Massachusetts Legislature

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, appearing to grow more impatient as each day passes, prodded state legislators this week to pass a comprehensive bill designed to address the deadly opioid addiction crisis in the state.

Hampshire Gazette

After almost a quarter-century as a Massachusetts state legislator, Democratic Representative Ellen Story of Amherst announced Thursday she will not seek reelection in November.

Story, who is 74, said her decision to retire is based largely on a desire to spend less time in Boston and the grind of travel between her home in Amherst and the Statehouse.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Story.

An exterior view of the Massachusetts State House in Boston
wikipedia.org

Massachusetts lawmakers are getting back at work this week on Beacon Hill.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says the legislature’s current system of joint committees is fine when working properly. But, the Democrat doesn’t think that’s the case nowadays.

wikipedia.org

An advisory commission is recommending pay increases for all the top elected state officials in Massachusetts, including hefty hikes in the salaries for the governor, the House speaker and Senate president.  A fiscal watchdog is critical.  Legislators have reacted cautiously.       

The panel’s proposal, if adopted, would make the Massachusetts governor the second highest paid nationally—behind Pennsylvania – raising the annual salary from the current $151,800 to $185,000. There is also a recommendation for a $65,000 housing allowance for the governor.

A state Senate seat in western Massachusetts will become vacant at the end of today.  Republican Michael Knapik’s surprise decision to resign from the Senate after nearly 20 years opens an opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat in the chamber where they already hold an overwhelming majority.

In the weeks following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, politicians and pundits across the country have been searching for a solution to help prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future – and in the neighboring state of Massachusetts, lawmakers and advocates are hoping that a discussion on mental health issues can be made a priority in the next legislative session. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more...

   The Massachusetts Legislature during the course of its just concluded two year session passed some key measures affecting businesses. On the whole the session was seen as beneficial to the state’s business climate.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

Lawmakers have approved a bill that would overhaul Massachusetts’ system of case laws for troubled youth.

The bill, recently passed by lawmakers, would make big changes to the Children in Need of Services system – or CHINS system. Under current law, which is similar to a contract, a child issued to the CHINS system by a judge is required to meet specific guidelines to solve problems. Depending on the case, a troubled youth could receive counseling, educational guidance, or other human services, including being placed in a foster home.  

      Environmental and consumer rights activists are hopeful of  getting a  bill that would update the Massachusetts bottle deposit law through the legislature after 14 years of frustration.  Opponents are pushing a  new  argument, claiming an expanded bottle deposit is a tax.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.