Massachusetts Legislature

Baker signs ‘grand bargain’ bill

Baker signs ‘grand bargain’ bill

Measure includes new payroll tax for family, medical leave

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed a new law Thursday that could affect virtually every resident of Massachusetts, a week after lawmakers settled months of negotiations over proposed ballot questions that could have had dramatic consequences for the state’s finances and economy. Legislators scrambled to assemble the so-called grand bargain bill after interest(...)

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Senate gives special treatment to Airbnb

Senate gives special treatment to Airbnb

House bill gets it right on regulating short-term rentals like lodging

REAL ESTATE INVESTORS are increasingly reshaping local residential neighborhoods by acquiring homes and apartments and converting them into full-time tourist lodging as “short-term rentals.” What began about a decade ago with a few homeowners offering an occasional room for rent is now a hot investment trend—producing record earnings for absentee owners, but also threatening housing(...)

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Let’s do a sports book

Let’s do a sports book

It makes no sense to continue banning it in Mass.

MASSACHUSETTS IS FACED with some big decisions in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision last month to scrap the federal law that prohibits states other than Nevada and (in limited form) Montana, Delaware, and Oregon from allowing sports betting within their borders. In the Murphy case, the Supreme Court did not affirmatively legalize sports betting; rather, it simply held that Congress(...)

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Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Insurers use pharmacy benefits managers to tilt playing field

AS LEADERS OF organizations dealing with two of the most difficult chronic conditions to treat – hemophilia and HIV/AIDS – we consistently hear stories about how patients living with these diseases are given the run around by insurers to obtain affordable access to the medications they need to manage their diseases. It’s an uphill battle;(...)

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Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Senate calls its proposal a market-based compliance system

SEN. MARC PACHECO wants to make clear that the energy bill the Senate passed on Thursday night did not include a carbon tax. Under the state’s constitution, he said, the Senate is not permitted to introduce a so-called money bill; legislation that raises or lowers taxes must originate in the House. He said the Senate(...)

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House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

Introduces concept of ‘unwarranted factors’ of price variation

THE HOUSE HEALTH CARE BILL breathes new life into an approach taken in the 2012 cost containment bill—using some Robin Hood-like assessments as a means to improve the financial plight facing some of our have-not health care providers. Essentially, the House bill attempts to raise some $450 million in assessments over three years to finance(...)

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Senate bill would ramp up clean energy development

Senate bill would ramp up clean energy development

Business groups fret about cost, say some provisions unwise

THE SENATE IS PREPARING to take up legislation that would dramatically ramp up the state’s development of clean energy, but many of the provisions in the bill have been derided as costly or unwise by the business community. The bill, which is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate next week, would(...)

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Senate passes ‘extreme risk’ gun bill

Senate passes ‘extreme risk’ gun bill

Measure approved on voice vote; nears final passage

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE BOTH BRANCHES OF THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE have now signed off on bills that would create a new judicial process designed to temporarily take guns away from dangerous individuals. The bill (H 4539), which the Senate approved on a voice vote Thursday, would allow family or household members to petition the courts(...)

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Making book on Beacon Hill

Making book on Beacon Hill

Supreme Court ruling on sports betting ban opens door for state to cash in

MONDAY’S RULING FROM the U.S. Supreme Court that states are free to legalize sports betting opened the door to the possibility of a further expansion of gaming in Massachusetts, a topic Gov. Charlie Baker is planning to talk about with legislative leaders Monday afternoon. The decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which the(...)

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