Stan Rosenberg

New pot czar has inhaled

New pot czar has inhaled

Hoffman says drug is 'harmless' but can be abused

DESPITE VOTING AGAINST the referendum to legalize marijuana last November, Steven Hoffman, the chairman of the new state board charged with regulating the nascent retail pot industry, said he thinks the drug is “harmless” and will cause no more problems than alcohol. “I personally believe marijuana is a harmless drug,” Hoffman said in an interview(...)

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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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Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Mariano says no senator has suggested tradeoffs in negotiations despite DeLeo statement

THE HOUSE’S TOP POT negotiator said on Thursday he’s not aware of anyone from either the Senate or House who has tried to link the negotiations over the budget and marijuana bills. “We’re the last people that would want to tie this together,” said Rep. Ronald Mariano of Quincy, the House majority leader. “We have(...)

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DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

Rosenberg refutes hint that Senate is linking budget, marijuana bills

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO said Wednesday evening that he asked House members of the committee negotiating marijuana legislation to pull out of talks with the Senate until an agreement is reached on the fiscal 2018 budget. DeLeo released a statement at 6:16 p.m., shortly after the State House News Service reported that the pot and(...)

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House reneged on pot agreement, say sources

House reneged on pot agreement, say sources

Officials say chair irked over Lottery move

HOUSE LEADERS ABRUPTLY walked away from an agreement between Gov. Charlie Baker, Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg that would have kept oversight of the emerging legal pot industry with the state treasurer and sources indicated it may be connected to anger from the House chair of the marijuana committee over a potential(...)

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Budget uncertainty

There is one certainty with the fiscal 2018 budget: For the first time ever, Massachusetts will have a spending plan exceeding $40 billion to run state government. After that, there are lots of questions about where all the money will come from to pay the bills. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved its budget(...)

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Senate budget pinned on shaky revenue projections

Senate budget pinned on shaky revenue projections

Weak collections so far spread concern, trigger search for new taxes

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SENATE WAYS AND MEANS Committee members on Tuesday unanimously approved a $40.3 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018 that they said recognizes the state does not have as much revenue as it needs to pay for desired programs and service. With approximately $400 million in new revenues proposed, the budget tries(...)

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Senators leave money on the table

Senators leave money on the table

No lawmaker takes three stipends, some decline any increase

PUBLIC PRESSURE APPEARS to have won out as no Massachusetts state senator opted to receive three stipends for leadership positions as they could have under the rules and three Democratic lawmakers eschewed any increase in their pay. The increases are part of a broad package of pay raises for lawmakers, constitutional officers, and judges that was(...)

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Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Votes add to push for more sweeping criminal justice reform

IN ANOTHER SIGN of support for broad criminal justice reform, the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission voted to recommend abolition of mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes except murder. The move comes as state leaders are split on the best way to revamp criminal justice policies. At a Jan. 18 meeting of the sentencing commission, members voted(...)

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Legislative income inequality

Legislative income inequality

Widening pay gap in House could have negative impact, reps say

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE NOW THAT PAY RAISES for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadership and committee assignments that could allow some legislators to more than double their pay. That power in the hands of just two Democrats sparked some of(...)

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