WEEK AHEAD

Susannah Whipps, during a meeting with the Springfield Republican editorial board.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

This is a big week for Massachusetts' new marijuana industry. The makeup of the five-member Cannabis Control Commission will be finalized.

Governor Charlie Baker announced his pick last week -- state Senator Jennifer Flanagan. She's a Democrat and opponent of legalized pot.

As we do most Mondays, we checked in with State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy for the details.

Over 10,000 people attended a counter-protest of the "Boston Free Speech" rally on the Boston Common on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Dan Glaun / The Republican

On Saturday in Boston, tens of thousands of people gathered in a counter-protest to a planned "Free Speech" demonstration. Supporters of the conservative "Free Speech Rally" said, despite being outnumbered, their event was a success. The Free Speech keynote speaker was Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican US Senate candidate.

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

U.S. Rep. Nikki Tsongas addresses Massachusetts Democrats who gathered for the 2016 state party convention in Lowell.
Shannon Young / The Republican

At the end of last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's administration rolled out out new rules on greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas, transportation and electricity generation industries. The regulations call for a greenhouse gas reduction of 24 percent below 1990 emissions levels by 2020. 

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.

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

Last Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law changes to the state's voter-approve recreational marijuana law. With this on the books, there's a lot to do before retail sales of pot become a reality next summer. And much of that work will fall on the office of State Treasurer Deb Goldberg.

As part of our regular Monday check-in on Beacon Hill, we asked State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy to describe the next steps for Massachusetts marijuana.

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.

 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?  

Raise Up Massachusetts
uusc4all / Creative Commons

Lawmakers have had a busy few weeks on Beacon Hill  tying up loose ends and dealing with the budget and marijuana policy issues -- all leading up to the Fourth of July holiday. The session began slowly and quietly. That was underlined in a Boston Business Journal editorial last week about how activists sometimes threaten to launch a ballot initiative as a way to motivate lawmakers into action. 

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Dave Roback / The Republican

It's going to be a busy week on Beacon Hill as Massachusetts lawmakers try to find common ground on some tough topics. The state's fiscal year ends Friday and there's no budget agreement yet. Also, the legislature is aiming to get a recreational marijuana law on the governor's desk this week. But big differences remain between the House and Senate bills, both of which make changes to the voter-passed marijuana law.

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