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As Deadline for Expiration Approaches, Congressional Action Likely

December 7, 2015 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, R. Neal Martin

Now just days away from the December 11th expiration of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that has been funding federal activities since the start of the current fiscal year on October 1st, Congress is feverishly working to reach agreement on a long-term Omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year.

FDA Invites Genome Scientists to Come Play in the precision FDA “Sandbox”

November 13, 2015 | Alert | By Joanne Hawana, Eli Greenspan

On November 12th and 13th, the Food and Drug Administration hosted genome scientists from across the nation at its campus in White Oak, Maryland.

Recent Developments in Massachusetts Health Policy

October 23, 2015 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Sasha Dudding, Stephen Weiner

Building on the momentum of early October hearings on the state’s growing health care expenditures, the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, Governor Charlie Baker, and others spent the past two weeks crafting new policies for the industry and its consumers.

Massachusetts Legislature Takes Action on Opioid Crisis

October 7, 2015 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Sasha Dudding

Amid a recent surge in opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, with over 1,200 accidental deadly overdoses last year, the Senate passed legislation on Thursday, October 1, that is designed to fight the epidemic on various fronts.

EB-5 Regional Center Program to Get Short-Term Reprieve with Passage of Continuing Resolution

September 30, 2015 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, R. Neal Martin, Douglas Hauer

Coinciding with the end of the current fiscal year, the EB-5 regional center program is set to expire today but will get a temporary reprieve with expected final passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11 and also temporarily extend the regional center program through that same date.  

Massachusetts Legislature Ends Active July with Budget Overrides

August 5, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Max Samels

After a busy final few weeks of activity, the Massachusetts Legislature departed for its summer recess with a new budget and progress on several priority policy issues. In addition to overriding $97 million in Governor Baker’s vetoes, Boston lawmakers considered tax, public records, energy, healthcare, and labor issues.
In a hearing before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on Tuesday, July 21, roughly two dozen lawmakers and a wide range of business officials, advocacy groups, non-profit leaders, and academics testified in support of a pay equity bill aimed at eliminating the wage gap between genders in Massachusetts.

FY2016 Massachusetts Budget Update: The Conference Committee Budget

July 13, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Max Samels

After many weeks of deliberation, the Massachusetts House and Senate sent a budget to Governor Baker’s desk. This budget passed the Senate 31-5 and the House 153-1 and represents a compromise between the House and Senate versions, described in previous ML Strategies advisories.

EB-5 Program Reauthorization: Proposed Legislative Reforms

July 6, 2015 | Alert | By Douglas Hauer, Alexander Hecht, R. Neal Martin

Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly referred to as the EB-5 program, offers foreign investors an opportunity to secure permanent residency in the United States by making a minimum capital investment of $1 million per investor into a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) that will create at least 10 jobs for US workers.

Uncertain Future for Non-Compete Agreements in Massachusetts: Legislators Seek Compromise

June 24, 2015 | Advisory | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Max Samels

On June 23rd, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development met to consider legislation relating to the legality and enforcement of non-compete agreements.

Baker Calls for Industry Input on Regulatory Review and Economic Development Strategy

June 15, 2015 | Advisory | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Ana Lopez

Responding to criticisms that state regulations are burdensome and make Massachusetts a more costly and less competitive place to live and do business, Governor Charlie Baker signed Executive Order 562 to simplify the Commonwealth’s regulatory regime.

Health Care Update & Telehealth Policy Alert

June 2, 2015 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, Andrew Shin

In the previous Congress, we saw a burst of policy and industry attention to telehealth as lawmakers and stakeholders alike recognized the cost, quality, and accessibility benefits of telehealth.

FY2016 Massachusetts Budget Update: The Senate Budget

June 2, 2015 | Alert | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Maxwell Fathy

On May 22, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved a $38.1 billion budget for FY2016. The Senate budget hews closely to the spending plans proposed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives in April and Governor Charlie Baker in March.

Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law Takes Effect July 1

May 7, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Ana Lopez, Amarynth Sichel

Massachusetts’ Earned Sick Leave Law, which voters passed by ballot initiative last November, is set to become effective in less than two months on July 1, 2015. On April 27, Attorney General Maura Healy’s office released proposed regulations to clarify how the ballot law will be implemented.

FY2016 Massachusetts Budget Update: The House Budget

May 1, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Maxwell Fathy, Amarynth Sichel

On April 29 the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a $38.1 billion spending plan for FY2016 by a unanimous vote of 158-0. Over roughly 28 hours of sessions, the House dispensed with over 1,000 amendments to pass a final budget that spends $10 million less than Governor Baker’s spending plan, but closely resembles it in many regards.

Modest Energy Efficiency Bill Heads to Obama’s Desk

April 27, 2015 | Alert | By Jordan Collins

The first energy bill of the 114th Congress is heading toward the President’s desk for signature.

Tax Amnesty Program and New Leadership at the DOR

April 1, 2015 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Ana Lopez, Amarynth Sichel

On March 16, Massachusetts officials announced a tax amnesty program, effective immediately, to recoup delinquent corporate taxes. The program is part of a larger effort by the Baker administration and the Department of Revenue (DOR) to raise funds to close the Commonwealth’s midyear budget deficit.

Baker Proposes State Budget Focused on Savings

March 6, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel, Julie Cox

Wednesday, the Baker-Polito administration revealed the details of their $38.1 billion FY2016 budget. Seeking to overcome a structural deficit, which at $1.8 billion, represents nearly five percent of the total budget, the Governor doubled down on cost-saving measures rather than raising taxes, increasing fees or drawing from the state’s rainy day fund.
In response to a number of foreign policy crises encountered over the past few years, the Obama Administration has sought a new and more aggressive approach to using sanctions to advance US global security goals.

Baker Administration Announces Budget Fix Plan

February 4, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Amarynth Sichel

Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced on Tuesday a series of proposals aimed at closing the Commonwealth’s substantial budget gap for Fiscal Year 2015. According to the current administration, even after Governor Patrick’s attempts to close the fiscal gap, a $768 million budget shortfall persists.
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