Massachusetts

Regulatory Crackdown on Youth E-Cigarette Use | 04-12-2019

Lawmakers in at least 10 states are considering bills that would impose the first state bans on the sale of flavored tobacco and “vaping” products. The measures are part of a wave of legislation dealing with e-cigarettes and other vaping...

States Consider Bans on Flavored E-Cigarettes | 04-12-2019

As of April 9, at least 10 states had introduced bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Most of the proposals would exempt establishments that prohibit minors. Some would apply only to e-liquids...

Baker Signs MA Conversion Therapy Ban | 04-12-2019

Without any comment, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has signed a bill making the Bay State the 16 th (and with Washington D.C.) to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” a controversial practice aimed at changing a minor’s sexual...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States | 04-05-2019

Legislation dealing with consumer data privacy has been introduced this year in at least 25 states, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net. As of April 3, such measures had been passed by their...

Social Policy - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

MA Lawmakers Give Final Approval to HB 140 MASSACHUSETTS lawmakers give final approval to HB 140 , which would ban conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation, on minors. It moves to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who has...

Dozen States Adopted ‘California Rule’ on Pensions | 03-22-2019

In 1955 the California Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. City of Long Beach (1955) that workers enter a contract with their employers from their first day on the job, and their pension benefits can’t be reduced unless they’re replaced with comparable...

Baker Pushes MA School ‘Empowerment Zones’ | 03-22-2019

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) filed legislation last week to create statewide “innovation partnership zones” that give local schools more and better tools to improve poor performing schools. The plan is based on a nine-school...

Murphy Ensures NJ Stays Cash-Friendly | 03-22-2019

Countering a growing trend among retailers toward accepting only credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation last week requiring brick-and-mortar retail operations to accept cash and imposing potentially...

Social Policy - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

IA Supreme Court Upholds The IOWA Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s ruling that the Hawkeye State cannot deny Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery. The court ruled that doing so would violate the state’s 2007 Civil Rights...

States Grapple with Complexities of Health Reform | 03-08-2019

It has been just over two years since President Donald Trump famously bemoaned the complexities of the American health care system, telling a meeting of the nation’s governors that “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” ...

NY Spends Most on Medicaid | 03-08-2019

New York pays a larger share of its total Medicaid spending than any other state, at 51.2 percent, with the federal government covering the other 48.8 percent, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation . New York also pays the most in...

Budgets in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

MN GOV PROPOSES $1.3B IN BORROWING MINNESOTA Gov. Tim Walz (D) has proposed borrowing nearly $1.3 billion to provide more affordable housing, fix buildings on college campuses and repair transportation infrastructure. Although parts of the governor’s...

Baker Pushes New MA Housing | 03-08-2019

Saying a lack of affordable housing is becoming a drag on the state economy, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation earlier this month that would relax zoning controls in Bay State cities and towns. Baker said a lack of housing is driving...

Governors in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

DUCEY VOWS VETO OF ANTI-VAX BILLS Breaking a tradition of not commenting on bills that are still in the legislative process, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he is “pro-vaccine” and would veto any bills to weaken the state’s vaccination...

More States Propose Paid Family Leave | 02-08-2019

When the sun went down on 2018, a half dozen states and the District of Columbia had laws in place ensuring workers could take paid time off to deal with family illnesses or the birth of a child. When the calendar closes on 2019, several more may have...

Marijuana Black Market Big Problem for MA | 02-08-2019

Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2016. But over two years later, most pot sales in the state still take place on the black market. The main reason for that is the slow rollout of state-licensed pot shops, with only...

Governors in Brief - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

BAKER REFILES MA CYBERBULLYING BILL Responding to a study that showed growth in cyberbullying in Bay State schools, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled a bill that would require schools to teach kids about the dangers of taking and sharing...

Baker Proposal Could Bring E-Scooters Back to MA | 01-25-2019

Electronic scooters could return to Massachusetts if a new proposal from Gov. Charlie Baker (R) eventually becomes law. The rapidly growing e-scooter craze hit a roadblock in Massachusetts last year when several cities ordered scooter-sharing company...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

Northeast Govs Now Favor Legal Weed | 01-18-2019

Saying it was “inevitable” that her state would soon be surrounded by states that have legalized recreational cannabis use, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) joined a growing number of her Democratic colleagues in proposing to follow suit...

Governors in Brief - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

DESANTIS WANTS MAJOR CHANGE TO FL MEDICAL WEED LAW Saying he wants to see people “be able to have their suffering relieved,” FLORIDA Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) urged Sunshine State lawmakers to allow medical marijuana patients to smoke their...

Business - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

MI Governor Issues Executive Order 2019-10 MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issues Executive Order 2019-10 , which bars state agencies and departments from asking job applicants about previous salary history until a conditional offer of employment...

Education - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

NJ Governor Signs AB 1414 NEW JERSEY Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) signs AB 1414 , a bill that mandates the state Board of Education include financial literacy instruction in the curriculum for sixth- through eighth-grade students in public schools across...

Some Shrinking U.S. Cities Thriving | 12-14-2018

Conventional wisdom holds that cities need population growth to be economically healthy. But between 2000 and 2016 per-capita income in Pittsburgh rose 24 percent - well over the national average of 18 percent - while the city’s population shrunk...

Cybersecurity Hot Issue in Statehouses in 2018 | 11-30-2018

At least 35 states have considered bills or resolutions dealing with cybersecurity in 2018, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures . Twenty-two states have enacted such measures...

Governors in Brief - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

BAKER URGES NEW STEPS FOR REPORTING MA HATE CRIMES Taking a cue from the recommendations of a state task force, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the Bay State will create a new website to track hate crimes and urged police chiefs to designate...

Voters, Courts Slowly Taking Redistricting Power from Lawmakers | 11-16-2018

While Congressional and state legislative races drew most of the attention on Election Day, those races were hardly the only critical issues voters would decide. Missouri, Colorado and Michigan became the latest states to endorse independent commissions...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

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...

Baker Pitches Coordinated MA Fentanyl Effort | 11-02-2018

Calling the synthetic opioid fentanyl “the most dangerous element in street drugs here in the commonwealth,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) filed legislation last week seeking $5 million to launch a pilot program for a “regional...

Education - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

Education in MA: The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate endorse a revised version of SB 2631 , a bill previously amended by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) that would make student-led civics projects part of Bay State high school and eighth grade curriculum. The...

Superstition Ain’t the Way | 11-02-2018

It’s traditional come World Series time for mayors of the cities of the teams involved to make a showy bet on the outcome. But don’t tell that to Boston Mayor Mary Walsh. As the Los Angeles Times reports , Walsh just said no to making a bet...

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...

Governors in Brief - October 19 2018 | 10-19-2018

BAKER WANTS MA TO NEGOTIATE BETTER DRUG PRICES Calling escalating prescription drug prices “the single biggest driver, at this point, to the rising cost of health care in MASSACHUSETTS ,” Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is preparing to introduce...

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...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

Governors in Brief - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

Baker Opposes MA Nurse Staffing Mandates MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said a recent report by the state Health Policy Commission has convinced him to vote no on Question 1 , a ballot measure that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios...

State’s Age Impacts Fiscal Health | 10-05-2018

The older a state is, the more likely it is to have fiscal problems. That’s one of the findings of an analysis of state fiscal health by William Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in...

Governors in Brief - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

INSLEE ISSUES WA HEP C DIRECTIVE : WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued a directive that orders state agencies, tribal governments and other local public-health officials to coordinate a strategy to eradicate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030. State...

Lawsuits Forcing States to Spend Millions on Hep C Treatment | 09-28-2018

A federal judge in Indiana ruled this month that denying or delaying treatment of prison inmates infected with hepatitis C constituted cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. A similar ruling last...

Governors in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

WALKER DECLARES NATIVE LANGUAGE EMERGENCY Saying the government must support the “revitalization” of native languages, ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued Administrative Order 300 last week calling for indigenous place names to be shown...

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...

Governors in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

SNYDER SIGNS ‘BAN THE BOX’ ORDER MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed Executive Order 2018-4 , which directs some state agencies to no longer ask job applicants about any criminal history in the initial application process. The so-called...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

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...

Baker Signs Major MA Opioid Bill | 08-17-2018

Citing the ongoing opioid and heroin crisis he said “has tragically claimed scores of lives and broken families across the Commonwealth,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed off on an expansive measure that imposes a number of new...

Business - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

MA Governor Vetoes Section of HB 4732 MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) vetoes a section of a $1.1 billion economic development package ( HB 4732 ) that would have barred “bad faith” allegations of patent infringement by so-called “patent...