Massachusetts

Sports Wagering Getting Play in States This Year | 04-05-2018

Fourteen states have introduced over 40 bills dealing with sports betting this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Four states - Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia - account for more than half of the...

Baker Announces Major Reforms for MA State Police | 04-05-2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced a 10-step reform plan last week for the scandal-plagued State Police, with changes that will include completely eliminating the troop responsible for patrolling the 138-mile Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston...

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...

MA Looks to Cut Medicaid Drug Spending | 04-05-2018

Seeking to mitigate fast-rising prescription drug prices, Massachusetts health leaders have asked the Trump administration for permission to limit the number of drugs that will be covered in its Medicaid program, including “drugs with limited or...

Social Policy - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

MS Federal Court Blocks HS 1510 A federal court temporarily blocks HB 1510 , a bill signed into law by MISSISSIPPPI Gov. Phil Bryant (R) that would bar Magnolia State doctors from performing abortions after a woman’s 15 th week of pregnancy....

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...

Baker, MA Regulators Clash Over Weed Rollout | 02-09-2018

Expressing concern that regulators are too focused on “ancillary stuff,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) urged state regulators to prioritize setting up the state’s basic retail framework before worrying about licensing pot cafes...

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...

Baker Urges Feds to Focus on Opioids, Not Weed | 01-12-2018

In the wake of a new threat of a federal crackdown on the marijuana industry, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) urged federal prosecutors last week to focus their attention instead on dealing with the state’s ongoing opioid abuse crisis. ...

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...

Education - December 18 2017 | 12-15-2017

EDUCATION IN MA The MASSACHUSETTS Board of Education announces that students who relocated to the Bay State from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because of Hurricane Maria will be immediately eligible to pay lower in-state public higher education...

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...

When Life Gives You Lemons | 12-01-2017

You make a lemon pie! At least that’s what you do if you want to make Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker a happy man. Yes, as MassLive reports , Baker visited a new outlet of the legendary Worcester pie shop Table Talk last week, where he revealed...

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...

Governors In Brief - December 04 2017 | 12-01-2017

BAKER WILL SEEK SECOND TERM As expected, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has announced he will run for re-election next year. Baker made the announcement on his Twitter feed. (BOSTON HERALD) HOLCOMB ORDERS CBD OIL OFF SHELVES INDIANA Gov...

Man, No Man | 11-17-2017

Hey, you want to be become a member of the Brookline Massachusetts Board of Selectmen? Sorry, too late! That’s because, as the Boston Globe reports , the town has dropped the name in favor of calling its elected leaders the Select Board. Members...

Education - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

MA House and Senate Approve HB 4032 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate give final approval to HB 4032 , a bill that would allow Bay State school districts to maintain current English immersion programming or choose an alternative that meets federal...

Baker Issues New MA Opioid Proposal | 11-17-2017

Less than two years after signing major opioid abuse deterrent legislation, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) introduced a $110 million package of policy recommendations last week aimed at further addressing the Bay State’s ongoing opioid abuse...

Health & Science - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

WI Assembly Approves AB 501 The WISCONSIN Assembly overwhelmingly approves AB 501 , which would give 2,000 Badger State families who receive food stamps a discount on healthy foods for 10 months in hopes it will encourage them to eat better. It moves...

Potpourri - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

MA Governor Signs Budget Acting MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Karyn Polito (R) signs budget legislation that includes a provision banning the sale or possession of the so-called “bump stock,” an attachment that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire...

Baker Re-launches MA Hate Crime Task Force | 11-10-2017

Saying his administration “is committed to making Massachusetts a safe and welcoming place with zero-tolerance for hate or violence,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued an executive order last Monday to restart a long dormant state...

Oh the Shame | 11-03-2017

It isn’t surprising that Massachusetts companies with large numbers of workers who get their health care coverage through the Bay State’s version of Medicaid might not want that info getting around. Be that as it may, they may be about to...

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...

Baker Enlists Social Workers In MA Opioid Battle | 10-13-2017

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced a “first-in-the-nation set of educational core principles” he says will help ensure the Bay State’s more than 4,000 enrolled social work students are equipped with the skills needed to confront...

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...

Baker Calls For Bipartisan Health Care Reform | 10-06-2017

Speaking to a meeting of Bay State health officials, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) called on Congress to take steps to stabilize the individual health insurance market and act quickly to extend two recently expired programs that fund community...

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 - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

BAKER TO FORM MA TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCE Responding to a business group’s report that called for an independent review of state transportation infrastructure needs, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he will issue an executive order...

Politics In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

SUPREME COURT STAYS TX REMAP ORDER: The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Aug. 24 ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Western District of TEXAS that several of that state’s legislative districts had been drawn...

Republican Govs Differ On DACA | 09-08-2017

Most GOP governors chose to tread lightly in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last week. The program, implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2012, grants temporary...

Governors In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

HOGAN PROPOSES MD SENTENCING LEGISLATION Responding to what he called “out of control” violent crime in Baltimore, MARYLAND , Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he plans to introduce a major package of anti-crime legislation when lawmakers reconvene...

Trump Promises Opioid Emergency Declaration | 08-18-2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare a federal emergency aimed at addressing the national opioid abuse crisis, but what that means to beleaguered governors seeking to quell the crisis remains unclear. The president...

Growth Lag And Budget Caution In The States | 08-18-2017

The U.S. economy is expanding for a ninth consecutive year, unemployment is low, stock indices are near record highs, despite an early August slump, and the Great Recession of 2007-09 is a distant memory. Despite these positives, state budgets for fiscal...

Business - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Gov. Charlie Baker Signs HB 3680 Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 3680 , legislation that requires Bay State employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant workers and makes it illegal to fire or refuse to hire a worker because...

Immigration - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Immigration In Massachusetts The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court rules that Bay State police do not have the legal authority to detain suspects solely to hold them for federal officials. The ruling rejects requests by the federal Immigration and...

Baker Proposes MA Immigration Law | 08-04-2017

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) proposed legislation last week that would allow Bay State authorities to detain certain unauthorized immigrants at the behest of federal officials. The legislation came in the wake of a recent state Supreme Judicial...

Business - July 24 2017 | 07-21-2017

Business In Massachusetts The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate agree on a bill that would impose significant changes in the voter-approved law legalizing recreational marijuana sales in the Bay State. Under the legislation, the maximum tax on retail...

Baker Signs $39 Billion MA Budget | 07-21-2017

More than two weeks into the 2018 fiscal year, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed a $39.43 billion budget on Monday that increases spending by 1.7 percent over last year. Baker also vetoed $320 million from the budget bill lawmakers sent him...

Business - July 10 2017 | 07-07-2017

Massachusetts Endorses SB 2093 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate unanimously endorses SB 2093 , which would bar Bay State employers from discriminating against an employee or prospective employee due to pregnancy or a condition related to the pregnancy, such...

Budgets Late In Many States | 07-07-2017

Ten states started the 2018 fiscal year on July 1 without a budget in place, according to the Tax Foundation. A partial government shutdown in one of those states, Maine, ended on the 4th of July when Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed a budget compromise eliminating...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

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...