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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.

Massachusetts Senate Committee Leadership Established, Signaling Priorities

January 22, 2015 | Alert | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, Amarynth Sichel

Yesterday afternoon, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg revealed his senior leadership team and announced which legislators he selected to lead the Senate’s special and standing committees.

Telehealth, Health IT, and mHealth Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders

January 6, 2015 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, Andrew Shin

In recent months, as the conversation about reforming the health care system has shifted from websites and coverage expansion to achieving greater delivery system efficiencies, cost containment, and quality improvement, the role of health care technology — specifically, telehealth, health information technology (health IT or HIT), and mHealth — is becoming an even more prevalent area of bipartisan cooperation among health care policymakers.

Governor Patrick Proposes State Budget Cuts; Speaker DeLeo Opposes

November 20, 2014 | Alert | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel

This morning Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo indicated that he will not support the Governor’s plan to trim the state budget to close a projected $329 million mid-year budget gap.

2013-2014 Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends

August 6, 2014 | Advisory | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel, Candice Porter, Patrick Regan, Conor Henrie

Last week, the 2013-2014 Massachusetts legislative session came to a close amid a flurry of activity on Beacon Hill. Lawmakers rushed to finalize and pass priority bills, working past their deadline on Thursday, sending a number of proposals to the Governor’s desk after midnight.

ML Strategies FY2015 Massachusetts Budget Update:

July 16, 2014 | Advisory | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel

On Friday, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a $36.5 billion state budget for FY2015, which is nearly $10 billion larger than the budget he proposed back in January 2014.
On July 1, 2014 the Massachusetts Senate voted for a compromise on employee non-compete agreements, and the Joint Economic and Emerging Technology Committee heard testimony on the same issue.

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Minimum Wage Increase and Economic Development Package

July 1, 2014 | Advisory | By George Atanasov, Julie Cox, James Sasso

In a previous article, “Massachusetts Legislature Considers Unemployment Insurance Reform and Minimum Wage Increase,” we outlined the Massachusetts House and Senate’s separate plans to increase the minimum wage and reform the unemployment insurance system.

ML Strategies FY2015 Massachusetts Budget Update: The House Budget

May 13, 2014 | Alert | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel

Earlier this year, ML Strategies offered an overview of the Governor’s FY2015 budget proposal. Now that the House of Representatives has passed its version of the FY 2015 spending plan, we provide an update on the budget process and an overview of the budget timeline.

The Best Prospects for Federal Funding of Clean Energy in 2014

May 2, 2014 | Article | By Jordan Collins

While it has been several years since the apex of federal clean energy funding, the Administration continues to utilize its executive authority – leveraging existing agency programs and initiatives to develop, commercialize, and deploy clean energy technologies both domestically and internationally.
Recent surveys offer revealing insights into voter attitudes in the northeast U.S. toward state policies that expand the use of clean and renewable energy. There is also intriguing data about voters’ willingness to pay for those policies.

Massachusetts Legislature Considers Unemployment Insurance Reform and Minimum Wage Increase

March 14, 2014 | Alert | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, James Sasso

Increasing the minimum wage and reforming the unemployment insurance (“UI”) system in Massachusetts are the two major employment issues facing the 2013–2014 Legislature, which comes to a close on July 31, 2014.

ML Strategies FY2015 Budget Update: The Governor’s Proposal

January 29, 2014 | Alert | By Julie Cox, George Atanasov, Amarynth Sichel

As the budget process heats up on Beacon Hill, ML Strategies will issue periodic updates regarding the process and politics that will shape this year’s budget. We begin by providing an overview of the budget timeline and a brief analysis on the budget process.

Are Exchange Health Plans Federal Health Care Programs, and Therefore Subject to Anti-Kickback Statutes?

November 8, 2013 | Alert | By Andrew Shin, Joseph Hammang, Jeremy Rabinovitz

Industry stakeholders were generally surprised to recently learn that health plans offered on the health care exchanges may not be considered “federal health care programs” and therefore may not be subject to certain fraud and abuse laws.

SGR Reform—Improved Outlook for Congressional Action This Year?

October 24, 2013 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, Stephen Weiner, Andrew Shin

A bicameral impetus to reform the SGR, and a coalescence around legislative principles, has been a rare bipartisan development in an otherwise divided Congress this year.

Government Shutdown Aftermath: CMS Under Pressure to Finalize Medicare Payment Rules

October 18, 2013 | Alert | By Andrew Shin, Alexander Hecht

Because of the prolonged government shutdown, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may encounter delays in promulgating final payment rules that would otherwise be effective January 1, 2014.

Effect of a Government Shutdown on Medicare, Medicaid, and Other ACA-Related Operations

September 25, 2013 | Alert | By Alexander Hecht, Stephen Weiner, Andrew Shin

Funding for Medicare and Medicaid is mandatory, meaning it is not subject to annual appropriations that lapse during a shutdown.
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