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State House News Service

MBTA GM plans to learn about transit system first hand

Commuting on the Green Line on Tuesday morning, Luis Ramírez got a taste of what MBTA passengers experience regularly. He was heading to work on his first day as the T's general manager when he noticed the fare machines weren't working in one of the stations. "So that really...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 4:31 PM

Major work on Tobin Bridge set for next three years

Commuters who live in the Route 1 corridor should prepare for delays getting out of Boston over the next three years as the Department of Transportation prepares to embark on a restoration of the Tobin Bridge deck that will stretch into 2020. The MassDOT Board of Directors on Monday approved a $41...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 9:46 AM

Cannabis Commission chair outlines goals, initial steps

As he sets out to stand up a legal marijuana industry here, Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman said Wednesday he intends for retail marijuana sales to begin by July 2018, but did not guarantee that the nascent commission would meet that timeline. Hoffman, a retired business...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 3:52 PM

State begins erecting marijuana regulatory structure

The panel that will study and make recommendations on regulating marijuana in Massachusetts — the first piece of a growing regulatory structure — is on track to be finalized by the end of the week when the governor names the final five members. Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Attorney...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 12:05 PM

Baker files legislation asking for August sales tax holiday

Gov. Charlie Baker is filing legislation Wednesday declaring a sales tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 19 and Aug. 20. "The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers," Baker said in a statement....

Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 11:46 AM

Baker files bill to allow local police to honor some ICE detainer requests

A push from the Baker administration to respond to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling and reinstate a policy allowing state and local police to cooperate, on a limited basis, with federal immigration detainer requests met stiff resistance from civil liberties activists who questioned the...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 2:32 PM

Former MBTA parking vendor skimmed millions of dollars, AG said

Employees at the MBTA's former parking vendor "skimmed millions of dollars in cash" from the agency's parking facilities, Attorney General Maura Healey said Monday, announcing a settlement with LAZ Parking. LAZ Parking Limited LLC agreed to pay $5.6 million to settle two legal...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 9:19 AM

Mass. hospitals feeling surge in heroin-related visits, data shows

Heroin-related hospital visits in Massachusetts grew by 256 percent from 2011 to 2015, with the sharpest increase among patients between the ages of 25 and 34, according to data set to be released Wednesday. New research by the state's Health Policy Commission found a 56 percent increase in...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 11:28 AM

Reps will file bill to counter top court's immigration ruling

After the state's highest court ruled there is no authority for officials to hold immigrants solely at the request of federal authorities, three Republican House members are working to gather momentum behind legalizing those types of detentions. In a ruling hailed by civil liberties advocates...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 9:18 AM

State officials cannot detain immigrants for ICE, Mass. top court rules

State law does not permit officials to detain immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday, putting up a legal barrier to a long-running component of immigration enforcement. In the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn, the court...

Monday, July 24, 2017, 11:56 AM

Legal marijuana bill finally reaches Gov. Baker's desk

The Legislature sent its rewrite of the voter-approved legal marijuana bill, with a higher tax rate and less power for voters, to the governor on Thursday, 255 days after about 1.8 million voters put the law on the books. House and Senate negotiators had planned to get a bill to Gov. Charlie Baker...

Friday, July 21, 2017, 9:15 AM

Bill aimed at protecting pregnant workers reaches gov's desk

After passing slightly different versions of the legislation earlier this year, the House and Senate reached a compromise this week on a bill mandating protections for pregnant workers and sent the legislation to the governor's desk Thursday. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act offers pregnant...

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 3:46 PM

Sexual abuse bill targets school employees

In 2004, Dudley police investigated what they believed to be a crime: a sexual relationship between a 30-year-old English teacher and a 16-year-old boy who was her student. It was not a crime, Dudley Police Chief Steven Wojnar told the Legislature's Education Committee on Tuesday. Since 2005...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 9:20 AM

Federal money begins to flow into Mass. for Green Line Extension

The federal government last week made its first payment towards the Green Line Extension project, a transportation initiative that over the years has been the source of headaches associated with delays and cost overruns. The wire transfer of $1.7 million from the Federal Transit Administration...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:28 AM

Controversial taxes pitched as funding source for free college in Massachusetts

Higher education students and advocates continued their quest to make public colleges and universities free or debt-free in Massachusetts by asking lawmakers to start by providing one full year of tuition and fees at community colleges, state universities, and the University of Massachusetts system...

Friday, July 14, 2017, 9:08 AM

While opposed, Baker says mind open on safe communities act

Gov. Charlie Baker, not wanting to undercut a brand new Latino advisory panel sworn in Monday, said he would be a "hard sell" on legislation to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state, but admitted it wouldn't be the first time he's changed his mind. The bill, known as the Safe...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 9:37 AM

Mass. budget accord reached, negotiators slash spending

House and Senate leaders agreed to a $40.2 billion budget that avoids tax increases and mostly holds spending flat at state agencies for fiscal 2018, according to two sources close to the negotiations, including one of the legislators involved in the talks. The bill, filed Friday at 9:40 a.m., and...

Friday, July 7, 2017, 11:54 AM

House speaker says to pause weed bill to focus on overdue state budget

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, in a dramatic move intended to "remove any distractions" from the goal of reaching a deal on an already late state budget, asked House lawmakers negotiating a bill to regulate the retail marijuana industry to suspend their talks with the Senate Wednesday night...

Thursday, July 6, 2017, 9:18 AM

Mass. among half dozen states without budgets in place

Five days into the new fiscal year, Massachusetts has scant and dwindling company on the list of states yet to finalize a 2018 spending plan. After Maine and New Jersey reached deals to end their government shutdowns, just six states remain in budgetary limbo: Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin,...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 2:09 PM

Mass. could join neighbors in banning handheld devices while driving

Massachusetts is poised Thursday to take one step closer to becoming the 15th state to ban drivers from using handheld cellphones while behind the wheel. The Senate plans to consider legislation that calls for a major expansion of the texting-while-driving ban established in 2010. The bill, S...

Thursday, June 29, 2017, 12:05 PM