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AG: ‘Back to drawing board’ on settlement
07-13-2024 9:01 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

After the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a landmark $6 billion opioid settlement last month that would have steered up to $110 million to the Bay State for prevention, treatment and recovery programs, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell said...

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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...


Holyoke startup headlines state tech innovation initiative
07-11-2024 8:26 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — A state grant program intended to spur manufacturing, particularly in clean technologies, shone a spotlight Thursday on a Holyoke startup working to reduce food waste.“The goal is to fund investment in awesome companies,” Yvonne Hao,...


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...


Comerford shares details of Quabbin water legislation at forum
07-10-2024 9:55 AM

By ERIN-LEIGH HOFFMAN

ORANGE — State Sen. Jo Comerford met with area residents on Monday to answer questions and provide updates pertaining to bills that she and state Rep. Aaron Saunders have put forward to study the feasibility of giving western Massachusetts...


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...


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...


Bidenomics leaves state’s former industrial heartland of Pioneer Valley behind
07-05-2024 3:04 PM

By SAIJEL KISHAN

President Joe Biden’s trio of legislative packages designed to revive U.S. manufacturing prowess is already helping regions from upstate New York to West Virginia. To the frustration of its local development agency, one that’s getting left behind is a...


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...


Housing advocates cheer $5.4B stimulus bill, though transfer tax falls by wayside
07-02-2024 4:48 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

Local policymakers and affordable housing advocates and developers are welcoming a bill that cleared the state Senate unanimously late last week authorizing $5.4 billion in state borrowing to spur housing production amid a mounting housing supply...


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...


‘Home equity theft’ bill passes House
06-30-2024 10:00 AM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

BOSTON — The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill that, if signed into law, would prohibit a practice commonly known as “home equity theft,” or the governmental taking and reselling of tax-foreclosed property without compensating...


Down on the farm: With outsize stresses for farmers fueling a mental health crisis, program seeks to lend a helping hand
06-29-2024 11:07 AM

By LEAH VERESS

Alice Colman recalls the day a routine fennel harvest turned into a wake-up call. As she stood in her field, carefully examining a plant’s feathery leaves, she felt herself growing increasingly frustrated with the crop’s appearance. When she kneeled...


Senate advances energy reforms, expands bottle redemption law
06-26-2024 2:09 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — The Senate has approved another complex set of reforms to accelerate the spread of clean energy in Massachusetts, along the way hearing concerns about potential ratepayer burdens and embracing an expansion of the state’s bottle redemption...


Healey order looks to protect emergency abortion care
06-25-2024 6:29 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey issued an executive order Monday safeguarding access to emergency abortion care and reinforcing existing state laws as her administration girds for a Supreme Court ruling this week that could affect reproductive health...


Beacon Hill Roll Call, June 10-14
06-24-2024 10:33 AM

By Bob Katzen

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ and senators’ votes on roll calls from the week of June 10-14. REVENGE PORN AND TEEN SEXTING (H 4744): House 155-0, Senate 38-0, approved and sent to Gov. Maura Healey a...


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...

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