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New fed rules may force Mass. action on PFAS
04-11-2024 11:01 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Nearly 200 water systems across Massachusetts — including towns, schools and hospitals — will likely need to take some action to comply with new federal limits on “forever chemicals” in drinking water, state regulators said Wednesday, a potentially...

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UMass trustees OK 2.5% tuition increase
04-03-2024 5:06 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts has taken a step toward hiking tuition and room and board charges for next academic year, but some trustees said Wednesday the proposed increases are not high enough and one said the status quo would be...


Mass. AG launches youth sports betting safety coalition
03-30-2024 11:34 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — With college sports tournaments taking place at both ends of Massachusetts this week, Attorney General Andrea Campbell on Thursday announced the launch of a public-private partnership to focus on the risks of sports betting and gambling among...


Beacon Hill Roll Call, March 18-22
03-29-2024 4:14 PM

By Bob Katzen

 THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local senators’ votes on roll calls from the week of March 18-22. There were no roll calls in the House last week.REVENGE PORN AND TEEN SEXTING (S 2703): Senate 40-0, approved a proposal that would...


State Senate unanimously backs revenge porn bill
03-22-2024 3:19 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI and COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Senators agreed unanimously Thursday on legislation that would make Massachusetts the 49th state to enforceably ban revenge porn, teeing up fresh negotiations on a topic where lawmakers failed to complete their work last term.All 40 senators...


State eyes simplification of college aid process
03-20-2024 4:06 PM

By Allison Kuznitz

BOSTON — With an array of more than 50 state financial aid programs available to college students, public higher education officials are embarking on an effort to simplify those offerings by 2026.The Department of Higher Education plans to evaluate...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-20-2024 10:59 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...


Sunshine week meets shade on Beacon Hill
03-15-2024 10:38 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913 that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” and Bay Staters on both ends of the political spectrum agreed this week that Beacon Hill could stand to open the curtains quite a...


School districts in region warn they are nearing edge of ‘fiscal cliff’
03-14-2024 5:14 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BELCHERTOWN — In what has become a steady drumbeat from school officials in many Hampshire County communities this budget season, Belchertown has become the latest to stare down a significant school budget gap that could mean the “staggering” loss of...


New director seen as ‘major step’ at Cannabis Commission
03-11-2024 8:47 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Aiming to have its new executive director on board by this summer, the Cannabis Control Commission spent hours Thursday crafting the contours of the job and detailing what qualities a successful applicant will demonstrate.The CCC has not had...


Healey starts push to end homelessness among veterans
03-07-2024 11:42 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey announced a $20 million campaign Tuesday to end veteran homelessness as she lamented the hundreds of former Massachusetts service members who have nowhere to call home.The governor said the effort, funded primarily through...


Senate portrait honors Abigail Adams; nominations sought for next woman to be memorialized in upper chamber
03-05-2024 4:46 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON – As she unveiled a portrait of early women’s rights advocate Abigail Adams late last week, Senate President Karen Spilka announced an open call to the people of Massachusetts to nominate the next woman who will be permanently memorialized in...


Galvin watching for impact of ex-Dems in Tuesday elections
03-04-2024 5:02 PM

By Sam Doran

BOSTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that restored former President Donald Trump’s name to the Colorado ballot makes it “all the more important” for voters to express their opinions in presidential primaries, Massachusetts’ elections chief said...


Crash data points to ‘crisis’ on Mass. roads
02-29-2024 7:01 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Safety on Massachusetts roadways is “at a crisis level,” the state highway administrator told lawmakers this week as he detailed steps the Department of Transportation has taken to try to prevent some of the most dangerous and deadly situations and to...


Decision time nearing on state’s to-go cocktails policy
02-28-2024 12:45 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The industry group representing package stores signaled this week that it’s ready to “beg” lawmakers to end the authorization for takeaway drinks, a pandemic-era policy allowing many bars and restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails to...


Lottery launching ‘Jaws’ ticket into its pool
02-28-2024 12:36 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

With no significant jackpots at stake last month, sales at the Massachusetts Lottery were down nearly $34 million compared to last January, the agency’s head reported to the Lottery Commission on Tuesday.Executive Director Mark William Bracken said...


Healey life-sci, climate tech plans will span 10 years
02-27-2024 4:55 PM

By Alison Kuznitz

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey will recommend reauthorizing the state’s life sciences initiative for another decade in a sprawling economic development bill she plans to file this week, she told hundreds of business leaders Tuesday morning. The bill will...


Ratepayers fed up with high energy costs
02-27-2024 10:42 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn to the state’s western border in Richmond, people in Massachusetts are letting the state know how they feel about wallet-busting energy bills.“I struggle to pay my bills, my electric runs $250 a...


Senate plans another sex education reform vote this week
02-25-2024 6:01 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Senators this week are expected to vote again on a bill to update the state’s sex education guidelines, something the chamber has already approved four times without getting buy-in from the House.The Senate Committee on Ways and Means polled the...


Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority
02-22-2024 4:12 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Although they would not explicitly commit to fulfilling a funding request for Head Start, two of the most powerful players at the State House indicated Wednesday that funding the early education program is at the top of their priority list in...


Massachusetts to ramp up outreach about tuition aid expansion
02-20-2024 11:12 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — A recently expanded state financial aid program has yet to make a major impact on high school seniors evaluating their college options, a leader of an educational nonprofit warned Tuesday.The MASSGrant Plus expansion program, supported by a...

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