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Massachusetts SJC clears tipped wages question for ballot
06-14-2024 1:05 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON – Voters are on track to get the final say over whether Massachusetts businesses should pay a higher minimum wage to tipped employees after the state’s highest court on Thursday concluded that a proposed ballot question is properly drafted.The...

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Details emerge in state’s massive climate bill
06-11-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — The base of a late-session climate bill that has been promised by top Democrats in both branches is being drafted by Gov. Maura Healey’s administration, which says that reform to the siting and permitting of clean energy infrastructure is...


House approves five-year, $6.5 billion housing bond
06-09-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Nearly 18 months after legislative leaders kicked off the two-year term by identifying sky-high housing costs as one of their chief areas of focus, the Massachusetts House stamped its approval on a $6.5 billion plan that top Democrats believe will...


Housing advocates rally for law that would allow accessory dwelling units by right
06-03-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Housing advocates and elected officials rallied Wednesday in support of a statewide policy to allow accessory dwelling units by right, and the state’s top housing official offered his “word on the street” about the timing of a major housing...


LGBTQ Youth Commission offers 330-page report
06-02-2024 4:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Citing escalating attacks against LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts and across the country, a commission released recommendations Tuesday for the Legislature, Gov. Maura Healey and state agencies to bolster child welfare, public health, education,...


Home sales in state, Hampshire County spring to life in April
05-26-2024 5:00 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — There were 3,100 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts last month, and while that number alone may not mean much to those still looking for an affordable home, it may represent a glimmer of hope — it was the largest year-over-year...


Bike-pedestrian crashes flagged as emerging threat as bike lanes expand
05-19-2024 5:00 PM

By Sam Doran

BOSTON — As bike lanes have expanded across Massachusetts, Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt said safety concerns are cropping up along the new public ways — but, perhaps surprisingly, not just with cars.Cyclists moving quickly are...


Report urges full reexamination of regional transit authorities
05-15-2024 2:36 PM

By MICHAEL P. NORTON

MBTA service problems and fiscal dilemmas have commanded significant public attention, but a new report says the regional transit authorities that provided 19 million bus and shuttle rides in 2021 lack connectivity and a “funding bedrock.”The report,...


State Senate budget funds free community college for all
05-10-2024 6:06 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ and SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Senate Democrats unveiled plans Monday to make community college free for all students in Massachusetts, starting in the coming fall semester.The “MassEducate” plan, which will be part of the Senate’s fiscal 2025 budget that was to be fully...


Federal funding for victim assistance drops, state support tries to help
05-10-2024 4:18 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Dollars coming from Washington to support survivors of violent crimes have dried up in recent years, and state funds to prop up struggling service providers are held up in a spending bill awaiting legislative action.Federal funding through the Crime...


Loan program aims to ease burden of home energy retrofits
05-06-2024 4:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON – Hoping to accelerate the switch to clean energy technologies, the climate bank at MassHousing recently announced a new financing product that aims to make $20 million in loans available over the next two years to help homeowners cover the...


Committee forms to oppose psychedelics push in Mass
05-05-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

A new campaign chaired by a Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon will oppose a potential ballot question seeking to decriminalize some psychedelic substances.After coming together “reasonably quickly” in the past week, as spokesperson Chris Keohan...


Providers, families seek legislative urgency to support ALS treatment
05-03-2024 1:58 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Nearly 10 years after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spurred global awareness about the neurodegenerative disease, patients and doctors on Thursday stressed the need for additional funding from Beacon Hill as they touted promising treatments under...


Upon review, panel not behind any ballot questions
05-02-2024 4:21 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

The next phase in the fight over half a dozen major and pressing policy proposals kicked off Wednesday with a common feature on Beacon Hill: lawmakers recommending that the Legislature not to take action.A special committee tasked with overseeing the...


Lobby push aims to propel doggie day care standards
05-01-2024 2:14 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — Animal advocates from around the state focused their annual lobbying push Tuesday on bills calling for safety standards in the doggie day care industry, banning the use of big animals in circuses, and pushing back against dog breed...


Court rulings may force action on home equity theft
04-30-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — After a state judge ruled this month that Massachusetts law governing municipal home equity takings “requires Legislative correction,” a state senator who has filed a related bill for years said Monday that he is ready to start demanding roll...


Over $400M in shelter funding, new limits approved
04-26-2024 4:09 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI, COLIN A. YOUNG, MICHAEL P. NORTON

BOSTON – The House voted 117-36 and the Senate 29-9 to approve a supplemental budget steering $251 million more into the family shelter system and calling for new limits on how long families may stay in shelters.The agreement announced Wednesday...


Mass Dems propose nine-month shelter stay limit
04-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DORAN

Senate and House negotiators on Wednesday proposed a new nine-month limit on how long families can stay in the state’s emergency shelters, while authorizing withdrawals up to $426 million from a state savings account to spend on the ongoing crisis.Top...


Spilka pledges ‘comprehensive climate bill’ in Senate
04-23-2024 3:22 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Signaling the potential for more change in the transportation and energy sectors, Senate President Karen Spilka revealed Monday that the Senate plans to tackle a major climate bill before formal sessions come to a close in just over three...


Senate adds bills to reform electric industry
04-22-2024 4:21 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Senate Democrats plan this week to make a big push for reforms to the state’s motor vehicle “Lemon Law,” insurance coverage for home heating oil leaks and the controversial competitive electric supply industry.The Senate on Monday formally added a...


Mass. saw nearly 200 percent rise in antisemitic incidents last year
04-21-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — New England saw a staggering surge in antisemitic incidents last year that exceeded the increase logged nationally, the Anti-Defamation League said in a new report released Tuesday.There were 623 antisemitic incidents of assault, harassment...

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