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Polls find Massachusetts voters locked in on immigration issue
02-09-2024 4:06 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Two polls released this week gave mixed signals regarding voters’ feelings about the job Gov. Maura Healey is doing and the level of support for Nikki Haley here ahead of next month’s presidential primary, but what was clear from both surveys was that...

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Legislative meetings, host community agreements on pot regulators’ minds
02-13-2024 3:54 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

From lawmakers to business operators to municipal officials, there’s been a lot of interest lately in the work underway at the Cannabis Control Commission.Most of the headlines involving the agency have been about the months-long legal saga between...


Judge denies O’Brien appeal in Cannabis Control Commission case
02-07-2024 4:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — An Appeals Court judge on Tuesday rejected suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien’s petition, once again clearing the way for Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to schedule a meeting that could lead to O’Brien’s firing.Superior...


January tax slump in Massachusetts creates new budget pressure
02-06-2024 2:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Having already made mid-year budget cuts and dimmed the outlook for tax collections through June based on six consecutive months of underwhelming receipts, the state reported Monday that tax revenue came in below even downgraded expectations...


State order seeks to limit natural gas pipelines, mains
12-08-2023 5:09 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — After more than three years of considering the future of the natural gas industry in Massachusetts and what role it can play in the state’s efforts to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades, the...


Mariano defends House call for overflow shelter site
11-08-2023 4:14 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

After weeks of maintaining distance from Gov. Maura Healey’s handling of the state’s emergency shelter capacity crisis, the House is likely to approve a legislative directive that Healey establish a shelter overflow site — and the move is revealing...


Report: Humans still putting ‘untenable burden’ on right whales
10-23-2023 12:34 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population might be starting to level off after years of decline, but researchers said human activities still present significant ongoing threats to the species.At its annual meeting this week in...


State outlines climate threats, possible responses
10-13-2023 9:28 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Fifty years from now, Massachusetts could see as much as 42% more winter precipitation, average summertime temperatures in line with North Carolina’s current climate, and a 4.3 feet rise in sea levels along the its coast as coastal flooding...


Redesigned state dashboard will track respiratory illnesses
10-10-2023 3:57 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — With peak season for respiratory illnesses like the flu and COVID-19 approaching, the Department of Public Health has launched a refreshed dashboard to track trends and provide the public with helpful information focused on COVID-19,...


Mass. lawmakers: Immigrants can plug gaping labor force voids
09-21-2023 4:45 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

With Massachusetts straining under an overburdened emergency shelter system and staring down a shortfall of workers, more than 60 lawmakers are sending a letter urging the White House and Congress to work quickly to find a bipartisan solution that can...


Treasurer suspends Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien
09-15-2023 4:44 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien was suspended from her position Thursday by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who chose her for the job a year ago, as upheaval continues to collide with the CCC’s hefty regulatory and policy...


Healey: Farm Resiliency Fund may stick around
09-08-2023 8:12 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

More than 200 farms across western and central Massachusetts have started receiving checks from the Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund, and the governor said Thursday that the fund will keep accepting donations to be ready to help the next time severe...


Mass. utilities outline plans to handle more electricity
09-06-2023 4:15 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Massachusetts is aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 largely by electrifying things currently powered by fossil fuels. While the region’s electrical grid is not ready to serve that increased demand, the Bay State’s utility companies...


DPU moves to smooth electric bill spikes
09-05-2023 12:44 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

State utility overseers on Friday ordered Eversource and National Grid to split two of the coldest (and often most costly) months of the year into two procurement and billing periods, implementing an idea that Maura Healey’s office proposed when she...


Two invaders marked for state’s prohibited plant list
08-29-2023 5:26 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

State agriculture officials are moving to prohibit the importation, sale and trade of two plants thought to be invasive to Massachusetts, including one that “is well-known for having nasty-smelling flowers.”The Department of Agricultural Resources is...


Healey files interim budget to keep government running
06-21-2023 4:21 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

While lawmakers continue to hash out a compromise budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1, Gov. Maura Healey bought them some extra time Tuesday with the filing of an interim budget that would keep state operations going through July.The...


Healey pitches ‘green bank’ for housing retrofits, new construction
06-16-2023 3:41 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — With an eye on the state’s mid-century greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments, Gov. Maura Healey has announced the launch of a “green bank” that she hopes will attract private investment and federal money to pay for building retrofits...


Bill targets abusive coaching, toxic school sports cultures
04-04-2023 10:31 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Two Newton lawmakers are hoping to begin to stamp out abusive coaching practices and the toxic culture of some middle and high school sports teams with a piece of legislation that would help districts emphasize self-awareness, self-control,...


Lawmakers echo concerns they hear about PFAS
03-28-2023 3:32 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From fish being reeled in by anglers in Taunton to the drinking water at an elementary school in New Salem, so-called forever chemicals known as PFAS are everywhere, the questions and comments from lawmakers at Monday’s Joint Committee on...


Tax relief critics, supporters will air thoughts Tuesday
03-26-2023 12:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Tax season starts this week on Beacon Hill, when the Revenue Committee will dive into the specifics of Gov. Maura Healey’s tax relief and reform plan as well as about 50 other bills that deal with similar tax credits and tax code changes.The hearing...


Healey outlines local aid levels ahead of budget rollout
02-23-2023 5:15 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

The budget that Gov. Maura Healey will file next week will boost the largest source of state education aid by almost 10% in what the administration said would be the biggest percentage increase since the last millennium.Local officials and then the...

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