Politics

Deal would avoid hospital pricing ballot fight

Deal would avoid hospital pricing ballot fight

Avoids redistribution; calls on commission for long-term solution

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A DEAL BROKERED by Beacon Hill leaders between labor and the hospital industry to avert a contentious hospital pricing disparity ballot question this fall would reenergize a special commission examining health care costs and direct $120 million over five years in financial relief to hospitals across the state. The tentative agreement(...)

Read More »

Senate nixes med marijuana fees for vets

Senate nixes med marijuana fees for vets

Measure filed after vet protested outside State House

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Veterans who qualify to access medical marijuana through the state’s dispensary program would no longer have to pay annual registration fees under a rider that the Senate tacked onto its fiscal 2017 budget Tuesday night. The amendment was sponsored by Sens. Jason Lewis and Vinny deMacedo, both members of a Senate(...)

Read More »

Public records bill sent to Baker

Public records bill sent to Baker

First legislative overhaul of the law in 43 years

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE AND SENATE each voted unanimously Wednesday to advance to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk a compromise bill that represents the first major overhaul of public records access laws in 43 years. In addition to requiring state agencies and cities and towns to designate records officers to field requests, the(...)

Read More »

Baker moves to curb sick leave accrual

Baker moves to curb sick leave accrual

Predicts state could save $3.5m annually

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE IN THE WAKE OF REPORTS of long-time state employees walking into retirement with lucrative compensation packages boosted by payouts for unused sick time, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday unveiled legislation to cap sick leave accrual at no more than 1,000 hours, or six months of work. The governor believes the state(...)

Read More »

Medical pot dispensaries can cash in with ballot question

Medical pot dispensaries can cash in with ballot question

Nonprofits get first crack at licenses, exemptions under referendum

THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY in Massachusetts, which has been struggling to get off the ground, could hit the jackpot if voters this fall approve a ballot question legalizing the commercial sale and recreational use of the drug. The ballot question gives the operators of medical marijuana dispensaries, even those who have only filed applications for a(...)

Read More »

House-Senate negotiators reach accord on public records

House-Senate negotiators reach accord on public records

Bill unanimously approved during rare open conference committee meeting

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A COMPROMISE PUBLIC RECORDS BILL agreed to Monday by a conference committee was cheered by open government advocates as a move towards making it faster and less expensive for citizens to access public information, while the organization representing municipal governments voiced “significant concerns” with the legislation. Massachusetts moved a step closer(...)

Read More »

The Codcast: The Bernie vs. Hillary throw down edition

While some predicted riots at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, with party loyalists unwilling to abide the nomination of Donald Trump, the Democratic convention in Philadelphia may be the one with all the action. Though Hillary Clinton is virtually certain to win the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders is not going anywhere. In fact, he’s(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

Millionaires’ tax gains strong backing

Millionaires’ tax gains strong backing

Legislature seems to embrace role of Robin Hood

THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE, which has shown no interest in raising taxes for several years, voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to greenlight a constitutional amendment that could give voters the chance to assess a 4 percent surtax on household incomes above $1 million. The vote overall was 135-57 in favor of the amendment. The Senate voted 33-7,(...)

Read More »