Latest Massachusetts State General Court News

Massachusetts Senate passes police accountability bill

Jul. 14, 2020 9:31 AM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate early Tuesday passed a police reform bill to limit the “qualified immunity” that now shields officers from civil prosecution, puts checks on the use of chokeholds and tear gas, and requires law enforcement officers to be licensed. The bill now moves to...

Massachusetts Senate debates police accountability bill

Jul. 13, 2020 3:58 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate continued debate Monday on a bill backers say would increase police accountability, in part by imposing limits on the “qualified immunity” that now shields officers from civil prosecution. The bill would ban chokeholds and racial profiling in law...

Driver cited in protest incident; town traffic sign changed

Jul. 9, 2020 4:28 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — A look at developments in Massachusetts related to the national reckoning with racism and police brutality: ___ DRIVER CITED IN PROTEST INCIDENT Police in the Boston suburb of Newton have cited a man for driving his pickup truck through a group of young Black Lives Matter demonstrators. The...

Water drops from a fountain as a woman wearing a mask out of concern for coronavirus walks in the rain, Monday, June 29, 2020, in Lowell, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Voting bill on the move; 35 COVID-19-related deaths reported

Jun. 29, 2020 6:10 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — A committee made up of members of the Massachusetts House and Senate has agreed on a final compromise bill aimed at safeguarding elections during the coronavirus pandemic. Backers said Monday the bill's goal is to expand voter access and safety during the remaining 2020 elections, including...

Frankie Colavito works out on a balance line in Piers Park, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Additional soldiers home review requested; Museums reopen

Jun. 27, 2020 5:50 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — A look at some of the coronavirus developments in New England: MASSACHUSETTS Massachusetts lawmakers are calling for an independent investigation into another state-run soldiers' home that had a deadly outbreak of the virus. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley...

Just 18 COVID-19 deaths reported; Senate passes voting bill

Jun. 16, 2020 7:19 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — State health officials on Tuesday reported that the number of new deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Massachusetts has fallen to fewer than 20, another signal that the state is continuing to beat back the disease caused by the coronavirus. The total number of confirmed and probable deaths in...

State Senate OKs bill to fight Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Jun. 14, 2020 10:38 AM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — A bill intended to help protect the public from Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been approved by the Massachusetts Senate. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that is rare but can be fatal. Last year, Massachusetts saw a resurgence of EEE, with more than 200 communities...

Massachusetts lawmakers weigh banning police chokeholds

Jun. 13, 2020 12:28 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are working on legislation they say will respond to some of the concerns raised by those protesting George Floyd's killing, including banning the use of chokeholds by police. A bill introduced this week would include new standards for police conduct, end what the...

Massachusetts Senate to hold listening sessions on recovery

Jun. 1, 2020 6:00 AM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate is planning to host a series of virtual listening sessions on what steps the state needs to take to recover from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Democratic Senate president Karen Spilka said senators will hear from chief stakeholders, policy experts and others on...

Democrats flip 2 GOP-controlled Massachusetts Senate seats

May. 20, 2020 1:03 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Democrats flipped two seats in the Massachusetts Senate in two special elections Tuesday giving the party a 36-seat majority in the 40-member chamber. Westfield Democrat John Velis defeated John Cain, a Republican from Southwick, to take the seat formerly held by Republican Don Humason, who...