Massachusetts

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...

Gov. Baker Reverses MA Immigration Policy | 06-03-2016

In a stark reversal of policy from his predecessor, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced last Thursday that State Police will now routinely check with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency about the status of suspects...

Pro-, Anti-LGBT Bills Put GOP Govs on the Spot | 06-03-2016

Some people might have presumed the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage would have settled or at least diminished the nation’s long culture war over civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It did...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Budgets In Brief - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

$1B Budget Shortfall in NJ NEW JERSEY Treasurer Ford Scudder announced last week that the state is facing a budget deficit of close to $1 billion for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 combined. But he said the state would be able to manage the shortfall with...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Baker Most Popular Governor | 05-13-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is the most popular governor in the nation, at least according to one new survey released last week. The study of 66,000 people from across the country by Morning Consult, which bills itself as “a media and technology...

Social Policy - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

MA Approves SB 735 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 735 , a bill that would ban discrimination in public accommodations or businesses. The measure moves to the House (STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE [BOSTON]). CA Approves AB 1732 The CALIFORNIA...

Potpourri - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

MA Approves HB 4278 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4278 , which would give veterans preference for placement into public housing. It moves to the Senate (STATE HOUSE NEWS [BOSTON]). AZ Gov Signs SB 1449 ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signs...

Business - May 9 2016 | 05-06-2016

TN Gov Signs SB 2109 TENNESSEE Gov. Bill Haslam (R) signs SB 2109 , which makes the Volunteer State the third to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports games. The law establishes a regulatory framework for the industry, including a licensing process...

Governors In Brief - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

Markell Announces DE Technology Effort Saying “Our aim has always been, under corporate law, to harness the benefits of new technologies while limiting the risk for businesses,” DELAWARE Gov. Jack Markell (D) announced a state initiative...

Social Policy - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

Social Policy In VA The VIRGINIA Supreme Court rules that a gay couple can be legally considered to have “a relationship analogous to marriage,” and if they’ve been together for a year, a person paying spousal support to one of those...

States Consider Raising Legal Age For Tobacco | 04-29-2016

At least 11 states have considered measures this session mimicking Hawaii’s newly implemented law that raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative database. California’s...

Lawmakers Mull Raising Legal Smoking Age | 04-29-2016

Sometime in the next week – maybe by the time you are reading this – California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will weigh in on legislation to raise his state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21. If he signs it, the Golden State would become only...

Don’t Tread On Me | 04-15-2016

By all accounts, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is a nice guy and certainly among the most moderate members of his state’s GOP. But that didn’t stop him from recently feeling the wrath of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce...

Governors In Brief - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

Edwards Issues LGBT Order LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 , which protects LGBT state employees and contractors from being fired, discriminated against or harassed based on their gender identity or sexual...

Energy - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

HB 4173 Signed in MA MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 4173 , which lifts the cap on private solar power projects eligible for net metering credits from 4 percent to 7 percent of peak electrical usage, and from 5 percent to 8 percent on...

Flurry of Remote Sales Tax Bills in States This Year | 04-08-2016

At least a dozen states have introduced legislation in 2016 related to out-of-state, or remote, sales taxes, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding the definition of a state...

Education - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Education in MA The MASSACHUSETTS Senate endorses SB 2203 , legislation that would gradually lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the Bay State but tie that to increased funding for all public schools. The measure now moves to the House...

Energy & Environment - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Energy In NJ The NEW JERSEY Senate approves SB 1707 , which would require Garden State utility companies to source at least 80 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2050. It moves to the House (CLEANTECHNICA.COM). ...

Crime & Punishment - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Crime in KY The KENTUCKY House unanimously endorses SB 63, which would require Bluegrass State law enforcement agencies to develop policies for handling DNA evidence from rape kits. The bill, which also sets timelines for submitting rape kits to the...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Health & Science - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

Health In GA The GEORGIA Senate approves HB 965, the so-called “Jimmy Carter bill,” which bars Peach State health insurers from forcing cancer patients to first fail to respond to other treatments before trying more advanced treatment programs...

Business - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Business In CA The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 7b, which would raise the legal smoking age in the Golden State to 21. It moves to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for consideration (SACRAMENTO BEE). Also in CALIFORNIA , the Senate endorses SB...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...

Health & Science - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Health In AK The ALASKA House approves SB 23, which lifts civil liabilities for prescribing, providing or administering the overdose antidote drug naloxone. The measure moves back to the Senate for concurrence (FAIRBANKS NEWS MINER). Health In...

Majority of States Have Good Samaritan Laws | 03-04-2016

States have enacted numerous laws to combat the epidemic of opioid-related deaths plaguing much of the United States. Most common are so-called “Good Samaritan” laws that generally give a person civil or criminal immunity for seeking help...

Politics In Brief - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

NH House Panel Considers Voting Laws The NEW HAMPSHIRE House Election Committee this week reviewed a measure that would ask voters to require residents to actually live in the state for 10 days before being eligible to vote. State law currently requires...

Govs Tout Clean Energy, Avoid Climate Change | 02-19-2016

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed off last week on a pledge to work together toward increasing the use of renewable power, integrating electricity grids across state lines and ramping up the number of alternative fuel cars on their roadways (For...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Third MA Justice Announces Retirement | 02-12-2016

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Fernande Duffly revealed last week she would soon step down, becoming the third justice in the last week to announce their retirement. Duffly, 66, said she would leave the bench in July, four years before reaching...

The Buck Stops Here | 02-12-2016

When it comes to curtailing jaywalking, Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler says it’s time to talk softly and start wielding a big stick. Prompted by recent pedestrian deaths, Chandler wants to raise the Bay State penalty for...

Gov. Watchman | 02-12-2016

Speaking of Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker enjoyed his recent brief foray into presidential politics, when he went to New Hampshire to observe the primaries up close and personal. He was in fact so enthralled, reports State House News , he “may...

Health & Science - February 15 2016 | 02-12-2016

Health & Science - U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces new rules designed to mitigate opioid abuse. Those measures include having an expert panel review new opioids, strengthening post-release study requirements for those drugs...

Governors In Brief - February 8 2016 | 02-04-2016

Dayton Out of Hospital MINNESOTA Gov. Mark Dayton (D) was briefly hospitalized last week after fainting at a public event. The 69-year-old Dayton, who also underwent elective back surgery last December, was released after one day. Doctors believe he...

Business - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

Business in WV The WEST VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 1, so-called “right-to-work” legislation that would allow employees in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying union dues while still requiring a union to represent all workers. The...

Crime & Punishment - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

Crime & Punishment in LA & PA The Supreme Court of the United States rules that people sentenced to life in prison as juveniles should be allowed to petition for a review of their sentence in order to seek parole. The High Court ruled that...

Baker Unveils Economic Development Plan | 01-29-2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) unveiled a plan last Thursday to spend almost $918 million in state funds over the next five years on economic development, housing and job training in the Bay State. He will further seek to bolster the state’s...

Environment - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2092, legislation that would require the Bay State to develop a climate change mitigation plan and adopt new emissions caps of 35-45 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 55-65 percent below 1990 levels by 2040. The...

Health & Science - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

Health & Science in CA The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 21, a bill that would remove a March 1 deadline for cities and counties to adopt regulations under the state’s new medical marijuana regulatory framework. Under the law, the state could...

Potpourri - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

The INDIANA Senate approves SB 91, legislation that would overturn a Hoosier State law that sealed adoption records that did not contain a disclosure consent form. Under the bill, adoption records for people born between 1941 and 1994 would become available...

Health & Science - January 18 2016 | 01-15-2016

The MASSACHUSETTS House unanimously approves HB 3944, legislation that would among several things give doctors a 24-hour window to conduct a substance abuse evaluation on patients who enter an emergency room showing symptoms of an opioid overdose. They...

Budgets in Brief - January 18 2016 | 01-15-2016

Chicago to Consider Airbnb fee Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance that would impose a 2-percent surcharge on home-sharing and vacation rentals like those offered through services like Airbnb and VRBO. The proposal also seeks to require...

Business - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 3922, which extends a Bay State law that requires 35 percent of employees eligible for a group home or auto insurance marketing discount, or credit, to participate in that plan within two years of the plan...

Crime & Punishment - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

The MASSACHUSETTS House approves SB 2021, a bill that would repeal a Bay State law that automatically suspends the driver’s licenses of drug offenders whose crimes had nothing to do with operating a motor vehicle. The measure returns to the Senate...