Eric Lesser | WAMC

Eric Lesser

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The largest business association in western Massachusetts held its largest annual event Friday. The Springfield Regional Chamber’s Outlook 2020 luncheon was attended by about 500 business and community leaders and elected officials. 


     Advocates for linking western and eastern Massachusetts by passenger rail are critical of a new report that estimates the costs would be high and the ridership relatively low. 

This is a picture of an Amtrak train

  A much-anticipated feasibility study on east-west passenger rail service in Massachusetts has been delayed. 

Governor's press office

      With anti-Semitic violence on the rise nationwide, Massachusetts has tripled security funding available for religious and community institutions.

      The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would pay people to move to western Massachusetts.

Sports Betting

     The professional football season kicks off this week, but Massachusetts residents looking to place a legal wager on a game without traveling out-of-state are out of luck.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

    The scandal at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles widened further this week with several stunning disclosures at a legislative oversight hearing.



     The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is examining six options for east-west passenger rail.   Already some of the scenarios appear to be nonstarters. 


    A state senator from western Massachusetts this week will host what has become an increasingly popular event.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

     The Massachusetts legislature is considering whether to significantly expand gambling for the first time since Las Vegas-style casinos were legalized in the state in 2011. 

skyline of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts
City of Springfield

Massachusetts is going to have a new state agency to administer a new benefits program. A pitch has been made to locate the new bureaucracy’s headquarters in western Massachusetts.

Orange Line subway car under construction

The trade war between the U.S. and China continues to imperil manufacturing jobs in western Massachusetts.


     State funds are helping to pay for bilingual literacy initiatives at a unique museum in western Massachusetts.


   The $42 billion budget passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and sitting on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk contains many earmarks for projects and programs in western Massachusetts.


     Massachusetts officials have begun to weigh the pros and cons of legalized sports betting, along with the “hows” and “wheres.”    There are a lot of ramifications following Monday’s major decision by the Supreme Court that gave states the green light to consider legalizing waging on sports.

   The abrupt exit of Stan Rosenberg from the presidency of the Massachusetts Senate has led to speculation about who will be the leader of the chamber in 2019.   Another Democrat from western Massachusetts is considering running for Senate President.

Facebook: Harriette Chandler

     Democrats in the Massachusetts Senate moved this week to address a leadership crisis that was threatening to drown the legislative agenda in the final few months of the two-year session.


    The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is updating the state’s rail plan to prioritize projects that the agency said should be pursued over the next several years.

Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey has thrown his support behind the effort to get high-speed train service between Springfield and Boston.

  One of the items that did not make it to the final version of the $40 billion state budget approved a week late by the Massachusetts legislature was a high-speed rail study.  Specifically, a requirement that MassDOT do a report on the costs and benefits of linking Springfield and Boston via high-speed rail.

An Amtrak train arrives at the station in Hartford, CT.

       A proposal to have the Massachusetts Department of Transportation do a feasibility study of Springfield-to-Boston high-speed passenger rail service is picking up steam.

The major project to resurface the elevated 2-mile section of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield, Massachusetts is now in its second year.

Eric Lesser via Twitter

      A State Senator from western Massachusetts is in the middle of a tour today intended to highlight support for expanding passenger rail service between Springfield and Boston.


  Hospital emergency rooms are on the front lines in saving lives during the opioid crisis. Now some ERs in western Massachusetts will be getting an additional resource.

   The Massachusetts legislature meets this weekend on Beacon Hill where lawmakers face a glut of bills and a Sunday night deadline.

Sturmovik at en.wikipedia

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation would be required to conduct a feasibility study on high-speed passenger rail service between Springfield and Boston under an amendment to the state budget that was passed unanimously by the legislature.