Massachusetts Legislature

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

         Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill to delay the start of a payroll tax to fund paid family and medical leave benefits for all Massachusetts workers.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing has scheduled a much-anticipated hearing for Tuesday, May 14 on bills to address a shortage of affordable housing in the state.

WAMC

   A major business group in western Massachusetts has announced its state legislative agenda for 2019. 

    The Massachusetts Black and Latino Caucus has announced priorities for the new legislative session.

Wikipedia

   Funding for K-12 schools in Massachusetts has emerged as a key issue as the new legislative session begins in earnest on Beacon Hill.

Mass.gov

    With a new legislative session just underway on Beacon Hill, there is a new effort to block what some complain is a revolving door at the state’s courthouses.

Flickr/fictures

   Legal gambling has been expanding for the last several years in the Northeast with the opening of more casinos.  The next growth area for gaming is likely to be sports betting.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

    Each year new laws take effect and some can have an impact on personal finances. There are several such laws in Massachusetts in 2019. 

   Coming off a landslide reelection victory two months earlier, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker launched his second term Thursday with a mostly forward looking optimistic tone.

WAMC

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has had a low-key, but productive week, signing more than 50 bills sent to him by the legislature in the final days of the legislative session. 

    Massachusetts state lawmakers this week passed a budget that increased funding for the agencies that provide public bus service outside greater Boston.   But it may not be enough to prevent cuts to some of that service.  

Wikipedia

As the legislative session draws to a close in Massachusetts, State Senator Adam Hinds says some major tasks remain unfinished. 

WAMC

    A bill is on the desk of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15, establish a paid family and medical leave program, and enshrine a permanent annual sales tax holiday.   Also, if he signs it, several contentious November ballot questions would likely go away. 

Bills are stacking up on Beacon Hill as the Massachusetts Legislature prepares to make its typical rush to the July 31st finish line of the two-year legislative session.  Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and the Democratic-dominated legislature seem to be in general agreement on their priorities. 

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

      The Massachusetts House will begin debate next Monday on a state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st. 

       Colleagues and constituents are mourning the sudden death of a long-time state legislator from western Massachusetts.

      A veteran state legislator from western Massachusetts  says he is going to retire.

  The new year brings the resumption of formal sessions on Beacon Hill for the Massachusetts House and Senate.  There is plenty of unfinished business, both politically and legislatively, as the second year of the two-year session begins.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Lanesborough, Massachusetts could soon receive state approval to reconstruct the bridge over Lake Pontoosuc. 

  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.

     Massachusetts is poised to require greater on-the-job protections for pregnant workers.

An exterior view of the Massachusetts State House in Boston
wikipedia.org

       A pay raise package for elected officials in Massachusetts is expected to be finalized this week on Beacon Hill.   While pay raises for public officials are always controversial, this plan has drawn just token opposition.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says he will veto legislation calling for nearly $18 million in annual pay raises for top lawmakers, statewide elected officials and judges. 

WAMC

   Massachusetts lawmakers are planning to vote for a large pay increase for themselves, other top elected state officials and judges.  A top legislative leader, addressing a business group in Springfield this morning, strongly defended the pay raises as long overdue.

   Adults in Massachusetts can legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and even grow up to a dozen plants at home.  But, it may be a while before people can go to a store in their neighborhood to purchase pot products.

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

One clear priority for Gov. Charlie Baker in the final month of the two-year session of the Massachusetts legislature is a bill that revises or repeals hundreds of state regulations that impact how cities and towns operate.

       The Massachusetts House is expected to pass a bill today to make it easier for people to obtain public information from the state and local governments.  It is the first major overhaul of the state’s public records law in more than forty years.

        WAMC’s Paul Tuthill spoke with Democratic State Representative Stephen Kulik of Worthington who sat on the bi-partisan conference committee that drafted the final compromise bill.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, appearing to grow more impatient as each day passes, prodded state legislators this week to pass a comprehensive bill designed to address the deadly opioid addiction crisis in the state.

Hampshire Gazette

After almost a quarter-century as a Massachusetts state legislator, Democratic Representative Ellen Story of Amherst announced Thursday she will not seek reelection in November.

Story, who is 74, said her decision to retire is based largely on a desire to spend less time in Boston and the grind of travel between her home in Amherst and the Statehouse.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Story.

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