Journal

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House Ways & Means Budget Proposal for Early Education and Care
Jeffrey Sánchez - Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means

Press Releases

AIM Offers Downloadable Employer Guide to State Ballot Questions » Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Association of Realtors Recognizes Realtor Tanisha Salmon for her Community Service Efforts » Mass. Association of Realtors

Mattapoisset Broker Named 2018 Massachusetts Realtor of the Year » Mass. Association of Realtors

Cambridge Broker Receives Massachusetts Realtor Distinguished Service Award » Mass. Association of Realtors

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Improvement Project at Flynn Memorial Rink » Mass. Department of Conservation & Recreation

Federal Judge Denies Motion from For-profit School Industry to Delay Critical Protections for Student Loan Borrowers » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Sues Starion Energy Over Deceptive Sales Tactics, Overcharging Residents by $30 Million » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Joins Multistate Effort to Stop Illegal Robocalls » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million in Community Compact IT Grants to 44 Cities and Towns » Executive Office of Administration & Finance

Treasurer Goldberg Announces SeedMA Baby » Office of Treasurer Deb Goldberg

Legislature passes FY18 close-out bill with $40M for local roads » Mass. Municipal Association

Franklin Line Weekend Shuttles during Two Weekends for East Street Bridge Rehabilitation Work » MBTA

Weekend Daytime Closures of Chelsea Street Drawbridge for Standard Maintenance » MBTA


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