Massachusetts Legislature

Energy legislation makes it out of conference

Energy legislation makes it out of conference

Sierra Club official complains bill represents only 'baby steps'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE .Just like two years ago, the Legislature is poised to consider a substantial piece of clean energy legislation on the final day of formal sessions. The conference committee that since July 17 has been working to reconcile a Senate bill and four House bills related to clean energy filed its report(...)

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A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

Lawmakers restore earmarks for all sorts of local projects

THE LEGISLATURE SWIFTLY OVERRODE many of the governor’s budget vetoes on Monday, including one whose elimination has become almost an annual rite of passage on Beacon Hill. Baker on Thursday vetoed nearly $4 million in legislative earmarks included in a line item for the Department of Fire Services, an agency in charge of training firefighters(...)

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Lawmakers should embrace clean energy

Lawmakers should embrace clean energy

Say no to gas pipelines financed by electric ratepayers

STARK NEW ESTIMATES of the potential cost of climate change to Massachusetts’ homeowners should make the Legislature act more urgently than it already has to halt the state’s consumption of fossil fuels and resulting release of greenhouse gases. According to a June analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 89,000 buildings in the Commonwealth worth(...)

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Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

New taxes expected to take effect in January 2019

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SHORT-TERM HOUSING UNITS rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a central registry under compromise legislation agreed to Sunday night by House and Senate negotiators. State officials have been trying(...)

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Inaction on environmental justice has consequences

Inaction on environmental justice has consequences

Lawmakers need to act on solar access legislation

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING in politics: elections have consequences. Well, inaction has consequences, too. And every day that Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Sen. Karen Spilka, and their Ways and Means colleagues fail to rein in pollution and recognize that environmental consciousness is growing is another day that our most vulnerable residents are left breathing dirty air.(...)

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Community benefit districts facing headwinds

Community benefit districts facing headwinds

Legislation likely to pass this week but fate uncertain

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE RECENT CONTROVERSY over legislation that would allow local organizations to levy fees on property owners to improve their neighborhoods has led the leader of the House Republican caucus to question his support for the bill he cosponsored. North Reading Rep. Brad Jones, the House minority leader, was a cosponsor of a(...)

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MA solar hurting, needs legislative help

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help

Industry lost more than 3,000 jobs last year

AT THE END OF THIS MONTH, Massachusetts legislators will break for the remainder of the summer. That leaves just a couple days for them to act on key bills that could bring thousands of jobs back to the Bay State. At risk is the state’s solar industry — a sector that’s been helping Massachusetts grow(...)

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House, Senate health care bills fall short

House, Senate health care bills fall short

Don't address price variation, could actually boost costs

THE GREATER BOSTON INTERFAITH ORGANIZATION is a community organization representing about 50 primarily religious congregations who come together to advance social justice, including issues related to access, cost, and quality of health care. The GBIO and its member congregations have been engaged in the health care social justice struggle for almost 15 years. We worked alongside(...)

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Mass. must lead on climate change

Mass. must lead on climate change

Price, or fee, on carbon pollution is the key

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL IMAGES from last winter’s 100-year storms was the photograph of General Electric’s future Boston home submerged under water. It served as a strong warning of the consequences if we fail to act boldly in the fight against climate change. In this final month of the state Legislature’s formal session, our(...)

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Law needed to expand access to midwives

Law needed to expand access to midwives

Would make it easier to have births at home in Massachusetts

THE UNITED STATES IS EXPERIENCING a nationwide maternal health crisis with the worst maternal and infant mortality in the developed world. It is imperative that we do all we can to improve outcomes in all birth settings and remove barriers to high quality care for the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods. The countries with the(...)

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