STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - AFTERNOON EDITION - TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

SENATOR: JUVENILE MURDER PAROLE ACCORD WILL BE FILED

Lawmakers charged with hashing out a consensus bill to make juvenile murderers eligible for parole are closing in on an agreement. Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont), who is chairing the Senate's three-member negotiating team on the bill, told the News Service after Tuesday's Senate session, "We will file that today." The conference committee's recommendations, which are not subject to amendment, will go first to the House. Both branches have formal sessions scheduled for Wednesday. The House and Senate approved bills making juvenile murderers eligible for parole in the wake of court rulings that found sentences of life without parole unconstitutional in such cases. Brownsberger declined to provide details of the conference bill. - M. Murphy, M. Norton/SHNS

PATRICK NOMINATES MASSING FOR APPEALS COURT

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday nominated the executive director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School to a seat on the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Gregory Massing's career includes stints in the public and private sectors, including four years as general counsel to the Executive Office of Public Safety and six years during the 1990s working in the criminal bureau of the state attorney general's office. After working in 1990 as a law clerk to the late U.S. District Court Judge A. David Mazzone, Massing spent two years in the litigation department of the Boston firm Ropes & Gray. Before working at the public safety secretariat in 2007, Massing worked for six years at the Essex County District Attorney's office and for two years at the Boston firm of Laredo & Smith. If confirmed by the Governor's Council, Massing, of Watertown, would fill a vacancy on the Appeals Court created by the elevation of Judge Geraldine Hines to the Supreme Judicial Court. - M. Norton/SHNS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT PRIVACY OF SOCIAL MEDIA

While publicly accessible social media information would remain fair game, the Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation (S 2118) aimed at protecting the privacy of password-protected student, employee and job applicant information. Newton Democrat Sen. Cynthia Creem said the bill also would block employers from requiring employees to "friend" them, telling her colleagues during brief discussion of the bill that she would expect friend requests in high school but not in the arena of employment. Creem said 14 states have such privacy laws on the books. The bill makes it unlawful for an employer to "require, request, suggest, or cause an employee or applicant to disclose a user name, password or any other means for access, or provide access through a user name or password, to a personal social media account or service." - M. Norton/SHNS

SENATE OKAYS SUNDAY MORNING LIQUOR STORE OPENINGS

Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature are now on record in support of legislation authorizing retail liquor stores in Massachusetts to open for sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon. The House approved the legislation (H 228) in March and the Senate on Thursday approved the bill without debate. The Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Robert Hedlund to postpone consideration of the bill until July 24. Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, one of the sponsors of the legislation in the House, said she and other lawmakers have pushed for earlier alcohol sales for years. Poirier, a Republican from North Attleborough, said it will particularly help retailers who border Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Game-day football tailgaters, beachgoers, and others hosting parties would be able to buy beer and alcoholic beverages on Sunday morning rather than waiting until noon. The bill can reach Gov. Deval Patrick's desk following enactment votes in both branches. - M. Norton, C. Quinn/SHNS

TARR MOTION DELAYS ACTION ON CONSTRUCTION $$$ BILL

Action in the Senate on legislation lowering retainage rates on private construction projects was delayed for a day on Tuesday as Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr used a parliamentary procedure to give himself more time to review the bill (S 2271). Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts recently resolved longstanding differences and reached agreement on legislation reducing the amount of money held back by project owners on certain private sector construction projects to assure that work is satisfactorily completed. They pitched as a compromise new legislation that lays out a timeline and process for closing out payments on projects with values above $3 million while bringing retainage amounts on private construction projects over $3 million down to 5 percent from the current practice of 10 percent. The Greater Boston Real Estate Board objected to the bill, which has drawn a letter of support from numerous groups representing contractors, including flooring, steel fabricators, electrical, plumbing and heating, and mechanical contractors. Tarr moved to "lay the bill on the table," a non-debatable motion that automatically pushes off any further consideration of a bill until the next formal session. The Senate has formal sessions planned for Wednesday and Thursday. - M. Norton/SHNS