Massachusetts

Budgets In Brief - December 19 2016 | 12-16-2016

VMT Tax Still Possibility in MA Despite MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) veto in August of a provision in a road funding bill passed by state lawmakers providing for a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax pilot program, the state hasn’t...

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...

Business - December 12 2016 | 12-09-2016

Business in Washington DC The WASHINGTON D.C. Council approves a proposal that would grant workers eight weeks of time off to care for a newborn or adopted child. The measure, which would also grant employees six weeks of paid leave to help ailing...

Baker Launches New Anti-Opioid Effort | 12-09-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) launched a new two-year pilot program last week aimed at curbing opioid abuse among workers who are injured on the job. The effort is aimed at helping people with settled workers’ compensation cases who are being...

Business - December 5 2016 | 12-02-2016

Massachusetts Approves SB 2473 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate each gives final approval to SB 2473 , which would impose new safety requirements on so-called “duck boats,” amphibious sight-seeing vehicles commonly used for tourist excursions...

Education - December 5 2016 | 12-02-2016

Massachusetts Approves HB 2319 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate give final approval to HB 2319 , which would exempt custodians, cafeteria employees and other non-teaching workers from a law that gives principals and superintendents responsibility...

Governors In Brief - November 21 2016 | 11-18-2016

Hickenlooper Pondering Slower Hospital Growth in CO COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) told reporters last week he might propose requiring hospitals seeking to expand to file proof with the state to show there is a need for such growth. At least 35...

Hillary Got Gored | 11-11-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he stuck to his plan to not cast a vote for president last week. As the Boston Herald reports, it was a first for Baker, which he noted left him “disappointed.” Here’s guessing it wasn’t half...

Crime & Punishment - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

Crime In Florida The FLORIDA Supreme Court rules that death penalty verdicts must be unanimous. The ruling strikes down a Sunshine State law that allowed for capital punishment verdicts when just 10 of 12 jurors agree. It is yet to be determined how...

Help Us, Shonda, Help, Help Us Shonda | 10-21-2016

Speaking of elections plagued by a bloviating blowhard – no, not that one – we hear that former major league pitcher Curt Schilling is planning to challenge U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in 2018. For non-sports fans, Schilling...

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...

Governors In Brief - October 17 2016 | 10-14-2016

Baker Starts MA Justice Selection Process MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced last Tuesday that the 12-member state Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission will start screening applicants to replace soon-retiring Justices Margot Botsford...

Social Policy - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

Social Policy In Oklahoma The OKLAHOMA Supreme Court rules that a 2015 law ( SB 642 ) that would have made it a felony for someone to help a minor obtain an abortion without parental consent is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the law, which...

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”...

MA Gov Baker Orders New Emissions Rules | 09-30-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued an executive order last month ( EO 569 ) that orders his administration by next spring to develop and implement a statewide plan for specific annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. The order directs...

Budgets In Brief - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

AL Approves $1B BP Settlement Spending Plan ALABAMA lawmakers approved a plan last week to spend most of a $1 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on debt repayments, Medicaid and highway projects in Baldwin and Mobile...

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...

Health & Science - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

Health & Science In The US The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9 th Circuit rules that the U.S. Department of Justice cannot prosecute those who grow, supply or use marijuana for medical purposes in states that have legalized such use. The court...

Potpourri - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

California Approves SB 1062 The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 1062 , which would ban the use of bull hooks, baseball bats and other instruments meant to cause pain in the training of elephants. Violators face fines up to $10,000. The...

Business - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Business In NJ The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that a 2014 NEW JERSEY law allowing sports betting at casinos and racetracks violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 federal law prohibiting the practice in all...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Baker Signs Major Economic Development Bill | 08-12-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed legislation last week that promises up to $1 billion in new investments in communities, workforce training, and innovation across the Bay State. The legislation ( HB 4565 ) also implements a number of elements...

Energy - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 4568 , a wide ranging energy bill that, among several things, directs utilities to procure 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind, 1,200 megawatts of hydroelectric power from sources outside the Bay State, promotes...

Budgets In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Leaner Sales Tax Holiday Season This Year Seventeen states are holding annual “back to school” sales tax holidays this year, but many of them are scaling back those events to reduce the revenue hit. FLORIDA is cutting the length of its...

Business - August 8 2016 | 08-05-2016

The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate endorse HB 4570 , legislation that would establish a 20-cent-per-ride surcharge on ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The measure, which also requires the companies to perform background checks on drivers they...

States Starting To Bet On Daily Fantasy Sports | 08-05-2016

Seven states - Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia - have passed laws this year aimed specifically at legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) games on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. In addition, Kansas enacted...

Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Has Some Successes, Momentum | 08-05-2016

The daily fantasy sports industry had a few wins this spring in its first full year of pushing to make its games explicitly legal across the country. And while the question of whether the games are legal remains unclear in much of the nation, and their...

Health & Science - August 8 2016 | 08-05-2016

The MASSACHUSETTS Legislature overrides Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) veto of HB 4491 , a bill that requires Bay State health insurers to cover the cost of long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease (BOSTON GLOBE). ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R...

Business - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

House and Senate Reach Final Agreement on MA SB 2119 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate reach final agreement on SB 2119 , gender pay equity legislation which requires men and women to be paid the same for similar work. The measure, which also bars...

Baker Pushes Back On MA Weapons Crackdown | 07-29-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) pushed back a bit this week on Attorney General Maura Healy’s (D) recently announced plan to begin prosecuting gun sellers and manufacturers that seek to go around the state’s ban on assault weapons. Baker...

Education - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

Health in California The CALIFORNIA State Board of Education approves a new history and social sciences curriculum that includes new instruction on topics like financial literacy; voter education; genocide; and the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual...

Free Charlie Baker | 07-29-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is one loyal dude. For the last 18 months, he has shown unwavering support for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has been dueling with the NFL over a ball tampering scandal from the 2015 AFC championship...

Immigration - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

Massachusetts Endorses HB 4488 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate each endorse HB 4488 , a bill that would bring the Bay State in compliance with the 2001 federal Real ID law. That law requires states to issue driver’s licenses that are more...

Potpourri - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

Potpourri in Massachusetts MASSACHUSETTS Attorney General Maura Healy (D) announces the Bay State will crack down on the sale of semi-automatic weapons, which have been banned there since 1998. Healey said gun sellers have been exploiting a loophole...

Business - July 18 2016 | 07-15-2016

MA Approves SB 2394, SB 2409 and SB 2119 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2394 , which would bar Bay State employers from running credit checks on job applicants. The measure, which makes exceptions for positions where the employee would handle...

Let There Be Curls | 07-15-2016

Budgets often contain lots of pet projects or other things not likely to get through the legislature on their own. A prime sampling this year comes from Massachusetts, where, as the Boston Globe reports , tucked away into the recently signed $39 billion...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Crime & Punishment - July 18 2016 | 07-15-2016

Crime In AZ The ARIZONA Supreme Court rules that the smell of marijuana is sufficient probable cause for police to search a person’s home or car, even though medical marijuana use is legal in the Grand Canyon State (REUTERS). AK Gov Signs...

Govs Sign Compact to Fight Opioid Abuse | 07-15-2016

Forty six governors signed a compact last week pledging to increase their collective efforts to combat the rising tide of opioid abuse in their states. Those efforts will include taking new steps to keep doctors from over-prescribing opioid medications...

Potpourri - July 18 2016 | 07-15-2016

UT Approves HB 3003 The UTAH House and Senate approve HB 3003 , which makes it a misdemeanor for someone to use a drone aircraft to interfere with a firefighting effort. Violators would face jail time and fines. The bill, which would also allow police...

Business - July 11 2016 | 07-08-2016

Business In CT The CONNECTICUT Supreme Court rules that state regulators can limit what tow truck operators charge motorists when police summon them to clear highway accidents. The ruling came in two cases where tow operators claimed the state could...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Social Policy - July 11 2016 | 07-08-2016

MA Endorses SB 2407 A MASSACHUSETTS joint House-Senate committee endorses SB 2407 , a bill that would bar discrimination against transgender people in places of public accommodation and allow them to use the restroom or locker room facilities that...

Business - July 5 2016 | 07-01-2016

Business In NJ The NEW JERSEY Supreme Court rules that employers may not terminate or discriminate against workers simply for getting divorced or separated from their spouse. The suit stemmed from the case of an employee who was terminated after revealing...

Potpourri - July 5 2016 | 07-01-2016

SCOTUS Upholds Firearm Law The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a federal law barring those convicted of domestic abuse from possessing firearms. The ruling allows similar laws in 34 states and the District of Columbia to remain in place (NPR.ORG). HI...

Baker Administration Seeks MA Medicaid Waiver | 06-17-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) unveiled a proposal last Wednesday seeking to renegotiate the Bay State’s soon-to-expire Medicaid waiver with the federal government. The proposal, which seeks to extend the current waiver for five years, beginning...

Gov. Baker Nominates Three to MA High Court | 06-17-2016

MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) was a busy man last week. In addition to unveiling his Medicaid waiver proposal, he nominated three judges to fill impending vacancies on the Bay State’s Supreme Judicial Court. Baker’s picks - Superior...

NE Govs Pledge to Ramp Up Battle Against Opioid Abuse | 06-10-2016

Citing an ongoing scourge of overdose deaths across the Northeast, all six New England state governors pledged last week to do more to combat the opioid abuse in their states and throughout the region. Gathered at a three-day symposium at Harvard...

Governors In Brief - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

NY Gov. Cuomo Cuts Off Groups Boycotting Israel Saying “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you,” NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) directed state agencies under his control to divest themselves of companies and organizations...

Environment - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

MA Approves HB 4377 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4377 , a bill that would require Bay State utilities to solicit and enter into long-term contracts for large-scale hydroelectric and offshore wind power. Under the bill, utilities would need to...