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State / Region

State and Region Briefs, July 30

Thursday, July 30, 2015

House votes for Aug. 15/16 sales tax holiday BOSTON — The House voted 136-20 Wednesday to set a sales tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 15-16. The vote came after fiery speeches from opponents who called the nearly annual event a “gimmick” and a “boondoggle” that would take valuable resources away from education and other priorities without providing any real economic benefit. “This is politically popular, but it’s terrible legislation,” said Rep. Alan Silvia, a Fall River Democrat. Economic Development Committee Co-chair Rep. Joseph Wagner defended the tax holiday as a measure that would boost sales for local retailers during a typically slower season … 0

Baker on veto votes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BOSTON — As lawmakers began pouring money back into the state budget over his objections, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he will review the Legislature’s veto override actions and determine what steps he must take to balance the state budget. “When they finish their work we’ll take a look at it, add it … 0

Mass. lawmakers vote to restore budget items vetoed by Gov. Baker

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BOSTON — Lawmakers moved Wednesday to restore nearly $100 million in spending vetoed from the state budget by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, including funds for full-day kindergarten programs and for the University of Massachusetts system. Baker used his line-item veto power to shave $162 million from the more than $38 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, saying that while … 0

First NAACP branch started in Vermont

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont, one of the whitest states in the country, has its first official branch of the NAACP after more than 100 years. “It’s time,” said Champlain Area NAACP President Mary Brown-Guillory. Racially charged incidents both locally and nationally prompted organizers to start the branch, Brown-Guillory … 0

Tri-state approach aims to fill hole in economy

Sunday, July 19, 2015

As it shed hundreds of high-paying jobs, the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has also given rise to a coordinated effort across a three-county region separated by state lines to shore up an economy that’s … 0

Mass. predicts net savings for Medicaid expansion

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BOSTON — Many states that opted to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act have seen enrollments surge well beyond projections, raising concerns that the added costs will strain their budgets when federal aid is scaled back starting in two years, an Associated Press analysis shows. But … 0

Beacon Hill Roll Call, July 13-17, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

By BOB KATZEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. CUT OFF LOCAL AID TO SANCTUARY CITIES AND TOWNS Here is the 31-125 vote on which the House defeated an amendment that would withhold local aid from any cities … 0

State and Regional Briefs

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Montreal train restart pushed MONTPELIER, Vt. — A former Vermont transportation secretary is coming out of retirement to help plan resumption of passenger train service between the northeastern United States and Montreal. Brian Searles, who retired as transportation secretary in December, is returning to state service part-time to … 0

Police: 2 dead, 3 wounded in shootings in northern Maine

Friday, July 17, 2015

LEE, Maine — A former convict beat a man and stole guns and a pickup truck before shooting five people, two of them fatally, during a rampage across several northern Maine towns, state police said Friday. Anthony Lord, … 0

Baker trims $162 million from budget, lets UMass retain tuition payments

Friday, July 17, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed an annual budget bill that invests in local aid, transportation and substance abuse treatment while slowing spending growth to 3 percent, triggering an MBTA fiscal control board, and preserving a business tax deduction that was on the chopping block all … 0

Marine from Springfield killed in Chattanooga

Friday, July 17, 2015

HAMPDEN — Massachusetts officials are offering their condolences to the family of a 40-year-old Marine from Springfield who was killed by the gunman who attacked two military sites in Tennessee. Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno identified the Marine as Sgt. Thomas Sullivan. “This is a tragic loss not just … 0

Boston Marathon bomber is moved to Colorado Supermax prison

Friday, July 17, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is now detained in the highest-security prison in the country. Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last month. He then was taken from Massachusetts to the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. A … 0

Hitchhiking robot embarks on coast-to-coast tour across US

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hitchhiking robot embarks on coast-to-coast tour BOSTON — With its thumb raised skyward and a grin on its digital face, the robotic creation of two researchers in Canada embarked on a hitchhiking journey across the U.S. on Friday. … 0