Michael P. Norton

Guest Contributor

Stories by Michael P. Norton

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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Claims on T retirement fund ‘lack merit’

Claims on T retirement fund ‘lack merit’

Forensic accounting firm says allegations of inaccuracies 'unfounded'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A forensic accounting firm hired by the MBTA Retirement Fund in the wake of a report alleging significant inaccuracies in the fund’s financial reporting has concluded that the allegations are “unfounded” and “lack merit.” The FTI Consulting report was assembled by a team of accountants and actuaries in recent months after(...)

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Baker seeks $170 million in new spending

Baker seeks $170 million in new spending

Request comes after governor slashed $49 million to close deficit

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A MONTH AFTER slashing $49 million from the state budget in a bid to address a deficit, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday asked for $169.5 million in new appropriations and urged lawmakers to pass his bill quickly since many state accounts will need cash infusions by the end of March. Baker(...)

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Joyce ethics, campaign issues resolved

Joyce ethics, campaign issues resolved

Charity donations used to address ‘errors’

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Sen. Brian Joyce of Milton has made a $3,367 personal donation to charity to resolve the use of campaign funds to help cover the $5,200 cost of his son’s graduation party at the senator’s home, as well as a $1,250 donation to resolve other issues, including unreported spending and accounting errors.(...)

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State receiver urged for Southbridge schools

State receiver urged for Southbridge schools

System has had 7 superintendents since 2011

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE SOUTHBRIDGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, which have had seven superintendents and seven high school principals since 2011, should be designated chronically underperforming and placed into receivership, Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester recommended on Friday. The Level 5 designation, which would put the Southbridge schools under state control, will be discussed at a Board of(...)

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