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Lawmakers wade into CCC ‘trainwreck,’ mull possible action
07-10-2024 9:36 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Lawmakers from both parties signaled Tuesday they share a government watchdog’s concerns about upheaval at the Cannabis Control Commission, but Democrats who wield decision-making power stopped short of indicating what kind of response they might...

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Commission hears challenge to tipped worker ballot question
07-11-2024 4:07 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

The national group pursuing a ballot question that would increase what Massachusetts employers must pay tipped workers faces a new 11th-hour obstacle that could imperil its fate.A restaurant industry trade group higher-up filed an objection with state...


Guest columnist Ian Rhodewalt: Biden should resign over role in genocide
07-09-2024 4:03 PM

By IAN RHODEWALT

 While it is true that President Joe Biden gave a historically disastrous debate performance, and the fallout in the following week put his chances of winning r-election in distinct jeopardy, we should not forget that he has been funding, abetting,...


Senate to bring forward $2.8B economic development bill
07-09-2024 3:28 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

The Senate will dig into a massive economic development package Thursday after top Democrats on Monday morning released their own vision for how Massachusetts should pursue job and economic growth opportunities.The Senate’s bill (S 2856) authorizes...


My Turn: Biden should resign over role in genocide
07-09-2024 2:58 PM

By IAN RHODEWALT

 While it is true that President Joe Biden gave a historically disastrous debate performance, and the fallout in the following week put his chances of winning r-election in distinct jeopardy, we should not forget that he has been funding, abetting,...


State’s green energy bill doesn’t address local siting worries
07-08-2024 6:14 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

A Senate-passed bill featuring a streamlined approach to permitting and siting solar and energy storage projects in Massachusetts, with a consolidated permit for approving clean energy infrastructure instead of multiple local, regional and state...


Sabadosa bill pushes for adaptive headlight technology to reduce glare
07-08-2024 1:57 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

A bill moving through the Legislature will require all new vehicles sold in the state after Jan. 1, 2026 to include adaptive headlights that illuminate the road without shining into the windshields of oncoming drivers.According to the U.S. Department...


DPH: Use bug spray to guard against West Nile, EEE
07-05-2024 1:59 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Health officials are urging residents to use insect repellent when outdoors this summer, after mosquito samples tested positive for two viruses.The Department of Public Health said the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was detected in...


Down on the farm: With stresses for farmers fueling a mental health crisis, program seeks to lend a hand
07-05-2024 12:10 PM

By LEAH VERESS

Alice Colman recalls the day a routine fennel harvest turned into a wake-up call. As she stood in her field, carefully examining a plant’s feathery leaves, she felt herself growing increasingly frustrated with the crop’s appearance. When she kneeled...


Wheelchair users look to House for relief
07-04-2024 9:24 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Leyla Connolly’s battery-powered wheelchair has been broken for more than a year. As she waits for it to be fixed, she is consigned to her Dorchester apartment, where she feels trapped without a safe way to leave to get groceries, go to...


Study finds Franklin County homeless population on the rise
07-04-2024 9:22 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

The number of homeless people in Franklin County has more than doubled in the last year, as the annual Point-in-Time count in January found 252 people sleeping in shelters or outside, compared to 104 in January 2023.Franklin County accounted for...


Sabadosa bills bring pregnancy loss out of shadows
07-02-2024 11:04 AM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Two bills presented by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa that passed last week will support families who have experienced pregnancy loss by adding paid pregnancy loss leave to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law and establishing a public information campaign...


Senate approves housing bill that blends policy, financing
06-28-2024 4:56 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Before voting late Thursday night to pass a housing policy and borrowing bill that many say could turn the tides of the housing market, senators adopted an amendment that would prohibit most home purchase offers that are conditioned on the...


SJC confirms driver questions eligible for ballot
06-27-2024 7:15 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — A pair of potential ballot questions reshaping the work landscape for app-based drivers will be permitted to advance, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday, clearing the way for voters to make decisions with national implications.The...


‘Home equity theft’ bill passed by House
06-27-2024 6:43 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

BOSTON — The House of Representatives voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a bill that, if signed into law, would prohibit a practice commonly known as “home equity theft,” or the governmental taking and reselling of tax-foreclosed property without...


PFAS bill has majority support, but uncertain outlook
06-26-2024 4:40 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Two powerful lawmakers are trying to push a widely supported bill to ban toxic “forever chemicals” over the finish line before the looming end of session, but neither said Tuesday that the issue is a priority for their branch.House Speaker...


Healey order looks to protect emergency abortion care
06-25-2024 11:21 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey issued an executive order Monday meant to safeguard access to emergency abortions as her administration girds for U.S. Supreme Court rulings this week that could further unravel reproductive care options across the...


Healey credits survivors, signs revenge porn bill
06-24-2024 10:43 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Massachusetts is now the 49th state to prohibit revenge pornography, with Gov. Maura Healey signing a bill late last week that also cracks down on sexual harassment and coercive control by domestic abusers.The bill closes a legal loophole to...


Franklin County Chamber of Commerce breakfast highlights progress on rural aid
06-21-2024 1:17 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — With a director of rural affairs, rural school aid increases and disaster relief funding for farmers, local senators and representatives say it’s become clear the Legislature and Healey administration are directing more attention to...


‘Janet Planet’ comes into orbit: Annie Baker’s debut film, about to open in Valley, features performances and input from some area residents
06-21-2024 10:41 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

After generating some local news in 2022 when scenes were filmed in a number of locations around the Valley, “Janet Planet,” the debut film by celebrated playwright Annie Baker, is set to make its debut in Amherst and Greenfield on June 27.The movie,...


Ballot question campaigns take next step toward November
06-20-2024 4:05 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Musicians hauling three drums, two trombones, a saxophone and a tuba played their way up Park Street to the corner of Beacon Street on Tuesday, blocking traffic and leading dozens of rally attendees to celebrate that app-based drivers who...

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