Massachusetts

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...

More Govs Join Climate Alliance | 06-09-2017

Nine more states last week joined the newly-created U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition to uphold the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international coalition aimed at combatting the impacts of global climate change. The coalition was formed...

No Regrets | 06-02-2017

For a lot of folks a Harvard degree might seem the epitome of achievement. That would seem especially true if said degree helps you go on to become governor. But not so for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who reiterated last month his feeling that attending...

Baker Orders Review Of Wiretap Law | 05-04-2017

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) joined with Attorney General Maura Healey (D) and law enforcement officers last week to announce legislation that would update the Bay State’s wiretapping law for the first time since its inception in 1968. Under...

Baker Goes After Revenge Porn | 04-28-2017

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) filed legislation last week that criminalizes so-called “revenge porn,” the posting of sexually explicit photos or videos of someone online without that person’s approval. “We here in...

Governors In Brief - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

MA Gov. Baker Most Popular; NJ’s Christie Not So Much A new poll by Morning Consult shows MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) remains the most popular chief executive in the country, with 75 percent of Bay State residents approving of the job...

Governors In Brief - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Baker Tries Again on MA Police Assault Bill After lawmakers killed a similar proposal last session, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled legislation last week that would make it a felony to assault and cause serious bodily harm to a police...

The Devil Ain’t Making Them Do It | 03-31-2017

Rare is the day some lawmaker somewhere doesn’t invoke their religion as cause for opposing or supporting a bill. But as my religious friends will tell you, if you have God then you also have to have Satan, and Old Ned is definitely looking to make...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

States Anticipating Slower Revenue Growth | 03-31-2017

States are projecting income tax revenue growth of 3.6 percent and sales tax growth of 3.1 percent this fiscal year, down from 4 percent and 3.6 percent respectively last fiscal year and well below annual averages prior to the Great Recession, according...

States Delaying Payment of Income Tax Refunds | 03-31-2017

A lot of taxpayers are going to be waiting longer than usual for their state tax refunds this year. At least 21 states, including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, say refunds could be delayed...

Governors In Brief - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

Martinez Vetoes Slew of Bipartisan NM Bills NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez (R) surprised lawmakers in both parties last week by vetoing without explanation at least nine Senate-sponsored bills, most of which had wide bipartisan support. The vetoes...

States Consider Curbs On Foreign Corporate Political Spending | 03-17-2017

With questions about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election still in the headlines , a number of states are considering legislation to block businesses with foreign ties from contributing to political campaigns. Noncitizens...

Baker Vows to Fund MA Planned Parenthood | 03-10-2017

Saying Massachusetts has “a responsibility” to help women obtain health care services, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the state will make up any budget shortfalls suffered by Planned Parenthood if Congress follows through on a threat to cut federal...

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...

Business - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Missouri Approves HB 91 The MISSOURI House approves HB 91 , so-called right-to-work legislation that would bar union workplaces from requiring workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. It moves to the Senate (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH)...

Health & Science - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

North Dakota Approves SB 2154 The NORTH DAKOTA Senate approves SB 2154 , which would suspend implementation of a voter-approved measure to allow the use of medicinal marijuana in the Flickertail State. The suspension would run through July 31, or until...

Baker Proposes Fining MA Employers That Don’t Offer Health Insurance | 01-20-2017

Seeking to address rising health costs, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has proposed reinstating a law that would fine employers for not offering health care insurance to their workers. Baker’s proposal would also cap payments to some health...

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

Lobbyist Spending Down in MA Lobbyist spending last year in MISSOURI - which totaled about $690,000 - was down by more than $200,000 from any other year on record, and spending has continued to fall this year, according to analysis of Missouri Ethics...

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...