Massachusetts

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...

Health and Science - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

Health in MA The MASSACHUSETTS House gives initial approval to HB 3895, a bill that would allow Bay State doctors to delegate the administration of immunizations to certified and trained medical assistants, under the direct supervision of the provider...

Governors In Brief - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

Snyder Kills Straight Ticket Voting Saying “it’s time to choose people over politics,” MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation last week (SB 13) that eliminates straight-ticket voting in the Wolverine State. In a signing...

Social Policy - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

Social Policy in OH A federal judge temporarily blocks OHIO Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) from going to court to change how Planned Parenthood disposes of fetal remains following abortion procedures. U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. issued...

Baker Wants MA Liquor Licenses To Be Local | 12-11-2015

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) proposed legislation last week to return control over the issuance of liquor licenses to local governments. Under the current system, the number of liquor licenses in most locales is capped, with additional licenses...

Only A Handful of States Considering "Assault Weapon" Bills | 12-11-2015

Eight states introduced legislation this year aimed at imposing or tightening restrictions on “assault weapons” specifically, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative database. Four of those states also introduced legislation...

Potpourri - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to an ILLINOIS city’s ban on semiautomatic, high-capacity assault weapons. The city, Highland Park, is a suburb of Chicago. Seven states — MARYLAND, CALIFORNIA, CONNECTICUT, HAWAII, MASSACHUSETTS...

Crime - December 7 2015 | 12-04-2015

MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 3798, which imposes a 20-year jail sentence for someone convicted of trafficking more than 10 grams of the drug fentanyl, an opioid known to be many times stronger than heroin (MASSLIVE.COM).

Education - December 7 2015 | 12-04-2015

Education in MA The University of MASSACHUSETTS Foundation, which manages charitable giving for the five-university UMASS system, announces it will divest itself of direct investments of its $770 million endowment in coal companies. The Foundation...

Twice As Nice | 11-20-2015

If being sworn into office is fun, why not do it twice? That’s what new Massachusetts state Sen. Michael Brady did a few weeks ago. As Statehouse News reports, Brady believed he was to be sworn in at 1:00pm on the 10 th . Alas, Gov. Charlie Baker...

Business - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

Business In MA The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2054, which would bar employers and schools from requiring employees, students and job applicants to share their social media passwords or provide the employer or a school official access to those...

Medicaid Expansion Big Factor in State Insured Rates | 11-20-2015

Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of residents without health insurance last year, 3.3 percent, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas had the highest percentage of such residents, at 19.1 percent. All five of the states...

Crime & Punishment - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

Crime In OH The OHIO Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of requiring sex offenders to register their addresses with authorities (DAYTON DAILY NEWS). Crime In MA The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate give final approval to HB 1641, which...

Baker Overhauls MA Child Welfare Policies | 11-20-2015

Calling it “a much needed systemic reform of DCF policies and practices,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced last Tuesday he is doing away with a Department of Children and Families policy that requires the triaging of child welfare...

Education - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

Education in WV The WEST VIRGINIA Board of Education endorses a repeal of the Common Core-based K-12 math and English language arts standards and replacement of them with standards developed by state education officials. The proposal is now in a 30...

Energy - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

Energy in MA The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate fail to reach agreement on legislation to raise the cap on the amount of net solar metering credits allowed in a particular utility’s system. Each chamber passed legislation of its own (HB 3857...

Flurry of Statehouse Action On Daily Fantasy Sports | 11-13-2015

Legislation related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) has been drafted or introduced this year in 16 states, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which covers the legal online sports wagering industry. The bills generally seek to legalize DFS in states that...

Baker Updates Supplier Diversity Rules | 11-06-2015

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued an executive order last week extending rules designed to boost opportunities for state contracts among woman- and minority-owned businesses to also include businesses owned by veterans, the disabled and members...

Crime - November 9 2015 | 11-06-2015

The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 1694, which would make it a crime to profit by fraudulently claiming to be a veteran. Violators would face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. It moves to the Senate (STATEHOUSE NEWS [BOSTON]). MICHIGAN Gov. Rick...

Well Now That's Deflating | 11-06-2015

Love them or hate them – and there is no real in-between – the New England Patriots are the rulers of the professional football world. And no amount of teeth gnashing over their incessant cheating and bending of rules – sorry, alleged...