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Panel throws up hands over new state seal after three-year effort
11-19-2023 2:39 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — Nearly three years after the Legislature tasked a panel with recommending changes to the state seal and motto, the group prepared to disband this week by asking to shift its unfinished work onto Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.The...

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Council OKs mega-pardon for marijuana possession
04-04-2024 2:20 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council unanimously approved Gov. Maura Healey’s mass pardon Wednesday that grants official forgiveness to anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession in Massachusetts.The courts must still work to identify people to whom...


Healey: State pardoning all pot possession convictions
03-13-2024 4:33 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s plan to pardon all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions will impact hundreds of thousands of people, she told a crowd at the Grand Staircase on Wednesday, and represents “the most sweeping cannabis pardon ever...


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...


Easthampton mayor part of Healey’s new housing commission
02-07-2024 9:06 AM

By SAM DORAN

As part of her push to boost housing supply, Gov. Maura Healey swore in around 30 members of two panels late last month, bringing together groups like developers and builders, advocates for the homeless and people with disabilities, and local...


Healey resets state budget outlook downward
01-08-2024 4:44 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey and her budget team hit the reset button Monday, announcing a plan to cut $375 million from the current year’s budget amid flagging tax collections, to downgrade the amount of tax revenue expected this budget year by $1...


Board to connect discharged vets with state benefits
09-21-2023 12:59 PM

By SAM DORAN

Gov. Maura Healey on Wednesday swore in the members of a new state board set to help get state benefits flowing to veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of the U.S. military’s former “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.The reception in...


Governor’s Council approves four Healey pardon requests
09-14-2023 12:25 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — A Governor’s Council meeting that featured approval of four new pardons took an unexpected turn Wednesday as one member persistently rebuked her colleagues, before councilors across the room successfully moved to establish a new Rules...


No movement on Beacon Hill as gun violence flares again
09-03-2023 4:22 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — There’s been a rash of late-summer gun violence in Massachusetts, but in the Legislature the situation around proposed gun law reforms hasn’t changed and Democrats, who have been away from Beacon Hill since late July, remain stuck in a...


Healey claims public records exemption on abortion pill order
07-07-2023 11:09 AM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — A federal judge hadn’t even ruled yet on suspending approval of the abortion pill mifepristone in April when Gov. Maura Healey orchestrated a major reserve shipment of the drug through the state’s flagship university. But despite pledges of...


Former Speaker Bartley, architect of landmark special ed law, dies at 88
06-15-2023 12:03 PM

By SAM DORAN

Former House Speaker David Bartley, one of the youngest lawmakers ever to lead the House and a champion of education access, died Tuesday at the age of 88.Nearly half a century passed by since Bartley’s speakership, and he was still remembered this...


Massachusetts Senate plan eyes public access to testimony, votes
02-05-2023 7:57 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The House and Senate seem to once again be on different tracks when it comes to legislative transparency, potentially teeing up the branches for a do-over of their 2021 negotiations on internal operating procedures, which ended in an...


State Legislature’s Food Caucus gearing up for push to fight hunger 
01-26-2023 4:13 PM

By SAM DORAN

The Legislature’s Food System Caucus is getting ready to “fight like hell” for its priorities, co-chair Sen. Jo Comerford said Wednesday, and another caucus leader said money to combat hunger can be realized by the savings it will create elsewhere in...


Sales tax holiday weekend set for Aug. 13-14
06-13-2022 1:53 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The Legislature on Monday set the dates of this year’s sales tax holiday weekend, settling on Aug. 13 and 14, when Massachusetts shoppers will get a break from state sales tax on most retail items less than $2,500.The annual sales-tax-free...

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