Massachusetts

The Local Front - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA Attorney General Approves Extension In a ruling with statewide implications, MASSACHUSETTS Attorney General Maura Healey (D) approves an extension of a temporary moratorium on legal cannabis shops and other marijuana businesses through June 2019...

Nobody at the Wheel | 06-29-2018

In spite of some tragic failures, the slow movement toward autonomous cars is rolling forward. The latest proof comes from Massachusetts, where State House News Service reports that Gov. Charlie Baker (R) recently signed off on an agreement to allow testing...

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...

Governors in Brief - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CARNEY MAKES FIRST DE SPORTS BET : DELAWARE Gov. Jon Carney (D) kicked off his state’s entry into legal sports wagering by making its first legal sports bet since the Supreme Court legalized the practice last month. Carney placed a $10 wager...

Health & Science - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MA Senate Approves HB 4539 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves HB 4539 , so-called “red flag” legislation that would allow the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. The measure returns to the...

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...

Governors in Brief - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

BAKER TO SEEK HARSHER PENALTIES FOR MA SEX OFFENDERS : With the release of a notorious convicted sex offender dominating headlines across the Bay State, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he plans to introduce legislation to increase penalties...

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...

Immigration - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

MA Senate Approves Budget Amendment The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves a budget amendment that would bar police from asking about people’s immigration status unless required by law; end contracts that deputize state and local law enforcement as...

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...

Education - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

Going On In MA The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court rules that professors and staff at Bay State colleges can be sued for failing to act after learning a student was considering suicide. The decision came in a suit over the death of a Massachusetts...

Education - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

MA Supreme Judicial Court The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court upholds a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Bay State’s charter school cap. The suit argued that caps on charters were arbitrary and denied...

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...

Baker Signs MA Criminal Justice Reform Bill | 04-20-2018

In spite of “serious concerns,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed into law sweeping changes to the Bay State’s criminal justice system. Provisions of the new law include rolling back mandatory minimum sentences for some...

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...

Count Me Out | 04-13-2018

In normal times, when the vice president comes to town the governor is sure to be there for a good old fashioned grip-and-grin for the news photographers. And if he is from your own party? Done deal, right? Wrong! Or so it was last week for 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...