Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Joshua Miller Globe Staff June 11, 2018 On slow-moving Beacon Hill, there’s so much to do and so little time.With only 50 days remaining before the end of the formal two-year legislative session, Massachusetts lawmakers are scrambling to finish a long list of policy priorities, from efforts to fight the scourge of drug overdoses to measures that would tighten gun laws, tax Airbnb rentals, and rein in the cost of health care.After the clock strikes midnight at the beginning of August, lawmakers will still meet and advance legislation in informal sessions. But in those sessions, a single legislator can derail proceedings, so just about every substantive bill must get done before July ends — or languish until 2019. Advertisement There are several bills that have passed both the House and the Senate in differing versions that must be reconciled before … [Read more...] about A long list of priorities on Beacon Hill, but lawmakers are getting short on time
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Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Frank Phillips Globe Staff June 01, 2018 State Senator Barbara L’Italien, a Democrat running for Congress, has railed against several of her rivals for leveraging their relationships with high-ranking local officials to rake in campaign donations and rack up support from insiders.But L’Italien, in her own bid to replace retiring US Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell, has turned for campaign funds to scores of lobbyists, insiders, and others with interests on Beacon Hill who depend on her decisions as cochairwoman of a powerful regulatory committee. According to a review of her fund-raising records, about one-fifth of the nearly $500,000 L’Italien has raised as of March 31 came from parties with direct connections to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. Advertisement L’Italien, as the … [Read more...] about L’Italien chides opponents for political connections but raises thousands on Beacon Hill
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Joshua Miller Globe Staff May 15, 2018 AMHERST — They’re devastated by Stan Rosenberg’s resignation from the Senate. They laud him as the epitome of a public servant. And if he were to run again, they’d probably vote for him.Less than two weeks after the former Senate president resigned in the wake of a damning ethics report that found he gave his accused serial predator husband essentially unfettered access to the Senate, Rosenberg is persona non grata on Beacon Hill. But, in more than a dozen interviews across what was Rosenberg’s district, many of his former constituents said they still back him.“I feel terribly sorry for Stan,” said Ruth Elcan, a 79-year-old from Pelham who called Rosenberg “modest, unpretentious, conscientious — everything one would like to see in a politician.” And, she said, … [Read more...] about Rosenberg may be persona non grata on Beacon Hill. Back in Amherst? They really like him.
BOSTON — Amid intense lobbying by gun control advocates, support is growing among legislators to allow for the seizure of firearms from individuals who show unstable or dangerous behavior.A measure filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker, D-Cambridge, and backed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, would allow police, friends and family members to ask a court for a so-called "extreme risk protection order" if they believe a legal gun owner poses a risk to themselves or others.Police chiefs already have discretion to revoke gun licenses, but gun control advocates say the bill will offer families a direct route to seek help."It would help prevent suicides and situations like Parkland, where somebody in the family knows that there might be imminent danger but has no power to remove the guns," said Cindy Rowe, co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, referring to the mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. "We need this kind of protection … [Read more...] about ‘Red flag’ bill advancing on Beacon Hill
BOSTON — Two years ago lawmakers dismissed Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal to give emergency room clinicians power to force opioid addicts into treatment.Now the Legislature appears to be warming to the idea as it mulls Baker's latest plan to combat the scourge of opioid addiction.Baker's CARE Act -- which stands for an Act Relative to Combating Addiction, Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions, and Enhancing Prevention -- includes a provision authorizing police, medical professionals and others to commit a person suspected of opioid abuse to treatment, even against their will, for up to 72 hours.The Legislature's Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery recently supported the idea, voting to approve a re-write of Baker's CARE Act, which entails a range of plans to combat opioid addiction, while keeping the 72-hour hold provision. The measure still faces several more hurdles on Beacon Hill including votes in the House and Senate."This is an extraordinary … [Read more...] about Plan to hold addicts gains support on Beacon Hill