Michael P. Norton

Guest Contributor

Stories by Michael P. Norton

Sanchez named House Ways & Means chairman

Sanchez named House Ways & Means chairman

Jamaica Plain rep. tapped by DeLeo for top budget post

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE BOSTON DEMOCRAT REP. JEFFREY SANCHEZ will succeed outgoing Rep. Brian Dempsey as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, a pivotal fiscal affairs and policymaking post in state government. The state representative from Jamaica Plain currently helms the Health Care Financing Committee and previously co-chaired the Legislature’s Joint Committee on(...)

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Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

House satisfied with spending bill; Senate calls it “painful”

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LARGELY DISCARDING SPENDING plans they approved in the spring, the House and Senate on Friday sent Gov. Charlie Baker a $40.2 billion state budget that holds state spending flat, includes higher employer health care assessments, and, according to some Democrats, underscores the need for higher taxes and new revenues. The bill(...)

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Where the food deserts are

Where the food deserts are

Gateway Cities tend to have less access to grocery stores

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CHELSEA, SPRINGFIELD, AND TAUNTON top a new list of cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to grocery stores, a problem with nutrition ramifications that is most acute in rural areas and so-called Gateway Cities, according to new data. In low-income areas where there is limited grocery store(...)

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MA emissions continue decline

MA emissions continue decline

Economy keeps growing as state curbs greenhouse gases

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS in Massachusetts decreased from 2013 to 2014, continuing a decade-long trend, according to the latest state data. State law requires emissions by 2020 that are 25 percent lower than 1990 levels, and emissions in 2014 were 21 percent below 1990 levels, according to the Department of Environmental Protection(...)

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Baker pushes 2-track S. Coast rail approach

Baker pushes 2-track S. Coast rail approach

Pacheco fears Middleborough approach may doom Stoughton line

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE The Baker administration has agreed on a course for the first phase of long-promised commuter rail service to the South Coast, working under an approach that contemplates diesel service along an existing Middleborough/Lakeville rail line while engineering, design and permitting work continues on a possible electric service route through Stoughton. Transportation(...)

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Panel badly split on health care pricing

Panel badly split on health care pricing

Sudders: 'This is not a Quaker consensus meeting'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE DIFFERENCES AMONG MEMBERS of a 23-person commission examining health care pricing variations were on full display Tuesday on the 21st floor of One Ashburton Place. Commission members discussing potential recommendations quickly disagreed over whether hospital prices are low are not, comparatively speaking, and members made clear that uncertainty over the federal(...)

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House, Senate OK delay in marijuana law

House, Senate OK delay in marijuana law

Bill rushed through in scarcely attended mid-holiday session

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE HOUSE AND SENATE on Wednesday passed a bill (S 2524) that would delay the licensing of retail marijuana outlets by six months, which could push the regulated sale of pot well into 2018. Possession, use, and marijuana home-growing provisions of the law took effect Dec. 15 and those aspects of(...)

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November tax collections down

November tax collections down

Revenue dip continues perplexing seesaw pattern

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE REVENUE OFFICIALS collected $105 million less in taxes last month than they did in November 2015, contributing to a long-running up-and-down pattern that has flummoxed state budget writers and forced them to continually reopen and redraft state spending plans. The Department of Revenue on Friday afternoon, three days ahead of(...)

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Goldberg cuts ties with Wells Fargo

Goldberg cuts ties with Wells Fargo

Action follows letter from four US reps from Mass.

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE MASSACHUSETTS TREASURER DEB GOLDBERG has instructed her debt management deputies to immediately remove Wells Fargo from their approved list of underwriters for one year. Four Massachusetts congressmen on Monday implored Goldberg to cut Treasury business ties with the bank. Congressman Stephen Lynch and three of his colleagues said in a letter(...)

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MWRA: Old water tunnels in poor condition

MWRA: Old water tunnels in poor condition

Can't be repaired without shutting them down

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CAST IRON AND STEEL PIPES and valves integral to the tunnel system that provides 60 percent of the water to eastern Massachusetts communities served by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority are in such poor condition that the system’s overseers have avoided engaging them due to fears of a catastrophic failure. Authority(...)

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