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Senate economic development bill loaded with policy and $2.86 billion
07-12-2024 10:08 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

More teenagers could be prosecuted in the juvenile court system under a policy that senators tacked onto their sweeping $2.86 billion economic development bill during deliberations Thursday.Senators unanimously engrossed the sprawling package (S...

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State House clears bill to ban video while driving
07-11-2024 4:10 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Massachusetts drivers could be banned from FaceTiming their friends and livestreaming onto social media platforms while they’re on the road under legislation the House quietly passed last week.Lawmakers approved a distracting driving bill (H...


Lawmakers wade into CCC ‘trainwreck,’ mull possible action
07-10-2024 9:32 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Lawmakers from both parties signaled Tuesday they share a government watchdog’s concerns about upheaval at the Cannabis Control Commission, but Democrats who wield decision-making power stopped short of indicating what kind of response they might...


Mass. joins neighbors to coordinate electricity transmission
07-10-2024 7:41 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Massachusetts joined nine other states Tuesday in an agreement to coordinate their efforts to increase the transmission of electricity between three different regions of the grid and get a better handle on offshore wind infrastructure needs and...


Demographic changes fuel enrollment fears at UMass
07-09-2024 12:50 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan has been closely watching the spate of higher education closures, and said in an interview over the weekend that UMass has a strategy he hopes will spare it from the same concerning demographic shift...


Feds propose high heat work standards
07-08-2024 9:23 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

The federal government has proposed the first national safety standard meant to keep workers safe from excessive heat in the workplace and made $1 billion available to hundreds of projects – including 30 in Massachusetts – that try to mitigate climate...


Senate chair optimistic about long-term care bill
07-06-2024 8:15 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — The House chair of the Elder Affairs Committee lambasted the Senate’s monthslong delay in taking up a long-term care reform bill this week, but his Senate co-chair later expressed optimism about the legislation reaching Gov. Maura Healey’s...


DPH: Use bug spray to guard against West Nile, EEE
07-06-2024 1:01 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Health officials urged Bay Staters last week to use bug spray outdoors this summer, after mosquito samples tested positive for two viruses.The Department of Public Health said the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was detected in...


Wheelchair users look to House for relief
07-05-2024 10:02 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Leyla Connolly’s battery-powered wheelchair has been broken for more than a year. As she waits for it to be fixed, she is consigned to her Dorchester apartment, where she feels trapped without a safe way to leave to get groceries, go to...


A really healthy dose of art: State teams with Art Pharmacy to buttress mental, emotional health
07-02-2024 4:05 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Some Massachusetts patients seeking physical and behavioral health care services could receive treatment in the form of arts and culture activities under a new model being embraced by state officials.The Massachusetts Cultural Council, the...


PFAS bill has majority support, but uncertain outlook
06-30-2024 1:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Two powerful lawmakers are trying to push a widely supported bill to ban toxic “forever chemicals” over the finish line before the looming end of session, but neither said Tuesday that the issue is a priority for their branch.House Speaker...


Healey credits survivors, signs revenge porn bill
06-22-2024 3:30 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON – Massachusetts is now the 49th state to prohibit revenge pornography, with Gov. Maura Healey signing a bill late last week that also cracks down on sexual harassment and coercive control by domestic abusers.The bill closes a legal loophole to...


Ballot question campaigns take next step toward November
06-20-2024 4:14 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Musicians hauling three drums, two trombones, a saxophone and and a tuba played their way up Park Street to the corner of Beacon Street on Tuesday afternoon — blocking traffic and leading dozens of ralliers in the day’s 90-degree heat to...


Poll: Mass. voters open to housing crisis solutions
06-03-2024 4:51 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

The major housing policy and bond bill expected to pass the House this week includes ideas that have the support of a majority of Massachusetts residents across demographic and political groups, like allowing people to build accessory dwellings on...


LGBTQ Youth Commission offers 330-page report
05-28-2024 5:03 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Citing escalating attacks against LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts and across the country, a commission released recommendations Tuesday for the Legislature, Gov. Maura Healey and state agencies to bolster child welfare, public health, education,...


Home sales in state, Hampshire County spring to life in April
05-22-2024 4:11 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — There were 3,100 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts last month, and while that number alone may not mean much to those still looking for an affordable home, it may represent a glimmer of hope — it was the largest year-over-year...


Bike-pedestrian crashes flagged as emerging threat as bike lanes expand
05-15-2024 3:17 PM

By Sam Doran

BOSTON — As bike lanes have expanded across Massachusetts, Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt said safety concerns are cropping up along the new public ways — but, perhaps surprisingly, not just with cars.Cyclists moving quickly are...


State Senate budget funds free community college for all
05-07-2024 2:16 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ and SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Senate Democrats unveiled plans Monday to make community college free for all students in Massachusetts, starting in the coming fall semester.The “MassEducate” plan, which will be part of the Senate’s fiscal 2025 budget that was to be fully...


Loan program aims to ease burden of home energy retrofits
05-04-2024 12:01 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON – Hoping to accelerate the switch to clean energy technologies, the climate bank at MassHousing recently announced a new financing product that aims to make $20 million in loans available over the next two years to help homeowners cover the...


State legislative panel spurns ballot measures
05-03-2024 5:51 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The next phase in the fight over half a dozen major and pressing policy proposals kicked off Wednesday with a common feature on Beacon Hill: lawmakers recommending that the Legislature not take action.A special committee tasked with...


Court rulings spur state effort to bar ‘home equity theft’
04-30-2024 2:27 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — After a state judge ruled this month that Massachusetts law governing municipal home equity takings “requires legislative correction,” a state senator who has filed a related bill for years said Monday that he is ready to start demanding roll...

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