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Senate charts course to soothe ‘struggling’ health sector
07-16-2024 12:20 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Senate Democrats will vote Thursday on a voluminous health care oversight reform bill inspired by the crisis at Steward Health Care as well as broader industry trends inflicting pressure on hospitals, providers and patients.Nearly two months after the...

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Commission hears challenge to tipped worker ballot question
07-11-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

The national group pursuing a ballot question that would increase what Massachusetts employers must pay tipped workers faces a new 11th-hour obstacle that could imperil its fate.A restaurant industry trade group higher-up filed an objection with state...


Lawmakers wade into CCC ‘trainwreck,’ mull possible action
07-10-2024 4:28 PM

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...


Massachusetts SJC clears tipped wages question for ballot
06-14-2024 1:05 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON – Voters are on track to get the final say over whether Massachusetts businesses should pay a higher minimum wage to tipped employees after the state’s highest court on Thursday concluded that a proposed ballot question is properly drafted.The...


House approves five-year, $6.5 billion housing bond
06-09-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Nearly 18 months after legislative leaders kicked off the two-year term by identifying sky-high housing costs as one of their chief areas of focus, the Massachusetts House stamped its approval on a $6.5 billion plan that top Democrats believe will...


House outlines $6.2 billion housing plan
06-05-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — House Democrats will seek a vote this week on a bill that combines $6.2 billion in state borrowing and tax credits with policy reforms designed to unlock new housing production, including development of units on single-family lots.With...


Committee forms to oppose psychedelics push in Mass
05-05-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

A new campaign chaired by a Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon will oppose a potential ballot question seeking to decriminalize some psychedelic substances.After coming together “reasonably quickly” in the past week, as spokesperson Chris Keohan...


Upon review, panel not behind any ballot questions
05-02-2024 4:21 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

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 to take action.A special committee tasked with overseeing the...


State legislators leery of ballot question ending MCAS graduation requirement
03-07-2024 4:52 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Over more than three hours of discussion about a proposal to stop using MCAS exam scores as a high school graduation requirement, lawmakers kept returning to one specific question: If the ballot measure were passed, how would Massachusetts...


Decision time nearing on state’s to-go cocktails policy
02-29-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Gov. Maura Healey’s push to overhaul local procurement procedures, rethink post-employment benefits and make permanent some pandemic-era policies won over many city and town leaders, but points of friction in her bill could create some tricky...


Local officials tout governor’s municipal tax plan as ‘very exciting’
02-15-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s proposal to give cities and towns new tax-hike authority would provide “game-changers” at the local level, especially for less-populated areas, local mayors say.A bill Healey filed last month would offer municipalities the...


US growth lifts confidence of Massachusetts employers
02-06-2024 4:48 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Massachusetts businesses kicked off the new year with a sunny disposition.Business confidence among employers surveyed by Associated Industries of Massachusetts rose in January to an 11-month high. The business trade group attributed the boost to...


With police support, Senate to debate gun bill next week
01-30-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Senate Democrats rolled out a wide-ranging gun reform bill Thursday, targeting a vote in one week on a police-endorsed measure that is likely to generate considerable opposition among firearm owners.After months of closed-door talks between...


Healey budget raises state spending by $2.1 billion — most of that from surtax
01-25-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The Healey administration wants to tap new revenue sources and keep spending growth somewhat constrained in a $58.15 billion state budget that officials pitched as putting Massachusetts on a “glide path” toward potentially better financial...


Crush of testimony reflects seriousness of state’s housing crisis
01-21-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The Healey administration’s plan to supercharge housing production with billions of dollars of investment won some degree of praise from almost every corner of the state Thursday, but influential voices are at odds over some of the more...


MEMA chief: Weather delivering more ‘gap disasters’
01-18-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The climate crisis is fueling a steady growth in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather, and Massachusetts cities and towns face an increasingly common conundrum trying to respond to those emergencies.Many of the disasters that have...


Healey going big with early care investments
01-17-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey will press for major investments into the long-strained early education and care sector despite her administration’s muted forecast for state finances, pitching the spending as an economic and competitive necessity.Healey on...


Committee advances "paradigm shift" cybersecurity bill
12-31-2023 9:12 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Regulating artificial intelligence, creating an agricultural disaster relief fund and boosting food security emerged as areas of focus that lawmakers could tackle in 2024 following a batch of committee votes.Joint House-Senate panels advanced...


Massachusetts doctors approve slate of policy priorities
12-18-2023 12:03 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Reining in gun violence, increasing access to housing and health supports for migrant families, and studying the health effects of decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station are among the policies the Massachusetts Medical Society...


Governor signs $3.1 billion spending bill following weeks of debate
12-05-2023 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON – After weeks of delays, a $3.1 billion spending bill packed with money for the stretched-thin emergency shelter system and public worker raises landed on Gov. Maura Healey’s desk Monday and was immediately signed.House Democrats were able to...


Abortion advocates back legislation to expand access to health services
11-24-2023 9:28 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Allowing people younger than 16 to receive abortion care without a parent or judge’s consent, regulating so-called crisis pregnancy centers and permitting later-term abortions in more settings are coming into focus as the next fronts for...

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