Massachusetts

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...

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...