CHARLIE BAKER

Mass. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg testifying before the legislature's Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, on March 20, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

All but two of the 15 people appointed to advise marijuana regulators in Massachusetts reside in cities and towns that favored the legalization of recreational pot.

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

A sign at All Power in Granby promotes the August 2012 Massachusetts sale tax holiday.
File photo / The Republican

Governor Charlie Baker filed tax holiday legislation, even though legislators have already recessed for the summer. So what's the likelihood of a sales tax-free weekend this month?

As we do most Mondays, we turn to State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy for some insight.

Gov. Baker signs fiscal 2016 budget on July 17, 2015.
Antonio Caban / State House News Service

State lawmakers will be taking a closer look at the line-item vetoes made last week by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker before he signed the state's overdue $40.2 billion budget into law. A lot of the $320 million in vetoes stem from cuts Governor Baker made to MassHealth, in the hopes of getting his full package of healthcare reforms enacted.

The former toll booth at Exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will study the possibility of putting a new exit on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the western part of the state.

Funding for the review is contained in the budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker Monday.

 Immigration advocates, students and educators at a higher education hearing in Boston in 2015.
Antonio Caban / State House News Service

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority could be announcing bus route cuts later this week. That's after the Transit Authority's state appropriation came in more than $1.5 million less than expected.

Protests are planned in response, and the Five Colleges -- which have pumped millions of dollars into the PVTA -- have warned the transit authority that they might seek bus services from another provider. All this is going on while the state budget is sitting on Governor Charlie Baker's desk.

Judge Kafker meets with members of the Governor's Council on July 15, 2015.
Antonio Caban / State House News Service

Last Friday, Massachusetts House and Senate leaders voted on a compromise version of the state budget that reduces spending by about $600 million in the new fiscal year.

Now that the budget has been passed along to the governor's desk -- is House Speaker Bob DeLeo allowing marijuana bill negotiators back to the table?  

Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Scott Kafker, the current chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court is Republican Governor Charlie Baker's nominee to the state's highest court.

This is Baker's fifth appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court.

But Governor's Council member Mary Hurley said she is disappointed in the selection, especially for the citizens of western Massachusetts she represents. She'd been lobbying the governor for months.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House had planned to vote last week on a bill making substantial changes to the voter-passed recreational marijuana law. But after quick objections to the bill -- and an issue with how it was written -- Speaker Bob Deleo delayed that vote.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House has delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday on changes to the state’s marijuana law. There were problems with the bill's language and plenty of criticism of some of the proposed changes to what voters okayed last year.

The ballot question law has not been fully implemented, but possession of small amounts of pot has been legal for adults since mid-December. Police across Western Massachusetts tell us that -- so far -- little has changed.

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