Charlie Baker News

Massachusetts Lawmakers Grill Natural Gas Execs After September Explosions

Natural gas companies in Massachusetts are compromising safety by increasingly turning to outside contractors for pipeline work while cutting back on staff that would oversee these projects, state lawmakers said Tuesday at a hearing following September’s natural gas explosions in …

Massachusetts Lawmakers Eye Action on Natural Gas Safety Bill

Top Statehouse Democrats say they’re hoping to pass legislation aimed at improving natural gas infrastructure safety before the end of the year. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker filed the bill. On Monday, he met with Senate President Karen Spilka and House …

Utility to Miss Deadline for Restoring Gas After Massachusetts Explosions

The utility involved in a series of natural gas explosions and fires in three Massachusetts communities last month acknowledged Friday it would not meet its original Nov. 19 deadline for restoring gas service to all its customers. Columbia Gas set …

Emergency Loans Available for Massachusetts Businesses Hurt by Gas Blasts

A $1 million emergency loan fund has been set up for Massachusetts businesses directly impacted by a series of natural gas explosions and fires. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and officials from Lawrence, Andover and North Andover announced the fund on …

After Blasts, Massachusetts Orders Natural Gas Safety Review

Massachusetts regulators are calling for an outside review of the state’s natural gas distribution system in the wake of gas explosions and fires that affected three communities earlier this month. The Department of Public Utilities said Wednesday it would name …

Foundation Being Set Up for Victims of Massachusetts Gas Explosions

A relief fund will be established to help Massachusetts residents whose lives were disrupted by a series of natural gas fires and explosions. The announcement was made Monday by Republican Governor Charlie Baker and leaders of the three affected communities. …

Official Says Pressure Sensors Are Focus of Massachusetts Gas Explosions Probe

The investigation into the Boston, Mass.-area natural gas explosions is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts, the head of the National Transportation Safety …

With Pot Shops Opening Soon, Massachusetts Warns About Driving High

In anticipation of the first recreational marijuana stores opening within Massachusetts in the coming weeks, state officials Wednesday stepped up warnings to motorists about the risks of driving while stoned. A new public education and enforcement campaign announced by Republican …

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 …

Massachusetts Raises Minimum Wage, Creates New Paid Leave Program

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law an act that will mandate an annual August sales tax holiday, increase minimum wage over the next five years and create a new paid family and medical leave program in Massachusetts. The …