Michael P. Norton

Guest Contributor

Stories by Michael P. Norton

Walsh tourism chief indicted on extortion charge

Walsh tourism chief indicted on extortion charge

Feds allege Brissette pressured music festival to hire union workers

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH HIS TOURISM chief due in federal court Thursday afternoon to face extortion charges, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh described 52-year-old Ken Brissette as a “good and hardworking person” and pledged continued cooperation with federal prosecutors who arrested Brissette on Thursday morning. “I am deeply concerned about today’s news. Everyone who knows(...)

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SJC to state: Broaden emission mandates

SJC to state: Broaden emission mandates

Transportation sector seen as likely target for regulations

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A UNANIMOUS SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT RULING handed down on Tuesday affirms the state’s obligations under a 2008 global warming law and orders state government to create and implement regulations that apply to multiple carbon sources to meet its emission reduction mandates. Vacating a Superior Court judge’s ruling, the SJC ruled that(...)

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Baker freezes non-essential spending

Baker freezes non-essential spending

Step taken to deal with emerging budget shortfall

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Friday ordered the immediate suspension of all state spending on “non-essential” goods and services in an array of categories, including outside consultants, leases and office equipment and computers. The directive is part of an effort to balance this year’s $38.4 billion state budget in the face of(...)

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Senate passes transgender bill 33-4

Senate passes transgender bill 33-4

House expected to take up own version of legislation

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE BY A 33-4 VOTE, the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday afternoon passed legislation establishing protections for transgender people using public accommodations. The bill (S 735) bans discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations and would allow people to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender(...)

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Report: Baker hydro bill won’t lower power rates

Report: Baker hydro bill won’t lower power rates

Meeting emissions targets will drive up cost of electricity

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WARNING ENERGY COSTS WILL RISE as the state aims to meet the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of its Global Warming Solutions Act, a new policy brief from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce describes hydropower as featuring energy reliability and environmental impact “strengths” with “less clear” impacts on costs(...)

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Committee votes on transgender bill

Committee votes on transgender bill

Redrafted bill involving AG, MCAD seems to be moving

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE MARKING A POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH on the issue, the long-awaited Judiciary Committee vote on transgender rights legislation has commenced, with House Speaker Robert DeLeo expressing confidence that a redrafted bill will protect transgender individuals from harassment and give businesses clear guidance to implement the proposal. The bills being polled in committee Friday(...)

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Cape Wind goes to court again

Cape Wind goes to court again

Challenges Baker administration decision on cable extension

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Cape Wind, the offshore wind project planned for Nantucket Sound, has not given up despite some serious setbacks, and this week appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court a state board decision denying the project’s request for extensions of critical subsea and on-shore transmission facility approvals. In an appeal dated Tuesday, Charles(...)

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House passes budget 156-0

House passes budget 156-0

Spending in bill surpasses target set by Baker

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE passed a $39.56 billion fiscal 2017 budget Wednesday afternoon, shipping its spending plan to the Senate which plans in May to debate its vision of what state spending should look like beginning July 1. The budget was approved after two-plus days of deliberations marked by light and sporadic(...)

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Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Cites inadequate commitments from prospective customers

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CITING INADEQUATE COMMITMENTS from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan on Wednesday suspended further work and spending on its Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project, which held the possibility of helping Massachusetts and the New England to meet energy and electricity cost goals. Less than a year ago, in July 2015, the(...)

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St. Pat’s Day brunch mostly ‘love-in’

St. Pat’s Day brunch mostly ‘love-in’

Still, some funny jabs are made at Southie event

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE HEATHER HUMPHREYS, the Irish minister for arts, heritage and the Gaeltacht,  won applause at Sunday morning’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast when she said the Irish in Massachusetts have thrived in politics, business\, and culture, and called Boston “the Irish capital of America.” Noting she’d been told to expect a lot of(...)

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