Massachusetts Legislature

Lawmakers revive bill to pressure National Grid

Lawmakers revive bill to pressure National Grid

Measure would require utility to extend health benefits, deny rate increases during lockout

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE HOUSE APPEARS ready to begin ratcheting up the pressure on National Grid to end its lockout of more 1,250 union gas workers, reviving a three-month-old bill that would force the utility to extend health benefits to the locked out employees and deny the company any rate increases or public money(...)

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Mass. leading way on reining in health care costs

Mass. leading way on reining in health care costs

Credit a united effort, avoidance of regulatory overreach

THE CONSTITUENCIES THAT CAME together to gain passage of the state’s landmark universal health care law in 2006 — consumers, employers, providers, insurers — were justifiably proud of our achievement. But we all recognized that an even larger problem lay ahead – gaining control over the escalating costs of health care. Looking back, we could(...)

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Slow pot rollout costing state tax revenue

Slow pot rollout costing state tax revenue

Advocates say short staff, bureaucracy creating problems for legal sales

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SAYING MASSACHUSETTS HAS missed out on $16 million in marijuana taxes, officials behind the 2016 legal marijuana ballot question on Monday pointed to staffing levels and bureaucracy at the Cannabis Control Commission as potential reasons for the slow rollout of retail sales in Massachusetts. “The Cannabis Control Commission needs to pick(...)

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Why climate groups deserted Sanchez

Why climate groups deserted Sanchez

We won’t suffer fair weather friends or faux leaders

A POLITICAL LIGHTNING BOLT hit the Massachusetts State House on September 4. Jeffrey Sanchez, the longtime incumbent and chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, was defeated by Nika Elugardo, a first-time candidate, community leader, and former staffer to Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. Sanchez outspent Elugardo 3-1 and was backed by much of the establishment,(...)

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Holmes one of few reps willing to buck DeLeo

Holmes one of few reps willing to buck DeLeo

Says House should run differently, hints at run for speaker

IT IS TUESDAY MORNING – primary day – and Rep. Russell Holmes is stirring things up, as usual. Trash and grit swirl in the air as the Mattapan Democrat, wearing a gas-powered leaf blower, pushes litter into the path of street sweepers due to arrive later in the day. The weekly chore dates back about(...)

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Voters hand defeats to two key members of DeLeo leadership team

Voters hand defeats to two key members of DeLeo leadership team

Elugardo tops Sanchez; Santiago takes out Rushing

ON A PRIMARY NIGHT when Beacon Hill incumbents fared well overall, two members of House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s leadership team from Boston were defeated by newcomers to state politics. Nika Elugardo, a self-described member of the “super left,” defeated Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and a 15-year veteran(...)

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Why some establishment Dems are on the defensive

Why some establishment Dems are on the defensive

It’s not about ideology; voters want politicians they can trust

HEADING INTO THE SEPTEMBER 4 primary, there is an undercurrent of voter discontent with establishment Democrats, which activists and candidates propose to fix with more progressive ideology – or at least the appearance of progressivism.  But the real choice isn’t between progressives and centrists; it is between constitutional ideals and an autocratic approach to governing. There(...)

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AG: Towns can’t ban medical pot

AG: Towns can’t ban medical pot

Decision reverses earlier ruling that opened the door for communities to prohibit medical sales

IN A STARTLING TURNAROUND, Attorney General Maura Healey has reversed her office’s decision that allowed communities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries after opening the door earlier this summer for cities and towns to block the dispensaries from coming to their communities. “The Attorney General’s Office is committed to ensuring that the marijuana legalization law is(...)

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Lobbyists shower DeLeo, Sanchez with donations

Lobbyists shower DeLeo, Sanchez with donations

25% of Sanchez’s campaign funds came from lobbyists

LOBBYISTS POURED MONEY into the campaign coffers of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and one of his top lieutenants, House Ways and Means chair Jeffrey Sanchez, during the first part of this year. Campaign finance documents filed by the two lawmakers on Monday indicate Sanchez took in $59,795 from 301 lobbyists from the beginning of January(...)

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International issues play key role in Lowell rep’s race

International issues play key role in Lowell rep’s race

Rady Mom, the country’s first and only Cambodian-American legislator, faces an insurrection from within his own community

RADY MOM IS NOT your typical pol, as anyone who has met the two-term state representative on Beacon Hill can probably attest. He exudes warmth and compassion and often displays a broad smile that seems to express some deeper understanding of the universe. It probably has something to do with the fact that Mom meditates(...)

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