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Clean energy bill passes clears House with GOP opposition
07-19-2024 2:54 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House was split along party lines Wednesday night in voting to support climate and energy legislation that would “help accelerate the green transition,” according to the bill’s lead architect. “The bill before you continues...

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Farmers grateful for more typical growing season after 2023 floods devastated fields
07-18-2024 1:10 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

After a frantic emergency response to save animals and equipment on July 10, 2023, David Fisher and Maggie Toran assessed their farm field as memories of Hurricane Irene came flooding back.At their horse-powered, community-supported agriculture (CSA)...


House to move on energy bill: Siting, new clean energy targets featured
07-17-2024 2:55 PM

By Chris LisinskI

House Democrats will make a push for new clean energy policies Wednesday, bringing forward a late-session bill overhauling how Massachusetts approves new power projects and seeking even more megawatts from green sources.The House teed up a 97-page...


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...


State House clears bill to ban video while driving
07-13-2024 9:31 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...


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...


Mass Senate to bring forward $2.8 billion economic development bill
07-09-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

The Senate will dig into a massive economic development package Thursday after top Democrats on Monday morning released their own vision for how Massachusetts should pursue job and economic growth opportunities.The Senate’s bill (S 2856) authorizes...


Bidenomics leaves state’s former industrial heartland of Pioneer Valley behind
07-05-2024 4:48 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
07-04-2024 6:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Leyla Connolly’s battery-powered wheelchair has been broken for over 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 doctor’s...


Housing advocates cheer $5.4B stimulus bill, though transfer tax falls by wayside
07-03-2024 5:00 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 4:34 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...


Sabadosa bills bring pregnancy loss out of shadows
07-02-2024 2:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Two bills presented by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa that passed last week will support families who have experienced pregnancy loss by adding paid pregnancy loss leave to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law and establishing a public information campaign...


Down on the farm: With outsize stresses for farmers fueling a mental health crisis, program seeks to lend a helping hand
07-01-2024 4:25 PM

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...


PFAS bill has majority support, but uncertain outlook
06-30-2024 5:02 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 passed by House
06-28-2024 4:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

BOSTON — The House of Representatives voted unanimously Wednesday to pass 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...


Senate advances energy reforms, expands bottle redemption law
06-27-2024 2:28 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
06-26-2024 3:54 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey issued an executive order Monday meant to safeguard access to emergency abortions as her administration girds for U.S. Supreme Court rulings this week that could further unravel reproductive care options across the...


Healey credits survivors, signs revenge porn bill
06-24-2024 4:04 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...


Ballot question campaigns take next step toward November
06-23-2024 5:00 PM

By Sam Drysdale

BOSTON – Musicians hauling three drums, two trombones, a saxophone and and a tuba played their way up Park Street to the corner of Beacon on Tuesday afternoon – blocking traffic and leading dozens of ralliers in the day’s 90-degree heat — to celebrate...


Senate climate bill runs into obstacle
06-21-2024 3:26 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — With the Bay State gripped by a heat wave on the summer solstice, the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday planned to pass legislation to speed up siting and permitting for clean energy projects and also provide more direction for the state’s...

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