Massachusetts

Mixed Results for Closely Watched Ballot Measures | 11-09-2018

Marijuana legalization was one of the most prevalent issues on state ballots on Nov. 6. And with the approval of one of those measures, Proposal 1 , on a 54-46 vote, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational...

Host of Closely Watched Propositions on Ballot | 11-02-2018

On November 6, voters in 37 states will consider 158 ballot measures, just one more than the 157 propositions in 2016, according to the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. Among the issues on the ballot...

Budgets in Brief - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

CA RECEIVES NEARLY $1B REVENUE WINDFALL IN Q1 CALIFORNIA took in $990 million more in personal income tax revenues in the first three months of the current fiscal year (July 1 to Sept. 30) than projected in June. Sales tax revenues came in slightly...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Opioid Taxes Not Faring Well This Session | 10-12-2018

Minnesota state Rep. Dave Baker (R) sponsored a bill ( HB 1440 ) this session that would have imposed a “penny a pill” fee on every opioid painkiller pharmaceutical companies sold in the state to provide funding for opioid abuse prevention...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Some States Resist Expanding Short-Term Health Plans | 08-31-2018

A new regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services will allow insurers, starting on Oct. 1, to offer bare-bones, short-term health insurance plans as a longer-term, low-cost alternative to the coverage prescribed by the Affordable Care...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

Budgets in Brief - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

ONLINE SALES TAX PLAN FAILS IN NH In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair , allowing states to collect sales taxes from online sellers located out-of-state, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate, meeting in special session...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Politics in Brief - July 23 2018 | 07-20-2018

CA REQUIRES REPORTING OF VOTER DATA BREACHES CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation last week requiring people and organizations that obtain voter registration data to report security breaches of that information. Assemblyman Marc Berman...

Some State, Local Bond Issuers Going ‘Green’ | 07-13-2018

A growing number of states and municipalities are going “green” with their bond sales. Developed about a decade ago to allow environmentally conscious investors to identify investments aligned with that priority, green bonds have become a...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Governors in Brief - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

BROWN MOVES DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BILL TO CA BALLOT CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 807 , a measure that will allow Golden State voters to decide if they want to stay on daylight saving time year-round. If voters approve, the measure would still...

Business - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA Senate Approves SB 2546 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2546 , which would allow the Bay State attorney general to file civil actions and issue stop work orders in wage theft cases. The measure, which also would create a trust fund to repay...

The Local Front - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

CA Cities Adopt Flavor Tobacco Ban Days after SAN FRANCISCO voters upheld a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids , the SAN MATEO County Board of Supervisors endorses a similar ban. Several...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

Education - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

IL Senate Approves HB 4870 The ILLINOIS Senate approves HB 4870 , legislation that would allow sick students who qualify for medical marijuana to consume it on school premises, as long as they don’t smoke it and school officials agree that it...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Health & Science - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MA House Approves HB 4486 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4486 , legislation that would raise the Bay State smoking age to 21. It is now in the Senate (BOSTON GLOBE). IA Governor Signs HF 2377 IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs HF 2377 , a...

Governors in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

BAKER OPEN TO NEW MA DEATH PENALTY In the wake of the murder of a Bay State police officer, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) says his office is talking with lawmakers and law enforcement officials about crafting a bill to reinstate the death penalty...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Governors in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

BROWN REACHES DEAL ON CA NATIONAL GUARD USE...OR DOES HE? After a week of jousting with the Trump administration, it is still unclear if CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will order the deployment of the California National Guard to the state’s...

Social Policy - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

PA House Approves HB 2050 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2050 , which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion based on the belief the expected child is likely to have Down syndrome. It moves to the Senate (PENNLIVE). PA House...

Governors in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

WALKER SIGNS OFF ON CLOSURE OF WI YOUTH PRISON : After years of accusations of ongoing abuse and neglect of its inhabitants, the lone WISCONSIN prison complex for teen offenders is now set to shut its doors for good. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed bipartisan...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Governors in Brief - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

BAKER OUTLINES $300 MILLION CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN : On the heels of several massive winter storms, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) outlined a plan to borrow $300 million to put toward efforts to combat climate change in communities all along the...

States Seek To Chart Their Own Course on Net Neutrality | 03-02-2018

Whether you are reading this in Olympia or Atlanta, Boston or Sacramento, the rules for how this story – or the collection of bytes of data that comprise it - travels from the Capitol Journal to your laptop, tablet or phone, are the same. ...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Govs Form Multistate Gun Task Force | 03-02-2018

Decrying a lack of federal action, several Northeastern governors have formed a multi-state partnership to address gun violence. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition is the brainchild of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who was joined by...

Helping the Dreamers: The Clock is Ticking | 02-16-2018

States have a vital stake in federal action to rescue the beleaguered program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Instituted by President Barack Obama in 2012 by executive order, DACA has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young...

Some States Act on Gun Control | 01-19-2018

Although there appears to be broad public support for some gun control measures , federal action on any of them seems unlikely in the current political climate. “The possibility of evidence-based firearm laws has become so politically toxic...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

States With Most to Lose by Elimination of SALT Deduction | 12-15-2017

Taxpayers in nine high-income, high-tax states claimed more than 60 percent of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions on federal tax returns nationwide in 2014, according to the Tax Foundation. Seven of those states, which include California, where...

Energy - December 11 2017 | 12-08-2017

NY GOVERNOR SIGNS AB 6571 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs AB 6571 , an energy bill that requires the state Public Service Commission to establish a portfolio of energy storage policies, including a long-term energy storage target. The Empire State...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Sexual Harassment Prevalent Problem in Statehouses | 11-03-2017

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving female state lawmakers, legislative staff or lobbyists have been reported recently in at least 16 states. The legislatures in all of those states have training programs or policies in place to...

Lawmakers Look to End Harassment Under the Dome | 11-03-2017

What started as a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has morphed into an ever-widening outcry against such outrages regularly committed by men in all workplaces, including statehouses...

Social Policy - October 16 2017 | 10-13-2017

Social Policy In Oklahoma An OKLAHOMA court strikes down a Sooner State law that required doctors prescribing abortion-inducing medications to follow a protocol established in 2000 rather than updated protocols offered by drug makers. District Judge...

Health & Science - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

Health In Massachusetts The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court rules that because the effects of marijuana vary so greatly between individuals, police officers cannot offer an opinion on whether an individual was “high” in court cases...

Governors In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Scott Creates First VT Ethics Commission VERMONT Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation last week that will create a five-member commission to review cases of unethical behavior and potentially forward appropriate cases to the attorney general’s...

State Lawmakers Defying Will of Voters | 03-10-2017

American politicians’ opposition to direct democracy dates back to the earliest days of the republic. But that resistance has reached a new level recently in the states, where elected officials are taking aim at voter-approved ballot measures and...

Governors In Brief - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Hickenlooper Offers CA Pot Advice Saying his state “made an awful lot of mistakes,” COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) shared some insights into regulating legal marijuana with a CALIFORNIA legislative committee last week, telling lawmakers...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

Crime & Punishment - October 3 2016 | 09-30-2016

Crime In Massachusetts The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court orders Bay State courts to consider whether a black person who walks away from a police officer is attempting to avoid the “recurring indignity of being racially profiled”...

Crime & Punishment - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

California Approves SB 443 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves SB 443 , which would shield people arrested for but not convicted of crimes from having police seize less than $40,000 of their cash assets. The bill returns to the Senate (SACRAMENTO BEE...