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Evolution of Repeal and Replace

September 22, 2017| Advisory

The Republican evolution on health care over the course of 2017 has tested the resolve of the party’s years-long effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Republican goal of repeal and replace has reached a fever pitch, with days to go before we may come to a resolution on this nearly eight-year drive.
Massachusetts lawmakers have returned from summer recess and are preparing to tackle a robust legislative agenda this fall. Legislators will meet formally through the third Wednesday in November, at which point formal sessions will end until 2018.
This past August, the Massachusetts Senate and the Millbank Memorial Fund Healthcare Working Group held three roundtable discussions geared towards finding solutions to rising healthcare costs and providing patients with more coordinated care.
In the wake of growing concerns about data privacy and cyber threats, Massachusetts lawmakers are increasingly focused on evaluating and improving the state’s cybersecurity policies and information technology infrastructure.
On Tuesday, December 6, Governor Charlie Baker, under his Section 9C authority, ordered $98 million in mid-year cuts from the $39.25 billion FY17 state budget. The administration has warned of budget imbalances for months and this action aims at aligning state revenues, which have lagged throughout the year, with projected spending.
Following the beginning of the 115th Congress (January 3) and President-elect Trump’s inauguration (January 20), the legislative and executive branches will have at their disposal a number of legal methods for following through on their deregulation pledges.
Throughout the fall, policy makers in Massachusetts have sharpened their focus on the rise of pharmaceutical drug prices and their role in the growth of overall health care spending in the Commonwealth.
There are a number of factors to consider that have broad implications beyond health care:
After closing the book on the formal sessions in July, Massachusetts lawmakers have turned their attention to the November election. The Senate and House of Representatives convene in informal sessions for the remainder of the year and no controversial legislative matters are expected to pass during this time.
As stakeholders and watchers of the expansive field of regenerative medicine likely are aware, earlier this year a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Stem Cell reported on the growth of so-called stem cell clinics operating in the U.S.
As of June 2015, 24 states utilize a traumatic or acquired brain injury waiver,1 as provided under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, which are designed to help individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) live in the community setting of their choice.
In the final weeks before the end of the legislative session, the Massachusetts House and State both addressed major pieces of labor and employment legislation. However, although the legislature passed S.2119, an Act to establish pay equity, and S.2407, an Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination, much of the legislation that business leaders had been anticipating was left unfinished as lawmakers adjourned their formal session on the night of Sunday, July 31.
After a mad scramble to take action before their midnight deadline, Massachusetts lawmakers closed the 2015-2016 legislative session by passing five of the “Big Six” bills on their agenda. Beacon Hill saw a flurry of activity in the final weekend of July as lawmakers rushed to make up for months of little action.
Late Sunday night, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill that will significantly increase electricity produced by offshore wind, hydropower and other renewable energy sources.
Governor Charlie Baker signed a budget for FY17 on Friday, July 8, after vetoing $256 million in spending included in the plan approved by the legislature. The budget, which represents the second annual spending plan signed by the Governor, totals $38.92 billion and increases spending by just $489 million, or 1.3%, over FY16 levels.

House Passes Noncompete Reform

July 5, 2016| Alert

On Wednesday, June 29th, the House passed H. 4434: An Act relative to the judicial enforcement of noncompetition agreements, which includes a number of provisions that have long been discussed as the necessary components of non-compete reform.
The next six weeks are shaping up to be the final work period before the summer recess, with both chambers scheduled to leave DC by July 15th for party conventions followed by the August recess.
The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to pass its FY2017 state budget just before midnight on Thursday, May 26. The spending plan, which totals $39.558 billion, spends $60 million more than Governor Baker’s proposal and $50 million more than the House plan approved last month. 
In a unanimous vote of 156-0, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a $39.56 billion spending plan for FY2017 on April 27. Over three days, the House considered more than 1,300 amendments to pass a final budget that allocates approximately $10 million more than Governor Baker’s spending plan, but closely resembles his proposals.
On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a solar energy bill into law that increases the statewide limits on the amount of solar capacity that will qualify for net metering, but also lowers the value of net metering credits for large-scale projects.
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