Articles by Steve LeBlanc

Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Climate Change Bill

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said last week he is reviewing legislation passed by lawmakers that would overhaul the state’s climate laws, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create renewable energy jobs and protect poorer communities that can be at higher risk from …

Report Says Boston Public Transit System Needs to Improve Safety

The public transportation system in metropolitan Boston needs to step up efforts to improve safety along its network of subways, buses and commuter rail trains. That’s the finding of a panel of transit experts hired in June by the Massachusetts …

Bills on Tap at Massachusetts Statehouse Target Lead in School Water

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are pushing legislation aimed at improving the safety of drinking water in schools in part by requiring schools and child care centers to test every drinking water outlet each year for elevated lead levels. Legislation on …

Massachusetts Lawmakers Approve Rental, Voter, Climate Bills as Deadline Looms

The Massachusetts Legislature gave final approval Monday to a bill that would tax and regulate short-term rentals, including those offered by Airbnb and other online platforms. After weeks of negotiations, House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on the compromise bill …

After Trump Win, Massachusetts Becoming a Hub of Resistance

As Republican Donald Trump prepares to take over as president, Massachusetts is fashioning itself into a hub of resistance, with politicians and advocacy groups vowing to battle what they see as the extremes of a Trump agenda. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth …

Massachusetts Resisting Drugmakers’ Efforts to Weaken Anti-Opioid Measures

Massachusetts appears to be bucking efforts by makers of prescription painkillers to kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids. The drugmakers say they’re combating the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for …

Boston Police Chief Disappointed Ridesharing Bill Lacks Driver Fingerprinting

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is faulting Massachusetts lawmakers for failing to require the fingerprinting of drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The House and Senate approved regulations for the services Sunday night, but the bill does …

Massachusetts Senate, House Ridesharing Bills Differ Over Airport Access

A bill that would regulate ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, including requiring drivers undergo criminal background checks and mandate they carry insurance policies of at least $1 million, was unveiled last week by Massachusetts Senate leaders. Unlike a House …

Marijuana Legalization Proposal Draws Support, Opposition in Mass.

Supporters and foes of legalizing marijuana gathered at the Massachusetts Statehouse on Monday to weigh in on a proposal that would allow the recreational use and possession of marijuana up to an ounce for those 21 and older. The proposal …

Massachusetts Lawmakers Consider Changes to Bicycle Laws

Bicyclists can get little respect on the road — from drivers, pedestrians, even fellow cyclists. Sometimes the angry stares are deserved, but more often the friction stems from the fact that bicycles, cars, buses, trucks and pedestrians are scrabbling with …