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New fed rules may force Mass. action on PFAS
04-11-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Nearly 200 water systems across Massachusetts — including towns, schools and hospitals — will likely need to take some action to comply with new federal limits on “forever chemicals” in drinking water, state regulators said Wednesday, a potentially...

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UMass trustees OK 2.5% tuition increase
04-08-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts has taken a step toward hiking tuition and room and board charges for the next academic year, but some trustees said last Wednesday the proposed increases are not high enough and one said the status quo would...


Consolidation, caps urged to speed clean energy permitting across state
04-04-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — In anticipation of a boom in clean energy projects needed to help the state meet its decarbonization targets, a group put together by the governor rolled out recommendations Monday for ways to streamline and accelerate the siting and...


Shelter costs put state budget at "breaking point"
03-26-2024 4:31 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz sits in the catbird seat of budget and policy development on Beacon Hill.The Boston Democrat offered a glimpse Monday afternoon at the various balls he is trying to keep...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-20-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...


Beacon Hill criticized for lack of transparency during Sunshine Week
03-15-2024 3:57 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913 that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” and Bay Staters on both ends of the political spectrum agreed this week that Beacon Hill could stand to open the curtains quite a bit...


Consumers, hospitals lose ground as total spending increased 5.8%
03-13-2024 3:50 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

As policymakers this week examine a law meant to keep health care cost growth within sustainable bounds, a new report makes clear that the health care sector has a double-sided problem – the cost of care is pushing it out of reach for many...


State Cannabis Control Commission looks to have new director by summer
03-12-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Aiming to have its new executive director on board by this summer, the state Cannabis Control Commission spent hours last week crafting the contours of the job and detailing what qualities a successful applicant will demonstrate.The CCC has...


Crash data points to ‘crisis’ on Mass. roads
03-03-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Safety on Massachusetts roadways is “at a crisis level,” the state highway administrator told lawmakers this week as he detailed steps the Department of Transportation has taken to try to prevent some of the most dangerous and deadly situations and to...


Massachusetts ratepayers fed up with high energy costs
02-27-2024 3:40 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn to the state’s western border in Richmond, people in Massachusetts are letting the state know how they feel about wallet-busting energy bills.“I struggle to pay my bills, my electric runs $250 a...


Legislative meetings, host community agreements on pot regulators’ minds
02-14-2024 3:59 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

From lawmakers to business operators to municipal officials, there’s been a lot of interest lately in the work underway at the Cannabis Control Commission.Most of the headlines involving the agency have been about the months-long legal saga between...


Report examines migrant jobs, earnings prospects
02-11-2024 5:01 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Immigrants who settle and find work in Massachusetts provide “a direct economic benefit to the region in which they are working in both the value of work produced and in added local spending power,” according to a new report that lands as...


Judge denies O’Brien appeal in Cannabis Control Commission case
02-08-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — An Appeals Court judge on Tuesday rejected suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien’s petition, once again clearing the way for Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to schedule a meeting that could lead to O’Brien’s firing.Superior...


January tax slump in Massachusetts creates new budget pressure
02-07-2024 3:44 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Having already made mid-year budget cuts and dimmed the outlook for tax collections through June based on six consecutive months of underwhelming receipts, the state reported Monday that tax revenue came in below even downgraded expectations...


Judge: Goldberg may pursue disciplinary meeting with suspended CCC chair O’Brien
12-27-2023 3:45 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Treasurer Deborah Goldberg can go ahead with the meeting that could lead to the firing of suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chairwoman Shannon O’Brien and also cautioned the parties that “political...


Massachusetts lawmakers urge legal action over PFAS exposure
12-21-2023 2:50 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Nearly half of the Legislature signed onto a letter to Attorney General Andrea Campbell this week, imploring the state to join Worcester firefighters diagnosed with cancer in their lawsuit against companies that make firefighting gear alleged...


Mass. home sales down nearly 23 percent so far in 2023
12-19-2023 4:43 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Single-family home sales in Massachusetts were down markedly in November while housing prices set record highs for the month.And if that sounds familiar, it’s probably because it was the sixth consecutive month to post a double-digit...


Big issues clear signatures bar as state ballot measures 
11-27-2023 6:44 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Leaders of at least a half-dozen initiative petition campaigns working toward the November 2024 ballot said Wednesday they had collected at least enough signatures to meet an end-of-the-day deadline and to put their policy ideas in front of the...


Cannabis Control Commission director to leave in December
11-17-2023 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Shawn Collins is resigning as executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission effective Dec. 4, Acting Chairwoman Ava Callender Concepcion announced Thursday, providing some clarity around one of the two leadership questions that has...


Mariano defends House call for overflow shelter site
11-09-2023 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

After weeks of maintaining distance from Gov. Maura Healey’s handling of the state’s emergency shelter capacity crisis, the House is likely to approve a legislative directive that Healey establish a shelter overflow site — and the move is revealing...


Healey plans clean energy permitting overhaul
09-25-2023 3:53 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — The governor plans Tuesday to sign an executive order that will address the process by which clean energy projects and infrastructure are permitted, an issue which utility companies and others have said could determine whether Massachusetts...

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